Janice Maynard/Elizabeth Scott
Recently a favorite author of mine, Janice Maynard, revealed that she also writes more erotic material under the pen name of Elizabeth Scott. I was understandably thrilled since I already enjoyed Janice's books, and knowing she wrote the naughty stuff I like so much made me one happy little camper, let me tell you. Janice, being Elizabeth (and still the Janice I admire) let me pester her into doing an interview, and this is what she had to say about her venture into steamy territory.....
(And check out my first interview
ever, which happened to be with Janice Maynard...as Janice).
S ~ There's lots of talk about the sexy stories that are published today, calling it everything from erotica to erotic romance to porn. How would you define the stories that you write? Or do you prefer to let others come to their own conclusions?
ES: Labels can help or hurt a book, I think. My Janice Maynard
books are very classic boy-meets-girls stories with traditional happy endings. But the sexuality does not stop at the bedroom door. Think hot, hot, hot! They are filled with playful sexual fantasy as well. In my Elizabeth Scott books, the hero and heroine are already together. I consider them very romantic, but the central axis of the story is not the initial falling in love phase… instead, it’s about how the couple explores intimacy and what they learn about each other in the process. If you want a label, I would call it romantic erotica.
S ~ What is the biggest challenge in writing stories that are centered around sexual fantasies?
ES: One of the biggest challenges in writing stories about sexual fantasies is that I am aware not all my readers will be "turned on" by the same things. But that said, I do believe that many female fantasies are based on some universal images.
S ~ In "Naughty Housewives" (which I enjoyed very much I might add), the couples in your stories are married couples who are using their fantasies to bring them closer together emotionally, specifically a woman's fantasies. Yet you also don't shy away from the woman saying "no" if she's not into it. It had me wondering about women who are clueless about their desires and/or are afraid to ask for what they want. What are your personal thoughts on that?
ES: I am a firm believer in the idea that a relationship where sex is fun and fulfilling is almost certainly going to be a happy one. It’s hard to have a knock-down drag-out fight about money, kids, etc. if you’ve both been intimately involved the night before. I married my best friend, and we have always talked about most anything. But I know some relationships exist where one or both parties are bashful about admitting those things that happen "in the brain". And I have heard the statement that some men are threatened if the woman reveals she fantasizes during sex. It’s difficult to make a hard and fast rule, but I think a woman might be cheating herself and her spouse if she never opens up about her fantasies and what she wants in bed.
S ~ Your next release, set for October is "Spin the Bottle". Can you tell us a little bit about it, and where you came up with the idea?
ES: My next book, "Spin the Bottle
", actually deals with that very idea. The game is used as a silly way to make one or both of the spouses admit to some things they’ve been afraid to share. And the results end up shocking both parties… but in a good way.
S ~ Who have been some of your inspirations when it comes to writing the erotic stuff? Any specific writer/book that you strongly connected with? Or a strong female public figure, past or present?
ES: I’ve always enjoyed reading Emma Holly
… and in college, I read the nonfiction book "My Secret Garden
". That was the first time I figured out that ALL women have fantasies. And I was fascinated by the long list of images and scenarios that the women in the book admitted to using as turn ons. Sophia Loren has always seemed like a woman very confident in her sexuality, even as she has aged. I think men find that confidence appealing, even more so that traditional beauty.
S ~ Elizabeth, from what I know about you, you're a happily married woman with grown children. What would you like woman of any age range to take away from these sexual stories?
ES: I think that all women of all ages, married or single, should embrace their sexuality, because it is a rich aspect of our life … we were blessed by our Creator with the ability to feel and imagine and wonder and play with all sorts of fun and sexy premises and games. To deny that part of ourselves is to be less than we are.
S ~ Did you have fun writing these stories, or would you say it's more difficult to write such explicit material? What kind of research if any did you do? I'm not talking of a personal nature, but rather if you delved into the psychological aspects or if you researched the popularity of erotic videos, sex toys, etc to make your stories more realistic.
