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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Author Interview: Rie McGaha

Whipped Cream welcomes Rie McGaha, who has several books out from Noble Publishing.

Rie learned to read at an early age (her mother said she could read at age three), and she doesn't ever remember not being able to read. "From reading, the natural path was to write some of the same wonderful stories I was reading. As a child I wrote fantasy stories, fairy tales, etc., and as a teen I wrote the requisite morose poetry and lyrics," she said. "As a young mother I went back to writing fairy tales for my own children. After the kids were grown, I decided I wanted to write for me and I did."

Rie was raised during a time when America was discovering free love and porn, she said, and has never thought that what goes on in the bedroom should have any limits beyond the people involved. "Whether it's between two people, three people, or more; includes handcuffs, whips and chains, whipped cream or candle wax, baby, whatever floats your boat should be fair game!" she said. Because of this, there are no boundaries she won't cross, as long as the sex in consensual between two adult, mentally stable people.

Rie told me that she and some other authors were having a discussion the other day about the differences between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography. "We came to the conclusion," she said, "that erotica is purely for titillation purposes, while erotic romance has a HEA or HFN ending. Both erotica and erotic romance must have a strong plot, with strong characters, believable dialogue, and the sex must flow naturally. In pornography, it's just an excuse to have sex!"

Erotic romance falls into a lot of different sub-genres, but it's not pornography, even though Rie said she believed that's a common misconception held by people who don't read erotic romance. "Personally, I don't even like the word 'genre' because I cross genre lines so often, usually within the same story!" she said. "I write erotic paranormal, shape shifter, undead, contemporary, historical, time travel...you name it!"

She never actually set out to write romance at all, though. She loves to read thrillers, mystery, paranormal, and books of that nature, so that's what she began to write. "These stories had a hero and heroine who became involved," she explained, "but the focus wasn't on their relationship so much as it was a kind of backdrop for the rest of the story. When I met Jill Noble of Noble Romance Publishing, I sent her a story I had written and she sent it back with a few notes. I followed her suggestions and returned the manuscript to her and she published it! That one is called Deadly Dreams and the erotic nature was added from Jill’s notes. She’s a fabulous editor and publisher, and since that time I have had other works published with Noble Romance. Jill has been much more than an editor to me; she’s been a mentor and teacher."

Rie has also written some sweet romances, but finds the erotic romance much more difficult. "I have no problems coming up with characters and story lines," she told me, "but all that sex is difficult for me to write. There's only so many ways two naked people can slide around on each other before you start asking yourself, 'Have I already done this?'"

As a matter of fact, most of the sex scenes she writes are embarrassing for her to write. "I have to say that when I wrote my werewolf story, i>Blood Line, some of the wolf sex was a little much when I wrote it."

In one particular scene, while the manuscript was in edits, her editor put a note that told her to insert another hot sex scene in one particular location. Rie thought to herself, "I don't know any more sex to put there!" But then, the challenge kicked in and her thoughts went, "Okay, you want another hot sex scene, I'll give it to you."

Her husband walked in the room and asked her why her face was so red. She told him what the note had said and said she was embarrassed at what she was writing. So, of course, he wanted to read it—and it embarrassed him as well!

Writing the ménage scene in Grounded was difficult for her as well.

"I’m always afraid the reader is going to think I personally do all the sex scenes the way I’ve written them," she explained, "or worse, they’re going to think I totally don’t know what I’m talking about."

One writer she finds who totally does know what he's writing about is Elliott Mabeuse. She told me, "He writes some of the sexiest stories I’ve ever read and he does it with such skill and feeling, it’s like being caressed while you’re reading!"

Another author she enjoys is Karen Marie Moning, especially her Highlander series. If Rie could entertain one character from a book, it would be Drustan, from Karen's Kiss of the Highlander. "I'd invite him to dinner," she said, "and just pray he'd ravish and plunder and f*** me six ways from Sunday!"

On a personal note, I asked Rie, "If you had to pierce a body part, what would you pierce and why?"

"I’m not much on piercing, but I do have my right ear pierced 5 times and my left ear is pierced 3 times. I’d like to have my belly button pierced and maybe an eyebrow," she said. "When my youngest son turned 16, I allowed him to have his tongue pierced and he wanted me to have it done with him, so after we’d gone out to dinner and I had drank a concoction called a Volcano and a couple of appletinis, I was ready for the piercing. The actual piercing didn’t hurt at all, but a few hours later our tongues were so swollen neither of us could talk! Mine lasted six months, but always felt sore, so I took the bar out and let it grow back. My son had to take his out when he joined the Marine Corps."

She finds many foods ideal for eating off another's body parts. Her favorite is hot fudge and whipped cream, but her friend Chelsea is a Passion Party consultant, so Rie's used those products many times, like the edible body lotions, Nipple Nibblers, edible body pens, D'Lickious, white chocolate body powder and, of course, the hot fudge cream.

"Sex shouldn't be scheduled or perfunctory," she explained. "If it becomes something you have to do—yuk! But when it's creative and exciting, who wouldn't want to stay in on a Saturday night and have that kind of fun?"

"What is your favorite food?" I wondered.

She laughed. "Aside from the ones in the last question? I love seafood—crab, shrimp, scallops, clams, calamari. You name it. If it's seafood, I'll eat it."

On the other hand, there are two foods she cannot bring herself to eat—hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. "I can't even watch someone else eating them," she said, gagging as she answered.

She, as well as a couple of her daughters, can tie a cherry stem with their tongues; she's a Coke girl all the way; and she feels getting pedicures and keeping her toenails and fingernails pretty is all part of being a girl. "And I love being a girl!"

Finally, I asked Rie what advice she would give a new writer.

"Just do it!" she said. "Join writing groups, get to know other authors, ask questions, we like talking about our writing and ourselves! And learn something about promotions. I had no idea that getting published meant becoming a PR person. Get your name out there as early as possible, get on My Space, Face Book, Twitter, join Yahoo groups, and become a familiar name before your work is published. There is no such thing as over exposure in the world of fiction!" You can keep up with Rie on her website, http://www.riemcghaga.com

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