ADR Forte's erotic tale "The Stone Room" is the closing story of Fairy Tale Lust. It is the story of a man's quest for happiness and the woman who gives him his heart's desire. Not all of the stories in Fairy Tale Lust have a "happily ever after" ending, but "The Stone Room" certainly does (albeit a kinky happily ever after!), which makes it the perfect conclusion to a collection of naughty fairy tales.
Give the basic premise for your story. Is it a contemporary, historical, fantasy setting?
I think of 'Stone Room' as a modern fairy tale. The setting is actually a contemporary city. The towers where James seeks his fortune are the high rises of office buildings, the dark rooms where his desire for pain first awakens are found in a private S&M club. But just like any fairy tale hero James is on a quest to find true love. The nature of that true love just turns out to be a big surprise for him!
What do you think makes your story a fairy tale? How does it fit in the fairy tale genre?
Well there is the quest aspect. And there are also the "tests" James faces from his enchantress/dominatrix love. Fairy tale heroes have to prove their worth, and James is already at a disadvantage because his enchantress works with him and knows all about his philandering nature. I think I envisioned James at first being the pretty-boy, player type, but over the course of the story as he explores bondage, submission, and even his own bisexuality as the giant and enchantress break him in, he "grows up" from a horny boy to a sexy, mature, submissive man. Just like a fairy tale hero, only hotter. And of course, he lives happily ever after with his enchantress! Gotta have the happy ending!! :)
Did you have a particular inspiration for your original fairy tale?
A big part of the inspiration for James' story came not from an actual fairy tale, but from a legend of Sir Gawain from King Arthur legend. There's a great version of it in a poem called The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle and the Wife of Bath's Tale from the Canterbury Tales is another, similar version without Gawain.
Basically the story goes that Sir Gawain was charged with the quest of discovering what women most wanted or else both he and King Arthur faced death. Gawain comes across an old hag in the forest who says she will tell him the answer if he promises to marry her. He promises, she solves the quest by telling them that what women most want is to be able to make their own decisions, and poor Gawain has to keep his vow to marry the hag. Sir Gawain is always portrayed as the resident stud muffin Casanova of the Round Table, so of course he's not at all happy with the situation, but he keeps his word and is prepared to do his manly duty like a good knight on his marriage night. The hag then transforms into a beautiful woman and tells him this is her true form and says she can keep appear as her true self either at night when they're alone together or during the day around others. She asks him which he wants her to do and Gawain (smart boy that he is!) tells her that she should decide (see, he was paying attention). The sorceress then tells him he did good and he can have her beautiful always and-we can assume- much naughty romping follows.
The Dame Ragnelle type of character shows up fairly often in fairy tales as the mysterious hag who makes life difficult for the hero/heroine, but turns out to be a powerful fairy or sorceress in the end and ends up helping the protagonist out, or rewarding him/her richly for all the earlier trials and tribulations. That's who James' enchantress is. She's a slightly mysterious, powerful female character and she's incredibly beautiful to James, but she's not just omg! gorgeous perfect. And she's also the true-love princess of the fairy tale, but she's definitely she's no damsel in distress.
I think maybe the story is a little feminist. But it's also a little masculinist (I totally didn't made that word up. There's a Wikipedia article, I swear!) because, like Sir Gawain, James himself is not entirely the typical dumb, dragon-slaying jock. He's smart, open-minded, sensitive. He's even got a few noble tendencies in there because he respects the enchantress. But he's also still very much the alpha. I really, really like the idea of alpha males being sexually submissive. Tis hawt!
How long have you been writing erotica?
Eons! Or more like since junior high. I remember reading those silly teen series and thinking "Are you kidding me? I can do better than THIS!" But then, I'd also read De Sade by then which probably influenced my opinion just a wee, teesny, tiny bit ;) I've been writing professionally now for about 8 years.
What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?
Noo. Don't make me pick!
I think the stories that have a fantasy element are probably my favorites. I really like Flashback from Lust at First Bite and "Once an Addict..." from The Sweetest Kiss, both vampire stories and Carnival of the Grotesque from Like an Animal was my first ever werewolf smut story. The idea of werewolf smut bothered me a lot before I wrote it, because I worried about the line between paranormal sentient creature giving consent and bestiality. That's probably what I got for reading too much bad pr0n on the interwebz. But the characters in Carnival showed up one day and demanded to tell me their story and it was so beautiful and not squicky at all!
In "The Queen's Jewel" for the Like a Queen anthology, I got to rewrite the Princess and the Pea in a wonderfully passionate, naughty way. I always thought the prince in that story was useless and it was all about the Queen and the lost Princess. So I finally got to figure out what their relationship was all about... and it was yummy!
I also have an Alice in Wonderland themed story in the upcoming anthology Like a Vorpal Blade. In that one, the white rabbit showed up as the dashing Finn Leverett, Alice has a thing for black eyeliner, and the story straddles (no pun intended) this world and Wonderland. It was very much guilty indulgence to write that story because Alice is one of my favorite books ever, but I think it turned out really well, and I fell in love with both characters.
Out of my non-fantasy stories, I'm very fond of Urban Fairytale from Where the Girls Are. Like The Stone Room, the story doesn't have actual magic, but it's also told with the fairy-tale style. I think what geeks me about both stories is that, although nothing out of the ordinary happens, there's still a sense of magic in the way the characters find each other.
What is your writing routine like?
Write now. Sleep later ;)
Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”
Sadly I do not write full time. I spend my time, like James and the enchantress, in a tower spinning gold out of nothing but words. Which means I make up a lot of numbers and convince people who convince other people that they should pay me for making up more numbers! What a gig. Although spending time out in the real world dealing with all the Muggles who've never even read a book that wasn't written by Stephen Covey isn't very much fun, it does give me insight into people and situations and ideas for stories. I think writers do thrive on the misery of having day jobs because it fuels our plotbunnies. Kind of a love-hate thing.
Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?
Do I have to admit this? Ok so I do a lot of my smut writing to 80's music or symphonic goth metal. (no surprise my characters have the angst now, is it?). I think I'll go hide under the writing sofa out of shame now.
Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?
I think erotic fairy tales go through surges of popularity every now and then but never go out of style completely. Like vampires and werewolves, there's something timeless about the fairy tale. Maybe it's because we all grow up on fairy tales, or maybe fairy tales are a reflection of us. I'll have to navel gaze some more on this one and get back to you. ;)
What do you enjoy reading?Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?
Everything! I read everything from romance to fantasy to smut to thrillers to Mr ADR's history textbooks. I've even been known to read the back of the shampoo bottle in the shower, in all the different languages! Okay, so maybe just once. And I really didn't read the other languages, I just cross-translated. Ahem! So some of my favorite authors are Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip and Tanith Lee. They are all such mistresses of their craft, and are probably the greatest influences on me. I want to someday get to that same level of beauty and emotion in my own writing.
What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?
I'm always busy! Check out my blog at http://adrforte.blogspot.com or updates on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ADRForte.