Fly: Hello Spike. Why are you ztaring at me that way?
Spike: You just made it seem as if I’ve been having sex with a fly. And you called yourself 6 foot 5!
Fly: What? No!
Spike: Yes! May I please clarify to the readers that we are talking about Elsa and Joe, my owners, and protagonists of the story, Not My Type. And also that I am not 300 pounds. Rather slim and in shape instead.
Fly: Damn! All that voyeurizm haz zeriouzly miztuned my brain. Zorry, Spike. But you truly are adorable, ezpecially with your batlike earz.
Spike: Right. Look, it’s my fault. I was the one who actually introduced them to each other.
Fly: How was that?
Spike: It was at the beach. Joe and I were strolling along when I saw Elsa bend over the water. She wasn’t thinking straight. As it turns out, her excessive weight had gotten the best of her mind. So I ran to her to rescue. What I didn’t know, unfortunately, is that my hunky master has a thing for curvy women. Hmpf.
Fly: Take heart, ol’ boy. You’re French. Love was inevitable. What’z their ztory been like?
Spike: Well, Elsa was going about her cooking skills, set to publish her cookbook and generally despondent coz of her weight. She’s been in disbelief as to her lucky stars ever since they got together. She never expected to land up with a hotshot like Joe head over heels for her. And it all goes well - a bit too well, I’m afraid - until she discovers she has Type 2 Diabetes. And then things get complicated.
Fly: I zenze relief in your voice.
Spike: Well, you haven’t had to watch them go at it as much as me. Ever spent days, weeks and months exposed to incessant porn without break? It’s horrific.
Fly: It’z the flavour of the decade, no? Mozt ztoriez, mozt books are purpozefully zexualized. It zellz.
Spike: That you'd have to ask the author, Emma. She's the one who wrote the thing, after all.
Fly: Emma Caruso it iz! Welcome, dear. We’re on a touch-y topic here.
Emma: Thanks Spike! I can see that Fly. And to answer your question... yes, but nothing is good in extremes. Do people buy books to satisfy a sexual craving or to read a good story? What we have today is effectively a new version of the porn industry in effect - A literary one that makes it legal in all countries.
Fly: In that caze, are we to draw a parallel between bookz and moviez? Juzt the way Porn or B-grade moviez are clearly diztinguizhed from other mainstream onez.
Emma: I think these types of books appeal to a more cerebral audience than those who watch porn but in the end, it all comes down to the libido.
Fly: Zo how much or what kind of zexual narration would you guyz conzider appropriate?
Spike: I think it depends on the person reading it. Who's to say what is too much sex in a book? Not me. I'm just a dog.
Emma: I have to agree with Spike... it depends on the person and what the sex in the book is meant to do. Does it illustrate a relationship or is it the sole focus of the book? Those are important elements.
Fly: I zee two izzuez here. Firzt, A-lizt moviez, regardlezz the zex content, are zeen az more upscale or acceptable, and thuz, have a higher brand, thankz alzo to the production company and the actorz involved. The otherz are looked at differently and also zell in different channelz. What would the zcenario be like for bookz?
Emma: There are two ways it could go with books, too. Some books could be labeled "mommy porn" and relegated to a shelf in the back, whereas others are elevated to movie-worthy status. But what makes one different from the other? Why is one singled out for high ranking and the other isn't, particularly if both have the same topic?
Fly: Fair enough. The zecond izzue - how would new or zmaller authorz feel incentivized to write a good ztory not focuzzed on selling itself through zex alone? Many are motivated by the earning potential of the book, after all.
Emma: I think authors have to try to get away from the almighty dollar. If a book needs to be a sex book, then so be it. But authors beware... you might not have an instant best seller just because you threw in some whips and blindfolds and kinkiness. The book needs to have substance in order to be noteworthy.
Fly: Give uz an example or two of authorz who have gotten it right, both through the individual dezcription of zex and itz integration in the ztory.
Emma: Well, Diana Gabaldon, for one. She is the author of the popular Outlander series and her books do have some pretty steamy sex scenes in them. The difference? Her books are not *about* sex. They're about Scottish Highlanders and the Jacobite uprising... they're sustanstiative, in other words. The sex is just a by product of the relationship between the two main characters and it is used in a context that only strengthens the reader's understanding of the ties that bind them. Sex is not the main attraction (forgive the pun).
Fly: Well, you have left out yourzelf. The plot of “Not My Type” thrazhez the obzezzion with thinnezz in women. Elsa iz fat and having a wonderful time with a hot dude. You zhould be proud.
