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Saturday, November 27, 2010
Author Interview: Kilt Kirkpatrick
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Kilt Kilpatrick, whose debut novel The Manny Diaries was released this past summer from Ravenous Romance.
I asked him about his favorite romantic author and he declined to name just one, telling me, "I’ve met so many wonderful, sexy authors, esp. in the Ravenous Romance stable that I don’t dare try to single out just one… You guys know I love you!"
When it comes to his favorite erotic book, however, he didn't hesitate to name Inara Lavey’s Champagne.
"It feels like it was written just for me (possibly because she wrote chapter one just for me originally, and she very graciously added a Breton character for me)," he explained. "I know, it’s total nepotism, since she IS my girlfriend, but what can I say? It’s a book that has everything I want – funny, smart, warm, sexy as all get out, and it even has a Celtic character (and if you look close I even make a cameo appearance)."
He also told me that Ravenous has put out some amazing hot anthologies he's very proud to be in. He also enjoys the Herotica anthologies.
"They always have fantastic, sexy stories in them," he said.
Kilt told me that when he writes "it’s a pretty seat-of-the-pants process (which I realize is a strange thing for someone named Kilt to say) – I wing it while I’m writing it. Then after everything is down on paper, I like to let it sit for a day or two and then come back for another read-through. That’s when I do the final polishing and it really comes together. If I can surprise myself with how sexy, funny or well-written it is, then it passes muster."
The part of the writing that's the most fun for Kilt is the research.
"I don't just mean for the sexy parts!" he told me. "I have a very eclectic assortment of interests, and they’re all clamoring to make it into stories. So I like to hit the library (or my own home library, which is fairly overstuffed) and fold all the interesting details and factoids into stories. That’s right, reading Kilt Kilpatrick isn’t smut; it’s actually good for you!"
"What research books do you recommend for writers starting out in writing erotica?" I asked.
"Well, while I’m here steaming along on the self-promotion train, I should refer you to two books that my girlfriend and I worked on with our good friend Cindi Gentry: Secret Seductions: 62 Naughty Nights, Lusty Liaisons, and Sexy Surprises, by Cynthia W Gentry and “Roxanne Colville” (Yes, Inara and I are Roxanne Colville), and What Women Really Want in Bed (and it’s companion, What Men Really Want in Bed). All these are great idea starters, and they are just plain good books in their own right, too."
Kilt admitted he never suspected he would become a professional erotica writer. In fact, when he's not writing erotica he's a biblical historian who is writing on the historical Jesus question (of whether he actually existed or not). One day, however, Inara secretly took a story he had written as a present for her and submitted it to her publishers at Ravenous. They loved the way he wrote, and he's been writing for them ever since.
"I first wrote a lush Victorian period piece fantasy set during the British Raj ('The Tiger’s Tale') which had vivid descriptions and heightened language; like a sexed-up Merchant & Ivory production. After that I did a fun, light contemporary story of a Berkeley co-ed who sets out to seduce two Mormon missionaries who come knocking ('Later Days, Saints!'). Those both got snatched up and after that I started getting calls for athologies, so I did a sexy fractured fairy tale take on Hansel and Gretel ('Handsome and Grateful'), two very different Zombocalypse adventures ('Last Times at Ridgemont High' and 'Love Bites: A Survival Guide') and I just submitted a sci-fi story for an upcoming post-apocalyptic anthology. And somewhere during all that Lori Perkins asked me to write a full-length m/m novel for them, which is of course The Manny Diaries."
"What does your family think of your writing?" I asked. "Do they read it?"
"Great question! And no, as far as I know none of my Southern Baptist relatives have any idea I write it (or have serious doubts whether Jesus ever existed, for that matter). Nobody better tell my Mom about any of this, see!"
On a more personal note, I wondered who Kilt would be if he could be anyone.
"I’m hoping it will be the me of the near future, a successful writer with a small but devoted cult following and enough financial security to really write fulltime and not have to eat so much cold cereal. Actually, I love cold cereal so even the dream me would still be eating that."
He has thought about getting a Celtic knot work armband tattoo, but other than that he's never really been tempted to get any piercings in any of his bits.
"I’m a longtime fencer and swordfighter and do a lot of work with cats, so I already have scars and scratches pretty much all over and feel like that adds enough sexy he-man character already," he told me. "I do see the appeal of some kinds of tribal scarification, and I’ve seen people with gorgeous piercings that look fabulously gorgeous on them – and many, many more that look much less fabulous."
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I wondered.
"Let me just say, they’re right when they say you should never do math or spell in public. To that I might add if you wear a kilt to a party that your girlfriend, your ex-girlfriend, and other close female friends are attending, keep them separated before they all get drunk and start cooking up mischief together."
His favorite food?
"Black and White pudding is pretty awesome and for the longest time you couldn’t get it in this country – 'unfit for human consumption'! Just don’t ask what’s in it… Haggis is also yumska but misunderstood."
However, he cannot eat bananas, nor does he even like sitting at the same table where somebody else is eating them. The smell puts him off.
Soft drinks? In his opinion, both Coke and Pepsi tastes like "a mix of petrochemical runoff and hummingbird feeder."
He can tell the difference between Guinness, Murphy’s, McKesson’s Triple Stout, Patent Malt Porter, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Ethiopian Harrar Dark and Brazillian Xingu. "And I love them all," he admitted.
"What is your favorite letter?" I asked.
"Oh, man - you’re talking to a Linguistics minor so that’s a really tough question! Ø, ñ, ü, ç, å, î, Æ and ß are all pretty awesome, but I think it has to be é. In Irish that’s called the e fada (or siné fada e), and it shows up it cool phrases like Sin é (pron. Shin-Ay, 'That’s it') and Tóg go bog é! (pron. Togo bug ay, 'Take it easy!')"
When he's been drinking, it's not uncommon for Kilt to stop speaking English altogether and for Gaelic to take over.
Finally, I asked Kilt, "What advice do you give authors wanting to write erotica?"
"Trust your instincts about whether it’s sexy or not, and don’t be afraid to be explicit. Actually, even more than explicit, don’t be afraid to be specific in the details. Purple prose like 'I felt waves of ecstasy stir me like an ocean of pure pleasure, blah, blah, blah…' doesn’t have anywhere near the impact of something like 'All the tiny hairs on my arm stirred, and my knees started to tremble… '. Also, my personal motto, which comes from my hero, Jen Sincero, Writing=Ass+Seat."
You can keep up with Kilt on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kilt-Kilpatrick/160928497477