Friday, February 20, 2009

Let's Talk Spooky and Sexy with Kristin!

Hey everybody!

Eternal Press Kristin Battestella stopping by for a bit of naughty romance and chit chat. I'm going to post mainly interview bits and pertinent links to provide some food for thought on paranormal romance, erotica, and of course, the Chosen Craft, writing!

Here's a blurb from my 2008 Eternal Press release The Vampire Family. Just so you get a feel for my kind of style:

Sadistic? Check. Domination? Check. Happiness? Not for all. Antonio Welshire accepts the mysterious Mestiphles' offer for vampiric power, but fails to consider that not all in his family desires evil. Daughter Victoria revels in the debauchery, but eldest daughter Samantha loathes the darkness. Enemies are in no short supply when the family turns to darkness. Charismatic rebel Gaston turns up to rival for Antonio's power; the vampire lover Jean can destroy them once and for all, and henchwoman Lilith seeks to supplant Antonio as Mestiphles' favorite. Who will be declared the victor? And in the end, though they've survived coven wars and persecutions since the 12th century, can The Vampire Family survive each other? Killing his abusive parents isn't enough for Antonio Welshire. Rape and death follow him through his youth in the 12th Century-until a stranger named Mestiphles give Antonio unimaginable vampire powers. Fearful yet captivated by his allure, Antonio's adopted sisters Ann and Elizabeth share this gift with him and their children-Victoria, James, Samantha, and Stephen. Antonio is a cruel ruler , and after his defeat of the young rebel Gaston, Antonio struggles with Lilith-another magical pet also created by Mestiphles. Antonio's vampire family grows over the centuries, each vampire loving and losing vampire fledglings over time. Wars, persecutions come and go, but the family's troubles always stem from within. Elizabeth may be his wife, but Ann supplants her as Antonio's mistress. By the 20th century, Elizabeth has found love again-unfortunately her fledgling Jean share's Samantha's disdain for the vampire life. Will The Vampire Family self destruct before the 21st Century?

Now, onto more juicy bits! Here's part of an interview I did with new erotica author Leigh Wood. For the complete talk, visit The Kristin Battestella Livejournal.


An Interview With Leigh Wood

By Kristin Battestella

-What is your real name?

Grr. Ashleigh Laura Wood. I hate it. How can something be so earthy and yet so puck bunny? Everyone calls me Leigh, but I suspect I might have to use the Ashleigh bemoan for publication. It means Ash Tree Meadow Laurel. That’s a lot of ticks. I tweak a bit with Old English. I think Leah means wood anyway. So it’s a bit redundant even. Dang hippie parents.


-What are you working on now?

Everything and nothing. I am a stickler for edits even when I’m probably beyond the point of needing edits. I’m at that point with the end of On The Way to New Isosceles. I handwrote Horns of Myleness during lunch hours at my day job, so my next dive will be to type that whole shebang. There’s always random writing bits, too, you know. Poetry, nonfic. I’d rather write about something than talk about it. My short memoir Cracked is in limbo. It could probably use another editing run through. It was accepted with Stone Garden Publishing, but a few red flags in their contract forced me to withdraw. A Contract isn’t worth my intellectually dignity.

-On The Way and Myleness, these two works are both erotica? How did you handle questions from coworkers?

I wrote On The Way at home and the handwritten Horns of Myleness was without the erotic bits. If I was still inspired by time I got home, I typed some kinky material. So I’ve got half of Myleness handwritten with no sex-and its quite good without it, honestly. On the other hand, I’ve got some serious kink on my laptop. I think it would be an intriguing concept to do a ‘nice version’ pure fantasy romancey, but also issue a naughty version with the sex scenes. It’s not a question of if the erotica is necessary or gratuitous, I like to think some readers of romance would rather speculate on the fade to black moments themselves. Others love the chuckle because they know what happens under the sheets. To each his own I say. My coworkers would probably die of shock.

-Where can we read your work?

I’ve got excerpts of On The Way To New Isosceles on the website-graciously sponsored at jsnouff.com- and I’ve got a free chance to read Cracked from my blog and the Kristin Battestella Yahoo group. I’ve also reposted some excerpts on blogspot. Currently that’s it. As I said I’m a stickler, and I’m not sure anything is really in publishing form right now. I’d be too touchy putting up imperfect as I type editions of Horns of Myleness. I’m hoping to submit On The Way in January. It’s topped 70k. With edits I don’t think it will reach 80, 75 and change most likey. It was only supposed to be a short story and here we are with a full length novel that beyond its genre, would be perfect for a big print house.


-Do you recall your first encounter with erotica?

Hmm….I remember reading Arabian Nights for the first time and being really shocked yet glad the whole story isn’t in the abridged kids version. That would be really wrong. Orgies and incest, my God! Who looked at this and decided that if that was all cut out, it was okay for kids? A bit twisted somehow. I also really love Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It’s not about the sex, really! I’ve written a few commentaries on Chatterley. They’re posted at the blog.


-You are quite a Christian woman. How do you deal with the at odds nature of Religion and sex?

I don’t want to say they don’t conflict, because they do. I can see how it would offend some people. I just don’t personally perceive things that way. I didn’t think about writing sexual material until I first got involved with my husband. As a writer I had to get that emotional and, well yes, physical awakening on paper. Previously I found my romantic material too superficial and cliché. On The Way To New Isosceles is about two people who come to see the closure they can find in each other. The joy and companionship people should experience when they are free and attracted to each other-despite what other circumstances such as space factions and war may say. God’s best gift is said to be the love between a man and a woman. Erotic literature isn’t anything he doesn’t know about. It can’t compare to the real thing but when done with love, intimacy, and discretion, I don’t see erotica as anything more than food for thought. Reading erotica is an experience just like any other emotional book. Porn is just weird and purely for gratification. That’s kind of sick, to waste one’s time on gratification instead of intellect.


-Now, I recall you telling me Horns of Myleness is about a love triangle. How is that about love and intimacy if there is an odd person out?

Horns of Myleness is a cautionary erotica tale I think. It is dark, conflicting. I hope it really tears readers in two! There names may change yet, but should the Queen choose her King, who is really a beefy Arthurian warrior, or shall she run off with the darling misunderstood younger brother? Of course, wars and fantasy and unicorns-yes unicorns-will interfere along with emotions and betrayal and such. During my writing, there were times I hated the Queen for choosing one way or the other, ney then I loved her for following her heart. Unfortunately her choice is tied to the fate of Myleness. You want all to be happy, but you know it can’t be so. I hope readers will enjoy dividing over the boys, ala ‘Team Aniston’ and ‘Team Jolie’. I did. Where On The Way is about opening up, awakening, giving in to reasonable joys and desires, Horns of Myleness is in a way the opposite. Affairs usually turn out for the worst. It’s what can go wrong when caution is put on the wind.


-Which genre do you prefer? Favorite authors and books?


The genre of the moment. I like a lot of historicals and fantasies. SF. I like Dune, Darkover, Gormenghast. I was really disappointed with Mists of Avalon, though. I think I’ve grown out of MZB. I love King Arthur and similar stuff, but Mists kind of put me off it for awhile. I read a lot of religious material as well. I’m all for embracing polarity, what can I say?


Please note, Leigh's On The Way To New Isosceles is currently editing at Eternal Press! Congratulations!


For a list of interviews starring yours truly, check out The Vampire Family Blog! I may just be back to traumatize you further! Wooohaaa!


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