I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, and I am finally thrilled to do so. This interview is with an author whom I know some of you follow avidly (yeah, me too!): the simply extraordinary Byron Cane, also known as Lurv Spanking.
I am the first to admit that I am his biggest fan, both personally and professionally. So generous with his kindness (and his common sense), I have rarely met any author with such tenacity, such a way with words and naturally gifted with a beautiful writing style which I love describing as ‘quirky’, and such utter humility about his own creative abilities.
I managed to pin him down in between his prolific blogging and writing of other sexy stuff, and asked him all about his writing processes, his thoughts on erotica, and about his published (or soon to be published) work. I hope you find his answers as enthralling as I do. I am extremely proud to have him as a guest on my blog.
What drew you to writing? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do?
Actually, writing was never something I planned. I wrote poetry in high school and tried creative writing at times through my early 30’s, but I preferred to read. I never kept a journal or diary, and until Feb. 2006, had never considered writing at all. Through a series of personal circumstances, I started a blog about current events focusing on women’s rights. I found an audience, and by the summer of 2006, had started blogging daily, including poetry and short stories. One short story evolved into a full-length novel, self-published in 2007 under my real name. I burned out on blogging in 2012, and not until July 2016 did I finish my second novel, as well as begin blogging and writing again. I’ve not really been drawn to writing, as in having a burning story to tell; it’s more that, on occasion, there are words that need to come out.
What is it about erotica, in a general sense, that appeals to you?
Well, in a general sense, erotica spans so many definitions that reading and writing it becomes an exercise in futility at times. I like honest erotica. The kind where it flows within a logical story: logical meaning realistic within the context of the characters’ relationship. There are only so many ways to describe sex, but an infinite number of ways to emotionally get to the action. I don’t normally seek out erotica, but most novels these days have explicit sex in them.
That’s a really interesting point you make about modern-day books and their inclusion of explicit sex. And it’s ironic that one can find it easily in books with non-erotic labels; books that aren’t dungeoned by online retailers, books that these same systems allow to be advertised freely. But that’s a conversation for another day… Your focus is on spanking erotica. What is it that drives you to write about spanking?
I’m not sure that ‘driven’ is the correct way of describing my writing. I enjoy everything about consensual spanking, and working that into a piece of fiction is always a challenge. Spanking and erotica are two separate things, and until recently, I’ve focused almost entirely on the non-erotic kind of spanking. To many people who are spankos, the act is central to their being. For me, spanking always comes first in terms of attraction and the focus of a relationship, so that I guess is the motivating force in writing about spanking.
You write in different forms: informative fiction, non-fiction, poetry. What kind of writing do you prefer to write—and to read—most?
Poetry is, and always will be my first love. I don’t write a lot in comparison to my fiction, but whatever I write, the poem has deep meaning. I consider myself to be a poet who dabbles in fiction. As for my reading, it is very eclectic. The only genres I don’t read are true crime and westerns, along with a few types of romances. I compare reading to fishing: You cast a line, hook a book, and if you don’t like it, throw it back.
What a lovely image! I’d like to think that some reviewers had that mentality before leaving unpleasant reviews about books they haven’t actually read. How can you possibly leave a fair review if you never got past page two? (Sorry; Ina on a soapbox. Again, a whole other conversation for another time!).
Tell me about your characters. Are they entirely fictitious, or do you find bits of reality creeping in? How much of yourself do you find (intentionally or inadvertently) is instilled into your protagonists?
My characters are entirely fictitious: I mean, a vampire? Greek gods? I don’t base my characters on anyone in particular; they simply evolve through imagining me watching their lives as an unseen observer. Of course there is my bias and reality that color the narrative, but that is unavoidable for any author. I don’t write, wishing I were a character. They have their own lives and I am content with mine.
Interesting…I wonder how many authors, if they were honest, would be able to say the same?
There has been a lot of recent discussion among authors, erotica writers in particular, over the use of pen names, and the reasons authors choose to adopt one for their work. What are your views on this?
Pen names have always been used throughout history. I suppose the discussion revolves around privacy these days, rather than gender—at least in most places. I use Lurv Spanking and Byron Cane as pen names simply because I choose not to use my real name. It actually doesn’t have anything to do with hiding behind an anonymous identity, but rather, using a pen name frees me up to write in whatever manner I choose. Besides, how can you know if an author is using their real name without knowing them in person? I know many romance authors use multiple pen names depending on the genre and/or series they publish. Which is the ‘real name’? Aren’t they all?
Now, that’s very interesting. I completely agree, personally, that a pen name allows a freedom in writing that doesn’t feel afforded when using my own legal name. I often wonder if, to someone who knows me, there is any discernible difference between me as Ina, and me in any other guise.
Here’s a question for you, and one I have been honoured to have some insight into, and which I am fascinated by: Describe your process as a writer. How do you get from conception to finished piece? I’m also intrigued about sexual experience in your work. Does the erotic nature of the piece inform the story, or vice versa?
