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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Author Interview: Eva Gale

Whipped Cream is excited to have Eva Gale with us today. Eva is a busy woman, being not only an accomplished writer but managing to home educate her seven children, from the ages of seventeen to two. We are very pleased she took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us.

I wondered what Eva sees as the difference between erotic romance, erotica, and porn. “You know,” she said, “the first few years I wrote erotica I was caught up in this question all the time, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that the lines are different for every person. When I first started writing, I blushed when I typed the word ‘nipple,’ and my parameters were pretty small. Stories like Virginia Henley’s used to make me gasp in shock back then. Now, not so much.” She grinned, then continued. “That’s why such variety is needed in books. There has to be something for everyone, and I appreciate the sweet as well as the spicy.”

Eva actually set out to write erotica and she says she still writes it for the same reason she started. Her first foray into romantic erotica was Robin Schone’s The Lady’s Tutor and was in awe. “It would completely change my perceptions,” she told me. “Behold the power of books. When I joined her board all those years ago, I was floored by her saying that at the time she got the most letters from Christian women thanking her. Another Aha! moment for me. I was brought up in the church and know very well the ‘good girls don’t’ lessons. Those women touched my heart because they represented so many of my girlfriends who were bound by the same strictures but wanted more from their intimate relationships.”

Eva is a self-confessed research whore when it come to her stories. She even went as far to say, “Maybe even a research slut.” She has a passion for history, her husband is a history freak, and since they homeschool their library is extensive. “The problem with that,” she warned me, “is that it can block you when you’re starting a story. I always have to reassure myself that I don't need to know everything about a time to start writing, that if I need something in particular I can go back and add it in. When I first started -say with an 1860's western-I would have to know the undergarments to what pots and pans they used, how they prepared their food, what they stuffed their mattresses with all the way to the animals they had. Now I start broad, what was the political climate, what the subcultures were and period notes for dress and such. I'll get a snapshot in my head of the time and go from there. If I get it wrong, my even more anal CPs catch it. I would have had a 5 grand hand job if it weren't for them. For the rest there is Google.”

I was curious as to how a writer would be able to tell a good erotic tale when dealing with her own work. “I always check every sex scene to make sure I’ve written in emotional responses, not just physical ones,” Eva said, “and that each scene moves the arc of the characters and plot forward. If I could take the scene out and not miss it at all, it needs to be rewritten. When I hit those markers, I’m doing it right.”

Eva told me she does have her own limits when it comes to what she will or won’t write. “I appreciate the writers whose boundaries are broader than mind (or seemingly non-existent),” she said with a smile. “I read much more widely than I write and my parameters may not even be the same next year. Every story is a learning process for me and I stretch in some way or another.”

She has written scenes that embarrassed her and the one that embarrassed her the most is published in Phaze Fantasies 4, which is one of the books we are giving away this week. “It’s a steampunk and it’s a birth control scene,” she said. “No pills, patches or rubbers; it’s a birth control of the future past. Thank my CP, Selah March, who demanded some birth control in one of my stories.”

There’s another scene that made her blush, but we’ll have to wait to read it, because the story is just being submitted. She did let us in on the fact that it’s a multi-cultural contemporary set in Manaus, Brazil, and the scene takes place in the shower.

On a personal note, she shared with me that she and her daughter were going to be getting their noses pierced together. “No mother-daughter teas for us; we’re starting a new bonding ritual between us.” She also told me, “I wasn’t going to get any piercings, but I saw a girl who had the most beautiful nose and such gorgeous cafe au lait skin. She had this teeny diamond flashing in the curve of her nostril and it was beautiful. Ever since then I’ve wanted one.”

She also discovered firsthand how vulnerable sex can make a person. I’m sure this carries over into her writing. “Let’s just say that I had mistimed my cycles,” she said, “and when I realized what had happened I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour, completely mortified. Thankfully, my boyfriend was a really down to earth guy and just shrugged it all off. His reaction made all the difference.”

And, like many other people, she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. “I used to be a die hard Coke fan,” she said, “but then I stopped drinking soda all together. Now when I occasionally drink it (with rum is best), I find that Coke is too sweet, and I prefer Pepsi. Thank God for the two. It’s just like books. Variety is key.”

She also told me she won’t eat anything with tentacles, and for a very good reason. “It could come back to life and suction cup its way out of my mouth,” she said with a shudder.

Finally, I asked her what advice she would like to leave for new writers. “People don’t win by quitting the race,” she said. “Keep writing. When your friends are getting published and you’re not, keep writing. When one story doesn’t get published, write another. Keep your head down, fingers on keyboard and writing. I have this quote on my fridge: Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison

You can read more about Michelle and her works at her website,

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