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Saturday, October 2, 2010
Author Interview: SK Yule
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome S.K. Yule, author of Darkest Hours from Amira Press, along with several other bestselling novels and novellas. She became a fan of monster movies at a young age and fell in love with the paranormal genre after reading her first one several years ago. It immediately sparked in her a desire to write about two of her favorites in life: love and scary things that go bump in the night.
I asked S.K. how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"For me, erotica is mainly a story that revolves around sex, or thoughts of sex--sexual urges/inhibitions. Erotica, isn't necessarily plot heavy--although, I'm in no way implying that I think there isn't well written erotica--in my opinion, but mostly focuses on sex, sexual tension, sex play, sex acts. Erotic romance, on the other hand, tends to explore a deeper plot, a deeper emotional attachment between the characters, and sex isn't always the main focus of the story. Erotic romance should be able to stand alone if every sex scene is taken out. Erotica . . . not so much. And, finally, the biggest difference between pornography and erotica is respect. I have said this time and again, I do not enjoy reading about disrespectful sex. Whether it be erotica, erotica romance, I want to see respect in the bedroom. Does this mean that the engaging couple (or more) must hold back? No. Does this mean there can't be BDSM, spanking or domination? No. The pornography I have seen/read has mostly been little more than a means to fulfill a selfish, one-sided need, desire or want. Again, this is my opinion, and I never turn my nose up to new reading experiences. I'm willing to try anything at least once."
S.K. needs to feel passionate and excited about the story she's writing. She, also, wants to have strong feelings about her characters.
"If they are mad, I want to be mad," she explained. "If they are feeling sorrow, I want to feel it. If I can enjoy what I'm writing, I know others can enjoy reading it."
She told me that she feels a lot of people shy away from erotica or erotic romance because they associate it with porn which, in her words, "pretty much has no plot other than sex, sex, sex."
"While erotica is, generally, heavy with sex, there is also a story. I've also heard many people say that anyone can write a bodice ripper, and it isn't an honest writing career," she said. "This infuriates me, as I feel every writer, regardless of what they choose to write, works hard. Writing is not easy. It entails long, long hours, tears, frustration, rejection, and yes, sometimes reward. Until you've been through that, you have no right to judge, and once you have been through that, you know better than to judge. Erotica should not be something you should be ashamed to read. It is simply a way to privately get in touch with your deeper inhibitions."
S.K. first figures out her rough plot. Once she knows this, she can see what subjects she will need a deep knowledge in. Then, she jots these subjects down and heads for the Internet.
"I am so glad for the Internet," she admitted. "Research is a tedious task, and I cannot imagine having to do it the old fashioned way, at the library."
On a more personal note, I asked S.K. what her most embarrassing moment was.
"Okay. I'm probably going to shoot myself for telling this, but what the heck. This happened to me when I was in my mid to late twenties. My sister and I had been attending aerobics at the local gym three times a week to try to whip our girlie figures back into shape. I had on leggings and a t-shirt, which was pretty normal gym attire for just about everyone in the class.
"Towards the end of the class, we are all stretching out to cool down. We were on our backs with our legs in the air, doing leg stretches, sitting on the floor with our legs open stretching our backs, etc," she said, then added, "By the way, did I mention that there were guys in this class? One was sitting right next to me the whole time.
"Anyways, I remember starting to giggle and whispering to my sister, 'Gee, could you imagine if someone had a hole in their pants?' Well we both got a good laugh, especially when I sat up spread my legs and pressed my upper body towards the floor, looked down and realized the whole dang crotch of my pants were completely ripped out at the seam. And, I'm not talking a little rip, I'm talking like six or seven inches. My leggings were black and my underwear was white. I thank God every day, I had on underwear!
"My sister and me got to laughing so hard, we had to leave before the class ended. Needless to say, I did not go back for several weeks."
S.K.'s favorite food is potatoes and anything made from potatoes.
"French fries, mashed potatoes, au gratin potatoes, hash browns, potato salad," she expanded. "If it has potatoes in it, I probably like it."
But not, however, if you add canned spinach, anchovies, or sushi to the mix. Those are on her "absolutely cannot bring myself to eat" list. But, do offer her Dr Pepper as her drink of choice for the meal.
Her favorite letter? "X," she responded. "It's very strange and fascinating all at the same time."
Finally, I asked S.K., "If you could give a writer just one piece of advice, what would it be?"
"If writing is truly in your heart, and truly what you want to do, never, ever, ever, ever, give up. It is not easy to be a writer, and the people who think it is easy have obviously never tried it. It is a grueling career, but if it is your dream, it is worth every minute."
You can keep up with S.K. on her blog, http://skyule.com/blog/