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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Author Interview: A. C. Katt

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome AC Katt, whose latest book, A Matter of Trust, has just been released by X0XO Publishing.

AC told me that she started writing when she was ill and confined to the house for an extended time.

"I was in too much pain to move around much and spent most of my time reading or on the computer," she said. "My book bill was astronomical and my husband suggested I try e-books. It didn’t save money, I just bought more books. One day I complained about the quality of the book I was reading and thought I could do better, he said, 'Go for it'. I did."

He is very supportive of AC's writing, while her children are embarrassed she writes erotica and her grandchildren think she's cool.

"How do you personally distinguish between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography?" I wondered.

"Pornography has no plot, erotica has just enough plot to get from one sex scene to the next and in erotic romance there is a complex plot. Conceivably the book could stand without the erotic element but would be less interesting."

Some of the writers that she feels write excellent erotic fiction include Chris Owen and Jody Payne ("Their Deviations series was a fascinating insight to the world of Domination and Submission," she said); Mychael Black whose works she likes for its diversity—from modern ghost stories like The Duke's Husband to equally well done works dealing with vampires in medieval Europe in the Romanium series and futuristic romance like Kitten1 ; Kayelle Allen for her world building skills ("Her characters jump off the page and hit you in the heart."); Syd McGinley ("I absolutely love Dr. Fell and his adventures," AC said. "Syd's description of the sad Dom who lost his boy is heart-wrenching and funny. His secondary characters, like Charlie, Ben's Twink, make you laugh out loud."); and Jet Mykles' intricate books with modern storylines.

"Ally Blue is in a class by herself," AC told me. "Although her situations might be paranormal, her characters are real."

AC told me she thinks the general reading public has no idea what erotic romance is and does.

"Yes, we titillate and we write sex," she explained. "However, we also write about problems in modern life that straight writers rarely touch. Why happens to a gay teen who comes out of the closet only to be thrown out of his home? Predators, white slavers, child abuse both physical and sexual, we write about serious issues. The potential consequences of a gay or lesbian who marries someone of the opposite sex to please their families or out of fear, intolerance, interracial relations; you name it we go there."

AC, when she's researching her story, uses the Internet as well as visiting places she wants to write about.

"I try to interview people who are or have been in the situation I describe. Even in Science Fiction there is an equivalent situation you can extrapolate into your story. I also like to stick to subject matter I know well or can research easily. Or something like The Sarran Plague that I can world build from scratch as I wish."

I asked her what research books she would recommend for writers starting out in writing erotica.

"The reference books for good writing are the same for erotic writers as for the 'straight' fiction writer: a good dictionary; Roget's Thesaurus or its electronic equivalent Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus, which I highly recommend; Strunk and White's The Elements of Style--for basic rules of grammar and punctuation, but only in conjunction with Spunk & Bite by Arthur Plotnik which provides the wrier with a guide to contemporary style; Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. As far as books specifically geared to the erotic market," she continued, "It's a Dirty Job, Writing Porn for Fun and Profit is a decent starting point and the Erotic Writer's Market Guide is a good reference.

"However, I found the best research for writing erotic romance is reading erotic romance. Look at the market trends, see what is selling and what isn’t. Some genres go in and out of style. Look carefully to see that you are not writing to a niche market that has evaporated."

In AC's books, she won't do rape or any other kind of non-consensual sex; bestiality (with the exception of shape shifters); anything to do with excrement, solid or liquid; necrophilia (except vampires); extreme BDSM where there is intense physiological and physical humiliation; incest; child pornography; or even underage sex.

"In my WIP, Shattered Glass, one of the protagonists starts out underage, but his lover refused to touch him until he is of the age of consent."

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

"A nipple or my belly button; however I don’t know if I would have the courage. Body piercing is sexy because it decorates and calls attention to a person’s best body parts."

She considers whipped cream or chocolate sauce, along with strawberries, for the tummy; and whipped cream and chocolate sauce for a penis. "I like whipped cream," she explained.

"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?" I wondered.

"No, but I'd like to meet him!"

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

"Keep writing," she said. "Write at least 500 words a day even if you throw it out the next morning. Eventually, the skills get more polished and the ideas come rapidly. Think out of the box."

You can keep up with A.C. on her blog, http://www.ackatt.com/bloggerpost

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