Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Denysé Bridger. Denysé told me she never thinks of her stories as erotic or non-erotic until she decides where she wants to submit it...she just writes the story.
"I find sex scenes boring and tedious to write most of the time," she confessed, "so it's one of those things where you have to decide how important it is to the story, and if you want to take it in that direction."
She feels the biggest public misconception about erotica is that it's purely sexual titillation.
"If it's done right," she said, "it's just a highly sexual story. The problem is there's so much BAD erotica out there, the good gets lumped in with the not-so-good."
She doesn't see a real distinction between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"They're all variations on the same genre, and the distinguishing difference is the level of actual story you engage in, as well as elements of language and interacting between your characters," she explained. "To me, erotic romance is a romance where you have the traditional romance only you also have the detailed description of love scenes. Erotica can be anything that takes it to a different level, where sex is often the only real link between the characters, and their activities involve sexual acts beyond what is acceptable in your average romance story. Pornography? See, that’s a tough one, one person’s porn is another person’s passion, so I think it’s a moral judgment we each make within ourselves for our comfort zones and what we personally accept."
Most of her research goes into the setting of her books. "Learn the historical accuracy of your wardrobes, manners, social graces of the time," she advised. "If it’s contemporary, you’re pretty free to play it any way you want to. The research is the easy part in some cases!!"
"Did you always set out to write erotica or did it evolve from something else?" I wondered.
"I never really set out to write erotica at all – it was the genre necessary to win my first publishing contract, and from there I stayed with it while I found my audience and they found me, then I started diversifying my releases and my interests. I find 'straight' romance more satisfying in personal terms and creative terms. The building of a solid, loving, passionate relationship can take an entire book to bring all the sexual tension to one incredible consummation, or not at all. In erotic romance, that’s expected to happen a lot quicker. So, the joy of it for me is exploring the interaction more deeply and one a more emotional and mental level than is often done with erotica."
Her family is very supportive of her writing, but nobody's read her erotic books. "I'm good with that," she assured me. "I’ve got so many other things happening, why bother with this genre that won’t really appeal to them anyway? My sister buys all my books, but only reads the ones that are non-erotic."
On a personal note, if she would entertain a character from a book she would love to take Sherlock Holmes to dinner and tag along on one of his adventures. As a matter of fact, if she could be anyone she wanted, she would choose to be herself in another era.
"To be who I am in Victorian England, or the American West of that time. THAT would be wonderful fun!!!" she exclaimed.
Her favorite food? Anything Italian—actually pasta anything. With red wine from Sicily. Unless there are scallops with it.
"OMG, horrible things!" she said. "And, I cannot bring myself to eat cottage cheese. I have tried, many times. It's one of those things that makes me feel squiggly inside. I just can't bear it."
She can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and admits to being a Pepsi lover.
"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?" I asked.
"Besides me?" She grinned. "No."
She admits to having so many strange habits it was difficult for her to pin one down, but finally decided on one. "Attention to details that is obsessively stupid! That and pushing my glasses up on my nose, even when I’m not wearing them!!" she said with a smile.
When she's not writing, she can be found reading, walking in the local park, or watching old Westerns on DVD.
Finally, I asked Denysé what advice she would give to authors who wanted to write erotica.
"Be sure you can live with the pressure of your family and friends, and the possible backlash of disapproval that will come at you from some corners," she said. "Then, make sure what you really want to write is sexually explicit material, because your readers will have expectations if you’re not upfront about your diversity. My website clearly distinguishes between Erotic Books and Non-Erotic Books. I write fantasy, and many genres, and I always will.
"If erotica is the route you want to go, then read books, talk to people who are willing to discuss their sexuality openly, and absorb all you can to infuse your characters with real traits that are accessible to your readers." You can keep up with Denysé on her blog, http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com