Author Interview, Brian Whitney

Standard

Interview #80, with writer/editor, Brian Whitney!

Hi Brian! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Aware of who I am.

Cool! Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):

am_pleasing

Nate used to deal crack and be naked. Sometimes he wouldn’t put on clothes for weeks and people would come over and buy crack and Nate would just sit there, naked, dealing it out and sucking on a pipe. I mean, let’s face it, that sounds awesome, but how long does the story of a happy naked crack dealer last? Dealing crack and using it is like a monkey trying to sell bananas.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

It wasn’t until a few weeks of living with her that I learned about her hooking business. When I was gone she would take men into our place and give them head for ten to twenty dollars apiece. According to her she never had real sex with them and I’m inclined to believe this because I have been in whorehouses before and they have a certain electricity to them. It’s in the air. I never felt this electric feeling when I walked into my home. ~ Arthur Bradford

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

I am published with three different independents right now and all of them are cool. Of course I am broke as a joke, but I have been lucky to work with people that appreciate the work that I do without either of us having a lot of commercial expectations. [Note from Jess — have you met Cliff Burns? :)]

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I feel it and I know it when I see it.

Well-said. Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Just do what you do. Don’t think for a minute about whether people will like it. Sit down and write.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

https://www.facebook.com/37stories37women

* * * * *

Much thanks to Brian for stopping by — do visit his website!

BRIAN’S SHORT BIO (in his own words):

I might possibly be the best author ever — and I am managing editor of a new mag. It has national distribution although it is at the grassroots stage. If your work gets in the mag we also do an ad for your biz.

It is an erotic-lit mag for the sexually entertained. So if you send me a photo of a kid and a dog, I am gonna turn you in to the cops.

~ Brian Whitney | December 11, 2013 at 9:11pm

* * * * *

Quality Erotica

Standard

=====

* This post is part of a short series on Quality Erotica:

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

erotic_books

Jess’s erotic stash / “sex education”

INTRODUCTION:

After reading Fifty Shades of Grey (which was romance/fantasy), I thought of the (high-quality) erotic books I own because all of them gave me a really good grounding with regards to love/sex/relationships (in both fact and fiction).

In the above photo of my “erotic stash,” the first three books which introduced me to the world of erotic literature were:

(1) Edgar Allan Poe Anthology

(2) Anais Nin’s Little Birds

(3) D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

I got those three books when I was 16 years old (nothing prepared me for the deviant wonder of Anais Nin — LOL!). Poe isn’t exactly an erotic writer (in the “sexual” sense) though one of his love letters in the anthology really opened up my perspective on relationships.

These are high-quality erotic books (what “erotica” should ideally be about) which “deal openly and excitingly with sexuality as a part of human experience” (to quote my co-author on Teen Guide, Matt Posner). Wikipedia (erotic literature) is a good resource if you want to learn more about this type of literature, and find the classics.

I’ve always (1) had a high level of interest in sex, (2) found sexuality to be a fascinating subject matter, especially when it’s intense/raw/realistic/non-superficial.

The books in my stash showed me what “real sex” is all about [as compared to the type of sex that most of the “mass media propaganda” (to quote Dr. Alex Comfort of The Joy of Sex / Part II in this series) likes to sell to consumers].

It really made a difference because I learned (and continue to learn) a lot about the true scope of what love/life/sex is all about. I wasn’t aware of it, but I think this entire stash helped me to understand the importance of developing a happy and relaxed sexuality (another quote from Dr. Comfort in The Joy of Sex).

I hope you find some good reads here ;)

* * *

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

For now I’ve divided my stash into five sections —

PART 1: Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Non-Fiction
PART 3: Poetry
PART 4: Fiction (Novels / Anthologies)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

[PART 1: Erotic Art Books]

kama_sutrakama sutrakama_sutra3

1. The Kama Sutra Illuminated: Erotic Art of India | Amazon.com

Blurb: Features 200+ artworks, accompanied by excerpts from the Sir Richard Burton translation of the original text. Long treasured as an uninhibited exaltation of erotic and mystical bliss, the Kama Sutra is a sublime gift for lovers — and lovers of beautiful art.

