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Saturday, June 5, 2010
Author Interview: Wendi Zwaduk
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Wendi Zwaduk, whose latest book, Learning How to Bend, was just released by Total e-Bound.
Wendi's other works are more contemporary, straight romance, but for Learning How to Bend was, from the start, supposed to be a heat-infused story. Wendi set out to push herself and write a story about three people who might not otherwise be together and how they dealt with it.
"I challenged myself to write a love scene that involved love and hot sex," she told me. "Plus, when I wrote more contemporary, mainstream romance, I had this desire to pump up the heat level. So I wrote a couple of shorter stories, got them rejected, but I learned from those rejections and found out what I had to do to make the stories better. I also wrote short stories, including some for Whipped Cream and honed my skills. With that in mind, I am the first to admit, I still am learning about writing erotica.
"For me, writing spicy isn’t as hard as writing straight romance. I find I can kick the heat up notches easily, but sometimes toning it down is tricky," Wendi told me. "I get so wrapped up in wanting to show the passion between the characters that it can be hard to not give every little saucy detail. But it’s a fun challenge to write erotica and then shift gears and write more straight romance."
One of Wendi's favorite erotica writers is Lora Leigh.
"Even when it's really hot, you know the characters love each other and can feel the passion between them," she explained.
Other favorites include JA Saare's vampires because she writes with sexy passion and empathy, as well as Ashley Ladd's M/M stories because she writes with a tenderness that many other writers struggle to achieve.
Heat and passion are two key elements for Wendi when she's creating her own fiction.
"If the characters are involved in a ménage, but one member really isn’t in to it, then it’s not sexy," she said. "I like the stories where all the characters are involved, but also, they all have emotions invested in the relationship. If I need some inspiration, then I look for books that have emotions and passion involved. But I also like a story that revs the system. Yes, I want a story that makes me want to go find my hubby and jump all over him. If I’m not in the mood after reading, then it’s not a good story for me."
Wendi feels that the biggest misconception the general public has about erotica is the view that it's all smut.
"You can write a sex scene and it can be truly dirty—just an act to reach an orgasm. Then again, you can also write a sex scene that’s filled with passion and tenderness in spite of the sexual acts," she told me. "Erotica has a plot and, in my opinion, draws the reader in with more than just heat. Plus I think it’s really not that sexy to read about two people having sex if they aren’t that into each other."
The story is the main thing and something she would encourage author who want to write erotica to remember.
"Erotica, no matter how hot, needs a story or its just sex. If I read something hot, I want to know there is a plot to go with the heat. No plot means the heat won’t hold my attention. I also want to know there is a reason that the characters are together... if it’s just for the sake of a quick fix, then fine, but I’d rather see a developing passion along with the sex."
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I asked.
"I’m not into defecation or golden showers. If that gets you through the night, then fine, but you won’t find it in my stories or on my bookshelf."
On a more personal note, I asked Wendi which body part she would pierce if she had to pierce one.
"My ears or my navel, but since I already did... hmm... Don’t think I’d pierce anything else on me. But I do think guys with nipple rings are sexy because it gives the man a rough around the edges look."
She personally likes eating strawberries and chocolate syrup off someone's tummy, telling me, "The combination of sweet and sticky is a turn-on. Licking whipped cream off a man’s nipples is sexy too."
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I wondered.
"Grief... there isn’t enough space to write my embarrassing moments because they come so frequently, but the most embarrassing... I’d have to say the day I backed out of my parent’s garage and backed into my dad’s station wagon with my own car. The station wagon came away unscathed, but my car was one long dent along the side. I gave my dad my license, since I was still at home (I was 17) and vowed not to drive again. That lasted about a day and a half."
A few of Wendi's favorites:
Her favorite food? "Home made noodles. On my birthday, my darling husband will make real egg noodles, you know the kind that have to dry all afternoon. With a tender beef roast—heaven! But in second place would have to be Quaker Steak and Lube BBQ wings."
Her favorite food to hate? "Anchovies. I liked Caesar salad, but when I found out there were anchovies... gross. I’m also not too keen on fish of any kind, but salmon would be next on my will not eat it hit parade."
Her favorite letter? "W because it looks like a spring and because it starts fun words like wrangle and wrestle... but doesn’t that tell you where my mind goes frequently."
When Wendi's not writing, she can usually be found aggravating her husband, serving as a personal chauffer to her child, and bothering her furry kids: two dogs and two cats.
"But then again, I can also be found plotting my next book and how to rule the world... or at least watching Law and Order, CSI: Miami, or Nascar racing," she said.
You can keep up with Wendi on her blog.