Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
LN Bey. I’m pushin’ fifty.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’ve lived all over the Midwest and western United States, although not on the coast. I’m currently living near Denver, Colorado.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m very happy to be included in two upcoming erotica anthologies, Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Erotic Teasers and Laura Antoniou’s No Safewords 2. After taking some time off for personal reasons I’ve started writing again; I wrote my first erotic short story in a long time for a recent call for stories, and I’ve resumed work on mysecond book, Villa, after nearly two years away. Sometimes a break does a person good.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As with many, if not most, eroticists, I started writing filth just for the fun of getting fantasies down on paper. But the longer I looked at them, the more I realized that maybe the descriptions of the sexual acts were going on in far more detail than needed, and as stories go, maybe they really weren’t all that fascinating. This was in 2009 or so. I took several writing classes, got better, got a story or two published, and then spent years getting my novel right.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still not sure that I do, some days.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I hadn’t written a lot of erotica, but I’d read a fair amount—and I thought wow, wouldn’t that be fun to do—I am a fan of old-school, ambitious, complex, and somewhat harsh erotica, Réage and Roquelaure and Antoniou and Weatherfield. Complete worlds in which deliciously horrible and arousing things happen—more intricate stories than a lot of romances. I thought it might be a fun idea to take the tropes of such novels, the submission on such a large and organized scale, and place them smack-dab into the blandest of American suburbs, written as realistically as possible while still keeping it all a fantasy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Blue. It’s a common and recurring theme within the book. The main female character’s eyes, the nipple clamps which she does not care for but keeps encountering, her beloved house’s color scheme, a very important car; her frequent, frustrated mood… There’s a consistency I worked on achieving.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t really write in a romance-laden style, if there is such a thing. I try to write in a very modern and concise and realistic style that is influenced by certain strains of contemporary literary/mainstream fiction. But I also aim for a definite rhythmicsense; one writer friend calls it a “melodic” style. I use more dialogue than most erotica writers, and I strive for realistic conversations.
As far as challenging, besides the dismal state of the erotica market these days, I notice a lot of erotica writers hit a certain tipping point when the mere fun of writingfuck-fiction has worn off—and we start looking for something a bit deeper. Not necessarily some super-deep profundityor anything; in my first novel I was mainly wanting to present a suspenseful and complex story structure, to show the potential that erotic fiction could have as far as storytelling. I think most good erotica examines certain psychologicalaspects of human nature,more than the simply physical. It must emphasise desire, of course, but good erotica provides a more complex context for it.
That’s where I’m at. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a good novel, and there is likely to be little pay. How do we make it all worth this effort? Many of the best erotica writers only have one or two books in them before they move on to other genres.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Blue is a mixture of realism and fantasy, with a different emphasis than most erotica. It takes place in a very realistic and even boring setting: the characters have dull jobs, fight traffic, still have to live life outside of the fantastical world they’ve created. I’ve tried to grapple with realistic issues of submission and domination—there are some fucked up people out there, and anyone in the Scene is likely to run into them. It’s not all fun. Much of Blue is about the space between reality and expectations, especially expectations built by reading erotica. But there are some fantastical scenes in the book. It is erotic fiction. As for my own experiences, it goes beyond what I’ve personally done…though not entirely. 😉
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
So far, no.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
An erotic artist friend of mine who goes by Strict Machine. He is not really a book designer, but made the nipple clamps that grace the cover, photographed them, designed the whole cover around them. It fits the novel perfectly. He really needs to get a body of work together and put up a website.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The sex drive is a deep and complex thing, that cannot be easily compartmentalized. It’s more than just the desire to get off. Sometimes it can drive people to do remarkable things, make enormous sacrifices, ruin other parts of their lives. And once you get into the realm of Kink, things can make even less sense. Sometimes we’re compelled to explore dark places, to experience the seemingly horrible—it’s so much more complex than just wanting an orgasm.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