Excerpt:

“Decency, reality, and love;
Personal views and public opinion–
One who knows the Kama Sutra sees through all such things,
And is not programmed by one’s appetites.”

(Kama Sutra 7.2.51)

It was from this book that I directly learned how the actual/ancient Kama Sutra was not a sex manual (as it’s taken to be in Westernized cultures), but as something psychological to enhance a person’s personal/spiritual life. P.S. It’s a HUGE book with very high-quality prints.

Links: Amazon.com | Kama Sutra Quotes

* * *

eroticaanais_ninles_diaboliques

2. Erotica: An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature | Amazon.com

Blurb: This illustrated anthology presents a collection of the very best examples of sexual art and literature spanning two thousand years: from classical Rome and the ancient East to the novels of D. H. Lawrence and Henry Miller. Artworks from Aubrey Beardsley, Henry Fuseli, Gustav Klimt, Thomas Rowlandson, and many others are juxtaposed with literary pieces from such names as C. P. Cavafy, Frank Harris, John Cleland, Anais Nin, Boccaccio, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, and Casanova.

Excerpt:

Sadly, following the liberalization of the laws governing the publication of sexual material, a great deal of second-rate, ugly and pernicious stuff has also become available. This was inevitable but it does not argue for suppression. Indeed, it makes it vital for good erotica to be published, so that we can see for ourselves the difference between the life-enhancing, and the sordid and destructive. . . (Introduction / Page 7)

Best parts of the book =

1) the blend/presentation of pieces of erotic art, alongside excerpts of the finest literary erotica in the history of publishing/the written word

2) the scope of the selected works (which span over 2000 years of both Eastern and Western cultures)

This book which combines erotic art and literature is definitely one of my favourites in the entire stash.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

erotic_artgervex_rollagervex_rolla2

3. Icons of Erotic Art | Amazon.com

Blurb: This intimate, exquisitely produced collection offers provocative insights into what distinguishes the merely titillating from the masterful. Icons of Erotic Art brings together 150 sublime examples of this dynamic, covering nearly every major period on art history: ancient, Renaissance, and Rococo paintings; treasures from India, Japan, and China; Impressionist and Modernist masterpieces; even caricature, cartoons, and Pop Art. The result is a dazzling display of artistic eroticism and a new understanding of how its power transcends time and temperament.

Excerpt:

For the statue’s 500th birthday in 2004 Michelangelo’s David underwent an eight-month cleaning process to remove years of pollution from the marble surface.

michelangelo_david

Image from Wikipedia

Working in daily proximity to this erotic icon, one of the restorers was overwhelmed by the experience. She was quoted in the press, saying: “I felt so much emotion when I found myself face-to-face with this giant. My heart was beating too fast. I had to call the doctor.” The ordinary viewer, gazing up at David’s 4.34 meters, cannot fail to be equally impressed, both by the heroic size and the vulnerability of David’s extraordinary body. (“The Voluptuous Male” / Page 18)

Gorgeous book and very informative.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

art_nouveaubirth_of_venus

4. Art Nouveau and the Erotic | Amazon.com

Blurb: The swirling sensuous forms of Art Nouveau are synonymous with the erotic. This concise, fully illustrated study shows how the idea of the erotic was given visual expression by artists and designers, creating in the process some of the most striking and representative works in the new style.

Excerpt:

Art Nouveau designers created a style they deemed appropriate for a complex modern world. The style articulated widely held anxieties caused by opposing forces within society: nature versus technology, individual versus community, nationalism versus internationalism and — most significantly in the context of the erotic — the physical versus the spiritual. (Introduction / Page 8)

Don’t let the compact size of this book fool you ;)

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

mangayaoi mangayaoi_manga_2

5. Skyscrapers of Oz (Yaoi Manga) | Amazon.com

Blurb: From tailing your lover to walking your dog, no job is too small! Mari and his partner Yoichi are drop-dead gorgeous “Handymen.” But they also have a hidden (and dangerous) other side. Their latest job is, of all things, to sleep with Yu, a beautiful male student! But instead Mari finds himself rescuing Yu from an attack, then sheltering him in his own apartment!

Excerpt:

Click on the second and third images above.

