Lynn Reynolds: What inspired you to write the opening for Unbound?
Lacey Michaels: I’ve always had a thing for airports—and no, it’s not a kink, not really. Nor is it anything to do with induction into The Mile High Club—at least not that I’m admitting! ((wink)) To me airports are semi-magical spaces—the arriving and departing planes, the kiosks of upscale shops and restaurants, and the people whose lives intersect there be it for a few slice-of-life seconds in passing— or prolonged welcomes and farewells weighted with life-altering meaning.
Several years ago, I was returning from a first trip to Ireland. Standing outside the security gates at Cork International, I witnessed the saddest of scenes: a young American woman and an Irish man, both in tears, embracing. Clearly their leave taking was not a goodbye but a final, wrenching farewell.
“I’ll never forget you,” the woman said, tears streaming her upturned face, her trembling mouth seeking his for yet another kiss.
“I love you,” he replied simply, pulling her so close that it was as if he sought to absorb her into his skin.
And that’s when I saw it—the rusty glint of his worn gold wedding band.
The woman was ring-less, the considerable luggage all hers. Both seemed to be deep in doomed love and appropriately miserable. Looking on, I longed to intervene, to suggest that maybe others weren’t as fragile as they feared, to beg them to reconsider, to flout conventional morality and take a chance on love.
Of course I did none of those things. I picked up my bags and continued through security—and began rewriting their story in my head.
At the start of our Unbound, Entwined #1 interactive e-book, romance novelist Charity McCormick has just landed in New York’s JKF Airport after a hiking trip to Western Ireland. The vacation has been a convenient excuse to put some distance between her and her dream man, Drew, whom she’s begun dating in New York. What’s her problem, you might well ask? Finally freed from a sexless, decade long marriage, Charity has promised herself a year of dirty, sexy fun—dirty sexy fun the likes of which she doesn’t dare have with Drew. The hot Texas-transplant is definitely monogamous relationship material, but to explore her kinky side, Charity needs a fling with Mr. Right Now! To that end, during the trip Charity hooked up with her sexy Irish tour guide, Patrick, only Patrick is married to Meg. The couple has twenty years and two grown children together as well as a deep mutual affection that’s sadly never found its way into their bed.
Guilty about their brief affair, Charity and Patrick have agreed to break off all contact. Only once she deplanes, she finds his text message waiting. He has confessed their encounter to Meg! Despite her understandable upset, she has invited Charity to return to Ireland and enter into a marital ménage-a-trois. The start of an unconventional Happily Ever After for all? Read our quartet of erotic novellas and decide for yourself.
Lynn: What do you like about the erotica genre? What is it that draws you to cats as opposed to dogs as pets?
Cecilia Tan: I can’t imagine not writing about sex. To me, the erotic drive is one of the most basic human drives. Books that have a love story and no erotic component just confuse me. If someone wrote a banquet scene and never mentioned the actual food, for me that’s what a romance without sex is like. Everything I know about the characters, or think I know–their quirks, their hangups, their connection to each other, their conflicts, and their passions–can be shown through well written sex scenes. In fact, if I don’t see those elements tested and proven in a sex scene, I don’t believe them!
Cats are exactly like me: very sensual nocturnal creatures who are quiet and self-sufficient. If I had to get up in the morning to walk a dog? Forget it. I wouldn’t last a month as a dog owner.
Lynn: What did you like about a “choose your own adventure” book? What does your husband think about you writing erotica?
Lissa Trevor: I have always been a huge fan of “choose your own adventure” books. I would read the books over and over again to make sure I took every path there was. I didn’t want to miss any part of the story. When I was a kid, I wrote my own “choose your own adventure book.” It was about pirates. I remembering spreading all the pages out on the living room floor and using colored markers to show where the stories interacted.
My husband loves it. We went swag shopping today at a local sex store. We had a great time trying out the floggers and whips. Do you know there’s one out there made out of Koosh material? He supports my crazy ideas. Like when I ordered two hundred paint stirrers to use as giveaways for “spanking” or when I drag him places. This weekend we’re going to the Museum of Sex in Manhattan.
Lynn: Do you find that winning the Lambda Literary Award has changed your writing at all? What is it that you love about the older editions of erotica?
Debra Hyde: The Lambda was a pinnacle achievement, a validation, and winning it didn’t so much change my writing as freed me to write across a broader spectrum of storytelling. Since then, I’m writing more for the reader’s entertainment, and Hers, my contribution to Entwined’s Unbound, Volume 1, is entertaining first and smart, second.
Why old erotica? Erotica’s history spans centuries and I’m a book junkie at heart. For Unbound‘s Hers, I wanted the presence of 1950/1960s to reflect how far we’ve come in terms of personal freedoms. “Vintage sleaze,” as these paperbacks are now called, were the closest thing to legal erotica that the readers of that era had. In fact, the explicit language of today’s erotica and erotic romance would’ve landed us authors and publishers in jail back then. And we all know the history of LGBT repression during that same period of time. Today, we’re far more free to love who we want and read what we want and Hers, to a small degree, celebrates those facts.
But, to a far larger degree, I aimed to make Hers entertaining, engaging, and hard to tear yourself away from. Let me know if I succeeded.
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