Why Did You Choose to Selfpublish Instead of Taking The Traditional Route?
I’ve known many people who were published traditionally, but the joy of holding their printed book started to fade when they dealt with promotional expenses, discounts, returns and other costs. I think the erotic genre has a much more personal or intimate relationship between the author and the reader, which makes it ideal for self-publishing.
Self-publishing also allows the author to take greater risks and write eccentric books like Seduced by the Saucermen. The book is very erotic but also humorous, a combination that wouldn’t always appeal to a traditional publisher.
Did You Set Out To Become an Author as Your Main Profession?
I have always written, but it was primarily in theatre or film, creating independent projects. My primary focus had been on acting and modeling with some success. I won the People’s Choice Award in the Miss Universe Canada competition… yes I’m another Miss Universe type gone bad.
My path to writing erotica was unique. As an actress I had appeared in the Cinemax television series Lingerie, and then was one of the leads in the erotic cult movie Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot. After some initial awkwardness I really enjoyed doing these projects, and considered them to be acting out erotic fantasies. I want to point out that the sex is all simulated in those projects – they are erotica, not pornography.
In the same breath I’d been writing film and theatre projects as part of my curriculum – I have degrees in Theatre Arts and psychology from Toronto University. Writing was something I found more creatively fulfilling than acting.
After Sweet Prudence was released I was amazed at how many women really enjoyed the film, in part because they could see that the cast was having a good time. Then I sort of stumbled upon the huge number of erotic EBooks that was written be women, for women and thought, hey, maybe this is something to explore.
I mentioned that to the director of Sweet Prudence, suggesting that he write a follow-up book, but he turned around and said, “Well, why don’t you write a book?”
Since I knew the two main characters so well it was an interesting opportunity to take the ball and run with it. Knowing the characters took some of the fear out writing my first book, and allowed their voices to flow. The film’s director encouraged me to be creative and not worry about what anyone else, including him thought.
My second book The Keyhole is an entirely original concept, without the crazy humor. I think writing Seduced by the Saucermen gave me the confidence to make that leap. Now there’s no turning back.
Which Authors Have Inspired You The Most?
Well I grew up in a different culture, being raised in Bangladesh, India and the UAE so a lot of my early favorite authors would be lost on non-Hindi readers. But Murakami has been a huge influence in showing how you can completely free your mind on paper. Christopher Moore is another author I adore. His books like "Bloodsucking Fiends" and "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" are just brilliant.
Tell Us About Something You've Written.
Seduced by the Saucermen is a fun erotic romp that follows the film’s two main characters on a whole new adventure. It was a chance to have fun with the clichés of science fiction, particularly B-Movies about aliens. But in the same breath I played the erotic scenes straight, so erotic romance readers can enjoy them without the comedy intruding.
What Is Your Favorite Part of This Book, and Why Do You Think Readers Will Enjoy It?
My favorite parts are the character’s relationships. Prudence and Veruca are best friends connected at the hip – kind of like Lucy and Ethel if you will. We ladies all want a best friend we can count on when the chips are down and I think readers will embrace their unbreakable bond.
My other favorite characters are Peaches and her husband Eustace who, despite being eccentric, rural, want-to-be druids are completely devoted to each other. Even when they have sex it’s a competition to see which can please the other one more- always a win-win situation. Their romance may not be traditional, but it’s unstoppable and very hot.
Where Do You See Self-Publishing Going In The Future?
I think self-publishing will evolve into mini publishing, where creative people work to promote each other. That communal concept will keep costs down while extending the author’s reach to more readers. It’s an organic progression from where we are right now encompassing the best of both worlds. I’m lucky to have people like that around me. Of course I've only written two books, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Who Designed Your Cover Art?
Bill Burke, who directed Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot did the initial design and Photoshop work. Then Willsin Rowe did the final massaging and really added some great zing to it.
Cerys du Lys recommended Willsin. I do want to take a second to thank Cerys, who was incredibly helpful in giving pointers on promotion, cover art and general encouragement. I love her.
I was born in Bangladesh and raised in Bangalore, India and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I appreciate just how taboo it is for a woman raised in such a traditional culture to write about sex. I joyfully embrace that dichotomy and hope it inspires my readers to express their intimate desires more openly. I speak fluent Hindi, Bengali and Urdu. I hold dual degrees in Psychology and Theatre & Performing Arts from the University of Toronto.
I’ll continue exploring the world of literary erotica because I’ve had my fair share of challenges with relationships and being a very passionate lover I understand that struggle. I find Women think more creatively when it comes to sex and if you unleash her mind and senses, there is no such thing as boring sex and faking orgasms.
My author page with interviews and trailers is