Yaoi also known as Boys’ Love, is a Japanese popular term for female-oriented fictional media that focus on homoerotic or homoromantic male relationships, usually created by female authors. I probably should “expand” my manga knowledge but that was an erotic one I got by chance that I enjoyed (very nice/cool drawings, especially if you find yaoi manga ‘sweet’).

Links: Amazon.com | Wikipedia (Yaoi)

=====

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

Erotic Books: Poetry

Standard

=====

* This post is part of a short series:

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

erotic_books

Jess’s erotic stash / “sex education”

[PART 3: Erotic Books / Poetry]

I’ve loved poetry since a really long time ago (of all subject matter and styles). It combines succinctness with wisdom/clarity, beauty with spirituality, so on and so forth. What’s there not to like?

AND when the topic is about sex or erotic love…

* * *

erotic_love_poems

11. Erotic Love Poems of Greece and Rome | Amazon.com

Blurb:

A taste of amour in the ancient world-newly translated. From the famous erotic poetry of Sappho to love scenes from Homer’s The Iliad, as well as works from such eminent Roman poets as Virgil and Catullus, this enthralling collection taps into a range of passionate, timeless emotions.

Excerpt:

Seeing someone incredibly beautiful can leave the timid observer speechless. So it was twenty-six centuries ago. In this poem, Sappho describes what she experienced when, from a distance, she saw a young man sitting close to the young woman she loved.

(Tongue-Tied, Page 27)

The beauty of ancient Greek/Roman culture and mythology are things I’ll never get tired of. A very concise + tasteful book.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

love_poems_japanese

12. Love Poems from the Japanese (Shambhala Library) | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Drawn from classical, medieval, and modern sources — including the imperial collections of the Manyoshu and Kokinshu — the poems in this collection are some of the greatest love poems from the Japanese tradition. The poems range in tone from the spiritual longing of an isolated monk to the erotic ecstasy of a court princess — but share the extraordinary simplicity and luminosity of language that marks Kenneth Rexroth’s (the translator’s) verse style.

Excerpt:

Since “the pillow knows all”
we slept without a pillow.
Still my reputation
reaches to the skies
like a dust storm.

(Lady Ise / Page 43)

This is the most expensive of all the poetry books here (bought from Singapore at Kinokuniya a long time ago — I won some book vouchers). Money well spent. It’s a perfect book — nothing superfluous.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

emily_dickinson

13. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Though generally overlooked during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson’s poetry has achieved acclaim due to her experiments in prosody, her tragic vision and the range of her emotional and intellectual explorations.

Excerpt:

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port, —
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

(XXV, Emily Dickinson)

Wow, Emily Dickinson. A poet before her time, I think (with regards to style / mode of expression). But with reading her poetry, what I remembered the most was how she captured the sentiments/moments of our existence. I got this at the same time as the Japanese poetry book above, by the way.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

baudelaire

14. Baudelaire | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Modern poetry begins with Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), who employed his unequalled technical mastery to create the shadowy, desperately dramatic urban landscape — populated by the addicted and the damned — which so compellingly mirrors our modern condition. Deeply though darkly spiritual, titanic in the changes he wrought, Baudelaire looms over all the work, great and small, created in his wake.

Excerpt:

Eyes glowing like an angel’s
I’ll come back to your bed
and reach for you from the shadows:
you won’t hear a thing.

(“Incubus” / Page 102)

Baudelaire was a French poet, essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe (!).

Links: Amazon.com | Wikipedia

* * *

erotic_poems

15. Erotic Poems | Amazon.com

Blurb:

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

Excerpt:

…but I won’t call
Her ‘beautiful’. She has one fatal fault —
No sex-appeal: there’s not a grain of salt
In that big dish to stir the appetite.

(“Many Think Quintia’s Beautiful,” by Gaius Valerius Catullus)

Never know what I might find in this eclectic collection ;)

Link: Amazon.com

=====

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

Recommended Erotic Books

Standard

=====

* This post is part of a short series:

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

erotic_books

Jess’s erotic stash / “sex education”

[PART 4: Erotic Novels / Anthologies]

These are some of the books/novels that REALLY opened my eyes re: sex/sexuality/gender/love/relationships.

Doesn’t get much better than Anais Nin and D. H. Lawrence, etc etc.

