Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview: Craig Sorensen

I love Craig Sorensen's writing because there is an inherent honesty to every story he tells. His blog is filled with vignettes from his life and are as likely to inspire tears as laughter. His story "Ducking" is a terrific and sexy retelling of the classic "The Ugly Duckling."

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

Self image is so deeply tied to external perceptions in our society, and external perceptions are so very malleable. I started "Ducking" with the notion that this was a woman "whose time had come." Her perceptions of herself were as other see her. Initially I worked more from the external angle; the woman became beautiful because social perceptions had shifted. But this could only be a part of the story. Blending the dynamics of shifting societal standards with self realization resulted in a story that kept to the spirit of the original tale, but cast them in a new, more modern light.

How long have you been writing erotica?

I have been writing erotic stories since I was a teenager. Granted, they weren't very good, but I stuck with it, and sometimes drew nasty pictures to compliment them. I've written all my life, but started getting stories published in 2006. Though I write in a number of genres, my favorite is still erotica. It is a fertile ground for character development. People say so much about themselves by their sexual behavior, and while this can be explored in less explicit descriptions, but not with the same impact.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

Obey the story. It's a cliche, but be yourself; tell an honest story that represents your vision. Resist the urge to "conform" to convention. I think that sometimes people look at rejection of a story in the wrong light. I'd rather be rejected for a story I love than be accepted for a story that I crafted to suit what I think someone else is looking for. Certainly, when writing for a call, make the story appropriate for that call, but don't be afraid to let your own perception of the call guide you. When you write with that spirit, the acceptances are particularly sweet. The rejections are just a disconnect; it's not that your story was wrong in general, just wrong for this editor. It's akin to being accepted for what you are.

What is your writing routine like?

I'm an insomniac. My particular brand of insomnia is characterized by being able to fall asleep very easily, and sometimes sleep very deeply, but not for very long. So I get up early most of the time. "Sleeping in" for me means I somehow managed to fall back asleep a couple times and didn't get up until 5:00. As I've become more dedicated to my writing, I've come to view this as blessing. It seems I do my best writing in the wee hours of the morning. Within my early-in-the-day writing, my process tends to be free form. I follow inspiration as best I can. Sometimes I'm in the mood to write "raw prose," sometimes I'm in editor mode, sometimes the creative muse isn't whispering in my ear, so I do "project management" and update paperwork or do research for things I'm working on or craft ideas for my blog. While I have a fairly routine time that I write, I tend to think of my process once in that time to be somewhat loosely defined.

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

By day I'm a career computer geek for a direct to the consumer merchant with an internet presence. I think that much of my writing process is influenced by my business experiences, which include user interaction, personnel management, analysis and project management.

Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?

I love to write to music. My tastes tend to be eclectic. For "Ducking," specifically, I was listening to a lot of jazz. Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck figured prominently.

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

I have a completed an erotic novel drawing from my experiences while serving at a US Army NSA installation in Germany, and I'm working toward publication of it. In the meanwhile, I've started writing another erotic novel. I continue to write short stories, but with less frequency than I used to when I was first getting published. My plan is to continue to grow my focus on longer pieces, but my biggest aspiration is to follow the muse wherever she leads, and have fun along the way.


  1. I just realized that Craig looks suspiciously like our Fairy Tale Lust cover model...

  2. Ooh, he does! Enjoyed the interview!

  3. I too have always loved reading Craig's writing. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction or poetry, it is always, as you say Kris, honest, and straight forward and honestly affectionate, always an inspiration.


  4. What a lovely interview, Craig. I especially liked your answer about advice to aspiring writers. Thank you for sharing, and of course to Kristina too! I've had Fairy Tale Lust on pre-order for some time, and I'm looking forward to receiving it. :)

  5. Yay, Craig! Thank you. I love-love your source of inspiration here and look forward to reading the story. A

  6. First, a hearty thank you to Kristina for including "Ducking" in this fine collection, and for this interview.

    Shanna, I'm glad you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by.

    Isabel, it's good to see you. I appreciate the kind words.

    Hi Emerald. Thank you for sharing!

    Alana, I'm glad that you loved the inspiration behind "Ducking." I only hope that readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  7. "I love Craig Sorensen's writing because there is an inherent honesty to every story he tells."

    What a great encapsulation of the essence of Sorensen, Kristina!

    And, yes, wise and inspiring words about being true to one's vision, Craig. You're a storyteller par excellence and a sage, to boot.

  8. Thank you so much for the kind words, Jeremy.

  9. Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

    As I believe I've already told Craig, "Ducking" was the first submission I received for FTL and I knew as soon as I read it that I wanted it for the collection. Thank you, Craig!

  10. I sort of picture our wise and inspirational Craig as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, that's a fairy-tale archetype too, isn't it?

  11. *spoken in a deep, reverb soaked voice*

    Use the Force, Janine.

  12. *squeee!*

    Which I'm sure Luke never did...

  13. *squeee!*

    Sounds to me like some one is really using the force...