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Saturday, January 15, 2011
Author Interview: Laura Guevara and Drea Riley
Whipped Cream had the chance to talk to Laura Guevara and Drea Riley, a writing team published with Beautiful Trouble Publishing who each publish separately as well. Their story, "It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Falls in Love," is available in the Tag, You're Writ, Volume 1 anthology.
I asked them both how they distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"For me erotica is the connection," Drea said. "You don’t need to know the couples back ground just that there is a connection that brings this couple together for some really sensuous fun.
"In erotic romance there is the connection and a background and a story...the story is the most important factor, then you get the steamy yummy goodness of that extra level.
"In pornography it's all about the sex. There is no connection, no story, no commitment, nothing beyond two bodies hashing it out...it's over; where’s my money; good night. Sex for the sake of sex."
Laura agreed with Drea's description of pornography, saying, "There is no plotline, just raunchy sex. In erotica, there is a little more of a connection between two people, I think, and they don’t really have to know each other. Sure it's all about the sex but with a little bit more. Maybe a friends with benefits. Erotic romance is all about the couple meeting, learning about each other, finding love. And, yes, I do believe there has to be HEA in erotic romance; if not it's just erotica."
Drea told me that she writes for herself, first and foremost.
"If it appeals to me and turns me on, then it has weight and merit. I stay firmly to my core beliefs but I push myself to express what it is I feel and want. If it's a scenario that would make me feel scared, uncomfortable, or degraded, I don’t write it."
Laura's her own worst critic, so she's really hard on her writing, but agreed with Drea that it's important that her writing has to feel good to her.
"It might not be good for someone else," Laura said, "but if I am happy with the end product then I think I’ve done a good job."
Neither Drea nor Laura uses outlines. Drea told me that her characters lead her. If they go into an area she's not sure of, she'll ask around or do research on the Internet for clarification. Laura told me, about outlines, "I try to use them. I really do, but I lose them." She does her research by mostly writing about things she knows, however she has a story in the back of her mind that's going to take a lot of research.
"Like going to a library and going through medical books researching," she clarified.
I asked them what their families thought of their writing.
"No one in my family, except my sister, knows I write," Laura told me. "And my sister doesn't understand what the big deal is. She doesn't read romance, much less erotic romance."
"My mom reads it if i send it to her," Drea said. "My stepdad is waiting on me to write the next best church folks novel and my bio dad is cool with it. My husband is supportive but he doesn’t read. He’ll let me vent and rant and he caters to me when I’m in the groove. My lil brothers are equal parts indifferent and grossed out."
On a personal note, I asked them if they could tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
Laura answered, "Yes, right quick and in a hurry" while Drea responded," Who the hell drinks Coke or Pepsi?"
One of Laura's ex-roommates can tie a cherry stem with her tongue, and Drea learned how to do it herself when she was in junior high.
They both like to read when they aren't writing; however, if Laura is just procrastinating, she watches one of her many murder shows. Drea also enjoys cooking and sleeping. They also both like to get a pedicure every two weeks.
"If someone were to play you in a movie, what actor would it be and why?" I asked.
Laura said, "Selma Hayek, she is sexy!"
"Me...I’m not cocky but I'd want to be myself," Drea countered.
Finally, I asked them each, "What advice do you give authors wanting to write erotica?"
"Just do it," Drea said. "Read some stuff if you don’t know what’s considered erotica and then chuck it all and write your own thing. But don’t just say its erotica. Don’t just label yourself... you may start writing and find out that you aren’t really writing erotica but erotic romance or maybe not even erotica romance but porn. Got to find those thin lines and know where you are on them at all times."
"And don't force it," Laura added. "Definitely decide what type of erotica you are going to write. Because some readers will be upset if they read something they think is erotic romance but it really is just erotica. You have to feel comfortable with what you write and not let someone tell you to add sex just because they think it’s needed or will sell more."
You can keep up with Laura and Drea on their blog, http://drearileyandlauraguevara.blogspot.com