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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Author Interview: Bronwyn Green

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Bronwyn Green with us this week. Bronwyn lives in Michigan with her husband, who she tells me is wonderful, two sons she thinks are amazing and five “somewhat psychotic” cats. She helps with reading, writing, and art projects in her sons’ classrooms as well as providing child care and tutoring for several daycare children. She enjoys reading, knitting, sewing, cross stitching, pottery, drawing, jewelry making.... and she still finds time to write. She told me all of these things she enjoys doing helps her avoid cooking and cleaning.

I asked Bronwyn how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography. “For me, the distinctions are pretty simple,” she said. “Erotica has a plot and deals with character emotions and possibly (depending on the author) some character development and growth in addition to the hot sex. Erotic romance has the same elements of plot, character emotions and hot sex, but character development and growth are a must, as is the happily ever after. Porn doesn’t really deal with emotions, character development, or plot. It’s just sex. Without the basic elements of storytelling, I find that it falls flat. I’m stuck with the feeling of “And...?” because there’s really nothing there to make me care about the characters, no matter how hot the action is.”

Bronwyn told me her favorite erotic book is Brynn Paulin’s Tribute for the Goddess. “It has a killer plot, amazing characters and character development and the sex is absolutely scorching. Plus it’s got phenomenal world building, humor and suspense. I adore this book!”

I asked her what her family thought about her writing and she told me that they are mostly proud of her. “Except for a couple of members who think I’m going straight to hell,” she said. “My sister-in-law reads everything I write, but the rest of my family members don’t either because they don’t ‘get’ ebooks and/or erotic romance simply isn’t their genre of choice.”

She sees one of the biggest misconceptions about erotica is “that because of its subject matter, it has no value. That attitude,” she said, “really gets my undies in a bunch.”

Bronwyn started writing what she calls (with a smile) “whiny poetry” in high school which evolved into short fiction in college. “After I graduated,” she told me, “I basically lost my nerve and stopped writing for a while, but started up again when my youngest son was two. I’d intended for that story to be a short piece, but it quickly grew into a novel (an awful novel, I might add) and I remembered just how much I loved writing. I tried writing straight romance at first, but the rejection letters I received kept telling me to tone down the sex, so I decided to go in the opposite direction and tried my hand at erotic romance. So far, it’s worked out quite well!”

I asked Bronwyn who she would be if she could be anyone she wanted. “I’m pretty happy being myself,” she said, “but I wouldn’t mind being Josh Whedon—the creator of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Firefly’—for about a week. I’d love to pick his brain about character arcs and development. That would be fabulous!”

Bronwyn can definitely tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Her opinion of Pepsi—“Pepsi is vile and far too sweet and syrupy.” I think that qualifies her as a Coke girl, don’t you think?

And, she’s not the only talented member of her family. Her younger sister Caitlin has the amazing ability to tie a cherry stem with her tongue. In fact, Bronwyn told me, “She managed to pick up a waitress one night after the woman witnessed Cait’s stem tying abilities!”

One of my favorite questions to ask our interviewees is “what is your most embarrassing moment?” Bronwyn was more than willing to share.
“This is kinda long, but fellow EC (Ellora’s Cave) author Brynn Paulin and I were in NYC at the RWA National Conference in 2004. We'd gone out to dinner with some chapter members and some of the women said they wanted to ride the subway, but were afraid to do it on their own. So Brynn, her dh and I, who'd been riding the trains all week, went with them and decided to ride the F train since it was on the way back to our hotel. That's when things started to go awry.

“There were these handy automated ticket machines. Put in two bucks and it would spit out a ticket, then you went to the turnstile, slipped the ticket into the reader, the machine clicked and you pushed open the turnstile...at least that's how it's supposed to work.

“Unfortunately, it was a full body turnstile instead of the waist ones I was used to. Having used my last two dollars, I stood in line behind my friends and waited my turn. I fed the machine my ticket and tried to walk through. It didn't work. Brynn patiently stood on the other side of the turnstile and passed me two dollars and told me to get another ticket...so I did. Same thing. Brynn, slightly less patiently, handed me another two dollars. Same thing. By now, I've got about 20 New Yorkers standing behind me trying to give me advice on how to get through.

“’Just go real, slow, girl and then push - real slow...then push.’ ‘Okay, what ya hafta to do is push and walk, push and walk.’ ‘You can do it, girl. You can do it.’

“I think we went through this scenario two more times. I'm laughing so hard at this point I've got tears rolling down my face and I can hardly stand up. There was a little old woman who kept asking Brynn if her friend was okay - as though I was some sort of escapee from a mental hospital. Brynn sent me back for one more ticket wearing the expression she usually saves for her errant children. The very nice people in line let me through again and I fed the ticket into the machine. Before I could touch the gate, Brynn finally said, ‘Don't. Touch. Anything. Just. Walk.’ She then proceeded to pull the gate toward her and of course I can walk right through. “We got through in time to make the train where many of the poor souls who had been standing behind me were already seated. When I entered the car, several of the people clapped and cheered. One guy yelled, ‘You GO girl. I knew you could do it. I just knew it.’ “Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.”

You can read more about Bronwyn and her works at her website.

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