Whipped Cream is very pleased to welcome Lin Holmes, whose newest release as L.J. Holmes from Muse It Up Publishing, Twilight Comes, is being released this month.
When Lin was seven, she would sit at the feet of three elderly women and they would regale her with stories from their lives. She was enchanted and wanted to grow up to be as entertaining as they were. They brought her boring history text books to live, but they also gave Lin a love of telling facts so they had magic. In her own writing, she always tries to bring magic as well, because to do less would dishonor what they gave to that beguiled child.
I asked Lin how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"Pornography is nothing but, 'Hi, let me rip off your clothes, throw you on the bed, bang you till my dick comes out your eyeballs, stop smoke a cigarette and do it again till we are both too limp to rise again even with Viagra.'
"Erotica can be something that would in normal circumstances be common place, but at that moment in time, isn’t. For instance…'from the safety of her picture window, secure within her home, and despite her loathing of all things male, she watched his back muscles flexing and contracting with the swing of the axe biting into the ever reducing stack of seasoned tree limbs. She hated him, but Dear Lord in Heaven, he looked good. '
"Erotic Romance is passion that is the natural progression of the ever increasing love developing between the main characters. A soft touch of fingertips that radiates down to the toes and back, igniting sparks of delicious expectation everywhere turning your blood to molten lava."
When Lin asks her friends, family, and acquaintances what they think of when they hear the word "erotica," she told me that from men that answers are pretty uniform: "boobs, sex, tits, sex, Double-D's, sex, …oh, and, yeah, sex."
Women, on the other hand, will give her more diverse and thought provoking responses: "Erotica is passion….mental foreplay….the dreams that fill your nights when you are really turned on by someone, or are becoming really turned on during the ‘getting to know you’ phase of turning on.”
For her, erotica has elements of both those answers.
"If my mind is not stimulated by more than just the visual it falls short of what erotica is. It is the mind, heart, body and soul all engaged together," she explained.
She has two favorite authors, but admitted the reasons she chose them are probably not for the typical reasons most people choose their favorites.
Her first is the late Robert B. Parker, and she fell in love with the character Hawk.
"Hawk is a hit man with a moral compass and a code of ethics that make him so damned sexy, I want to drool over him every time he appears in one of the Spenser books," she said. "Hawk is a man who has the highest regard for women, and THAT is sexy as all get out!"
Her second favorite is J.D. Robb and her In Death series.
"Roarke…Irish, jet black hair, blue eyes that light up with humor, fire, and just about everything else a woman could hope to see in her lover’s eyes AND a lilt when he’s turned on to melt where his hands and body cannot reach. WHOA!"
In fact, she considers the J.D. Robb series as the most erotic series of books, because J.D.'s work consists of raw passion, sensual seduction, and humor while Lt. Eve Dallas solves crime in NY circa 2059.
"Someone, a guy, told me the most erotic book ever written was THE STORY OF O," Lin told me. "Being naïve, I believed him, and ordered it from Amazon. I really must be WAY behind the times, because that story made me cringe, nauseous, oh and I quickly knocked that guy from my list of potentials. (I think he had hopes, since he informed me he’d gotten in on the ground floor of Microsoft buying beaucoup number of shares and was, therefore, uber-rich and wasn’t I terribly impressed…so should be honored he was sharing HIS concept of erotica with me.)"
Lin doesn't write just erotic romance.
"My first book, SANTA IS A LADY, released from Muse Publishing, Inc. on December 1, 2010 from its mainstream side. It is classified as a 'Sweet Romance'. My second book, FOREVER WITH YOU, released on February 1, 2011 from the Muse It HOT side and is classified as Naughty but Nice.
"So far I have been lucky. When my inner muse, Nudge, has a story to tell, it comes fast no matter which genre it is. However my current WIP is proving not quite so cooperative.
"I am hung up, surprisingly enough, with the first sex scene, but not for the typical reasons. In my WIP, the hero has never kissed the heroine, but he now has the essence of her granny inside him. He has to release Granny into HER, but to do so they have to have wild sex…like tonight…but Granny is inside him and TALKING for all she’s worth. He’s a bit concerned that Granny is going to be talking during the deed and he won’t be able to concentrate on actually rising to do the deed."
I asked Lin what her family thinks of her writing.
"My daughter, Kat Holmes, herself a multi-published author, reads my stuff and loves it. My son? He started reading one of my stories once, his ear tips started turning red and he gave me this strange look. Since then he doesn’t want to know," she said. "I have a niece who won’t touch my stuff because she doesn’t read ANY erotica, but I have another niece who thinks it is cool someone over the age of thirty can write stuff that’s hot. My brother loves the breasts on my covers. He thinks they are fantastic, but going beyond that to actually READ my stuff? He’s a GUY!"
On a personal note, I asked Lin about her most embarrassing moment.
"When my children were in grade school, I had been trying for months to talk with the Superintendent of our school district. I would call at 9:00 in the morning, and he’d be out to lunch or walking around the building with no way to page him. I left messages for him to call me back.
"I finally got pissed that I was being ignored. I have this annoying little girl voice and I’m a blonde. I was treated like I was dumb as dirt and a spoiled kid as well. I learned that the Sup was having a meeting with all the principals, so I decided to crash it, and I climbed up on the conference table looking the SOB in the eye and told him I was not moving until he placed me in his calendar for the next week.
"He tried to convince I was interrupting an important meeting and should call. I reminded him of all the times I HAD called and nope…I was sitting here until I saw him write, in ink, my appointment and have him confirm it OUT loud before ALL the principals or I wasn’t budging.
"I got my appointment, so I climbed down and with my head held high, sashayed out of there. (For years afterwards the principals all applauded me for giving them the best meeting they’d ever had with that old windbag.)
"Ah, but the embarrassing part…I was a size four, and had put on a tight pair of jeans that hugged my curves really well. I never wore underwear…top or bottom. I knew my dangling boobs bobbed back and forth. In fact I counted on the idiot superintendent blithering as he got a gander of my bouncing baby girls. What I didn’t intend, nor learned about until I got home, was I had a hole in my jeans…so as I was walking away, with my head held high, feeling righteous and all, I was mooning him and the entire conference table of Principals."
Finally, I asked Lin, "Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally never cross?"
"I wish I could say there were no boundaries; that I could be neutral enough to write effectively about anything that is considered erotic by others, but I can’t. I have lived a difficult life and that life has given me boundaries that I will absolutely NOT ever step over. I’d prefer to keep a lid on my own nightmares, so I run from any topics that could unleash those nightmares again. I’m not purposely trying to be coy, and I will honestly answer any question I am asked, but it has to be asked. You don’t open your personal flood gates without taking great care. But I WILL promise that any question asked of me, I will answer completely, and honestly. I will also, once the question is asked, try to explain my reasons for my choices."
You can keep up with Lin on her blog, http://linsownblog.blogspot.com