Charlotte Stein is a talented and prolific writer of erotica and erotic romance. Her story "The Return" is one of the eighteen fabulous fantastical tales in Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women. Blending mystery and eroticism in a modern setting, "The Return" leaves the reader pondering what she might do if the man she married returned from a long trip and was not at all like the man she remembered...
Give the basic premise for your story. Is it a contemporary, historical, fantasy setting?
It's a contemporary story, and though it's not really based on a fairytale, it's based on something very fairytale like (for me, anyway)- The Return of Martin Guerre.
[Editor's note: The true story of Martin Guerre is a fascinating tale, indeed.]
What do you think makes your story a fairy tale? How does it fit in the fairy tale genre?
Personally, I just think the idea of someone returning from somewhere, suddenly not the person they were before, is very fairytale-ish. The Return of Martin Guerre is so rich with what I think of as the visuals of fairytales, but it's the story at the heart of it that I find somehow creepy and romantic and magical and twisted all at the same time. That, to me, is the essence of a fairytale.
How long have you been writing erotica?
Seventeen years. Two of them actually trying for and getting published. Yeah- I know. I was a scaredy-cat.
What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?
Tigerlily. It's technically a novella that should be out through Total-E-Bound in July, and it's my favourite because it's about that fairytale world I love so much, and because it made me sob at the end. I have others that made me cry writing them, that pushed me to carry on, that meant a lot to me, but Tigerlily means more because it's about all the things I loved as a child- Labyrinth, Return To Oz...all of that nonsense.
What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?
Love it. Don't try writing erotica/erotic romance unless you love it. And no matter what, don't give up. You are always, always two minutes away from someone somewhere saying yes.
What is your writing routine like?
Like the routine of a mental case. I work in the afternoons and evenings, come home, start writing around midnight. Then I write until sometimes as much as 11am, before sleeping until 4-5pm.
Some days, I don't see the sun. I stumble out into it, like a mole.
Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”
I lecture in creative writing at a local college.
Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?
Over At The Frankenstein Place, and the soundtrack to Starman. The usual things.
Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?
I think it's in part because all those little girls like me who loved Labyrinth and Princess Bride and Company of Wolves and all of those great eighties fantasy films are now grown up and wanting more!
What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?
I love anything fantasy, sci-fi, horror. Any mix of those and erotic romance/erotica and I'm all over it. But in particular I love Emma Holly, Stephen King, Christopher Pike, Madison Hayes, Margaret Atwood, Megan Hart...
What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?
There's Tigerlily, a sci-fi/futuristic thing, and a Menage novella with Total-E-Bound. Another sci-fi space thing with Ellora's Cave. And my novel, Control, with Xcite.
Am exhausted, but so thrilled at the idea that I'm actually going to be published more.