Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Kathleen Scott, author of Hotter Than Hell, the second in her Fallen Angels series, which has just been released by The Wild Rose Press.
I asked Kathleen how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"I let others worry about the distinctions. I just write stories I'd like to read and make them extra hot," Kathleen said. "Since I write in about six genres under three different names, I run the gamut on what goes into which book. For me, though, there has to be a romance there somewhere. HEA preferred, but a HFN will work too. However, I'm probably the most vanilla erotic romance writer you'll ever find. I have my characters doing anal play and I have some stories planned that will feature a few toys, but it's always a man and woman working on a committed relationship. I think there is something inherently sexy about a couple exploring their sexuality together. Learning what pleases each other and then making it happen."
Most of Kathleen's erotic romances are sci-fi or futuristic, she spend most of her research time thinking up the storylines. She tends to write the story and, if she needs to know some specific fact, she researches the answer when she's finished.
"I'm a very backward researcher," she said. "It saves time to have your question ready and know exactly what you need, rather than spending hours going over information you might not ever need or use."
When it does come to writing sex, she told me, "After being with the same man for almost twenty years, there really isn't much in that department left to research. I can wing it. Though I did have to do some research into latex body paint for Hotter Than Hell."
Kathleen has started incorporating humor into her erotic romances. She said, "Well, I didn't really have a choice. While writing Hotter Than Hell, the second in my fallen angel series from The Wild Rose Press, my hero and heroine started making these very flip, very ironic/sarcastic comments that made me roar. I left them in and hoped like hell my editor liked it."
The editor did, very much.
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I asked Kathleen.
"I'm afraid this answer might come out judgmental, but I'm going to answer it anyhow," she said. "For me, relying on the sex to move the story forward instead of the plot is a line I wouldn't cross. Now, whether that constitutes porn or not, I couldn't really say. And I wouldn't. One person's porn is another's 'damn good read.' I certainly have bugaboos I'd never let my characters do or be, because I find them to be sitting somewhere down Sqwick Alley. Probably on the curb, or in the gutter, but down there nonetheless."
Kathleen said the sex needs to grow organically from the plot and situations in the story. "It's more about leaving that sexual tension hanging for as long as possible, then when the characters can't stand it any longer, letting them go for broke," she explained. "Though some of my books have more sex-per-square-inch (spsi) than a porno convention, I'm very story oriented. Without story you have just sex and to me, that's not really sexy. There has to be a kernel of love between my characters, or something more than just lust."
When Kathleen started writing erotica, she didn't use any "how to write erotica" books. She read a couple of Red Sage Secrets and decided she wanted to write for them.
"I pulled out an old story I had stuck somewhere, beefed up the romance, spiced up the sex to the nth degree and sold it on the first try," she said. "Yeah, I'm still gloating about that one. It was my first major sale and I was damn glad that I set a goal and reached it."
Kathleen also writes "straight" romance, under the names MK Mancos and Kate Davison.
"Though most of my books under those names have some pretty graphic love scenes they aren't as hot or as frequent in the prose as they are when I write under the name Kathleen Scott. KS is a dirty girl," she told me "MK Mancos has also written books that had no sex, or very little, or done in the periphery. It all depends on what the story calls for. To me all writing is challenging. I think both erotic romances and those with lower sensuality levels have their unique challenges they present. I've written so many sex/love scenes over the last few years, I get to one now and I have to force myself to do the act. I often tell my keyboard, 'Not now, I have a headache.' - Finding new and fresh ways to get my characters to 'do it' or into the mood is a definite challenge."
The first sex scene Kathleen wrote, however, was the most embarrassing one she's ever written.
"I did it as a writing exercise," she confessed. "I sat at the keyboard with my face flaming and hands sweaty and shaking. Then I told myself no one would ever see the scene so just go for it. And I did. After that I had no qualms about writing love scenes."
Her most embarrassing personal moment, though?
"When I was about 20 or 21, I was at a bar hanging out with a really hot Navy diver," she told me. "I started laughing at something his friend said and put my head down. Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance and got a swizzle stick stuck in the soft tissue of my nose. I pulled it out, only for my nose to start pouring blood. I jumped up from the table and ran to the ladies room. That was pretty damn hard to live down."
"If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?" I wondered.
"I'd still be me, but I'd be smoking hot. I mean so much so that men would denounce political affiliations and religious dogma for me. I could make them do my bidding with a mere glance. - Though I'd still be with my same hubby, since I can't imagine being with anyone else."
Kathleen feels honey is the best food to eat off someone's tummy (or other body part). Her reason? "It takes longer to lick off than most other condiments."
She loves all kinds of food, so admitted she didn't have a particular favorite, however, she said, "A really well-turned grilled steak still ranks up there among the best of the best for me." On the other hand, when it comes to asparagus..."I can't even think about it without retching," she told me.
Finally, I asked her, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"
"Keep plugging along," she responded. "Don't give up. Learn your craft and know your market. Also, don't be afraid to press your boundaries or delve into new challenges. I hear writers all the time saying, 'Oh, I couldn't write a novel' or 'I couldn't write a short story or novella.' My advice is to try. My first complete novel was 180,000 words long. The first story I sold was 1500 words long almost ten years later. Changing word length is a great way to treat yourself to write concise, or to embellish. Give it a whirl. Move the marker of your comfort zone a little farther out." You can keep up with Kathleen on her website, http://www.mystickat.com