Interview with Nikki Magennis, author of The New Rakes
Nikki Magennis is a young erotic writer with an amazing body of work already under her belt. We got the opportunity to talk to one of Black Lace's most modern and inspiring writers and find out what really makes her tick…
The New Rakes is Nikki's latest book published through Black Lace. Wonderfully well written and with a story-line that is both believable and exceptionally sexy, it is sure to join the classics in years to come.
Nikki has also managed to buck the trend of featuring unrealistic sex scenes and repetitive BDSM acts that have become the norm with many Black Lace books.
Instead, The New Rakes is full of hot sex, attractive characters and a page-turning plot line.
Of course, there's enough kinkiness to keep even the naughtiest of couples hot under the collar, but this also works as a great introduction to erotica too.
We spoke to Nikki to find out exactly what it takes to create such an incredible book…
How did you get into writing erotica?
I've always been fascinated by love in all its glory - including the dirty, juicy parts.
When I was working very hard at learning to write, it seemed like a pretty exciting challenge to try and write about sex. I made a tentative start with a short story and enjoyed it, so I came up with an idea for a novel and posted it to Black Lace.
Two years after I sent off the proposal - which must have been fished out of a mountainous slush pile - the editor contacted me and commissioned Circus Excite.
You have written both short stories and long novels, which do you prefer?
To be honest, short stories. A novel is a real labour of love. It takes a lot out of me to sustain that intensity over 75,000 words. And I have such a terrible attention span; I always want to be working on a hundred things at once. Short stories mean I can explore a lot of different ideas without having to do too much arduous and intricate plotting! And I love that you can really push the boat out with a short story – be more experimental with the ideas and the writing.
Sex and the arts seems to be a theme you come back to a lot in your writing, why is this?
In my other life, I'm a painter. I grew up among artists and theatre people, went to art school, and tend to hang out with musos and artists. I suppose I have a bit of an obsession with 'the arts' - I don't think I separate them from life at all, so it seems quite natural to explore that field in my work. Maybe I just find artsy characters interesting to write about - people who are all about exploration and experimentation.
The New Rakes is part of a new and refreshing breed of Black Lace books that doesn't follow the same formula as one's we've seen in the past. Is this something you decided for yourself or are Black Lace changing their direction and looking for new writers that fit their criteria?
Blimey, is it?! Thanks! I think Black Lace have always been a publisher that keeps striving for the highest quality of erotic writing. I know my editor at Black Lace keeps a close eye on market trends and I suppose erotica as a genre is always evolving. It's quite amazing to think how different the landscape was when Black Lace first started.
But I think publishers are mostly just looking for good quality writing. Trends come and go, but a good story, well written, is the most important thing. At least, that's what I try to aim for in my writing. I wish there was an easy formula - if there is then no-one's told me what it is!
What were your musical inspirations for the book? Did you have a playlist or soundtrack that helped you to create it?
Ooh, good question! Yes, I'm a music freak. I usually make playlists, either for the novel or the characters or both. They aren't always tracks I'd choose to listen to myself - ,Julia in Circus Excite had quite dubious musical taste. But it really helps to get me in the right mood for writing.
While writing The New Rakes I listened to a mix of punky poppy indie rocky electronic stuff - Goldfrapp, The Fall, the Stones, Moloko, The Pixies, David Bowie. Hopefully all that rock attitude came through in the characters!
I also made a song from the book, wrote the lyrics and scored it with a friend. I never quite got round to recording it, but I did make a little film using Garageband loops.
Are you a musician yourself or have you experienced the band lifestyle?
Alas, I can't sing for toffee,and haven't touched an instrument since school. I played clarinet so badly my tutor cried. That's why I had to use loops for the film soundtrack!
As for the other - *cough*. I shall just smile sweetly and you can make up your own mind, okay?
What are you working on at the moment?
Lots! A paranormal story, which is ace fun and something I haven't tried before. A secret story I'm very, very excited about. And a collection of short stories that I'm dithering about with and a bit scared to submit. It's always nerve-wracking making a proposal - I want it to be commissioned, but then I have a book to write and the pressure is enough to drive you to drink.
Do you have any tips for our budding erotic writers on the site?
Well, the single biggest help that I've had was joining an online crit group - the fish tank at desdmona's. It was terrifying and amazing in equal measures and I learned a vast, vast amount, both from the comments and advice of the wonderful writers there, and from the process of critiquing others' work.
Other than that - read all the erotica you can. All the classics (Nin, Bataille, Miller, etc.) and contemporary writers - Black Lace anthologies are a wonderful place to find good, sexy writing, as are the Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica and anything edited by Alison Tyler.
To find out more about Nikki and her upcoming projects, please visit her blog and check her author page in the very near future!
This powerful vibe is waterproof and comes with 4 different textured caps so you can treat yourself to a nice, energising shower as soon as you're done reading!