Today Jane Aire stops by to chat about her steamy erotic novel, Black Rose, recently published by Bravebird Publishing.
A: Black Rose came out of a difficult time in my life. I’d begun some self-exploration and finally admitted to myself that my sex life wasn’t and had rarely been fulfilling. And every guy I met I had to ask myself if he could/would give me what I wanted, which led to many conversations about sex … which led to many thoughts about sex … which led to Black Rose. All of the characters are based on real people and the situation is mostly real. Although I’ve taken some liberties to challenge myself as a writer.
Q: Black Rose is classified as erotica. Did you find yourself putting up blinders as you wrote or did you allow the writer in yourself free, uncensored rein?
A: I was free with it. I didn’t intend to publish it actually. I don’t really consider myself a writer. I’m a designer. I have a 9 to 5 job. I wrote it just to get certain things out of my head but a friend of mine read it and offered to publish it for me.
A: NO! LOL. I told my last boyfriend and my best friend that I published this “novel thing” (lol) but refused to give them any details about it. I think I said it was naughty. They’re not too happy with me being so secretive but like I said, I never intended to share it with anyone so it’s gonna take me a while to get around to sharing it with people who know me. And yes, I write under a pen name 🙂 but Jane is my real name. I added the Aire part … it makes me think of one of my favorite movies. Closer. Natalie Portman’s character tells everyone that her name is Alice Aires but it’s really Jane Jones.
Q: Why do you write erotica instead of, say, contemporary women’s fiction? And could you talk a little about your writing background and process?
A: I always felt stifled when it came to sex. I felt a lot of pressure to be something I’m not – either a slut or a saint. I’m still grappling with understanding my sexual identity and feeling empowered enough to be true to myself. That’s what I write about. Writing has always been my therapy. I couldn’t write stories with such explicit sex scenes and plots that primarily revolve around sex outside of erotica. Although, I have to admit that I don’t subscribe to all the rules associated with the genre. My priority is the story. Getting it out in the way that feels the most honest to me. I’m blissfully ignorant about literary rules and I find that very freeing. I know a lot of people that write and obsess over it for months and years. Black Rose came out in bursts over a six month period. I didn’t pour over it analyzing/critiquing/editing like a mad woman, lol. I left that to my editor. I just wrote. And yet, the story is exactly what I wanted it to be. The characters. The incidents. It all came together exactly as I envisioned it. And it feels right.
Q: How do you feel about the self-publishing industry? Do you think it helps or hinders writers? Readers?
A: Self-publishing. I don’t know much about it. I know I’ve seen several books on Amazon that look self-published, unfortunately. But I think that’s honest and there’s always something to learn from that. Take away the big name publishers that super impose their rules about what someone’s story should be or what’s marketable and what you get is the truth. The truth isn’t always pretty. It can be liberating if you’re willing to deal with it so I think it’s a good thing.
Q: On your blog you wrote that women face a lot of opinions. Do you ever feel judged because of what you write? If so, how do you react?
A: You read my blog! Awww! That’s so sweet. I have been judged or at least Christina has been judged. Some readers don’t understand her and that’s okay. It makes me sad but I think that’s part of life. Being misunderstood or just plain not understood. My mum doesn’t understand me. Most of the time my friends don’t understand me. And I got kicked off of Facebook because I used the word “erotic.” Lol. I think I’ll sneak back on though. I’ll just change the name of Black Rose from “An Erotic Novella” to “A BDSM Novella.” The only people who know what BDSM is are old enough to handle it.
Q: Has writing erotica liberated you personally? As a writer?
A: It has helped. When I tell someone that I wrote an erotic novella and they go … “Okay, and …” like it’s no big deal, that takes a little of the sting out of it.
Q: What’s up next in your writing life?
A: I debate about what to do next. I think I’ve been bitten by the writing bug. I might try my hand at a different genre. Maybe write some epic love story – go to the other end of the spectrum and see how that feels. Maybe I’ll continue Christina’s story. Although, I’m not sure there’s more to tell. Episode 2 might just end up with whole new characters and a completely different storyline.