Tag Archive: erotica


Dishing it up with Mia Natasha

Hi folks, today I have the pleasure of having erotic romance author Mia Natasha on my blog. Her first book, Cinderella Club came out at the beginning of August.

JET: Your first book – Cinderella Club just came out at the beginning of August. Can you tell us a little about the book and why readers should add this to their “must have” collection?

Mia: Cinderella Club is a fairy-tale love story. With non-consent elements. My book has graphic sexual content but also plot, mystery, humor and strong characters.
I know what I like in an erotic story and I’m hoping readers will feel the same way. I’m not a BDSM person, but I find bondage very sexy, you know, without a lot of the spank, spank or whip, whip. As a fiercely independent woman, I long for the type of man who can handle me – who can dominate me in bed, and still love my feisty spirit. If that is you, too…then you’ll like Cinderella Club.
I think a lot of women fantasize about being kidnapped and held as a sex-slave. It’s a potent fantasy, especially with strong, independent women who long for a reduction of responsibilities.
In addition, there’s a twist on the Cinderella fairy-tale in Cinderella Club. I know so many women who reference Cinderella in daily conversation. They want to look like a princess on their wedding day, or they feel like they do so much for so little compliment, and they wish someone would appear and sweep them off of their feet, someone all other women find attractive. A charming prince. Miller Smytheson gets swept off her feet. The book opens with her bound and hanging from a chandelier.

JET: What enticed you to write erotic romance?

Mia: I’m a visual artist, a painter. My work has a child-like quality to it, and because of that, I guess I’m seen as a role model for children. But, you know, I’m not a nun. A journalist reviewing my art show asked me if I’d ever consider creating work that explored sexual themes and I said no. Why would I do that? A month later I was out shopping and I looked at a small spiral notebook on the shelf – and boom. I had this weird sense that I would write a story. I know; it was one of those out-of-the blue type things, like the universe works in mysterious ways mumbo-jumbo.
I wrote stories in notebooks when I was a tween. Privately. My stories then had characters kissing, nothing more than PG, of course. No one encouraged me because of it. I can’t really explain how I found my way back to it. I just did. I started writing. The whole plot of Cinderella Club hit me completely.
It’s like a waking dream. Like I was meant to be a writer all along – even though I never pursued it academically, even though I didn’t know it.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Mia: I haven’t had one. Is that bad? I worked on Cinderella Club for two years. I had a draft and sent it off to e-publishers. The rejection letters were incredibly positive. I was told they liked my dialogue and I had a good story but…. And the ‘buts’ were very helpful. Show don’t tell, flush out the characters or whatever. One told me to find a critique partner.
I saw it as a one-door-closing-while-another-opened scenario. I began corresponding with another writer. I’d read his stuff on http://www.literotica.com. I was just a fan and did not expect more than that. His encouragement, I don’t know, it’s just been so amazing.
At Christmas, I sent the revised manuscript to Selena Kitt at eXcessica, and within days she said she’d publish it! Then came the edits. When my editor said, “You have something good here”…wow, I just got misty eyed remembering that.
So, no set-backs.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Mia: Holding the actual book in my hand, certainly, is my favorite moment. I wrote a book. It’s the size of a real book, 439 pages, and the cover makes it look like it could be another chick-lit read in one’s bookshelf – very unassuming. I love it. I love touching it and opening it up to a random page and reading my words.
It’s a resurrected dream, an item on my life’s bucket list fulfilled.
There have been many positive moments on this ‘journey’. I won the Valentine’s Day contest at Literotica.com with a ghost story called Ghost of a Chance (as mia_erotica). Having other writers, real writers who do this for a living, compliment me and tell me I’m a great writer. Great? What? I can’t believe it. How can that be, you know? It’s just…really nice.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Mia: I don’t know. If I was influenced by writers – well, it didn’t happen consciously. I was an avid reader growing up. If I liked an author I’d want to read everything they’d written. They were mostly books that allowed me to embody the characters. I didn’t worship writers. Artists, fashion designers – yes and yes.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Mia: The minute I started writing Cinderella Club I knew it would be a published book. Because nothing else made sense. It felt right. I have a very strong work ethic and my belief in myself made this possible. I didn’t give up. I kept going back and reworking it, molding it as I would a painting or sculpture or dress design.
It might not amount to much. I don’t know what to except in sales. I don’t really know whether this plot-filled fantasy will appeal to anyone else. But based on the feedback and emails I’ve gotten for my short stories, I have to say that writing seems a lot more exciting to me than painting right now. I’ve corresponded with people all over the world. My book will be available all over the world – even India and the United Arab Emirates. It’s pretty incredible to think that people will have access to something I sat quietly alone in my room writing.
I’m writing a sequel, which means I want to stay ‘plunged’.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Mia: I hope you’re not suggesting that I reveal anything of a sexual nature here. Because if I have tried anything kinky to see if it was feasible, I’d keep that private.
I use Google a lot. For example, I look up artists to confirm that my art history knowledge is accurate. I looked up the spelling of Moët & Chandon. Google is so convenient.
I also keep a fat old dictionary on my lap. When I first started writing I thought my vocabulary was probably not good enough, you know? Even though most people tell me I use a lot of ‘big words” when I speak. I spent a couple days, actually, looking through the dictionary and writing down words and their meanings to help improve my vocab. Is that crazy? I’m embarrassed to admit it.