ES: I love writing my Elizabeth Scott books, but they really are difficult and challenging, because they are so intense. My editor asked me once if I had to smoke a cigarette after I finished a chapter. J Did I do much research? – not really. This stuff mostly came out of my head. But I did have to research a bit about the Portland, Oregon light transit system for "Spin the Bottle". And I’ll let your imagination fill in the reason why!
S ~In your experience as a writer, have you experienced readers who feel guilty about enjoying the erotic stories they read? If so, how do you respond to these comments?
ES: I haven’t had any readers tell me they feel guilty about reading erotic stuff. But maybe that’s because the women who feel that way don’t want to admit they’ve read the books.
S ~ Have you gotten any feedback from men that read your stories or are aware of what you write? What has been the reaction from the male population?
ES: I have had one very lovely piece of fan mail from a male reader, and it was gratifying for many reasons, mainly because I wrote these books for women. So it was interesting to know that the very things women find arousing seem to "do it" for some guys as well. Which would be an argument for sharing your fantasies with your significant other. I received an e-mail letter from a senior editor at Barnes and Noble in New York (a male). He told me that Naughty Housewives was his new favorite book, having knocked "Ulysses
" right off the shelf. There was more to the letter, but he said he had already given the book to his wife to read. I think men love to know what makes us tick. They find us mysterious and convoluted, so when we actually give them a glimpse of our inner selves, they love it, at least most of them do, I’m sure!
S ~ Do your kids read your books? How do they feel about the kinds of stories you tell?
ES: My daughters are 23 and 26. Both are happily married. My younger daughter does not read romance, but she’s very proud of what I do. Actually, since she’s only been out of college a year and is going to graduate school in the fall, she does a heck of a lot of reading, but mostly in her studies. My older daughter does read romance, and has read a number of my Janice Maynard books. I don’t think she has read Elizabeth at all, because it might be kind of weird knowing her mother wrote it. But she’s always telling her friends about my writing news and is very supportive.
S ~ Is there any line you are unwilling to cross, or maybe one you just don't feel comfortable exploring?
ES: I haven’t done any male/male or female/female… but I think that’s because I don’t feel qualified to write those relationships believably.
S ~ What common theme(s) can be found in your stories?
ES: I have always been fascinated by what makes a man and a woman fall in love. I LOVE those moments in a story that touch your heart and make you believe in the power of romantic love. Because men and women are so different when it comes to expressing emotion, I love being able to write characters that connect emotionally through physical intimacy. I think men are most able to express how they feel about a woman in physical situations. Women love hearing the tender words and receiving the "mushy" gestures… and men should try to give us that, even if it doesn’t come naturally. But women need to be aware that in the midst of lovemaking a man has let his defenses down, and he may be saying more about the relationship than is immediately apparent. So a theme? Hmmm… how about "physical intimacy can enrich and expand a wonderful, loving relationship."
S ~ What are the main differences between a Janice Maynard story and an Elizabeth Scott story?
ES: The main difference between a Janice Maynard and an Elizabeth Scott story is the timeline. Janice writes about the meeting and falling in love and those first hot physical encounters. Elizabeth writes about the exciting things that can happen once that initial commitment is firmly in place and the couple is willing to peel away the layers and get to the real honest stuff.
S ~ Any last thoughts? Naughty words of wisdom?
ES: Not all fantasies are meant to be enacted in real life. Most women wouldn’t want them to be. It’s enough to live the "excitement" in our heads or maybe with a trusted partner. And secondly, women are too hung up on physical appearance. Regardless of age, or weight, or physical beauty, a man in a committed, mutually enjoyable intimate relationship will find his mate endlessly appealing if she keeps her sexuality alive and playful and fun.
Thanks for your interest in the naughty "Elizabeth"!
S ~ No problem! Keep on writing those HAWT books!
Read below for a "Naughty" contest where you could win a copy of this first release by Elizabeth Scott!
Labels: author interviews, Elizabeth Scott, Janice Maynard