Emma: Well, thanks! But I firmly believe that hot dudes like curvy women and hot dudes like skinny women... a hot dude (most all dudes, really) who like women has his own opinion of what makes a woman hot. Joe likes Elsa the way she is and many women, Elsa included, have a hard time accepting that because they are taught from a young age that, no matter what their body type, it's not good enough. Even when Elsa loses weight because of her diabetes, she still has a hard time believing Joe will continue to find her attractive. It's tragic. Fat girls, skinny girls, and all girls in between can find love.
Fly: Mozt of your protagoniztz are women. Do I zee an inclination towardz an exprezzion of female power?
Emma: I have daughters... I want them to understand being a woman comes from a place of power, rather than weakness. Men and women are equal, neither is better than the other. That's what makes them so fantastic: they complement each other.
Fly: Finally! Zomeone who zaid it right. Yez, neither is better than the other. Unfortunately, few understand what that meanz. Coming to you, what doez Emma do when zhe’z not writing?
Emma: I enjoy spending time with my family and various pets-though not a French bull dog yet; I may have to get one now and name him Spike - and I like spinning yarn. I am a voracious reader, too.
Spike: Awww. She likes me, she really likes me!
Fly: Of course zhe doez. It'z obviouz all over the book! Emma, you zaid once that az an author, you zpend a lot of time ztaring into zpace, get inzpired at ztrange and wonderful timez, people watch and go through zleeplezz nightz . . .
Emma: Inevitably so, I’m afraid. Don’t you too?
Fly: Me? No. Why do you think I have zomeone else (there you go, Mr. Upadhyay) write my ztory!
Emma: True that, home Fly.
Fly: Well, it’z been an inspiring converzation. Much to ponder over, and much to read through. Readers, you can read all about Spike's amorous turmoil here.
Fly: Before we go Emma, do offer uz a zneak peek into one of your ztoriez, before we go. And pleaze alzo tell uz what the next book iz about and when doez it come out?
Emma: My next story is about Charlotte, a young widow, who buys a bed and breakfast in the same coastal town that Joe and Elsa live in. It's not a sequel, but some familiar faces do show up in the next book, called No Easy Way Inn. Charlotte bites off more than she can chew with her new venture but her handsome neighbor-also the B&B's long time caretaker-might just be the salvation she didn't know she was looking for. Here's a peek:
Charlotte slept uneasily that night in one of the empty beds upstairs. She had her sleeping bag with her, so she unrolled it on a bare mattress and called it good. A quick trip to the store after Jared Cameron left gave her the opportunity to have dinner in peace. Alone.
She sipped on a fairly good bottle of White Zinfandel while nibbling on cheese, crackers, and fruit. She purposefully pushed all thoughts of the caretaker from her mind and focused firmly on thoughts of future plans for the Inn. She made mental lists of things that needed to be done and ticked off each item one by one as the answers and order of operations came to her. Unfortunately, a great many of those things would require her to seek out Jared Cameron for help, such as hiring staff, discussing the state of the roof, and walking the grounds again to see if any brush needed clearing or maintained.
She brushed her teeth in the upstairs bathroom and clicked off the lamp as she slipped into her sleeping bag. The exciting events of the day caught up with her, and possibly some residual head trauma, and she slipped seamlessly into dreamland.
She dreamed, too, lucidly and vividly. In the incohesive manner of dreams, she found herself suddenly alert and in the middle of an argument with a man, one she knew but didn't know. Her sleeping mind helpfully filled in his features: stormy eyes, russet stubble, broad shoulders, narrow waist... the shadows of her dreamworld painted hollows beneath his cheekbones and his perfectly formed lips shaped themselves into a charming and mischievous smile. Her own lips smiled in return as she slept.
She felt his strong, warm fingers slide up the smooth flesh of her calves. Dream-Charlotte smirked at dream-Jared. "I thought they were too skinny."
"They are perfection," dream-Jared whispered, his brogue even more pronounced with desire. Charlotte felt her skin dimple with goosebumps, both at his touch and at his words. His fingers traveled ever upward, skimming across her thighs before his index fingers tugged her panties down over her hipbones. She moaned in response; it had been so long since she had been touched this way, and her body craved it like a junkie craves their drug.
Fly: No Eazy Way Inn. Love it. Thankz zo much, Emma! And you Spike. Az for the readerz, hope you enjoyed that bit and can wait until the releaze. For now, you guyz can get back to you-know-what.
Happy doing it,
For more Author Interviewz & Book Reviewz, check out Earth.
Bookz featuring me:
An Enlightened Fly
The Fly That Followed Me
Kalki Evian - The Ring of Khaoriphea
Malay A. Upadhyay
Gilbert Literary Agency