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Saturday, August 27, 2011
Author Interview: Gabrielle Bisset
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Bisset whose latest book Shiny Objects has just been released by Passion in Print Press. Gabrielle also has several more books scheduled for release in the next few months.
When Gabrielle was a teenager, she and her friends used to write screenplays.
"They weren’t very good, but bless our little hearts, we loved doing it," she admitted. "Then for a long time I didn’t write at all. College, grad school, marriage, children, divorce, and career (not necessarily in that order) all took precedence, and writing was put on the back burner. But a few years ago, I secured a position as a faculty member teaching history in college and life settled down a bit. I began reading more and writing followed. Finally, in the past two years, I began forming ideas that I loved and from those came my Destined Ones Series with Stolen Destiny, the first novel in that series, which released on June 29 and my novellas, so far a trio of erotic stories set in Victorian England, with the first one, Vampire Dreams which released on June 10."
Gabrielle told me that when she first got the idea for Stolen Destiny, it was far more mainstream. She began writing it, and by the time the first love scene was finished, she had left mainstream and moved into erotic romance.
"Now, it’s just natural for me. In fact, I think it would be quite a bit of work to go back to mainstream. It’s not that I won’t do it, if a story fits the bill, but I enjoy erotic romance a great deal," she told me.
She's recently written a novella called Love's Master, which came from an idea she got when she was reading something called the Agony Column from the Times of London during the 1800s.
"With one notice from that column, I came up with the idea of a man who was a dominant and was seeking a submissive. However, since I am not involved in the lifestyle, I had to do a little more than read other author’s D/s stories. I had developed some good ideas from them, but I needed more. So off to Google I went. It’s amazing what one can find with the right search terms," she told me with a wink. "I found a cornucopia of sites about BDSM and devoured the information. From there, I began writing and any time I needed details for a scene, back to the computer I went. At one point in the book, the male character named Kadar feeds the female, Lily, foods he encountered in Afghanistan. The research for that took me to a variety of sites about Afghan food. When I finished writing that day, I made a few of the recipes. Incredible tasting food!"
She does a lot of her research on the computer, but when it comes to actually writing, she handwrites everything before she types it.
"No kidding," she said. "I can’t write anything in front of a computer screen. It feels sterile to me, and nothing comes into my mind. I just sit and stare at the screen, cursing it. So instead, I write everything in notebooks with a pen. Wal-Mart loves me at back to school sales each July. I buy cases and cases of notebooks. To me, this isn’t a strange habit at all, but I’ve come to find out that among writers, saying I hand write my stories is like saying I just found out about the printing press and think it’s going to be the next big thing."
"How do you judge what makes a good erotic story when writing your own fiction?" I asked.
"I think if a story is making the author hot when she’s writing it, then chances are pretty good that others will find it a good erotic story too. Sometimes it’s just the right word coming from one of the character’s mouths, and at other times it can be the most discreet movement of an arm or leg (or other body part!) that really makes a scene pop. Erotic stories don’t have to be all thrusting and pounding to be good. I think the story that surrounds the erotica has to be as important. Without a story, then all there is between the characters is insert tab A into slot B."
Gabrielle's favorite erotic author is Charlotte Featherstone.
"Wow, does she know how to create some heat in her stories!" she said. "I’ve read all of them, but my absolute favorite is Lust. The sensuality and eroticism she crafts in that story are just incredible. I don’t think I made it out of the first scene between Thane and Chastity without feeling exactly what a reader should when reading an erotic story—hot. I can’t wait for the rest of her Sins and Virtues series."
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I wondered.
"For me, porn is always about sex and nothing else. I won’t write anything that’s just sex, sex, and sex with no story. As for anything else, I’m open to many things but strictly stay away from things like underage characters, bestiality, and some fetishes."
Some random things you might not know about Gabrielle:
~she thinks liver is the most disgusting thing she's ever tried to eat—her mother used to let it sit out in milk on the counter all day before cooking it, and everytime Gabrielle would walk into the kitchen and see it seeing there, she'd feel like she was going to be sick.
~she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and believes that Pepsi is sweeter—to the point that her teeth feel gritty after she drinks one.
~she has an anti-fetish about feet—she thinks they might be the most utilitarian part of the human body, but they are ugly. She doesn't ever want anyone seeing her toenails unpainted because she believes that only adds to the ugliness of her feet. Color? Deep red or burgundy.
~ if she were going to pierce a body part, she would probably pierce her nose, because she's always admired women with a tiny diamond chip in their noses.
~body piercing is sexy, particularly on men, because it connotes danger. She told me, "A man with a genital piercing has mad, bad, and dangerous to know written all over him, and that's incredibly sexy to me."
"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?" I asked.
"Uh, no. Are there men who can do this? And if there are, where do they live and where do I get directions there? Anyone with such a skillful tongue is someone I’d like to meet."
Finally, I asked her what advice she would give a new writer just starting out.
"Have faith in yourself. There are many people who will try very hard to bring you down or shove you into a mold they believe is appropriate for the genre in which you write. Believe in yourself and always know you make the decisions about your writing. Learn all you can about writing and the business, and then don’t let others sway you from believing in your stories. Faith in yourself and in your ideas is so important when the rest of the world says what you do isn’t what they think is 'right' or what everyone wants."
You can keep up with Gabrielle on her blog, http://gbisset.blogspot.com