Deep Desires and Charlotte Stein

As usual, Charlotte Stein has done another amazing job at combining deliciously written erotica with a heartfelt storyline. Deep Desires is about so much more than the “voyeuristic pleasure” exchanged through open windows between the hero and heroine, Abbie and Ivan, although there is still much to be said for those scenes as well. The inner turmoil the characters are experiencing, brought about by horrific events in their own past, is what drives them both to be unable to do anything more than perform for one another across a void between two buildings. Even when Abbie and Ivan are finally able to touch, it’s with their ghosts still lurking right over their shoulders. Only Charlotte would be able to take self-love from behind a pane of glass and turn it into something beautiful. Here’s a little snippet:

“You persuade me. You erase everything hat holds me back, and replace it with something else.”

 

“I do? Seems like a tall order for someone as nothing as me.”

 

“You think you’re nothing, Abbie?” He’s not playing with my hair anymore. He’s stroking the side of my face, in that same slow, wondering sort of way. “You, who didn’t look away? You’re still looking now, though I’ve done my best to stop you. Nothing I’ve said has put you off, even though there’s a hole in your body where your trust used to be. Who wouldn’t love you, Abbie, knowing that?”

 

I don’t know if he expects me to answer. He should know that I can’t.

 

“Don’t cry, my lovely girl. Don’t cry,” he says, and then he kisses my face. He kisses me close up, with my eyes on him and his eyes on me, and suddenly I don’t need to cry anymore.

How could you not love it?

However, I am a huge fan of all of Charlotte’s books. She hooked me with Sheltered, the heartbreakingly perfect story of Evie and Van. Hungry to devour more of her amazing writing, I quickly gobbled up Doubled and Power Play among others, and am still taking my time through The Things That Make Me Give In, simply because I don’t want there to be a time when there is nothing new by her to read in my kindle!

That being said, you can imagine how honored I was when she agreed to be interviewed by me! She was very generous and responded to my questions about the writing of erotica and the genre as a whole.

Here’s the interview!

Q: Why erotica? How did you get started with it?

A: When I was all young and green and thought that sex was something the stork did in a bush, I came across rude bits in books. Eager to know more, I progressed to actual rude books – but they were all these kind of nasty things written by dudes. And then I discovered Black Lace. Written by women for women…it was like a revelation of glorious sexual wonder. Black Lace was such an amazing thing for me – a line of books aimed at me, that didn’t mince words when it came to sex. Suddenly, I knew what I’d been missing from all of those books that closed the bedroom door. And that was such a big influence on me that it was the first place I thought of submitting to. It was what I wanted to write, too. It changed my life.

Q: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

A: I hate telling this story, because it makes it sound like I had an easy time. My first short story submission was accepted. And then my second short story submission was accepted. And then the editor who’d accepted them asked me if I would write him a collection of shorts. So it wasn’t really challenging – BUT. Before this happened I’d spent sixteen years writing every day of my life. I learnt everything I could about writing and submitting, I attended classes, I wrote book after book after book that I’ve never submitted. So I guess it was easy in one way…but hard in another. I spent years too afraid to submit. And I think that’s how it always is: either you submit and suffer rejection for a few years, or you reject yourself and suffer for years anyway.

Q: How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

A: LOL I don’t. I am the worst person in the world at promo. It embarrasses me. I always feel like I’m tooting my own horn, and I hate that. So for me personally…I just try to be available to readers on Twitter. I try to send out review copies. I will blog, and occasionally blog at other places. I know other people have whole plans and schemes and ways of building hype, but I’m just not that person. I can’t even make myself a Goodreads “fan” page, because my gut instinct is to think – who’s going to turn up? Look at Mrs Bigshot, thinking she has fans! LOL no no no.

Q: What books have influenced your writing most? Is there one particular author that you reread for inspiration?

A: Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Emma Holly. Without a shadow of a doubt. And I’d say Selena Kitt and Cara McKenna definitely also…*ahem*…inspire me, erotically.

Q: As a fan of your work, I know you write some of the epically best smut out there. Many authors (including myself) find it’s hard to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. How do you describe sex acts and keep it from becoming repetitive?

A: I think all of us erotic writers find it hard! And I’m sure I’ve got some repetition from book to book. But I find what helps keep it as fresh as possible are the different characters. Always, always come at the sex scenes from the place your character is in. From how you feel about your characters. Let your passion for them guide you.

Q: You have written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, so what do you do when you are not writing?

A: I am an immensely boring person. My idea of a good time is watching a movie or TV show with my husband. I love reading, I love film, I love bad sitcoms…and that’s about it. Occasionally I will knit!

Q: Who among your characters do you wish were real and why? Where would you go with him (or her)?

A: There’s a character in a book that I’ve never dared to sub, and yeah, I wish he was around. I’d have him take me to the bottom of the ocean and the edges of space.

Q: Several of your stories focus on poly relationships (for example, Doubled, Make Me and Reawakening). Is there a message in those works that you want your readers to grasp? What is your personal opinion on monogamy and one finding your one true love?

A: I suppose it’s the same message that’s in all my works – you can’t help who you fall in love with. They may seem weird or wrong, or maybe you feel that you’re weird or wrong…but if it’s there, hang on to it. Don’t be afraid of it. The birthday of your life has come.

Q: What project are you working on now? Your web site mentions a new book coming out soon. Can you share a little news about your current work with us?

A: I believe that new book is Addicted – it’s out in January, and that’s what I’m currently working on. It’s about a girl who’s trying to write an erotic book, but has no faith in the realism of the work. So she attends a Sexual Healing group and discovers Dillon Holt, a sex-mad stud who teaches her what realism is really all about.

Q: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

A: Yeah: never give up. I know you may be tired. You might think it will never happen for you. Perhaps you don’t even dare try. But it’s always there, just waiting for you. So never, ever give up.

You can buy Charlotte’s books on Amazon, and find out more about her via her Blog and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Interview)

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