Author Interview #3, with one half of Lion and Mermaid Publications, Vaughn Shepherd!
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Jess: Why do you write erotic-themed material?
Vaughn: I think it's as simple as: It's what I enjoy! I love creating characters and exploring relationships and interactions in the vein of romance and sex.
Jess: How do you differentiate quality erotica (as an art form), from pornographic writing?
Vaughn: I've been generally disappointed with most erotica I've picked up in book stores, and I tend to be just as picky with visual porn as well, because of my opinions on this subject.
Erotica is developed, and internal, and involved in situation and scenario. It's the intent and atmosphere that is arousing, not the mechanic.
Pornographic writing is based on mechanic. Tab A goes into Slot B, so to speak.
Jess: Great definitions ;). I shall now ask how you would respond to the following statement:
“I am very put off by the notion of 'literate smut', as if any porn is intellectual, that erotica needs to have a high and low art distinction. I think this is just a pretentious way for people to excuse their taste for pornography.”
-- originally posted on http://www.barbelith.com/topic/925
Vaughn: I think that's a rather ignorant statement. For some people, (I would like to say most people) sex is entirely about the mind. Psychological aspects can, and in my experience, will, be more arousing than a simple description of the mechanics of sex.
Jess: I get the scent of ignorance too. What inspired you to write erotic stories/poems/etc.?
Vaughn: I just kind of fell into it. People tend to write what interests them, and romance and sex definitely interest me. When I found a co-author who generally lives inside my head, and I in hers, it just multiplied and took off into something wonderful.
Jess: Do you always follow the "safe, sane, consensual" credo?
Vaughn: I flirt around the edge of it. Fantasy is a far bigger playing field than reality, and there's places to go inside your head that can be fun to explore, even if it has nothing to do with how you'd act in reality.
Jess: Indeed. What do you think readers will find most notable about your book(s)?
Vaughn: Well, our current, tongue-in-cheek motto is that our writing is "too romantic for erotica, and too erotic for romance."
Jess: Cool slogan! In order to write on certain experiences, you would have to either research or live the life. Which describes you as the writer?
Vaughn: I'm certainly a researcher in most cases. My sex life is far more vanilla than my writing.
Jess: Do you think erotica caters to a male or female market (or does gender of the target audience not matter)?
Vaughn: I think erotica caters to pieces of all markets, regardless of gender.
Jess: Are there any topics you will NOT tackle, with regards to sexual behaviors and attitudes?
Vaughn: I used to think there was, but being led by my characters, my preconceptions been pried far more open that I previously thought. As I said before, fantasy is a far more broad playing field than reality. In some case, fantasy, and by extension, writing and reading, is the healthiest way to explore certain situations.
Jess: Please share with us a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words).
One of my favorite quotes: "Her cry as he entered her was not of pain, but exaltation."
-- from The Aetherwood Chronicles, a lush, intriguing world filled with sensuality and the supernatural.
Jess: Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):
Vaughn: "When I want you to beg, I'll tell you." — J.R. Ward
Jess: Please let readers know where they can find out more about you/your work.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/aetherwood-chronicles
Jess: Thanks so much for sharing your views on the art of erotic writing :)!
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Lion and Mermaid Publications consists of two authors, Bunny Darling and Vaughn Shepherd. They collaboratively author stories of a romantic and erotic nature. They have recently begun publishing these works, featuring several series, featuring wildly differing couples (or triples...).
JESS C SCOTT:
Jess is the author/artist/non-conformist behind jessINK (her indie publishing division). One of her specializations is erotic literature.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and would like to share your views via a similar interview, just check out/fill out the form at Author Interviews. Jess will email you with the link once it is posted.
Jess is available for interviews too. Drop her a note at missfeyATgmailDOTcom :)