Today, I have the pleasure of having my publisher, Selena Kitt on my blog to answer a few questions. First let me tell you this woman is an absolute dynamo and I love working with her and her staff at eXcessica. She’s a sassy, outrageous author who lives with her husband and children in the Midwest. Her writing embodies everything from the spicy to the scandalous, but watch out – her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
Her list of short stories and novel length erotica is impressive including the following: Samhain Publishing released Rosie’s Promise in March 2008. Selena has also been published in four Coming Together anthologies. Whiskey Creek Press published two of her stories: I’ll Be Your Superman and French Lessons in Torrid Teasers #49 in August 2008 and Phaze published Sacred Spots, Happy Accident, Blind Date, and Christmas Stalking, The Surrender of Persephone and The Song of Orpheus.
Selena has also been published in The Shadow Sacrament: a journal of sex and spirituality and The Erotic Woman. Her story, Connections, was one of the runners-up for the 2006 Rauxa Prize, given annually to an erotic short story of “exceptional literary quality,” out of over 1,000 nominees, where awards are judged by a select jury and all entries are read “blind” (without author’s name available.) She was also a top ten author finisher in the 2006 Preditors and Editors Poll. Her book, EcoErotica was a 2009 EPIC AWARD FINALIST and The Real Mother Goose was a 2010 EPIC AWARD FINALIST.
[JET] My first question is aimed from a publishing standpoint, what are the things you look for in a story?
[Selena] Does it go without saying that grammar, spelling and punctuation are tantamount? And of course, you have thoroughly read and followed our submission guidelines… right? If those things are in place, well, it’s kind of like the Supreme Court justice’s definition of obscenity—it doesn’t matter what genre it’s in, I know a good story when I read one.
[JET] What is the submission process like at eXcessica and what sets it apart from other romance e-book publishers?
[Selena] I suppose it bears repeating – we have submission and editing guidelines for a reason. Please utilize them before submitting. After that, we ask for up to 4-6 weeks to read submissions and respond. Usually, we get back to authors within 2-3 weeks. As for what sets us apart? I think everyone knows we push the envelope. We accept more taboo subjects like nonconsent and incest and allow our authors to explore topics not usually found on other erotic romance publisher’s virtual shelves. That said, we also publish some of the sweetest romances around. What can I say? I like diversity!
[JET] Not only do you operate in the capacity as publisher, but you also edit anthologies and write yourself – how do you find the time?
[Selena] That’s a really good question! The truth is, I have a time travel device that allows me to add another 24 hours to every day… ha. I wish! Actually, it just involves sticking to a schedule and not getting too distracted by all the pretty flashing things on the Internet…
[JET] What is your favorite story of all the ones you wrote? Why?
[Selena] Connections. I wrote it a long time ago, back before cell phones and the Internet. The characters are interesting and it’s actually a very sweet romance. (Readers might be surprised if they read it after they’ve read some of my more popular works…) They’re two characters who have stuck with me for a long time. It was also first runner up for the Rauxa Prize in 2006, and—bonus!—it’s available as a freebie if you join our eXcessica Yahoo Group!
[JET] Can you tell us a little more about your other ventures beyond eXcessica?
[Selena] I home-school two grade-schoolers, grow an organic garden and love popping bubblewrap every chance I get—even as environmentally unfriendly as the evil stuff is! I have an advanced degree in psychology and have taken photographs professionally. But to tell you the truth, for the past few years, eXcessica has taken up most of my time!
[JET] As an author, what is your favorite genre to tackle?
[Selena] Horror. It’s my first love. I cut my writing teeth on Stephen King and Clive Barker.
[JET] Is there a genre that you feel would challenge your reach? What and why?
[Selena] Hardcore sci-fi. I just don’t have the knowledge to even fake it—and boy, those guys know when you get your particle accelerators wrong!
[JET] When you have time to read for pleasure, what are the titles/authors you reach for first?
[Selena] Stephen King. Did I mention him? :) I also read other popular fiction. Yes, I did read the Twilight series, because my teens got into them. Horrible books, great stories, in desperate need of a good editor. I also read Harry Potter and we’ve started the Lightning Thief series as well. But I also read things like Elie Wiesel’s Night and The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I like magical realism, and Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, recently wrote a good one called “Horns.” I highly recommend him – it’s not often the son can do as well as (or better) than the father. It’s a big shadow to carry, but he does it well!
[JET] What is your absolute favorite line from any book that you’ve read?
[Selena] “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” – Stephen King.