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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Author Interview: Kayelle Allen

Whipped Cream is very excited to have Kayelle Allen with us this week. Kayelle is a very very busy woman. In addition to creating a full-blown universe for her books, including ten thousand years of history, a full language and tradestandard laws, she is also the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. She also is working on two new science fiction romance series. And, while she told me she’s completely satisfied with who she is (and let’s face it...I don’t think any of us are), she is pleased with the person she’s becoming. “I’m alive, a work in progress,” she said, “and learning more about myself each day. I would not trade who I am for anyone else’s life.”

I asked Kayelle how she personally distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography. “To me, the reason for erotic romance is to emphasize the story, plot, and characterization more than the sexual aspects, although sex does play a strong role and is a critical part of the plot,” she said. “Erotica uses the sexual aspects as the reason for the story, characterization and plot. Pornography is essentially a scene, rather than a full story and is designed around the satisfaction of sexual desire, rather than an over-riding plot.” She added, “You could describe it as PWP, which means, ‘Plot? What plot?’”

She believes the biggest misconception of the public about erotica is “that they are ‘sex books’ or pornography. What your mother and grandmother called ‘dirty books’,” she said, adding with a smile, “and may have hidden on the side.” She went on to explain, “Erotica, unlike erotic romance, is not always a Happy Ever After (HEA) but maybe a Happy For Now (HFN). The ending may not unite two people in timeless love, but in a sufficient state of bliss and belonging that they remain together for...who knows how long? Their current union is enough for now.”

Kayelle shared with me that her favorite erotic author is Robin Schone, although she has recently discovered many new authors, among them Kiernan Kelly, TA Chase, Michael Barnette, Denise Rossetti, Chris Owens and Jodi Payne, JM Snyder. She told me, “I have a lot of favorites. I keep up with their releases.”

Her favorite erotic book is Gabriel’s Woman, by Robin Schone. She said, “I have read that book and its counterpart, The Lover multiple times. Both are about former male prostitutes set in the late 1800s. Second, but no less loved, is Tailspin by Denise Rossetti, about two winged-and-tailed men who love each other but do not admit it and the young female ‘groundling’ who brings them together. Both Robin and Denise use brilliant writing and incredible sexual tension to take the reader into another time and place.”

Kayelle’s first two books, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only were m/f romance, but for right now she’s focusing on m/m. “It’s much simpler for me to write m/f because I’ve been in that role. When writing m/m, I tend to drift into what ‘I know’ rather than what the character should know. Fortunately I have two beta readers who are not afraid to jerk my chain and remind me. ‘You’ve written him like a girl with a dick” jolted me when I read the critique of a chapter I had slaved over and was quite pleased with. However, when I looked back at what I’d written, I could see that I had done exactly that. I believe that scene eventually became one of the most powerful in the book, because instead of writing what was natural to me, I went back to the truth of the character.”

Kayelle’s favorite food is served at a favorite sushi restaurant and is called “Powerball.” She described it for me:

“It’s smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese with a thin layer of seaweed on a roll of rice, cut into ten pieces. They then dip the pieces in tempura and deep-fry them till crisp, and serve over a bed of shredded daikon and carrot, then drizzle it with a tangy aioli sauce and sprinkled roe. I’d eat it every week if I could. The restaurant is about 20 miles away, but I get there as often as I can.”

Even though she likes sushi, she can’t bring herself to eat anything that is still alive, she told me. “I wouldn’t enter a restaurant that serves fish that is still alive and wigging on the plate. I’ve heard about this, and it horrifies me.”

She can also tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi—blindfolded. “I prefer Pepsi, especially caffeine free diet Pepsi,” she said. “If only it came like that with a chocolate flavor. Ah... heaven.”

Finally, I asked her who she would like to play her when they made her life into a movie. “I’d like Regina Taylor, who plays Molly Blane on the Unit. While we’re not the same race, I identify with her character on the show,” she said. “No nonsense, loyal, loves her man and her family, and does whatever she needs to do to get things done. I wish I was more like her. Besides, she gets to play the wife of Jonas Blane, played by Dennis Haysbert, who was the model I had in mind when writing Luc Saint-Cyr. Luc has been in all my books and I have one about him being considered by a publisher now.”

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

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