ROMANCE WRITER: LUSH SENSUAL GOTHIC READS
Thanks for stopping by and your interest in what I’m up to! Below an author interview which I thought could also serve as some background about me, my life and why I write what I write.
Q: What do you write?
A: I write lush, sensual stories set in Victorian England. They skirt the edge of Gothic eroticism and dark romanticism giving them a rich, moody feel. They are ‘niche’ Historical Romance.
Q: What would you say are your influences?
A: I am strongly influenced by fairy-tales… not the Walt Disney kind, but how they used to be told; the old ones that held real darkness to overcome, were often darkly sexual and where the rewards for undertaking the journey were often not what you expected. Also Jung, his collective unconscious, synchronicity, and archetypes. I have a deep connection with symbols, story and the human spirit which I aim to express in my writing.
I also don’t think of myself so much a writer as a novelist – the story is what drives me rather than a passion to write in and of itself.
Q: What drives you to write the characters you do? They are not typical of the genre.
A: I have a deep affection for the wounds and shadows which make us uniquely and poignantly beautiful. Deep inner wounds are my speciality. Like many of us, my heart has been broken and bruised … the cracks and breaks lovingly tended. These breaks have added depth, compassion, equanimity and knowledge to my life. More often than not it is these breaks which are the well that I draw on in living, more than the light joyous moments. Naturally, the dark and broken beauty of life is the landscape I would find myself writing in.
Q: Why the Victorian Era?
A: I chose the Victorian era for a few reasons.
The first is corsets. What is sexier than all that unlacing? LOL
Seriously, it is very suitable to the moodiness and deep seated sexuality that comes from our shadow self, from our breaks and wounds. And… there were some very eccentric things going on with those Victorians that drew me to write in their time.
On the surface they had tight social protocols and yet under the surface there was a mass of sexual liberties and activities. It isn’t so different today, that tug of war between what we know we should do and be, and what churns within us, what we are and hold back.
The Victorian era was a world on the brink of change, advancements being made all the time and social layers dismantling. Freud was mapping out the human psyche and enmeshing it in sexual drives and foundations. Men arriving from the country created a demand for erotic photographs as they were unable to pay for physical comforts. There were disproportionate numbers of flagellation brothels and the Contagious Disease Act made prostitution manageable under the law triggering the first recognized fight for Victorian feminism.
There was a morbid fascination with death where families had photographs taken with the recently deceased and pinning for the loss of a loved one was seen as amazingly romantic. It was a time when science was making wild steps forward sometimes in bizarre and frightening directions.
The expansion of the British empire brought multicultural citizens to London. Other parts of the world were growing like the opening of Japan and it’s massive rise from a feudal nation to one that was a modern driving force, and with it the cultural influx into the west which became known as Japonism. There were so many elements that brought the world and its treasures to Great Britain that allow for fabulous story telling.
I think you get the idea. It was exciting, turbulent and a incubator for the future.
In this world, with these kind of back drops, I think the Victorians explored and grappled with many of the things we still do today. I think the themes that come out are relevant to us as contemporary readers, and reading about them historically allows us to show contradictions, foibles and eccentricities more clearly.
Having said that I haven’t endeavored to make a sociological statement … I simply like to write about love, sexuality and relationships.
Q: If you don’t mind me asking, where do you come from you don’t sound Australia?
A: I was born in the Netherlands, born in the house below, top left window to be exact. There is a chestnut tree over on the right where my father buried the afterbirth. This house and the surrounding forest is my idea of ‘home’. It has long passe out of our family and I live in a different hemisphere and continent but I guess a part of me is still there connected to the land.
The place where I live now is rural in semi tropical Queensland Australia. It’s lush and green if a little more ‘Australian’ in its landscape. I live with my partner of over 30 years and a follow you everywhere dog.
Thanks again for your interest!
Mask by Damselfrau