An Interview with best-selling erotica writer Simone Scarlet
The infamous Fifty Shades of Grey movie is due for release this Valentine’s Day. Jacques tracked down a best-selling erotica author to understand more of why the 50 Shades phenomenon is changing how we all think about racy literature.
Jacques: Has the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon made erotica and romance novels more popular?
Simone: I don’t think there’s any way you could make erotica or romance novels more popular. Ever since the invention of the Amazon Kindle, sales of erotic eBooks have exploded. If you ever see a woman reading her Kindle on the train or bus, nine times out of ten she’s reading something dirty.
Jacques: What sort of books do you write?
Simone: If you look at my catalog [ http://www.amazon.com/Simone-Scarlet/e/B00E1KYV6Y/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&qid=1423676321&sr=1-2-ent&tag=militginge-20&linkId=XTAZPTY6UR5O42RE ] you’ll see I tend to focus on my own personal kinks, which are mostly all about cheating wives and interracial affairs.
Jacques: What are popular erotica themes?
Simone: 50 Shades of Grey would count as being in the ‘billionaire’ niche. Other popular niches are romance stories about biker gangs, or MMA fighters, or firemen. They’re all variations on the same theme – romance with dangerous, strong, ‘alpha male’ types. It’s the bodice-ripping, caveman shit that feminists lose their shit over.
Twilight saw the rise of the ‘werewolf’ niche, and vampires are always pretty popular.
My particular niche is ‘cuckolding.’ That’s when wives humiliate their husbands and fuck other men.
Jacques: You refer to your readers as ‘women.’ Are they the major customers?
Simone: Yes, by a long shot. Around 80% of erotica customers are women, and they’re by far the most prolific readers and purchasers.
Jacques: Who’s got the dirtier minds? Men or women?
Simone: Women, no contest!
Female sexuality is the most mind-fuckingly complex, beautiful thing. Men are just panting lapdogs in comparison. Men are more focused on simple, straightforward sex. With women, it’s less about the fucking and more about the mind-fucking.
Jacques: How did you get into writing erotica?
Simone: I’ve been writing erotica since I was a teenager. Growing up in England, my parents bought me an electric typewriter (yes, I’m that old) which I kept in my room and used to write dirty stories on.
I used to keep these stories under my mattress and read them when I was feeling horny. I was always terrified of my parents finding them – because it wasn’t just that they were dirty. It was far worse than that – I’d actually written them!
Jacques: Tell us about some of your books.
Simone: My favorite series – and my most popular – I call The Rachel Chronicles [ http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=simone%20scarlet%20rachel&linkCode=ur2&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Asimone%20scarlet%20rachel&tag=militginge-20&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&linkId=CZZK7K7VQPO5TKG6 ]. They’re based off a real friend of mine, who went a bit off the rails for a while when she and her husband tried polyamory. I upped the ante a bit in my stories, and there’s lots of delicious mind-fucking in them.
Jacques: Has 50 Shades of Grey made erotica more acceptable?
Simone: While 50 Shades of Grey has made erotica more publically acceptable, it’s also turned a lot more people’s attention to the thriving subculture of erotic ebooks, and that hasn’t always been a good thing from the point of view of us writers.
A couple of years ago, the tabloid press in the UK found a lot of pretty vile self-published stuff – rape, bestiality, and incest stories – and claimed moral outrage. Lots of self-publishing sites like Amazon had a crack-down on ALL types of erotica, and that put a few of my writing buddies out of business.
I’ve always written “clean” dirty books – I don’t really touch taboo topics – but I’ve noticed that Amazon is a lot more vigilant about what’s published and that means there’s a lot less variety out there, and it’s made all the ‘acceptable’ niches a lot more competitive.
Jacques: So, finally – who else knows about your smutty writing career?
Simone: I tell my family and friends that I write “romance” novels - I just don’t tell them the penname! I’m not sure I could handle my mom or dad reading one of my novels about little white wives getting knocked up by black guys!
Jacques: Thanks, Simone.