K D Grace Reveals all to Fellow Erotic Author Lucy Felthouse in an Exclusive Interview
K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned how to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.
Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, and Scarlet Magazine.
K D's critically-acclaimed erotic romance novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, published by Xcite Books, is Lovehoney's Erotic Book of the Month for June. Buy the 5 star-rated book by K D Grace and get a Lovehoney Powerful Pocket Vibrator absolutely free - a super-charged erotic evening is practically guaranteed.
1. K D, tell us about how you got started writing erotica.
I’ve always enjoyed writing the sex scenes in whatever fiction I was writing. They were actually my favourite parts, and I was good at writing them. Unlike a lot of my writer friends, I didn’t find it hard to write the naughty bits. When I first saw Scarlet Magazine’s section for erotica called ‘Cliterature', I thought to myself, ‘I can write that.’ I sent off a story called ‘The Night Bus’ and Scarlet bought it. That was the beginning…
2. How long have you been writing? Where else can we read your work?
I’ve been writing ever since I first learned to write, actually, and before that I drew very bad pictures to tell stories. I have stories in nineteen anthologies with several more coming out this summer. You can find links to all of those anthologies on my website, www.kdgrace.co.uk. You can get my novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, anywhere now, including Lovehoney, I’m very pleased to say. My novel, The Pet Shop, is out in eBook format at the moment, but will be released in paperback in October.
3. Your debut novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, begins in a train carriage stranded in the channel tunnel. Can you tell us more about the inspiration for this opening scene?
I was actually stuck on a train in the dark in the channel tunnel for four and a half hours a couple of years ago. When I was able to use my BlackBerry to let friends know I was okay, a couple of my writing friends laughingly said, ‘Oh we can hardly wait to read what your nasty imagination will make out of this.’ That got me thinking about an encounter in a dark, stranded train where our heroine never sees her lover’s face. That got me wondering if I could continue the couple’s heated encounters and somehow manage to keep the man’s face a mystery, a Psyche and Eros sort of situation. And that was how it all started.
4. The Initiation of Ms Holly is also loosely based on the myth of Psyche and Eros. Could you tell us a little about the background of the myth, and how this is woven into your tale?
I love Greek mythology – any type of mythology, actually, but I’m most familiar with Greek, and one of my favourite stories is Psyche and Eros. Psyche is married off (read: left to be a sacrifice) to the monster of the mountain because her father has bragged about her beauty and dared compare her to the gods, so in order to save his country (he is the King) he has to sacrifice her. But instead of being killed horribly by a monster, Psyche is taken away to a lovely mansion and treated like the bride, but her new husband only comes to her in the dark, and he forbids her to see his face. When her sisters come to visit, they convince her that he is a monster and the fact that he won’t let her see his face proves it. So at night while he is sleeping, she takes the oil lamp and holds it up to see his face, only to discover that she is actually married to Eros, the god of love himself. But a drop of oil from the lamp falls on him and he wakes up to realize what she has done. She is banished, and in order to be restored to him she must complete a number of impossible tasks. Against all odds she succeeds and is restored to her husband.
I’ve set my story in present day London with a few twists and turns and some kinky poetic licence, but, like Psyche, Rita Holly doesn’t get to see her Edward’s face until her tasks are finished.
5. The book has obviously been well received – I've read some glowing reviews! How do you feel about that?
I’m over the moon, as you can imagine! I mean I thought it was good, I hoped it was good, but it’s my baby, after all, and I’m supposed to feel that way. It’s really fabulous to know that other people like my baby too.
6. Your second novel, The Pet Shop, has just been made available in eBook format, with the paperback launch in October. Could you tell us a little about it?
If The Initiation of Ms Holly is a retelling of Psyche and Eros, The Pet Shop is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I wrote a story several years ago for the Black Lace anthology, Sexy Little Numbers, called ‘On Keeping Pets.’ I fell in love with the main character, Tino, who is a human pet for hire with a life in the real world that no one would ever suspect. I always felt the story should be a novel, so when I pitched it to Xcite Books and they liked the idea, The Pet Shop was born.
It’s the story of a work-obsessed woman, Stella James, who jokingly mentions to her colleague that as hard as she works the company ought to at least make provisions for an occasional shag now and then. A few weeks later Tino arrives as a token of the company’s appreciation for a job well done. But no one is counting on the chemistry nor the obsession that develops between the two, which interferes handily with everybody’s plans. I loved writing The Initiation of Ms Holly, and I always have fun with what I write, but I have to admit, writing The Pet Shop was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. I’m very excited about it.
7. What are your favourite and least favourite parts about writing a book?
My favourite part of writing a book has to be the point when I’m so pulled into the story that the characters and the plot are more real to me than real life. I’m transported. I eat, breathe, and dream the story, and for a little while I’m someplace no one else has ever been. It’s such an exhilarating time in the writing experience.
My least favourite part is letting go for the final time. I think I would actually grieve if I didn’t have something lined up to start work on immediately after I’ve sent my baby out into the world. It really is empty nest syndrome, and the only way to combat it is to start something else fast.
8. What are your favourite and least favourite parts about launching a book?
My favourite part is the celebration. I had a fabulous launch party when The Initiation of Ms Holly launched and I think it was a week before my feet touched the ground again.
The Initiation of Ms Holly was my first novel, so the worst part was all the fear and self- doubt that surfaced in the final few weeks leading up to the launch. I was borderline depressed almost all that time. I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that this was really happening to me, this wonderful thing I’d dreamed about my whole life and worked my butt off for, that this was now my reality. It all had to be too good to be true. I was a neurotic mess. Only later did it hit me that the only thing scarier than failure is success. All that passed and the launch happened and it was fabulous and since then the whole experience has been amazing, if sometimes pretty scary.
9. You're a fan of walking and the outdoors. Does this inspire your writing, or is it an escape?
Yes to both. I guess you could say walking is the escape that inspires my writing. I can leave the house with whatever concerns me about writing weighing on my mind then after a while it all clears out of my head and I’m just walking, just being present to what’s around me listening to the sky larks and admiring the countryside. Then at some point things shift in my head again and I’m actually walking the story. It’s kind of like coming to the top of a steep hill and seeing an amazing view that you never expected. By the time I’m home again, I’m always ready to write.
10. With two books and a multitude of short stories out there, what's next for you? What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my first ever erotic paranormal romance, the first book in a trilogy. It’s called Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising. The novels take place in the Lake District. They are the story of one coven of witches called the Elementals, fighting a foe who is hell-bent on destroying them and their unique form of sex magic. I’m very excited about the trilogy, and one of the best parts, so far, has been two trips to the Lake District to do research. Since I'm an avid walker, a trip to the Lakes is the kind of ‘suffering for my art’ I’m very happy to do.
About Lucy Felthouse
During Lucy’s first year studying Creative Writing at the University of Derby, she was dared to write an erotic story. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance and Xcite Books. Find out more at www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.