This is part of a series looking back at the first five interviews we did on Whipped Cream. This interview originally appeared on our site on June 17, 2008.
Whipped Cream is excited to welcome Mary Winter, author of the upcoming Good Medicine.
Mary commutes between her dream home near the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri and her residence in Iowa. She lives with a menagerie of animals including an opinionated horse and a cat who was a dog in past life. When not writing spicy tales of erotic romance, she enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy, spending time with her horse, and enjoying the outdoors. Lucky for her, her partner (hero) shares these same passions, and usually both of them can be found in their respective dens writing.
I asked Mary how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography. “Having written all three,” she said, “I can say that per-word porn pays far better than erotica. Seriously, erotic romance, obviously has the romance at the heart of the story. Erotica is a sexuality explicit story that still, at its heart, is written because it’s a good story. It just may not be a romance, or the romance may not be the main focus. Porn is just sex. There may be the loose structure of a plot holding it together, but you’re writing it and reading it for the sex.”
When she’s writing her own fiction, she knows it’s good if it arouses her and if she has an emotional connection with the characters. She wants to know she can imagine herself in the hero or heroine’s place. She told me, “If there isn’t that connection, then something isn’t right.”
When she’s researching her books, she told me that sometimes she’ll ask her partner or friends who might be of a different orientation than she is. If her research is fact finding and world-building, she’s more apt to look it up online. But she did tell me “Sometimes I’ll say ‘hey, want to try this?’”
Her partner doesn’t mind her writing erotic romance, but I asked her about the rest of her family. “My mom thinks it’s wonderful that I’m living my dream, and she reads all of my work (in print),” Mary said. “My grandma tried to read it, but confessed it was a bit too much for her, but she is very supportive as well. The rest of my family is very happy for me too and some of them do read my work.”
Mary started out writing romance. “I just happened to fall into the erotic romance sub-genre,” she said, then added, with a laugh, “which amuses my mom greatly, considering that I had started reading Silhouette Desires when I was twelve, and I was a bookwormish, geeky teen and young adult.”
I asked Mary if there was a line between porn and erotic romance she wouldn’t cross. She told me she’s written both. As a matter of fact, her first paying sale of erotic fiction was a story she wrote for Men’s magazine. It was a m/m story, but she doesn’t remember the name of it any longer. “Now, I probably won’t write porn,” she said, “because my muse is moving in different directions and I’m doing just fine with my erotic romance, but I think I have to take each project on a case-by-case basis.”
I also asked Mary about piercings. Did she have any and what about them was sexy. “I have pierced ears. I’ve always said if I lost weight I’d pierce my belly-button just to show it off,” she said. “I think it signifies that you have the self-confidence to do what you want and walk to the beat of your own drummer. Plus, a little sparkle in certain places never hurts.”
Finally, I asked Mary who would play her if Hollywood ever made a story about her life. She said, “Hopefully someone with the grace and beauty of Kiera Knightly and built more like Queen Latifah.”
You can read more about Mary and her works at her website.