Welcome to Hannah.
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, back and forth between Quebec and Ontario. Currently I’m pretty settled in Southern Ontario.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write erotica. I really enjoy writing about relationships between people and I use sex to symbolize different aspects of the relationships. I’ve recently been really into paranormal/fantasy type stories and have begun a series of short stories under the series title, “Irish Fantasy”. Paradoxically, I’ve also started a series called “Average People Having Average Sex” which is exactly what it sounds like so I’m kind of all over the board.
Where do you find inspiration? My best inspiration usually from personal experiences. My worst inspiration comes from history and mythology. These tend to lead to really complicated, convoluted plots that end up in the garbage.
Do you have a favourite character? If so why? No, that wouldn’t be fair.
Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Not really. In fact I love all my characters, even the horrible ones.
Are your characters based on real people? I can’t help but base my characters on real people. Even when I don’t start out with that intention, I often find half way through a piece of dialogue that a character has morphed into someone I know. It’s kind of a weird subconscious issue for me, but I think it gives an element of realism to my stories.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Hahaha no, that’s a good idea though…
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? Kind of. Not really. Maybe. I think it’s important to have some kind of theme that ties it all together so that it’s not just gratuitous sex. There’s not necessarily a message in my writing, but usually an emotional dilemma that some how gets worked out, expressed, or exasperated through sex.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Currently my books are available in e-book because they’re not long enough to warrant a print edition. In future, I plan to have a collection of them printed together in one book.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I have an editor. I think it’s important to have someone tell me when something is terrible and makes no sense. Some people write things better the first time than I do so maybe they don’t need one.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Oh yeah definitely. It’s so easy to self publish that you can publish just about anything these days. Literally you could just write “book” on a word doc and publish it on Amazon within ten minutes. I don’t think anyone would argue that there are many self-published books that fall below the standard of traditional publishers and good self published books can easily get lumped in with these ones. There’s also the issue that since self published authors can’t offer the same discounts to retailers, their books rarely appear in book stores, giving the impression that self-published books aren’t “good enough” to be sold in stores. In addition to all of this, I think there’s a perception that people only self publish when traditional publishers fail to respond to their work. I don’t know how true this is, but I think it’s becoming less and less true as time goes on.
Do you read work by self-published authors? Yup. There are some good ones for sure.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? I’ve heard this is a faux-pas so it’s something I would never do because I don’t want to look like a dweeb, but I do think there’s something to be said for interacting with readers. Maybe that just isn’t the platform to do it on.
When buying a book do you read the reviews? I read reviews when I buy anything.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? I’ve read that reading is actually really good for developing empathy and that children who learn to read late in life aren’t affected intellectually at all, but can be delayed emotionally. After learning that, I’ve found evidence that supports it in my personal life and I’ve been a huge promoter of literacy programs ever since.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Keep writing, get honest feedback about your work and don’t let criticism get you down, but treat it as being very valuable.
Do you have any pets? No. I used to keep dogs in my home for an animal rescue program and while I did love them, it made me realize that I never want a pet. I did it for a year until I had to move out of the area. It was incredibly rewarding and I still love dogs, but I was always really relieved when they got adopted to a permanent home.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I can’t whistle. I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t do it.
FOR EROTICA AUTHORS
As a writer of erotica have you encountered any prejudice? How have you dealt with it? Do you write under a pen name? I haven’t encountered any prejudice. I find I treat people with respect and I get respect back from them. There are some people who don’t like erotica and that’s great. I don’t like a lot of things too.
Where do you think the lines are drawn between romance, erotica and porn? Other people would probably argue with me on this one and maybe they would be right, but since you asked me, I would say that romance focuses mainly on the relationship and emotions and sex may or may not be a part of that. In erotica the emotions are an excuse for sex and in porn… it’s just the sex.
I think I kind of straddle the line between erotica and romance by this definition. The reason why I would never call my writing romance is because I don’t want to be trapped by the readers expectations of a romance story. They usually want to see two beautiful people meet, fall in love and end up with a happily ever after and if that’s not what they get, they’re going to be unsatisfied. Some people write very good romance stories that meet reader expectations. I don’t think I could tell a story like that and make it feel genuine.
Erotica is not a new genre do you think it is becoming more accepted into mainstream reading? Slowly but surely! I think some people will always curl their nose at it. You can only expect that when it comes to sex, not everyone will be comfortable reading and talking about it.
Book links, website/blog and author links: http://www.amazon.com/Act-Three-Hannah-L-Wing-ebook/dp/B00P46ZHJ4/