A short chat with author/artist/non-conformist, Jess C Scott, on the art of erotic writing.
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Have you written erotic-themed material? Why or why not?
Jess: I've written two erotic anthologies so far (both of which "cross multiple genres," within the erotic sphere).
Sex and sexuality have always been significant and important (core) aspects of life to me, on both a personal and social/societal level.
How do you differentiate quality erotica (as an art form), from pornographic writing?
Jess: As with all good literature (in my humble opinion), quality erotica tends to have some kind of social value and artistic/literary merit involved.
Pornographic writing is pretty straight-forward: the primary purpose is to make a profit via the stimulation of arousal from selling sex (from the depictions of graphic sex acts). Plot, structure, and style, cannot ever get in the way of this commercial aim of the product.
How you would respond to the following statement:
“I am very put off by the notion of 'literate smut', as if any porn is intellectual, that erotica needs to have a high and low art distinction. I think this is just a pretentious way for people to excuse their taste for pornography.”
-- originally posted on http://www.barbelith.com/topic/925
Jess: I'm inclined to think that said person does not have / has not had a satisfactory sex life, and would do well to look into improving this area of his or her life.
If said person had more pleasurable sex, perhaps s/he would feel less compelled to moan *smiles sweetly* about other people's tastes and preferences with regards to reading erotic or pornographic material.
P.S. If Anais Nin and D. H. Lawrence are "intellectual pornographers," then I guess I'm into intellectual porn.
What inspired you to write erotic stories/poems/etc.?
Jess: In my teenage years, I developed a distaste for the mass media's constant portrayal of sex as a commodity. I seek to offer something fresh/engaging/true/honest/exploratory, uninfluenced by social norms and conditioning, to counteract "whatever I'd like to see changed in real life."
To quote Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC):
"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault."
This is a perspective that has shaped my writing and artistic vision, with both erotic and non-erotic projects.
Do you always follow the "safe, sane, consensual" credo?
Jess: Not really. To me, it's more important to get to the truth of a matter, than be politically correct (in both fact and fiction).
What do you think readers will find most notable about your book(s)?
Jess: I guess this reader email sums it up:
"Based on the three books I've read, I can say that you're a brilliant writer. They are not shallow reads. Your books do not only entertain but they also make you reflect on what is really important in one's life."
— e-mail from a reader, 2011 (The Philippines)
In order to write on certain experiences, you would have to either research or live the life. Which describes you as the writer?
Jess: Combination of fact and fiction.
Imagination is greater than knowledge (it's unlimited).
Then again, fact can often be a lot stranger than fiction...
Do you think erotica caters to a male or female market (or does gender of the target audience not matter)?
Jess: I think quality literature (of any genre) appeals to a wide demographic (regardless of age, gender, etc.). With erotica, it's not the endless description of sexual acts, but the intensity of the desire and themes involved, that make a timeless story.
Are there any topics you will NOT tackle, with regards to sexual behaviors and attitudes?
Jess: I'm open to tackling any subject, as long as I feel I have some amount of capability to develop a story while keeping the topic in mind.
Please share with us a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words).
EXCERPT (from Jack in the Box, which features in Primal Scream):
The scene was a swirl of candy bright lights--the Victoria’s Secret fuchsia signboard, signboards which lured one to purchase “confidence,” or “sexual appeal,” or whatever it was that was being advertised--the fluorescent lights in each store, contrasting with the shiny, black-tiled walls and eye-catching speckled marble tiles on the ground.
One could lick the floor--the tiles were spotless, clean like the fake air she was breathing in, like the atoms and cells in her that were decaying in stale neglect.
Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):
So many, but I'll pick something from Edgar Allan Poe (the author who got me delving into the world of classic books!):
"My companion spoke of the lightness of our cargo, and reminded me of the excellent qualities of our ship--but I could not help feeling the utter hopelessness of hope itself, and prepared myself gloomily for that death which I thought nothing could defer beyond an hour. . ."
-- MS. Found in a Bottle, Edgar Allan Poe (1883)
Please let readers know where they can find out more about you/your work.
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JESS C SCOTT / jessINK:
Jess C Scott is a 24-year-old contemporary writer working in a diverse range of genres, such as experimental fiction, erotic fiction, new media, young adult fiction, poetry, urban fantasy, and cyberpunk.
As a creative professional, Jess experiments with a variety of genres and styles to produce original work which stands out from "the same old re-packaged mass-market pulp (Bibrary.com)." Her erotic writing focuses on psychosexual themes (not porn) and love/emotions (not fluffy formulaic romance).
Some of Jess’s taboo-themed stories were banned by Amazon in December 2010, which prompted her to set up www.jessINK.com (her indie publishing platform/company).
Jess has always aligned her business goals with her personal values.
She continues to identify herself as an author/artist/non-conformist.
WANT TO BE FEATURED?
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Jess is available for interviews too. Drop her a note at missfeyATgmailDOTcom :)