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 Pepper Pace, author of “Beast”. Let’s do this.
LL: How did you get into writing erotic tales?
PP: I was somewhat of a goodie-two shoes, so when I decided that it was time for me to stop writing for myself and to become a published author, I felt that I needed to write the hardest thing that I could—which was erotica. I bought several notebooks and I filled them with short erotic stories. It was basically me teaching myself to write with courage. I never set out to become an erotic author but my notebook of stories began my writing career and garnered me my following.
LL: Do you put a little of yourself in your characters?
PP: Yes, most definitely. I see myself in many of my characters, and if not myself I see people I know. I try to dig deep emotionally and I use myself as a means to tap into that well of emotion that we all share. When I write I’m angry or sad or I’m laughing just like my readers are.
LL: How do you do your research?
PP: Wikipedia is my best friend. And in return I donate to them. I take some information from Wiki with a grain of salt which is fine for most of my fiction writing, but if I’m shooting for historical accuracy I will cross reference information several times. When I wrote A Seal Upon Your Heart it dealt with the Rwanda genocide and the research was heartbreaking.
I had to read testimonies of the victims, recounts of the horror of child murderers, the trials—even though I didn’t use all of that information. But it is something that you have to know in order to write about that history. With Wheels of Steel I had to learn how to become a DJ. I interviewed people who are in that field so that I was accurate in my descriptions and the way my characters spoke. I wrote a book about a drug dealer and I had to know how to make crack, and how to free base and the differences between the strains of marijuana. All I can say is that the information in my computer history could get me arrested.
LL: Tell us about “Beast” and who or what inspired you to write it?
PP: Beast was inspired by a guy that I was involved with who actually was a big old country boy from Estill County Kentucky. We would visit his family in the mountains and I fell in love with the place. When I decided to write Beast I knew that I wanted Christopher to be a gentle giant as well as a downhome Country boy. My boyfriend at that time was definitely not Christopher, or we would definitely still be together.
LL: Do you ever get negative or unwanted attention because of the genre you have chosen? How do you deal with it?
PP: Sometimes I am surprised when I hear my author friends tell me about negative responses that they have received from friends, readers or family about writing in the IR genre. But I have never really experienced that. I have interracial relationships in my own personal life and I also live in a relatively conservative city.
I dare someone to get in my face about my choices. I’ve never had a problem. At times, especially when I submitted my stories for free on a site called Literotica.com, I would receive a comment from an internet troll about why I hate myself or why do I hate black women since my female characters are always unattractive. I respond by saying that they are the ones that hate black women since they are the ones calling my characters unattractive—not me.
LL: Who is the one writer that has influenced you the most in the genre and what is your favorite work by them?
PP: Most people don’t realize that Octavia Butler was a pioneer in multicultural writing. She didn’t necessarily write romance but there was always that element of physical attraction between races and even species (meaning alien species). She inspired me to write my own truths and not to conform with the ideas of others. Kindred is my favorite work by her but I also love her Xenogenisis series. But when it comes to traditional IR I was inspired to write exclusively in this genre by authors such as Sandra Kitt and JJ Murray. My favorite JJ Murray book is Something Real and Close Encounters is my favorite Sandra Kitt book.
LL: What is your take on how many sex scenes to include in a novel? Can there be too many?
PP: Yes, there can be too many. Even if I want to read a straight out erotic story, I would still like there to be a storyline. Too many instances of sex can detract from that story. I read a book that had an intense love scene at the end of one chapter and then a page into the next chapter we were reading another intense love scene—and it wasn’t even an erotic book.
When I write erotica, I find that the turn on is much better triggered when you give the characters time to build up to the action. The build up is just as erotic as their sexual encounter. When I write romance I like there to be two or three intense love scenes, depending on the length of the story—keeping in mind that I enjoy writing sexual tension. When I am writing erotica there are more erotic scenes but spaced out to show a rise before I write the actual act.
LL: What is your ultimate goal for your writing?
PP: I would love to walk into any bookstore in America and find my books on the shelf. I am not writing to be rich or famous. I just want to see my books in the bookstore without having to special order them. Well…seeing my stories on the big screen would be nice as well.
LL: What is your favorite sex position to write about in your novels?
PP: Believe it or not it is the missionary position. It allows for intimate eye gazing, easy conversation and visual reaction.
LL: Are you a fan of toys?
PP: Yes. Sex toys bring spice to your sex life—whether you are alone or with someone else.
LL: What is your favorite sub-genre of erotica to read?
PP: I am a fan of BDSM but only if it’s written with authenticity. Meaning that the characters are learning about it as the story unfolds and as the reader you are watching them learn. Or the author actually knows something about the lifestyle and can show you the good and the not-always-so-good. For instance if you have a Dom it doesn’t necessarily entail sex and sometimes you might just be cleaning up their house or being degraded—and that is perfectly fine within that lifestyle.
LL: When does the kink go too far in your opinion?
PP: It’s subjective. I was editing a BDSM book written by a friend and there was a scene of degradation where the female squats over the males open mouth…and we’ll leave the rest unsaid. I edited it out but the author really thought it should be returned. I asked my daughter and another beta reader and they each agreed. Totally subjective. As long as it deals with consenting adults then I don’t believe anyone should be judged on their kinky reading desires.
LL: Describe your writing process?
PP: People describe my writing style as a ‘pantser’ meaning that I write by the seat of my pants. I first get an idea that I can’t get rid of—sometimes I really try hard. When it looks like I’m going to write the story I think about it as if it is happening in real life, sometimes I even dream about it. The characters come to life in my imagination. And then finally the story begins to unfold—never completely at this stage. I then sit down and write allowing my characters to tell me their story. It may seem strange but I’m not successful at creating a complete outline. I’ve tried and lost the story because how can I create an outline before my characters speak to me?
LL: What’s next on the agenda for you?
PP: I just returned from a meet and greet luncheon in Atlantic City with two other authors who write for a small publisher called Kinfolk Books. We are going to organize an event on a larger scale sometime in 2018. I will be attending the RT Book lover’s convention in Reno Nevada in May 2018 and I am currently finishing up a Sci-fi romance called Adaptation 2. Afterwards I intend to complete the next story in the Estill County mountain men series; The Miseducation of Riley Pranger. I will conclude the final book in the Urban Vampire series in early 2018.
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?
PP: I always say that if I don’t feel the story I can’t expect my readers to! (wink)
Pepper Pace stories span the gamut from humorous to heartfelt, however the common theme is crossing boundaries.
Pepper’s unique stories deal with taboo topics such as mental illness and homelessness. Readers find themselves questioning their own sense of right and wrong, attraction and desire.
In addition to writing, the author is also an artist, an introverted recluse, a self proclaimed empath and a foodie.
Pepper Pace can be contacted at her blog, Writing Feedback: