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Saturday, September 17, 2011
Author Interview with Ranae Rose
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Ranae Rose, whose latest book Eternity and a Year was just released. She's also recently signed contracts for new books coming out in 2012--Highland Storm, due out in January, and Spirited Away, due out in March, both from Total E-Bound.
Ranae started her writing at a young age—plagiarizing Sesame Street board books when she was in kindergarten. As a youth, she kept writing stories that included everything from the paranormal to mystery to romance.
"As an adult, I realized that I was most drawn to romance and that I wanted to write for adults," she said. "I liked reading love stories that left the bedroom doors open, so I started doing it, and – voilà! – here I am today. I still love writing romantic young adult fiction as well, but I do it under a different name for obvious reasons."
I asked Ranae how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"I distinguish between erotic romance, erotica and pornography by the emotional connection between characters and genuine affection or a lack thereof. I feel that a story where the characters care strongly about and are attracted to each other for more than just physical reasons is an erotic romance, no matter how hot it is. On the other hand, if a story features characters having sex for the sake of physical pleasure alone outside of a relationship and without real concern for the other, I consider that to be just erotica or perhaps even pornography. Pornography, to me, is sex that is meant to physically arouse without inspiring any emotion in the reader."
It's not surprising, based on this answer, that she enjoys erotic stories that are emotionally engaging as well as being extremely sexy. She wants to genuinely care about the characters and be taken on an emotional journey.
"I’m not opposed to smiling, laughing or even crying when reading," she told me. "I strive to keep my own desires as a reader in mind while I write so that I can craft stories and characters that readers will able to relate to, sympathize with and be genuinely happy for."
Ranae writes a lot of what she's familiar with and, when that's not enough, she does much of her research via the internet.
"However, I also like to go hands-on!" she confessed. "Such as last month when I had to indulge in delicious donuts and coffee in order to make sure my writing for my then work in progress (an erotic romance between a hunky donut house owner and an aspiring café entrepreneur) was yummy enough! Clearly, I’m willing to suffer for my stories. And I won’t even go into what I did to make sure I was accurately describing the icing-heavy scenes that earned the work the title Glazed."
"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I asked her.
"I think many people mistakenly imagine erotic romance authors as over-sexed deviants who are personally promiscuous and perhaps even perverted – whatever that term means to the individual. That’s not the case. We’re simply people who embrace sex as a highlight of the human existence and aren’t afraid to explore its physical and emotional joys via the written word. We’re not creepy, just confident!"
I wondered if Ranae's family read her erotic works and, if so, what they thought about her writing.
"Believe it or not, yes. In fact, my mom has read my most daring title. She’s not much of a fan of romance in general, let alone erotic romance, but she still supports me as a writer. I know she’d prefer me to spend my time writing something much less explicit, but she doesn’t try to rain on my sexy parade. My dad is also supportive of my writing, although he hasn’t read any of my adult stories. Some other family members of mine have also read some of my erotic work. "
On a personal note, Ranae agreed to answer some very random questions.
She is very happy being who she is and can't think of anyone else she would rather be.
"I’m much happier striving to live the kind of life I want to have than fantasizing about someone else’s," she assured me. "Gotta say though, there are many people I wouldn’t mind switching checking accounts with, even if I don’t want the rest of their lives!"
"What is you most embarrassing moment?" I asked.
I’m not sure about my most embarrassing moment – whatever it was, I’ve probably succeeded in mentally blocking it out by now. But something that jumps to mind happened just recently. I was shoe shopping with my husband, and he decided to give me some cash out of his pocket – in style. And by that I mean strip-club style, by shoving it between my cleavage and into my black lace bra. Just as the cash flashed and his hand dove between my boobs, a store employee popped up from behind a nearby shelf, saw, and looked me right in the eye. It was a very awkward shopping experience after that. The guy probably thinks I’m some sort of strange footwear fashion-conscious escort."
Ranae has seven ear piercings; her left nostril used to be pierced but she had to remove it after several years.
"I liked the way it looked, but it would become ripped out during the super close-contact martial arts classes I took," she explained.
She doesn't really want any more piercings, but if she had to choose, she would probably select her belly button.
"Why?" I wondered.
"I really don’t want any other metal on my face or more intimate areas (ouch!)," she said. "I do think that body piercing can be sexy, though I’m not sure what specifically appeals to me about it."
Her strangest habit? She always double-checks her oven before she turns it on to make sure a mouse isn't in there. She has a fear that one day one will get in, become trapped and she'll accidentally bake it alive while she's preheating the oven. She's never seen a mouse in there, and she's not even sure it's possible for one to get in, but she wants to make sure that if it does, it's safe.
Finally, I asked, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"
"I’d advise any new writer to take my favorite quote to heart: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. I feel that this quote by Thoreau is an indispensible piece of advice. If your dreams include writing, go for it! Write what’s in your heart and don’t let fear of failure or criticism hold you back."
You can keep up with Ranae on her blog, http://ranaerose.blogspot.com