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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Author Interview with Patricia Snodgrass

Whipped Cream is pleased to introduce Patricia Snodgrass, whose latest release Marilyn is out from Phaze Books. It's definitely a car story with a twist, so I asked her to tell us a little bit about it.

When Bobby Chandler picked up Marilyn, a 1958 Edsel in pristine condition, for a song he couldn't believe his good luck. He knew these great old vintage cars had their perks, but this one comes with features that blew more than his mind.

Is having sex with a haunted car considered kinky? Either way, Bobby may never leave the garage.
Patricia started off writing horror and suspense, but it went into paranormal romance with an erotic twist. Marilyn is a good example of this.

"It started out being a horror story, and a pretty gruesome one at that," Patricia told me. "But I had an editor that helped me refine the story and turn it into something wonderful. Marilyn is a haunted 1958 Edsel that gives sexual favors. Actually, the ghost in the car does, but even so, the story is a wild ride. Literally."

For Patricia, first and foremost an good erotic story has to have a plot and the characters have to be real to her.

"Otherwise they won't be real to anyone else," she explained. "No stereotypes, clichés or fake dialogue. I never write the dialogue as an excuse just to get the characters into bed. You know what I mean? Like the stinted dialogue you see in porn and badly done erotica films. The story must be plausible even if the circumstances are extraordinary. And the sex must must must must be integral to the plot. Sex scenes must always be written for the story, not the other way around."

The biggest public misconception about erotica that Patricia has personally encountered is that erotica is porn—"and really sleazy porn at that," she added. "And that those who write porn hacks that can’t write anything else. But of course we know that isn’t true. Erotica, when well written, is a beautiful expression of love for two people, regardless of what the sexual orientation of the couple may be. Personally I’ve never written gay erotica. Not that I’m opposed to it. I simply wouldn’t have a frame of reference."

"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I asked.

"Oh yeah. Turning my erotic romance into flat two dimensional really boring porn is something that I’d never want to do. To me porn is phony. It’s dull. Occasionally funny, but boring for the most part. Porn gets a couple together, they bang it out and it’s over with. There’s no love. There’s no relationship, there’s no real connection except for a carnal one. And that just doesn’t work for me.

"It’s like watching animals mating. I lived on a farm when I was a kid and… yeah…when you see cows and bulls in a field being cows and bulls, and then later on watch porn and start thinking about cows and bulls and how much more interesting it’d be if you were washing the dinner dishes, then yeah…as far as I’m concerned, if I wrote that way I’d lose my audience quick fast and inna hurry. My characters must always be humans, not just humping machines."

Patricia has a non-erotic romance entitled Wild Swans which will be available in June of next year. She thought it might be problematic because it was the first "straight" romance Patricia has ever done—and even then it's not the typical paranormal romance.

"I had more trouble overbuilding the plot than I did with anything else," she admitted.

"What is the most embarrassing sex scene you’ve ever written?"

"Oh…I’m blushing just thinking about it…That scene is in another upcoming novel entitled The Man Who Loved Yolanda Dodson. It will be out sometime early next year, I think. There is a scene in the book that involves crushed ice, a dildo, and a hot dusty prop warehouse for a large movie studio. Heh heh."

Patricia's favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and her novel, Glorious, was inspired by it. She tries to read To Kill a Mockingbird every summer and, if she could entertain a character from a book it would be with the Finches: Atticus, Jem, Scout, and Cal.

"I would love to sit in their living room just as it was set back in the 1930’s and talk. I’d love to listen to the programs on the radio, listen to Scout and Jem conspire at to how to get Boo Radley to get out of his house so they can see him. I’d love to sit in the kitchen with Cal and chat," she said. "Just talk, you know, like southern women do. And afterwards, I’d love to escort Jem and Scout over to Miss Maudies for a slice of lane cake and a glass of sweet tea. I’d love to sit on her porch and listen to the crickets and cicadas sing as the stars come out. We’d talk quietly among ourselves while Jem and Scout catch fireflies. It’d be a truly lovely evening, I think. And somehow cooler too. Summers in the thirties were probably not as hot as summers now, do you think?"

I also asked Patricia about her favorite food.

She laughed. "An easier question would to be to ask what food do I not like! I can’t help myself. I’m a chow hound. I love a good, well prepared meal. I’m especially fond of French cuisine, as well as Tex Mex. Chicken enchiladas in sour cream sauce…ooo la la! Strawberries dipped in rich dark chocolate…tiramisu…ice cold melon for breakfast…okay I’ve made myself hungry."

However, if the food has anything to do with organ meat, count her out. Liver makes her nauseous, as well as hot dogs, smoked sausages, or bratwurst.

"I can’t stand the smell, you see. When I was pregnant I’d get sick smelling hotdogs cooking in the microwave," she explained. "Someone tried to convince me to eat a Hebrew National once, said they were kosher. But since there was no rabbi around to verify it, I turned it down. I know, I’m a weenie snob. I can’t help it."

She can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

"Pepsi is sweeter and tastes funky," she said. "And while we’re on the subject, I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t drink sodas of any sort any more. Know why? They’ve got a chemical additive in them that’s also used in wood pulping extraction. Can you believe it? Wood preservative! And I wondered in college (during my stint in Anatomy and Physiology lab) why Coke could dissolve a chicken bone. Imagine what that’s doing to your insides? Besides, sodas make you fat, even the diet ones. I haven’t drunk a soda in ages. I lost ten pounds just by turning down Cokes."

"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?" I wondered.

"Yes, my son can do it. It’s amazing to watch him do it too. He’s an adult now, has his own place and a smoking hot girlfriend. I’m sure he makes her very (ahem) happy."

"What is your strangest habit?"

"My strangest habit?" She whispered, "I put catsup in my chili."

"What about your most embarrassing moment?" I continued.

"Okay, you’re making me blush again. When I was fifteen we lived in a small town that the only entertainment for teenagers was to drive up and down the main drag and hang out at the local Dairy Queen. I was out with some friends, and we were goofing off in the DQ parking lot, talking, joking, you know how kids do.

"Two of New Boston’s finest was sitting in the DQ drinking coffee. And I, being the fifteen year old smartass that I was, found a Barbie doll head on the ground. So, without thinking twice, I went into the café, walked straight up to the officers, hiding the doll behind my back. I asked them if they’d like to have a little head. One of the cops said, 'Sure!' So I dropped the doll head between them and ran for my life. As I was making my getaway, I caught a glimpse of them both rolling in the booth with laughter.

"I can’t believe I did that. More, I can’t believe I didn’t get arrested."

Finally, I asked her, " What advice do you give authors wanting to write erotica?"

"Please, oh please do it right. Get your basics down. Make sure your grammar and spelling are impeccable. Make sure your characters are real and not two dimensional, and don’t watch skin flicks for a reference. Unless it’s The Devil and Miss Jones. That one actually had a plot.

"Also—and I cannot stress this enough—read the submissions guidelines and follow those instructions to the letter, even if the instructions mean you have to stand on your right hand while you click the submit button with the left. The guidelines are there to help the writer. In order to succeed in this business, or any business for that matter, it’s important that you know how to follow instructions. I think the reason why I have been so successful with publishing is that I do follow the publisher’s guidelines to the letter.

"Whenever you do publish and get teamed up with an editor, please remember that the editor is the best friend you can have. They are there to help you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve submitted a story that I thought was pretty good, only to have it come out an outstanding piece of work thanks to my editor. Thanks, Judy!"

You can keep up with Patricia on Facebook,

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