Louisa Harte's story "Ellie and the Shoemaker" is the kind of sexy, frothy tale I envisioned when I first came up with the concept for Fairy Tale Lust. As a fan of Sex and the City, it wasn't hard for me to imagine Ellie and her many pairs of to-die-for shoes. Throw in a very appealing (if somewhat clueless) shoemaker, and Louisa's story has all the makings for a Hollywood fantasy.
What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?
I love the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. I remembered it from childhood and always loved the magic and charm of the dedicated shoemaker being surprised by the elves secretly at work in his shop. When Kristina put out the call for submissions for Fairy Tale Lust, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give this story a sexy contemporary new twist. I had a great time writing the story – it gave me a chance to indulge my love of fairy tales, romance, magic and passion! I hope the readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :-)
Are there any other fairy tales you’d like to see retold? Why?
I’ve always been fond of Beauty and the Beast, so enjoy reading erotic retellings of this particular story, although I enjoy reading fairy stories altogether! The Fairy Tale Lust anthology was great in that it actively encouraged contemporary retellings, which I thought was quite novel. As for other fairy tales I’d like to see retold, I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories in this collection!
How long have you been writing erotica?
I’ve been writing erotica for approximately two years. After winning placings in competitions held by For the Girls.com and Better Sex.com, I was inspired to submit stories in response to calls for submissions for erotic anthologies. My first published story was ‘Prime Suspect’ in the Cleis Press anthology Best Women’s Erotica 2010, followed by ‘Ellie and the Shoemaker’ in Fairy Tale Lust. With three more stories scheduled for publication in upcoming Cleis Press anthologies, I’m really delighted by the response my work has received.
What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?
I love all the stories I’ve written for different reasons. They’ve each allowed me to experiment with different tones, settings and erotic scenarios. Writing erotica and erotic romance is escapism of the best kind! I enjoy seeing where my imagination will take me and working out how to insert a bit of sizzle into the unlikeliest of places.
What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?
Above all, be yourself. Let your voice, your interests, your words come across on the page. Learn from those writers whose work you love, but at the end of the day recognise who you are and write about your interests and passions. In addition, if you’re writing for a call of submissions, make sure it’s something you’re interested in and stick to the brief. Don’t write to be published, write for enjoyment. Write because you want to and because you enjoy it. Embrace your own erotic viewpoint – that way your stories will be authentic and readers who love your work will hopefully seek out more. Write for the love of writing and don’t ever give up on your dreams!
What is your writing routine like?
I write in the afternoons. Usually, I’m inspired by an idea, a photograph, a piece of music, or a specific call for submissions. The idea or characters come to me first and then I sit down and let their story filter through me as I write. I’m not a big planner. I like to let myself be carried by my muse. I’m often pleasantly surprised by the outcome! Usually, I start by writing a first draft, letting the words flow without censoring or editing and then I print off the story and read it through, pencil in hand. After several more drafts and refining, I put it aside for a while. Then I reread it aloud, share it with a few close friends for second and third opinions and then I send it off. I like to write for calls for submissions that interest and inspire me and give me an opportunity to celebrate my own erotic viewpoint on love, romance and passion.
Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?
I don’t usually write ‘to’ music, but I am inspired ‘by’ music. I didn’t have a specific song or soundtrack for Ellie and the Shoemaker, but I do like to use music to get in the mood for writing sometimes. It’s a bit like getting ready to go out somewhere – you might play a particular album to get yourself in a particular mood for the night. It’s the same with writing – certain tracks can inspire certain moods: sexy, humorous, romantic, dramatic etc. Music can be a great inspirational tool.
What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?
I read all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. With regard to erotic romance, I particularly enjoy Angela Knight’s work. She has a great sense of story, pace, sensuality and romance. I also enjoy reading stories by many of my fellow writers in this anthology and I feel blessed to be amongst such good company.
What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?
Currently, I have three more stories scheduled for publication in upcoming Cleis Press anthologies: ‘True Colors’ in Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women, ‘Seeing Stars’ in Orgasmic: Erotica for Women and ‘Changing my Tune’ in Best Women’s Erotica 2011 (to be confirmed!). It’s an exciting time!
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your writing?
Readers can stop by my website for more information and to keep up to date with what’s coming next. I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to drop me an email at www.louisaharte.com. :-)