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?

Mia: I’m probably going to sound like a wishy-washy goof-aroni here, but speaking as a true Gemini, my answer to a lot of these is both. Or neither. This is like a mind-field because I might hurt someone’s feelings, or worse, not pass the personality test. Yikes!
Okay, so I use both paper and plastic.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Mia: Chicken. Steak’s great on occasion. I’ve only had tofu like four times.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Mia: Neither and both. I don’t go to either as I am a high-maintenance stiletto-wearing city girl. I’m very active and wouldn’t mind a jog along the beach or a mountain hike once in a while.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Mia: Rock, definitely. I prefer alternative. I’m stuck in the early 90s musically. But classic rock from the late 60s & 70s – I like everything about the era, the hair, fashion…I’d time travel to hook up w/ young Mick Jagger in a NY minute.

JET: Classics or Modern?

Mia: Are you referring to literature here? Because in fashion, I love classics. In art, I love modern. Books? Pride and Predjudice. It might be set in the past, but it’s timeless.

JET: Vamps or Wolves?

Mia: As a cat lover of a cat who loves to bite, I’ll say vampires.

JET: Zombies or Demons?

Mia: Neither. I don’t get the attraction. Bring on the hate mail.

JET: Horror or Comedy?

Mia: Comedy.
My life is a comedy. I’m very lucky, but at the same time I just happen to see humor in everything. Sometimes I laugh at things that people think are inappropriate. For example – nope, I better not give you an example.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

Mia: Both. My favorite thing right now is honey on Saltines.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Mia: Both. Coffee from the Keurig is very satisfying in the morning. Tea, Earl Gray, like Captain Jean-Luc Pickard. But only when I have a sore throat.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now? What’s next?

Mia: I’m 56,000 words into my sequel to Cinderella Club. It’s called Cinderella Thyme. It’s set in 1996 and the present. I just reworked chapter 5 and that took me an entire week!

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Mia Natasha and her work at the following places:
http://mianatasha-erotica.blogspot.com/?zx=19af20a896ae65cf

http://excessica.com/blog/index.php/tag/mia-natasha/

Next week I’ll be talking about how much a pain it is to lose your hard drive and the importance of backing up your PC.

See you then,
Ciao.
JET

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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.

Thank you so much for joining me today Selena.  For those of you looking for her latest books, please visit her at http://www.eXcessica.com or www.selenakitt.com and enjoy some of her free reads!

Now that Survival Games is going to see the light of day, I can share some of the more amusing stories relating to explaining the plot to folks like my family and my co-workers.

This was the first book I wrote when my family gave me carte-blanc to go for it and I’ll tell you – after 20 years of not writing, the words sailed out. It took me less than a month to get the story on paper – of course after that it took two and a half years to refine it to what will be published – but the original book spilled out like a levy crumbling under a flood. And when I was done, I looked at what I created and had a ‘holy shit’ moment.

The book is dark and twisted, intense and graphic and I didn’t realize I had that level of darkness in me – and the first draft of this book was much harsher than what will be in print in July – but regardless, I figured I’d better get over the WASP-bred embarrassment of creating something so controversial and steamy.

So I asked my father to read it.

Yes, my father.

Well, I’m sure I shocked the hell out of him but he didn’t say much regarding how he felt about his little girl writing erotica or such a horrific tale. The one thing he did say is that it had a lot of sex – but he amended that by saying the subject matter warranted it and considering the plot line, he thought it was appropriate and not gratuitous. Overall he liked the story.

So after the slightly awkward conversation, he asked if I was done with the second book yet. He wanted to read that too – wanted to know what happened to the characters from the first book and as any writer knows, this is the best feeling in the world.

Ok – so I tested the waters with a co-worker and I’ll tell you, the looks she gave me after she started the book – it was all I could do not to laugh every time I saw her. And then one day she asked a priceless question – she asked if I could teach her to dance because my main character in the book knows how to dance.

I did laugh then, because I have no rhythm what-so-ever. Two left feet and then some. And she thought there was reality based in the book. The only shred of “me” in the book is the fact that my favorite color is described. That’s where reality ends; the rest is just a figment of my imagination and a reflection of my nightmares.

I said, “Oh honey, the book is FICTION – I can’t dance.”

Needless to say she was both embarrassed and relieved.

The next slightly awkward moment was right after I announced to my co-workers that I got a publishing contract. It was one of those not so politically correct moments. Most of my co-workers know I’ve got an unpublished FBI agent series, but most of them didn’t know about the erotica, so well, you can imagine the raised eyebrows.

My boss had announced to a group – did you know JET got a publishing contract? And of course, someone asked what type of book.

“It’s an Erotic Thriller.”

“Oh neurotic thriller? Like something by Woody Allen?”

I laughed and said “No – EROTIC thriller, like something by Jackie Collins.” Bad example – but all it was all I could think of at the moment and while I turned about five shades of red – my co-worker tripled that. To lighten the shocked silence I added. “But I’m the one who’s neurotic.”

So after tackling my parents and my co-workers, I feel confident I’ll be able to speak coherently and not turn sixty shades of red when I participate in a panel called “You write your mother with that pen?” at the Backspace Conference in New York City in May about incorporating sex scenes into your novels.

Anybody else have some fun stories about explaining their novels to friends and family? I’d love to hear them.