Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I write about sex, travel, and ninjas – though not necessarily in that order.
I first began my writing career chronicling Montrealers’ sexcapades in my “V for Vixen” sex column, which have now been collected together in my book, The Vixen Files. Jumping off of that point, I started to blend real-life observations and fictional fantasies to create books like The Montreal Guide to Sex, 69 Sexy Haiku, parts 1 and 2 of my serial novel, Naked Montreal, and a series of Quickies, which are super-short erotic reads.
In addition to my writing career, I also edit the online literary magazine Black Heart while leg-pressing Sumo wrestlers and drinking coffee. I live in an Apocalypse-proof bunker in sunny SoCal with my artist husband and our literary kitties, and can be found online at Buttontapper.com.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I’ve just completed a nonfictional sex-ed book called Play With Me: Sex Toys from A to Z, which is an ebook for adults curious about exploring the wonderful world of sex toys, and I hope to write more books in what I call the Sexy Self-Help series this year.
This book was actually inspired by a blogging challenge called the “A to Z April Challenge,” where you’re supposed to write posts centered around each letter of the alphabet. I thought that was a great way to organize a book about sex toys, since they really do span the alphabet in terms of names and types of toys, so the book grew out of the blog posts I originally wrote in April 2014.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
As an erotic writer, I do enjoy writing in my underwear — but only when it’s warm out! However, I do live in SoCal, so that’s most of the year.
I also like to write my first drafts as fast as possible, ever since I competed in the 3-Day Novel Contest. That’s not to say that I immediately publish my books after writing them, but I do like to write my books quickly, then set them aside to work on something else, so that I can come back to a complete manuscript when I’m ready for the editing process. I don’t think it works well for me to spend years toiling over a book, so I try to set aside time to write a full first-draft in a few weeks, and then let it simmer in my subconscious for a while, rather than trying to keep coming back to the page fresh every day for months on end.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
In terms of erotic books, I’ve been influenced by all the greats: The Story of O, The Happy Hooker, Secret Diary of a Call-Girl, and pretty much any story I could find with sex in it. I’ve also been influenced by more literary titles like Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers (check out the sentient vibrator scene; it will definitely make you ponder your fetishes and fantasies!), and by all the troubled relationships in literary fiction. I’m also more into writing humorous stories, so David Sedaris is a big influence in that area, as is Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on adding more books to my Sexy Self-Help series. The title I’m currently banging out is called “No More F*ing Weirdos: Online Dating for People Who Are Sick of Drama, Delusions and Douchebags,” and it’s a collection of dating horror stories and tips. It should definitely be a humorous read for anyone who’s tried online dating.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Book promotion is definitely the hardest part, so I like to try a little bit of everything to get my books noticed and keep my name in front of readers. I’m on social media, usually posting humorous updates, and just trying to be entertaining. Ultimately, though, the best way to promote your books is to keep on writing new ones!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing, keep promoting, and definitely keep on learning. Read books in your genre, and offer to help one another. It’s good karma, and you’ll make new friends, too.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” -Benjamin Franklin
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading a bunch of different books, as always. I’ve got “Sit. Stay. Heal. How Meditation Changed My Mind, Grew My Heart, and Saved My Ass” by Spike Gillespie to inspire me, “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors and the Playboy Mansion” by Izabella St. James on my nightstand, and “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride” by Cary Elwes for some light reading. I’m also reading Jessica McHugh’s “The Green Kangaroos” to scare the living daylights out of me, as far as junkie fiction goes. And there are half a dozen book marketing ebooks on my Kindle, too.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing, of course! I’m looking forward to writing lots more nonfiction books in 2015, as well as adding more installments to my fictional Naked Montreal series (of which there are currently two books). I’d actually love to start a podcast one of these days, though I’m not sure I have enough time at the moment.
What is your favorite book of all time?
OF ALL TIME?! That’s an impossible question to answer, since I’m always falling in love with new books, but the book I most frequently give to friends (and, thus, infrequently have on my actual bookshelf) is Beautiful Losers. It’s something I really wish I’d written, with a great blend of sacred and profane — and virtually guaranteed to piss everyone off.