* * *

lolita

16. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Awe and exhilaration — along with heartbreak and mordant wit — abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love — love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

Excerpt:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

(Lolita, opening lines)

Exhilarating –“You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style…” (a quote also from this book).

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

switch_bitch

17. Switch Bitch, by Roald Dahl | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Great wit, melancholy, and lust pervade this collection of four adult short stories by Roald Dahl. Included here are “The Visitor” and “Bitch,” featuring the hilariously vivid exploits of the notorious Uncle Oswald, as well as “The Great Switcheroo” and “The Last Act.”

In these taut black comedies of human weakness and unexpected reversal, Dahl captures the delicious thrill of sexual triumph and the galling deflation of defeat.

Excerpt:

I only hope that my reticence will not create too strong a sense of anticlimax. Certainly, there was nothing anti about my own climax, and in the final searing paroxysm I gave a shout which should have awakened the entire neighbourhood. Then I collapsed. I crumpled up like a drained wineskin.

(The Great Switcheroo, Page 76)

It’s funny how many of the books on this list were just books I “happened” to find or receive (I didn’t specifically look for them to make a purchase). I think I bought Switch Bitch at a used books store in Singapore (for $0.50 or so). I loved Roald Dahl’s books for children. His work for adults is equally impressive/superlative in terms of style and wit.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

venus_in_furs

18. Venus in Furs, by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch | Amazon.com

Blurb (including excerpt/s):

An early manifesto on the potent relationship between cruelty and the pleasures of the flesh, Venus in Furs was written by a man once called the “poet” of masochism. “To be the slave of a woman, a beautiful woman, who I love, who I worship.” This is the sole desire of Severin, a young aristocrat who has fallen in love with the beautiful Wanda von Dunajew.

Wanda is initially reluctant to embody his fantasy, to become Severin’s Venus in Furs. But empowered by his desire, she begins to play her role with a passion that surprises even her lover. “You will be mine,” she tells him, “my plaything, which I can break to pieces, whenever I want an hour’s amusement.” A fascinating exploration of power in sexual relations, Venus in Furs is an erotic detour down love’s thorniest path.

This is real BDSM in a very non “sensational” or hyped way. The term ‘masochism’ is derived from this Austrian author’s name (that alone is reason enough to check this out).

Links: Amazon.com | Wikipedia

* * *

anais_nin_little_birds

19. Little Birds, by Anais Nin | Amazon.com

Blurb: Delta of Venus and Little Birds, Anais Nin’s bestselling volumes of erotica, contain striking revelations of a woman’s sexuality and inner life. In Little Birds, each of the thirteen short stories captures a moment of sexual awakening, recognition or fulfilment, and reveals the subtle or explicit means by which men and women are aroused. Lust, obsession, fantasy and desire emerge as part of the human condition, as pure or as complex as any other of its aspects.

Excerpt:

She felt dizzy with conflicting sensations. She did not move or turn her head. A hand now sought an opening in the skirt and discovered the buttons. Each button undone by the hand made her gasp with both fear and relief. The hand waited to see if she protested before proceeding to another button. She did not move.

Then, with a dexterity and swiftness she had not expected, the two hands twisted her skirt round so that the opening was at the back. . .

(“The Woman on the Dunes” / Page 15)

OMG this was *the* erotic book which I started off with (bought it together with the Poe anthology at a book sale). I’d just finished secondary school at the time and this book was unlike anything I’d ever come across. It was the first time I knew of Anais Nin. I didn’t even flip through the book’s contents before deciding to buy (something I do very rarely). The back copy text (i.e. the blurb above) and the cover image convinced me of the inner contents.

I like how the title comes from the first story in the anthology (and the usage of the words in the story too). This slim (but extremely potent/influential) volume made the difference between my “young teenage” life and a more mature/worldly outlook ;) It was really a form of sexual awakening, in retrospect.

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

anais_nin_delta_venus

20. Delta of Venus, by Anais Nin | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus is a stunning collection of sexual encounters from the queen of literary erotica. From Mathilde’s lust-filled Peruvian opium den to the Hungarian baron driven insane by his insatiable desire, the passions and obsessions of this dazzling cast of characters are vivid and unforgettable. Delta of Venus is a deep and sensual world that evokes the very essence of sexuality.

