Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interview: Justine Elyot

Justine Elyot has woven (quite literally) a delicious little tale of a princess in jeopardy in "Three Times." I love this story because it pays homage to the classics while being naughty enough to make the Grimm Brothers blush. Here, Justine shares her inspiration for "Three Times" and offers some terrific advice to aspiring authors.

Did you have a particular inspiration for your original fairy tale?

"Three Times" takes a variety of different fairytale themes – a smidgen of Sleeping Beauty, the recurrence of the number three, the tension between magical and human worlds – and meshes them together whilst also subverting the traditional Happily Ever After. I think a lot of children grew up, like me, absorbing that faux-medieval Germanic world of the Grimm fairytale, full of weary shoemakers and wicked stepmothers and talking cats in half-timbered houses – I could set endless stories there.

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

Something that worked wonderfully for me was ‘playing’ with story-writing on peer-review archive sites before I began to aim seriously for publication. I was able to gain invaluable feedback, benefit from a supportive community and build up a modest following so that eventually the time felt right to move forward and submit to anthologies – the leap in the dark became a leap in the dim light! Modern writers are incredibly lucky to have this huge web of resources available to them – join sites, post stories, take in what reviewers say and, above all, make sure you enjoy what you do.

What do you enjoy reading? Favourite authors? Favourite genres? Recommendations?

Outside of erotica and erotic romance, I rarely stray from historical fiction. I’ve been a lover of Victorian Gothic since I read The Secret Garden at about seven, and I devoured the Brontes, Victoria Holt and so on. Nowadays I’m keen on Sarah Waters (Fingersmith is in my all-time top ten), Michel Faber, Philippa Gregory, oh, and Wolf Hall was bloody marvellous. I just love a good story well told.

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

Well, I’m very excited to have recently joined the stable of excellent authors at Total E-Bound, so I’m hoping to work with them and their lovely editors as much as possible. Various short story ideas are bobbing about on my hard drive, and my second full-length book The Business of Pleasure – linked short stories with a narrative strand about an exclusive agency dedicated to fulfilling women’s wildest fantasies – is released in September by Xcite Books. So I’d better get my promotional hat on as soon as I can find it underneath all the writing hats!

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your writing?

Just that the reason I can’t supply an author photograph is that I’m very, very famous and have to keep my identity top secret. Only kidding :D. Really, I’d just like to thank Kristina for being such a wonderful editor and putting together such a gorgeous feast of a book – and then letting me be in it! It’s a great honour.

Thanks so much, Justine!

(Run Quickly ink and watercolor by swanbones)


  1. Justine, if you like Gothics and want to branch out from Victorian, may I suggest Carol Goodman? She writes modern Gothics and her books are like crack for me--I eat them up with a spoon, I swear!

    Congratulations on your story here--it's nice to be anthology-mates! :-)

  2. Can we read "Three Times" thrice?

  3. Andrea, I second that emotion! and thank you very much for the tip-off. I will go and look out some Carol Goodman.

    Jeremy, you can read Three Times as often as you like ;).