Welcome to another edition of Purple Night Lights, a place to spotlight writers of erotica. We will have intimate conversations about sex, love and writing about it. Today our guest is Tasha L. Harrison, author of The Lust Diaries Series and owner of The Dirty Editor. Let’s do this.
LL: How did you get into writing erotic tales?
TLH: I started writing erotic romance because it was pretty much the only thing I was reading at the time, but I saw very few IR or AA romances that were depicted in ways that were either stereotypical or downright offensive. I write the stories that I want to read.
LL: Do you put a little of yourself in your characters?
TLH: I think every writer adds a little bit of themselves to their characters. Sometimes it’s a character trait that I wish I had or fantasies that I would like to explore, but more often than not, it’s just crazy shit my subconscious dreams up.
LL: How do you do your research?
TLH: Most of my stories don’t require a ton of research, but I do rely on Google pretty heavily. I also have a very diverse and creative group of friends that I can usually tap for info.
LL: Tell us about The Lust Diaries Series and who or what inspired you to write it?
TLH: The Lust Diaries is the story of Yves Santiago who is pretty much on a journey of sexual discovery…but that’s not why I started writing it, lol. I started writing The Lust Diaries because I’d just moved to the south from the Northeast and I was missing home. It was like a long love letter to Philly. Yves Santiago leapt out of my gray matter fully formed. I always say that I didn’t create her. She just sat down next to me and demanded that I tell her story. The other characters and plot lines that have developed from that are a gift that I’m continuously thankful for.
LL: Do you ever get negative or unwanted attention because of the genre you have chosen? How do you deal with it?
TLH: Not really. I’ve always been really open with my family and friends about what I write so it’s not a big deal.
LL: Who is the one writer that has influenced you the most in the genre and what is your favorite work by them?
TLH: I can’t pinpoint any one author that has influenced my writing, but I do feel drawn to the work of Zadie Smith, Terry McMillian, and Richard Wright. As well as contemporary erotic romance authors like Alyssa Cole, Megan Hart, Eliza David, D.L. White, Madhuri Pavamani, and Charlotte Stein. I’ve also been really into Molly O’Keefe lately. I’m kind of all over the place when it comes to the art I consume. All I can say is that I can’t tell you what I like, but I know it when I see it. LOL
LL: What is your take on how many sex scenes to include in a novel? Can there be too many?
TLH: Me, myself, personally? I don’t have a set number. However many times the characters want to bone is generally my metric. Can there be too much sex? Absolutely, yes. But I don’t think there is a magic number of scenes that meet some romance sweet spot.
LL: What is your ultimate goal for your writing?
TLH: I would be perfectly happy with being a mid-list author. But if Ava Duvernay or Issa Rae wants to make my books into a mini-series, I wouldn’t say no!
LL: What is your favorite sex position to write about in your novels?
TLH: Apparently against the wall. There are a lot of scenes in my novels where my characters either don’t make it home or barely make in the door.
LL: Are you a fan of toys?
TLH: Yes and yes. There are some toy scenes in Everything She Never Wanted, The Lust Diaries: Book Two.
LL: What is your favorite sub-genre of erotica to read?
TLH: I don’t have a favorite. I love them all equally.
LL: When does the kink go too far in your opinion?
TLH: If I feel like the characters haven’t connected emotionally, I‘m not really interested in the kink UNLESS that is part of the plot.
LL: Describe your writing process?
TLH: I’m a plotter. I pretty much plan the whole novel with a scene list from beginning to end and I also do really intense character studies. I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys the plotting/planning and editing stages more than I do the actual drafting. Writing a first draft is stressful. I’m in the middle of writing one now and I can’t wait to finish it!
LL: What’s next on the agenda for you?
TLH: I’m in the middle of writing The Truth of Things, which I hope to publish by mid-August. The premise of this novel is, what if an SJW falls in love with a cop? It’s been a challenging book to write. I hope I do these characters justice!
LL: Have you ever been so turned on by a scene you are writing that you needed to stop writing to take care of business?
TLH: ABSOLUTELY! One of my favorite writing quotes from Robert Frost is “no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” I think the same holds true for sex scenes. If it doesn’t make you squirm in your seat while you’re writing it, you probably need to go back and fix some things.
Author Website: tashalharrison.com
Dirty Editor: thedirtyeditor.com