Excerpt:

Then John saw that she wanted him, that she was offering herself, but instead of being stirred, he recoiled. “Martha! Oh, Martha!” he said, “what an animal you are, you are truly the daughter of a whore. Yes, in the orphanage everybody said it, that you were the daughter of a whore.”

Martha’s blood rushed to her face. “And you,” she said, “you are impotent, a monk, you’re like a woman, you’re not a man. Your father is a man.”

And she rushed out of his room.

(Many Think Quintia’s Beautiful, Page 56)

I think this one’s even more hardcore (in the sophisticated/artistic/intense way) than Little Birds ;)

Link: Amazon.com

* * *

lady_chatterley's_lover

21. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence | Amazon.com

Blurb: Lady Chatterley’s Lover is both one of the most beautiful and notorious love stories in modern fiction. The summation of D.H. Lawrence’s artistic achievement, it sharply illustrates his belief that tenderness and passion were the only weapons that could save man from self-destruction.

Excerpt:

Connie was surprised at her own feeling of aversion from Clifford. What is more, she felt she had always really disliked him. Not hate: there was no passion in it. But a profound physical dislike. Almost, it seemed to her, she had married him because she disliked him, in a secret, physical sort of way. But of course, she had married him really because in a mental way he attracted her and excited her. He had seemed, in some way, her master, beyond her.

Now the mental excitement had worn itself out and collapsed, and she was aware only of the physical aversion. It rose up in her from her depths: and she realized how it had been eating her life away.

(Chapter 9)

One of the best of the best. I had to read the book twice in order to appreciate it (I first read it when I was 16 — didn’t really ‘get’ some parts yet at the time). I can remember very well (in my mind — in terms of desire + emotional intensity) the part where Oliver Mellors (the gamekeeper) first meets Lady Chatterley.

Links: Amazon.com | Wikisource (Chapter 9)

* * *

sons_and_lovers

22. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence | Amazon.com

Blurb:

D.H. Lawrence’s great autobiographical novel is a provocative portrait of an artist torn between love for his possessive mother and desire for two young beautiful women. Set in the Nottinghamshire coal fields of Lawrence’s own boyhood, the story of young Paul Morel’s growing into manhood in a British working-class family rife with conflict reveals both an inner and an outer world seething with intense emotions.

Gertrude is Paul’s puritanical mother who concentrates all her love and attention on her son Paul. She nurtures his talents as a painter — and when she broods that he might marry someday and desert her, he swears he will never leave her. Inevitably, Paul does fall in love, but with two women — and is unable to choose between them.

Written early in Lawrence’s literary career, Sons and Lovers possesses all the powers of description, insistent sensuality, and scathing social criticism that are the special hallmarks of his genius. “A work of striking originality,” writes the critic F.R. Leavis, by “the greatest creative writer in English of our time.”

Excerpt:

“A what?” she asked brightly and unashamed.

They thought awhile. He was sensible all the time of having her opposite him. Suddenly their eyes met, and she smiled to him — a rare, intimate smile, beautiful with brightness and love. Then each looked out of the window.

The sixteen slow miles of railway journey passed. The mother and son walked down Station Street, feeling the excitement of young lovers having an adventure together.

(Chapter V: Paul Launches Into Life, Page 89)

Wow, another best of the best. Words cannot describe the substance in classic works like this (desire is just one component; there’ll also be the social / societal / human condition aspect). I have other D.H. Lawrence books but if I had to recommend just two it’d be these two.

Link: Amazon.com

=====

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

=====

Erotica: An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature (I)

Standard

erotic_art

Erotica: An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature (I), by William Wallace & Charlotte Hill (Amazon, Goodreads)

===

To a more cultured/discerning mind, erotica isn’t “literate porn” that’s cheap and obscene and meant to generate profits via arousal in the reader.

I like to promote quality erotica (where artistic aspects are a factor, which means beauty and/or some level of substance are inclusive), and this book is one of the best that I have (covers both visual art and erotic literature).

And I’d recommend this anthology to anyone interested in being introduced to the world of erotic art!

