Odalisque - The Inside Scoop from Author Fleur Reynolds!
Fleur Reynolds was one of the first Black Lace writers and as soon as her first book Odalisque was released in 1994, it became an instant classic. We caught up with Fleur to ask her about her work and getting her stories printed by the fabulous publisher Black Lace.
Perfect for a night in alone or for sharing with your partner, Odalisque is a book that you'll get utterly immersed in. The best thing about the book is that it's written for women but has enough diversity and hot sex scenes that it'll be equally as enjoyable for men, too!
How do you feel about being part of the exciting Black Lace 15th Anniversary Editions?
I was absolutely thrilled when Adam (Erotica Editor at Virgin Publishing Ltd.) rang to tell me that Odalisque had been chosen as part of the 15th Anniversary Editions. Odalisque was one of the first Black Lace books published and I knew it had become a classic of the genre; nevertheless, further recognition is most gratifying.
What inspired Odalisque?
I wanted to write a really sexy and sensual book with a good story that would hold the interest of both men and women. Although Black Lace is written for women by women, many of the women I know like to read erotica to their men as foreplay.
I wanted sexy and intelligent women as my heroines and I had never been able to find a book that was unmitigatingly sexy with a good story so I wrote it Incidentally, the same applies to 'adult' movies. They are generally appalling both in concept and execution. There is nothing beautiful, languid, sexy or sensual in any of the movies I've ever been unfortunate enough to see, (if only in part) the music alone makes one run a mile. There is one exception: the Japanese 'Desire of the Senses' but the difficulty with this film is its (violent and unsexy) ending. However, most of it is loving and sensuous, exciting and very sexy. It was one of the inspirations for Odalisque.
Odalisque is unlike any erotica I've ever read before! The sex scenes are super detailed and explorative and you really get a sense of each character, what makes them tick and their involvement. Is this just the way you write in general or something that happened to fit in rather nicely with the style and setting of the book?
I had to think quite hard about this question and decided that it is something that happened to fit in rather nicely with the style and setting of the book.
I personally think that the voyeuristic elements allow both men and women who are more into pornography than erotica to have something to identify with and really get involved in the book. Was this a conscious decision when writing the book? Do you think it would have any effect on the readership if the voyeurism wasn't included?
The voyeurism is a vital part of the book. It helps draw people in to the story.
Some of the acts in the book, particularly the one's involving Jeanine and her punishment, are reminiscent of those in Story of O. Have you read Pauline Reage's book and would you say that parts of it could be considered homage?
Yes, I have read Pauline Reage's book. I thought it was tremendous but strangely, almost unsexy as it was so S&M based. Homage? No, because I think 'O' took its S&M to lengths I didn't think my characters would want to go to.
The word 'odalisque' actually refers to a virgin female slave who assisted concubines and sultan's wives. At first I found Jeanine to represent this role but later in the book I felt that Auralie had replaced her. Was this something you kept in mind or did it just come naturally when you were writing the book?
I love the word Odalisque, it is so feminine, so rounded but with the hard 'que' at the end it becomes almost the sound of an orgasm. This book was always called Odalisque, and the changes between the women happened naturally. They, and it, grew organically.
Are you working on anything new that we can look out for in the future? Maybe a follow up to the fabulous Odalisque?
I am not working on any erotica at the moment. However, my Black Lace book The House in New Orleans is a sort of follow up to Odalisque as some of the characters reappear within its pages. It might be slightly different in style: I lived for a while in New Orleans and the story is infected with the lazy, sexy heat of Lousiana.