Lucas: Hi Sommer, good to see you. Can you tell me about when you started writing erotica?
Sommer: It was in March 2005. I went online to research for a mystery book I was writing. I accidentally (true fact!) found a site that had some erotica stories up. I am nosy. I read one. I thought, I wonder if I could write that…So the next day I tried a story. Polished it. Sent it. Got a yes in ten hours. That was all she wrote, so to speak.
Lucas: so what is it about erotica (particularly m/m erotica) that you enjoy so much, as opposed to other more mainstream genres?
Sommer: I like that erotica is visceral. I mean, I guess you could write it otherwise, but to me ‘naked’ is in all respects. If you are naked with someone they’re not just getting to see your goodies (heh), I think you have to reveal a part of yourself you normally keep hidden. That attracts me, capturing that on paper.
As for M/M, I enjoy it because I’ve always set about writing it just as two people falling in love (or fucking–whatever the case may be) and not focus on the fact that they are TWO MEN. They are TWO PEOPLE. I was worried how I’d be received to be honest, but I’ve gotten some of the nicest letters (yes, even from actual men!) about my gay fiction. So, I’m a happy girl.
Lucas: ‘Unexpected‘ , an m/m novella that you wrote for Xcite books has received some great reviews – as an author that’s got to feel pretty good?
Sommer: All great reviews feel pretty good. And that story is a personal favourite of mine. I do, however, try to avoid seeking out reviews to read. I am one of those odd people who take any negatives to heart times ten. So then I take to my bed with a box of wine and a crazy straw and bunny slippers. Okay, not really. I don’t own bunny slippers.
Lucas: Quite a few reviewers point out the depth of the relationship between that develops between the two main characters – Is it safe to say you enjoy writing the romance aspects of erotica as well as the steamy sex?
Sommer: I guess that’s safe. However, I don’t tend to think of it as ‘romance’. More as falling in love. To me romance and falling for someone are two totally different things. And most of the time, my characters find each other in the midst of chaos or something similar. So it’s more of capturing that moment where you realize on a cellular level you’ve found someone “same” or compatible or who resonates with you down to your bones. When I think of romance I think wooing and flowers and Fabio (I’m very serious. I think Fabio) and that, to ME, isn’t what I write (often). I think I’d phrase it that I enjoy writing not just the lust but the love.
Lucas: So, I have to ask THAT question – where do you get your inspiration? Are the characters, plots and scenarios drawn somewhat from personal experience, or are they just the product of a dirty mind?
Sommer: The answer to that is *yes* LOL. Right now I’m doing a blog tour for THE BEST OF SOMMER MARSDEN and the topic for each stop is “True, False or…Mebbe?”
Each story is usually based on a tiny pearl of truth, whether it’s just a phrase or an event or a person I’ve met. *Something is real*. Then I wrap it in pretty lies and dirty bits. But some things are almost all true. Some are nearly all fiction. Most are a nice mix of the two. As for where the longer works–like plots, ideas, characters– ‘come from’ ~ the ether. They just start talking to me and I grab a seat and listen in.
Lucas: So, you mentioned ‘The Best of Sommer Marsden‘ there, which was released through Xcite books this year – can you tell us a bit about it?
Sommer: It is a collection of all my favorite Xcite stories from about…the last five years, I guess, (including Sticky Notes, Grip, Picket Fences and Take a Breath) all smooshed in to one stunning book along with a few brand new, never before released shorts just for fun!
Lucas: Would you say you prefer writing short stories like in this collection, or lengthier tales such as Unexpected?
Sommer: I like it all. I love to write a full length novel like Restless Spirit (Released by Xcite books April 2012 ) and then bang out a few short stories. Then move on to something novella length. Switching around like that breaks up the writing process and keeps me on my toes. Sometimes (often, actually) I have two going at once. Something full length and then something shorter.
Lucas: Your new novel Restless Spirit is due for release through Xcite Books next year, can you tell me a bit about it?
Sommer: Restless Spirit is the story of Tuesday. She’s starting a new life right after the death of her grandmother. She inherits an A-frame lake home complete with an ex-boyfriend handyman, a very Dom neighbor who would take any conscious woman’s breath away and a very sex former TV actor suitor. In the midst of all the men, something spooky is going on with her new life. She’s either also inherited a ghost in the mix, or something is seriously off.
The trick to her new life is figuring out what she wants in the midst of the strange goings on. Does she want any of them, all of them or…ya know…*none* of them. What’s a girl to do?
Lucas: That’s brilliant – thanks so much for your time Sommer!