Friday, May 24, 2013

A Visit With M. Christian

1. How did you get started writing erotica?
Well, to be honest, I didn’t really start out to be a smut writer.  Oh, sure, I wanted to be a writer – got the bug sometime in late high school – but I never really wanted to write dirty stories full time.  Like a lot of writers I tried most of the familiar genres (science fiction, horror, fantasy, mysteries ... you name it) but, frankly, the competition was just far too rough. 
Then, by chance, I took a class in erotica writing taught by Lisa Palac (of the late-lamented FutureSex Magazine) and she actually bought one of my stories ... which was then picked up for Best American Erotica 1994 and the rest, as they say, is history.
That's not to say I don't like writing erotica.  Far from it: I actually really like being part of a genre that's still new and fresh, with lots of room to experiment and play.  While I did spend a lot of time writing and getting rejected I think it's getting me more comfortable  with stories and language.  So, in the end, it's all turned out pretty well.

2. What is the absolute hottest scene you have ever written...oh please share...we like it naughty here. *cheeky grin*
You know, I don't really think of hotness when I write.  I'm usually just focusing on the writing and the tale I'm trying to tell, and the sex scenes just spin out of that.  Makes me more than a bit different, I think: some of my smut-writing friends say that they write from ... well, let's say below the belt.  I don’t do that – and when I've tried it gets far too distracting to focus.  So I just tell stories about characters and sex and the while thing just comes together.

3. I really enjoyed your book about how to write erotica-it was what got me started in the right direction. Can you tell the folks who have not heard about it a little bit to whet their appetites...

Thanks so much!  The book is called How To Write And Sell Erotica and it's out (in print as well as 'e') by the great folks at Renaissance E Books ... who (ahem) I happen to be an Associate Publisher for.  It's a collection of my essays and articles from my irregular column Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker for the fantastic Erotica Readers And Writers Association.  More than anything, the articles were kind of my ... revenge against all the bed writing classes I took when I first started writing.  That, and some of the stuff that's come up when I've edited anthologies and now as a publisher.  I like to think of the book as being a buck-naked writing book ... but not because it's about smut, but because it's more revealing than and honest than a lot of writing books out there.

4. Tell us about your current work.

Well, right now I'm making my way through a new collection of science fiction erotica – a follow up to my well-received Bachelor Machine book.  But I also have plans for a new novel (just have to decide which book too actually write).  Meanwhile I'm having a blast working for Renaissance and enjoying teaching classes here in the Bay Area on everything from smut writing to bondage and other kinds of kinky stuff.  Check out my site at for into on everything I'm into ... some of what I'm into, at least.  I do have to keep a few things private ;-)

5. Whip or flogger?

Oddly, even though I teach classes in both (and canes and bondage and paddles and much, much more) I'm actually a very simple fellow ... sexually, at least.  Oh, sure, there are a few things I like (ahem – big girls – ahem) but I'm more of a sensualist than a sadist, and more a lover than a masochist.  I guess you could say my biggest kink is my writing: I get the biggest turn-on from telling stories than just about anything else.

6. Chocolate or peanut butter?
Chocolate for sure – especially the wickedly wonderful fun stuff like Vosges, or salt and caramel chocolates.  Yum!

(I knew we were kindred spirits!) *grin*
7. Beach or mountains?
Hum ... tough call.  I like both quite a bit: always loved the ocean and I like it cool, so the mountains are also a favorite.  The only place I don't like is anywhere too hot so I'm not a huge fan of the desert ... tough for the right trip and adventure I'm sure I could be convinced to go.

8. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
I love a good villain so that has to be at the top of the list, but I also really love to play with a character (and the audience) in a situation that's ethically challenging – or that might even flip the whole idea what they are, and what the world is.  I've really enjoyed writing books like Me2, Finger's Breadth, Brushes, and Painted Doll – which is also why I can't wait to work on the next book ... just have to decide what to do.

We agree! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

9. What is one of your pet peeves that you see as an erotica author and editor?
The biggest I think it when people think that, because they are writing 'just smut' they don't have to try to tell a good story with engaging characters, evocative descriptions, or enticing dialogue. Nothing turns me off more – as an editor or publisher as well as a reader – to have a writer just throw out something that they don't care about ... because, guess what, that lack of caring really comes through.  I don't care if you're writing about people doing the horizontal mambo, but I do care that you put some love and craft into it.  When I read erotica I don’t look for the sex, I look for good writing.

10. Food and erotica...tell us what you think about when you put those two together.

You must mean my recent anthology (published by Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions), Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales about Sex and Gastronomy.  That was a lot of fun to put together – and it has come kick-ass stories from wonderful writers in it.  My co-editor, Alyn Rosselini, and I really tried to find stories that mixed our love of both book and doing the nasty – and, I really think, we succeeded pretty well. 
I've always been a bit of a foodie and, luckily, I live in the Bay Area where great eats is right up there with a good night between the sheets, so putting together a book celebrating the mixture of savory, sweet, and sexy was kind of a no-brainer.  Yum ... brains...

Lol. Yes! I can't wait to read this one! Food and sex. One of my favorite combinations. 



Thank you Chris for stopping by and sharing a little of yourself with us today. You are the main reason I have published so many short stories over the last year. If I hadn't gotten annoyed at 50 Shades and read your book, I never would have found out about ERWA and the amazing author resources they offer. Your high standards make me want to become not just a "smut writer," but a better writer on the whole. It is something I have been working towards my whole life, but since reading your book, I have been in short story writer boot camp (at my own insistence) and have learned so much! Now I just need to go and do that spread sheet you were talking about! Whew!

Now, back to reading your Coming Together anthology!

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