Saturday, July 10, 2010
Interview: Andrea Dale
Andrea Dale is a prolific author in a variety of genres. On one level, her story "How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back" is a fun, sexy D/s romp. On another level, it is a story of sexual redemption and discovery. It is a lovely woman-centered (mermaid-centered?) story that gives the mermaid the happily ever after she deserves.
What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?
Han Christian Anderson’s tales upset me as a child because of their unhappy endings. I later realized the woman always gets the short shrift in his stories. For example, In “The Little Mermaid,” the mermaid gives up her voice for legs, which cause her astonishing pain…and she still doesn’t get the guy. WTF?
I wasn’t so much trying re-tell “The Little Mermaid” as I was trying to re-frame it and give the mermaid the opportunity to get back what she lost. In my story, the main character is kinky, but her former lovers told her that her desires are perverse and disgusting. She sacrificed that part of herself (in essence, her voice) in an attempt to find acceptance and love. Then she meets a man who nurtures her darkest desires, giving her the chance to regain her voice and her tail, and to find true love. And they lived happily kinky ever after!
Are there any other fairy tales you’d like to see retold? Why?
Since we’re on the subject of Hans Christian Anderson, how about “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” or “The Little Match Girl”? But, really, I’m fascinated by any story that goes deeper into the tales we think we know and teases out a deeper meaning…especially with a twist.
How long have you been writing erotica?
Does doing kinky things with my Barbies count? If not, then since college, writing letters to Penthouse Forum and Penthouse Variations for beer money.
What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?
Evil woman, asking me to choose! In the spirit of fairy tales, where three is a magic number, I’m going to say…
1. “Frozen.” A rare story in that, when I was partway through, the entire thing unfolded for me. It’s romantic as all get-out and makes me tear up every time I re-read it. It’s also been reprinted not once, but twice—the second time when an editor approached me and requested it.
2. “The Queen of Christmas.” Such a fun story to write! I combined Martha Stewart, Manheim Steamroller’s Wizard of Winter video, threw in a dash of an episode of Home Improvement, and topped it with a cherry of a spanking. I laughed the entire time I was writing it.
3. “Queen’s Up.” My favorite story to read aloud…except I have to read it in a (probably dodgy) Western accent. It starts with “It was my daddy who taught me to play poker,” and involves a ranch lost in a bet, a cross-dressing heroine, an almost mustache-twirling villain, and a sexy saloon girl. What’s not to love?
See my bibliography at www.cyvarwydd.com for info on where to obtain these stories, if you’re so inclined!
What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?
Remember that it’s about the characters. It’s not just another sex scene—it’s about these people having sex, and how that encounter transforms them.
What is your writing routine like?
How kind of you to assume I have any sort of “routine!” I’m on a never-ending search for a routine that works for me. I write almost every day, and recently discovered keeping a calendar to note which projects to work on when has been very helpful. (A list doesn’t work the same way in my brain as a calendar does. Who knew?)
Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”
Writing and editing is my full-time job, but since I’m not yet making a living at it, a more accurate job title is Kept Woman.
Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?
I sometimes write to music; it depends on my mood. (See above re: routines, or lack thereof.) I didn’t create a soundtrack for “How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back,” but I do have a “sexy songs” playlist to help me get in the mood.
Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?
Right now? You mean they haven’t been for ages now? :-) Look at Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy from the 1980s, for example! But I think the recent resurgence is an offshoot of the popularity of paranormal romance/erotica: vampires may rule, but fairy creatures are never far behind.
Plus, haven’t we all lusted after some fairy tale character? I remember when Sleeping Beauty was re-released in theatres, and my best friend and I making lustful comments about the Prince. And the kiss in Beauty and the Beast was hot!
What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?
I’m one of those people who’ll read anything, as long as it’s good. Growing up, I was a hardcore fantasy reader, and I still love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Right now I’m reading a variety of mysteries for a workshop I’m taking in July, and in the last year or so I’ve been devouring any modern gothic I can get my hands on.
Favorite authors: Guy Gavriel Kay, Barbara Hambly, Carol Goodman, Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, and about a million more…
What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?
I’m currently working on a humorous, spicy contemporary romance with one of my coauthors, and finishing a couple of my own novels and getting them circulating. I also have something like six short stories deadlines over the next month and a half…
Upcoming publications include…
“The Broken Fiddle” (not a fairy tale, but it involves an Irish legend) in Alison’s Wonderland (Harlequin Spice, July 2010)
“Flash!” in Fast Girls: Erotica for Women (Cleis Press, July 2010)
“All She Wanted” in Orgasmic: Erotica for Women (Cleis Press, August 2010)
“Lost & Found” in Lesbian Lust: Erotic Stories (Cleis Press, August 2010)
“Darlene’s Dilemma” and “The Twelve Fucking Princesses” (another erotic fairy tale!) in The Mammoth Book of Threesomes and Moresomes (Running Press, October 2010)
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your writing?
I think I’ve rambled on enough… For those who are interested in learning more, please stop by my website, www.cyvarwydd.com. There are links to my blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., where you can follow my journey through writing, showing up in the front row of countless Styx concerts, traveling, and working on a 1911 house. Among other things. :-)