This book was/is worth every penny — the best parts of the book are:

1) the blend/presentation of pieces of erotic art, alongside excerpts of the finest literary erotica in the history of publishing/the written word

2) the scope of the selected works (which span over 2000 years of both Eastern and Western cultures)

I have a few other erotic anthologies (which are mostly either art, or textually-focused), and this is the one that I repeatedly re-read and/or go back to. It’s an excellent resource book (if you’re wondering which “great erotic author to check out next”), and there have been several times where I can attribute first seeing/knowing about a particular piece of sexual art to this book [such as “a Chinese nineteenth-century rosewood toilet box (with eleven concealed miniatures),” “Coloured wood-cuts by Utamaro,” “(the very beautiful) charcoal drawings by the artist known as ‘AL'”].

All of the paintings are erotic/sensual, as opposed to pornographic/degrading (with regards to both sexes in all sorts of sexual positions/situations). In this way, they are more representative/interpretative than offensive (and they’re certainly not offensive in an aesthetic sense).

The book is exactly what its subtitle says: “An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature.” I may have suggested adding the adjective “Fine,” before “Sexual Art and Literature,” if I were part of the editorial board for this anthology. I’d even have considered calling it “The Definitive” anthology/edition (…of Sexual Art & Literature) :)!

Books II and III in this series feature more visuals and prose that stimulate, educate, amuse, and engage. The authors/editors have exquisite taste, which shows in the selections they have included in this first anthology. I hope to check out the other two books in the series sometime in the near future.

P.S. In my “preview post,” WP repeated the first paragraph at the end of the post. I’ll leave the repeated section for emphasis, which is:

To a more cultured/discerning mind, erotica isn’t “literate porn” that’s cheap and obscene and meant to generate profits via arousal in the reader.

Author Interview, Claudia D. Christian

Standard

Author Interview #16, with dark/literary/erotic writer, Claudia D. Christian!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Contradiction, underdog, careful, observant, odd.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Blurb for Love Unfortunate:

A murder of crows flew by, startling Liana out of miserable turmoil. Their raucous chatter warned of what her raw core already knew. Liana’s moans ceased abruptly and the tears ran dry. She eyed the lone window.
Terrible longing stained her vivid green irises. Night was coming.
So was Laurent.

Excerpt:

Night descended and the air turned cold. Sounds of castle life ceased, leaving Liana completely alone. Sprawled on her back, legs open with wanton need, she felt her world shrink. It became a void where sadness, regret, and misery retreated.

Soon.

Liana’s limbs trembled with manic anticipation. She wondered at what familiar torments Laurent would devise for their mutual pleasure.

Restraints? Asphyxiation? Gentle, normal lovemaking?

Liana didn’t have to wonder for long. First came the scrape of metal. Inanimate groans spiced the air before footsteps whispered across cold stone.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

This comes from Remittance Girl’s “The Waiting Room.”

He began to tell Marcus the story of Sophie. Each detail was palpable to him; he saw it, smelled it, felt it still. Remembering made his cock ache and he fought the urge to shift in his seat.

“I saw her first at the temples, you know, in Angkor. She was oblivious to everything but the architecture. In fact it was her intense focus that caught my eye; she could have been utterly alone. She stood there, thin and willowy, in an awful, shabby cotton dress; it was far too big for her. She was so beautiful, Marcus, you can’t imagine.”

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

For me the writing part is quite easy. I write to please myself. When it’s time to publish, however, I’m assaulted with self-doubt. Is the story good enough? Will anyone like it but me? Soon enough I loathe the story I just loved. However, I take some time and those feelings fade to a noticeable hum. It’s the hum that makes me eye each word with critical intent. It lets me cut without remorse. By the time I’m done, the hum almost disappears.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I think “good writing” is writing that moves me. There are many well-written stories out there that are consumed and then forgotten. It’s those stories that stir the questions about in my head that constitute good writing. If a story causes me to question my beliefs and/or my way of life, if it stays with me days afterwards, then it changed a piece of me. Good writing should do that.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

When your writing makes you comfortable — push further.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

Author Website — http://claudiadchristian.com
Love Unfortunate — http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0036B8YNA

Much thanks to Ms. Christian for the chat!