Lust Letters, discusses his book, writing great sex scenes, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Lust Letters?
J.T. STONE: Lust Letters is an erotic romance about a man who sends rather steamy letters to his crush. We follow her sexually charged adventures and meet several characters who may or may not be the admirer so this is both entertaining and erotic.
DAVID WISEHART: What do you think is the key to writing a great sex scene?
J.T. STONE: I think the number one ingredient to a hot sex scene is sexual tension. Even though we have a good general idea where this is going, it's fun to watch the characters wrestle with doing "the right thing" vs. what feels good. A big part of tension is pace, and slow and steady works. It's the literary equivalent of foreplay. There's nothing worse than having two empty characters jumping into bed and smoking their cigarettes by the third paragraph.
A plausible setup is also critical. I believe that the scene must be relatively realistic to keep the readers invested and excited.
In a book, or a series of books in my case, variety is also very important. I try to not write the same scene twice. To that end, sexual climaxes do not always include "going all the way." Sometimes the heat of the moment leads to an unexpected outcome, so to speak.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
J.T. STONE: The characters have to be believable. Not everyone has the stereotypical adult film star body, so the characters are realistic but still sexy. They also have to be somewhat well rounded. Granted, this isn't Wuthering Heights and I don't think the readers want to invest too much time getting the characters' background stories, but to be hot they have to have motivation, conflict, a climactic resolution, and be refreshing so the reader can not predict exactly what is about to unfold.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
J.T. STONE: My ideal reader is sexually aware and open-minded. Someone who can only handle missionary sex with the lights off will be shocked, but someone who is willing to explore new ideas will find plenty of creative adult fun in my books.
I also like the idea of my books being a closely held secret to some readers. I know that I am creating sexual arousal in my readers and that is very rewarding. Knowing that for some it is a secret naughty pleasure creates its own sexual tension, which is the fuel for great erotica. I like the notion that the reader's pulse has quickened by the end of the first paragraph.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
J.T. STONE: I've always enjoyed writing and I find writing erotica both easy and enjoyable. Most of the letters in Lust Letters were genuinely written for lovers over the last several years. With each one I learned what makes both my lover and myself hot, and just took it from there. Actually, my first stories weren't written; they were whispered.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
J.T. STONE: I try to write every day and am most productive in the morning. An amusing difference between writing erotica and other genres is the need to be "in the mood" to write hot scenes with believable characters. Therefore getting turned on is a daily occupational hazard.
I find the hardest part of the process is re-writing after the first draft is complete.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
J.T. STONE: For this I have to deviate from my specific genre because I don't really follow erotica authors; it might be egocentric, but the hottest stuff I enjoy is in my head.
As far as mainstream authors go, I enjoy Jim Harrison, Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey (hilarious), and Pat Conroy. I also really enjoyed John Irvings books up through A Prayer for Owen Meany.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
J.T. STONE: That's easy: To Kill A Mockingbird. In my mind that is and long will be the great American novel.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
J.T. STONE: I have a website and offer some free erotica there. I've also created some YouTube videos which send some people my way. However, my stats show that I have high repeat customer business. I am motivated to write the hottest stories on the market knowing that if someone enjoys book A they can count on the fact they will also enjoy books B, C, and all the way through book Z. That is the best marketing of all.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
J.T. STONE: I love Kindle. It is easy for an unpublished author to find an audience in the ebook world, which happens to be exploding right now. I love the fact that you can preview a book before you buy it. In my books the characters' motivations and sexual tension is established expeditiously, so the reader understands the story and heat factor quickly and can therefore make the purchasing decision.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
J.T. STONE: One, write what you enjoy. Two, practice and rewrite. Three, get an editor you trust. Four, keep practicing, it's fun to see yourself improve. And five, create sexy cover art. There is a lot of material out there that the readers will see before they buy; make sure they give yours a good look.
For those thinking of submitting something I created a YouTube video which shows exactly how to format your book for submission. Formatting is absolutely essential or it won't be accepted, however once you know the five or six simple settings, you're good to go. Those interested can search “How to sell a book on Amazon”, or go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqa1lYsoQ5U
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.T. Stone is the author of six highly popular erotic novels. Four more are in production currently and at least two should be complete before the end of 2010. J.T. has also been a successful commercial photographer and graphic designer whose right brain seems to have evicted his left brain some time ago. More information including free erotica can be found at www.jtstonestories.com.
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