Whipped Cream is pleased to interview Roxanne Rhoads whose latest work, Torrid Teasers #59 has been released this week by Whiskey Creek Press.
Roxanne has always been a writer, but in 2005 decided to really focus on her writing.
"I had already been dabbling but not making much progress. I sat down with my husband and said I need to write about what I know and what I am really good at...sex," she told me. "He said 'Sweet.' Yeah, most guys would freak, not him. So I started writing my first erotic stories and articles. I sold my first story to Playgirl. Since then I've been published all over the web, in magazines and several anthologies. My work is constantly evolving. I can see my writing mature and blossom into something more every day."
She sees pornography as being purely sexual—made purely to get off and with not much artistic element, if any at all. Erotica is more creative, evoking emotion, feelings and thoughts along with sexual arousal.
"Erotic romance," she said, "adds love to the mix, usually with a happy ending. Porn is only the sex. With erotica you get a more complete picture and story. Erotic romance gives you more of the whole picture—life and sex combined."
She feels, though, that the biggest misconception the public has is that there is no difference between these.
Speaking of the public and erotica, she says, "They don't see the artistic merit in it. Even some agents in the industry say that erotica authors are nothing more than porn peddlers. And that was published in Writer's Digest magazine. I made a fuss about it, but they never published my reader comments."
I asked Roxanne what her family thought about her writing.
"My husband loves it," she said. "He loves to brag that is wife is a sexpert. The other night it cracked him up that I knew the terms for male and female parts in a couple different languages and cultures. He reads all my stuff and is my biggest fan and best PR person. He encounters many people every day through his job and gladly passes out my business cards and promo materials. My mom and friends also read some of my stuff. I sometimes feel weird about showing some of my work to my mom but she still supports what I do."
Some of Roxanne's stories require no research and she's able to just sit down and write them. "Others," she said, "require extensive research, lots of time looking up info on the web and stacks of books in the library. I am working on one book right now that features an Ojibwa Native American who is over 400 years old. That requires a lot of history and language research."
She's written "straight" romance, but tells me she prefers erotic romance.
"Straight romance is good, I've dabbled there, but the basic formula you have to stick to rather irritates me," she told me. "I hate writing in form. I like letting the story and characters go where they please. And old fashioned straight romance can leave out the really good parts, like the sex scenes. I've read plenty where they tumble into bed passionately. End of scene, we see nothing else until after. Hello? I want the dirty details."
She told me how she judges what makes a good erotic story in her own writing.
"When I write a story I want it to wow me, which is hard to do considering it is my own work," she explained. "As most authors know sometimes the characters lead the way or the story goes where it wants to. I like to end up with a finished piece that amazes me; that I sit back and say to myself 'Wow, I wrote that?'"
On a personal note, Roxanne isn't really into piercings, but when she was younger she wanted to get her belly button pierced. "I never did," she said. "Now I don't have the desire or the stomach for it." She does, however, keep her toenails painted because she prefers to be bare foot whenever possible.
She thinks chocolate and maybe a little whipped cream is best of eating off another person. But, her husband has different ideas. "If my husband had to choose it would be pizza," she told me. "He is a pizza connoisseur and has always said he wanted to lay pizza all over my naked body. I just haven't let him yet."
Roxanne couldn't give a specific favorite food. She said, "I love all kinds of food and it depends on the day and my mood to say what is my favorite. Though a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake or a seven layer chocolate raspberry torte rank pretty high on any day as my favorites."
She had no hesitancy, though, in telling me what she WOULDN'T eat.
"Escargot," she declared. "I cannot bring myself to eat snails, I don't care what kind of delicacy they are supposed to be. No, thank you."
She's seen people tie a cherry stem with their tongue, but says, "I've never really tried it. I doubt I could do it; I can't even roll my tongue."
Her favorite letter? "R. It just sounds rough and dangerous."
I asked, "What is your strangest habit?"
"Which one?" she responded. "My husband thinks I am totally OCD. Really he's just a slob and I'm a neat freak. I guess my strangest habit is constantly cleaning though I have a husband, three kids and three cats. I just like things to be in certain places. My house is by no means spotless, I just want things to be where they should be or at least close to it."
Finally, I asked Roxanne what advice she would give to other authors who might want to write erotica.
"If sex makes you squeamish don't go into erotica writing," she stated. "To write really good erotica you have to be a sexual connoisseur. You have to love sex and the sensual nature of life. Indulge in all things wonderful and sensual so you know how to write about all things wonderful and sensual."
You can keep up with Roxanne on her site, http://www.myspace.com/eroticroxanne