Argh! I be hatin’ de process mightily. My choice as a writer is not to struggle. If the words aren’t coming, and stroking and teasing the skittish prose does not create a surrender then I back off, and try again later. I see no reason to pull my thinning hair out trying to force paragraphs that don’t exist. I may not be as productive, but I am certainly less stressed.
Almost all my writing is based on a prompt of some kind. That doesn’t always mean from another blog, but can include something I read in print or online, or simply seeing something happen in person. The first thing that always occurs after the prompt triggers an idea is the title. My titles are part of the story: Either verbatim or at the very least, encompasses the concept in part or whole. Without a title, I cannot get very far into the story because it is too vague.
When I write, the first paragraphs set the tone, and I rarely edit them beyond tenses. Too me, as a reader, if I’m not hooked within the first page, I will likely not read much further. Depending how long the fiction is to be, I generally write in 2 to 3,000 word chapters. I am comfortable in writing in 100-word drabbles, and 100-word sentences. The finished piece is a misnomer. I tend to twerk—tweak—the words as I edit again and again. Invariably, after the work has been beta read and submitted, I will find more errors that have crept into the draft.
To get to that finish takes time. I always print out complete pages as they are completed, and read them many times, including out loud. I constantly edit as I go, so that the first chapter may have three edits, the second chapter one edit, and the later chapters none. If it is a novel, then each time I take a break, before I pick up where I left off, I read and edit from the beginning. This serves many purposes, but for me, it is primarily to immerse myself in the continuity and atmosphere of the story. I never write out of turn, and even if I know the ending, never put it to paper/screen ahead of time.
I have only recently begun writing for erotic submission calls, and I’ve found that my style has changed slightly. In a spanking blog post, or a novella or novel, the sexual experience is part of the story, not the marquee. Often I will be so engrossed in the plot, the sex will be shoved aside and I will have to reorder the pages to create an erotic interlude. In a short story for a specific submission prompt, I write with the sex taking center stage and the normal lush details and literary overlooks being streamlined.
I’m in complete awe. My writer’s brain is as much of a mess as my desk! I do believe there’s a blog post about writing processes due on here sometime soon…
I’m glad you mentioned your writing for submission calls, because I happen to know, having had the delight of beta reading for you, that you have had a short story accepted for publication in the forthcoming erotic anthology, Corrupted! Many, many congratulations on that! It’s wonderful news! Having bent the ear of the wonderful Anna Sky of Sexy Little Pages, I’ve been given permission to release a short extract from the gorgeous, thought-provoking and seriously HOT story, ‘Ghosting past Emily’:
Emiya (Emily) Muraoka, gripped the armrest of the Business Class seat as the 787
quivered like a nervous greyhound at the end of Haneda International’s runway 4. Her seatmate gave a smile likely meant to reassure—which she ignored—when the twin-engines roared to takeoff RPM and the heavy aluminum cylinder trundled down the
Her stare fixated on the blank video seat-back screen as she discretely pressed the
control clenched in her slick fist. The earplugs dampened the noise, but not the vibrations that caused her to breath out in trembling gasps.
Having an orgasm as the plane sundered tight bonds with Earth, was the only way
she coped with the fear of falling and the sickening lurch of half-G. The egg inside her vagina buzzed at its highest setting, the clitoral stem stroked faster than the most
I love this story! And, I can guarantee that, if you like this snippet from the beginning, then you’re in for a treat with the rest of it! Keep a lookout for Corrupted. It’s being released soon!
You have other published work. My favourite vampire, Sir Nachton MacRath (affectionately known by me as Sir Fang), has his spanking adventures in Lust in Lace, and you have another published novella, too. Tell me about this latest book. Where can we get hold of a copy?
My latest novella is called The Witch of Olympus Hollow and is available as part of the Lust in Spring anthology on Amazon Kindle. The blurb is as follows:
In Byron Cane’s, The Witch of Olympus Hollow, it’s 1952, and Gale Johnson is outraged when her parents send her packing to a tiny town in Appalachia to visit the mysterious great aunt she has never met. In the foothills of North Carolina, Gale will discover a wondrous birthright. A lifetime of discipline and sexual satisfaction awaits, but her destiny comes at a cost.
I know how gorgeous that novella is; it’s beautifully written and a joy to read, as is Sir McRath Thrashes his Valentine. I also know that it, and the lovely Sir Fang, will be available as individual books before very long, along with other works you’ve written (I won’t reveal any more details about that just yet…more on that anon…! But I will say (with my editor/publisher hat on) that it’s something I’m VERY excited about…!).
Now…after all that…if anyone wants to contact you, where can you be found?
What can I say? He’s just amazing! And I wrote more about Lurv Spanking being one of my favourite spanking authors in a post here.