My friend Siri Ousdahl has written one of the most beautiful erotic books I’ve ever read, Constraint. It’s rough—a kidnapping novel—but my god, the writing, it’s poetic yet freakin’ hot. As far as my favorite erotica writer of all time, I’d have to say (and often do) Molly Weatherfield. Her two Carrie novels push all the right buttons for me; they are not romances and are not for everyone. But the writing, the writing is just stunning.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
She would ask that I not mention her by name, but she knows who she is. She has helped me immensely with my own writing.I wish that she would finish her own erotic novel because so far it’s amazing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I used to, but not anymore. Even the most seasoned veterans in erotica are having a tough time of it—publishers are dropping like flies, people are starting Patreon pages to get by. Erotica is especially tough—we’re competing with literally thousands of ~¡FREE!~ stories uploaded to Amazon every day—but writers in all genres are struggling. This then starts the whole “Aren’t you just doing it for the love?” conversation that people who’d rather not pay for erotica bring up. So how does one make this more than a very time-consuming hobby? I’m not sure I can. I guess I just want to leave behind a fantastic body of work, even if few will find it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I (accidentally) found a very useful process for this: after a very thorough beta reading by my incredibly awesome crew, I publishedBlue’s ebook. As it was reviewed by bloggers and other readers, small problems were brought to my attention—some reviewers thought there were issues of consent in the early chapters. My beta readers didn’t see any; I didn’t see any—but it let me know I hadn’t communicated those reassurances well enough. I was able to make just a few small changes to those chapters to make my intent more clear, and then began one last revision for the print version, the “permanent” version. I have to stand by it as it is. That said, after seven years working on the thing, I’m still not completely happy with Part 1.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
TONS. What a learning experience. I learned that writing a book is not that big of a deal, but writing a good book is extremely difficult—endless, endless revising. Endless! Don’t take it on unless you’re ready to commit your life to it for a while, longer than you think it will be. (In my case, anyway.) I learned lots of technical things—the hints that are fun to put in near the beginning, that you don’t even know are a good idea until you’ve written the ending. All the foreshadowings and resonances between plotlines. I learned I absolutely love it, but it takes a lot out of me.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The thought of Caitriona Balfe, who is so tough-as-nails through so much of the Outlander series, playing the very submissive, searching, and self-questioning Janet inBlue, sets my heart (among other places) all aquiver and atwitter. She would need to dye her hair jet black and learn a thoroughly Midwestern American accent. I have serious doubts that she would accept the role. 😀
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I went through such a crisis in motivation in 2017 that I’m not sure I even have any to give. I had to wait it out; external events snapped me out of it. We live in such ugly and uncertain times, so many creative people in all fields seem to be blocked or overwhelmed. Keep at it. Even unsatisfying drafts can be resurrected when you’re in a sharper mood—alldrafts will have to be improved, anyway. …But then, I also would advise that a break can be very helpful; come back at it refreshed. Contradictory advice, sorry. Keep at it!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If you love or even merely like a book, leave a review. It is the single best way to help an author out.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
In erotica, I’m reading Clair Thompson’s Enslaved and Anneke Jacob’s beautifully written Owned and Owner; they’re both for a long review I’m writing of four books with a trope in commonthat I love: the dubious bargain.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sadly, no. Or many not “sadly”—there have been so many, and that’s a good thing.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Until recently, politics. Now I’m just angry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’ve come up with a list of so many that it would require a huge dinner party to fit them all in, but by then they’d find each other so much more fascinating than me that they’d all just talk to each other.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Collecting books and not reading them, it seems.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Long, complex, labyrinthine ones, just like the books I love. I miss Breaking Bad.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Blue, of course.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Surreptitiously write, and tell no one.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Having sex, lots and lots of sex. Call some loved ones. Try to have a really good meal.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Hey, I gave it a shot.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I post news of my own writing and also reviews of erotic books, films and art at: www.lnbey.com
I can be followed on twitter at @ln_bey.
My Amazon Author Page is at https://www.amazon.com/LN-Bey/e/B01FNKCDUQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1