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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Author Interview: Dana Littlejohn

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Dana Littlejohn, multi-published author of sensual romantic fiction.

I asked Dana how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

"I think erotic romance is a loving romantic story with descriptive sexual scenes," she said. "Erotica is the romantic set of the sex scenes without the romantic story, and porn is sex crudely displayed."

She's always wanted to write, beginning in junior high when she discovered her first romance novel. She would write an ongoing story in weekly installments that she passed out in the lunchroom. She put her writing on hold when she became an adult, but in 2003, with the encouragement of her husband, she started again. Between her own name and a pseudonym for a different genre, she has written 3 full length novels, 9 novellas, 28 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies.

She didn't set out deliberately to write erotic romance, however.

"I'm a very sexual person and it just kind of happened although I am trying to back it down a little," she shared.

She doesn't notice any difference in the difficulty between writing a non-erotic romance or an erotic one. "I think Behind the Wings would be considered a ‘straight’ romance and it is just as difficult as an erotic romance," she explained.

"What does your family think about your writing?" I asked.

"They are kind of neutral, I guess," she said. "Part of my family (mother, sisters, in-laws) don't show any likes or dislike for my work. They don't read it or talk about it. My immediate family (my husband and older children) are supportive and have read a few of my works."

Dana's favorite erotic authors are Bertrice Small and Jackie Collins, with her favorite erotic book is To Love Again. "I read it over and over again," she confessed. "It is incredible."

Some of the research Dana does for her books, she admits, comes from life experience. "Most I get from interviewing people who have actually done whatever I'm looking into," she said.

I asked her, "If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be?"

"Oh, this one is easy," she said with a laugh. "I would love to be Summer from Lover's Brew. To have someone sweep you off your feet the way Peter did can only happen in a romance novel. He is truly a lover of love."

I asked her about the most embarrassing sex scene she'd ever written.

"Wow," she said. "Well the one in The Wrong Valentine was a little embarrassing. It was with two women."

On a personal note, I asked Dana if she could be anyone, who she would choose to be.

"I don't want to be anyone other than myself," she replied. "I have enough of my own issues. I would not want other people's issues!"

She also shared with me, when I questioned her about why body piercing was considered sexy, that she had a body piercing of her own-- her belly. "I did it," she said laughing, "because men are attracted to shiny things."

She tried one time eating grapes off someone's belly and nearly choked to death. "I stick to body shots now," she said.

She does love seafood, though. She said, "If it comes from the sea, I'll eat it."

However, even if okra came from the sea, she couldn't bring herself to eat that. "I have texture issues," she admitted," and can't do slimy in my mouth. It brings hurl to mind immediately."

Her strangest habit also involves around food. "When I drink I have to eat barbecue Lays potato chips," she said. "Yes, they have to be Lays. I guess that would be strange."

When she's not writing, she enjoys salsa dancing, but recently she told me her free time had been taking up with doing housework. And, she had known someone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue. In fact, she said with a laugh, "I can! That might be too much information."

She paints her toenails every week and feels that if someone were to play her in a movie, she'd like it to be Jada Pinkett-Smith. "We are of the same size and body type," she said with a grin, "and I think she could be as feisty as I am."

Finally, I asked Dana what advice she would give to a new writer just starting out.

"The same advice that was given to me," she said, "Find your voice, stay true to your voice and strive to improve your craft."

You can keep up with Dana on her blog, http://www.danalittlejohn.net

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