Monday, May 14, 2012

Erotica author Andre SanThomas interview

Before we get to the interview and the questions, I would like to point out that Andre SanThomas' novel Ielle is available for free download today at

1.) What has drawn you to write erotica literature?

I think the biggest draw for me was just to write the kinds of things that I like to read. My books are BDSM, although I'm often told that they're not "typical". They are definitely romances with nice solid happily ever afters involved (at least so far). I'm a "pantser" not a "plotter" which means that I have no idea where the story is going when I start writing. I just go by the seat of the pants and see what happens. My characters have a story to tell, and they just use me to do the typing.

For example, at one point during Ielle, I tried to put Kyr into a threesome with Ielle and another girl. I wrote it all out and then everything stopped. Ielle was upset and Kyr was sulking. Oh, don't get me wrong, Kyr enjoyed the threesome at the time, but he wasn't happy that Ielle was unhappy. After about three days, I gave in and deleted it. I gave another character a threesome instead and I had the dancing girls do a very erotic dance for Kyr and Ielle and the rest of the household and suddenly, everyone was happy. They forgave me and decided to tell me the rest of their story.

2.) Do you write in any other genres? If so, which ones?

Not yet, but there may be a few other genres in me at some point. Odds are good I would use a different name if it happens so as not to confuse readers, though. As much as it may seem strange, there are probably more than a few children's stories in me somewhere, too.

3.) Erotica fiction seems to get banged around pretty well online from time to time, regularly facing one censorship situation or another. Do you think this will ever end? Will erotica eventually become more accepted, or at least not catch so much grief?

We have a funny relationship with sex in America. No matter how progressive or even out of control we get in some areas, we quickly fall back to our Puritan roots. I think there will always be people that feel that erotica is the root of all evil and will consider it their duty to squash it. Meanwhile, every day we convert a few more people over to the dark side.

It is difficult to promote erotica. Many websites and bulletin boards won't let you mention it or restrict what you can and can't say, even though they let other people promote all kinds of other stuff or allow really crude language and topics in their posts. People are reluctant to give you reviews even when they love your book because they don't want their mother-in-law to see it on Amazon or Goodreads. I've even seen a lot of it from other authors who write in other genres. Fortunately, there is a great community of erotica authors out there if you know where to look for them. I'm fortunate that I've had some great mentors and I've got like-minded people I can kick things around with.

And despite what people say in public, I know where people who read my blog come from. Huge numbers of them find it through a siggy link in those very conservative sites or in those negative posts. You may hide from your mother-in-law or your pastor, but I know who you are and how long you stayed. Just sayin'.

I'm very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. E-books are opening a lot more doors for people. You don't have to go into some seedy triple X shop anymore to find a sexy book. This is especially important for women who probably haven't been comfortable doing that. You don't have to settle for the limited view of a small number of big publishers trying to appeal to the masses. As authors, we can reach out to a niche market that might not be big enough for Random House, but is plenty big for a few talented authors. It really is an exciting time and I believe it is a wide open path that is only going to grow and develop over the next few years.

4.) What are your ultimate goals as a writer? Success? Money? Power? Or are you just having fun? Or all of the above?

I'm already quite successful in my day job field and I don't think you find a lot of power as an author no matter what you do.

So, I would say that I'm a combo of having fun and making money. If I only wanted to have fun, there are a number of ways to put your writing out there for free and just sit back without getting into the business side of things. In my case, I know my books have value and I'm willing to do that business side to realize that value. Plus, I am enjoying that business side as well! Win, win, all the way around.

5.) You are asleep at night when a nudge in your ribs wakes you. You roll over in bed and find yourself facing one of your characters. Which character do you hope it will be? And what do you do?

What a great question! Now being an erotica writer, you might think that I'd be hoping it was Kyr, the manly male in my Realm of Janos series. But no, I've got my real life version of Kyr at home already. So, I'd have to go with Ielle. I know I'd love to sit down and chat with her. We're definitely kindred spirits and I know we'd get along famously. She's a lot more limber and coordinated than I am. Maybe she could teach me some of her dances.

6.) Your novel Ielle is dedicated to your husband. What does he think of your writing? And does he get jealous of your characters?

My husband is 100% always in my corner no matter what. He's quite proud of me and looking forward to retiring when the Realm of Janos becomes a weekly series on HBO or Showtime. He’s got no cause for jealousy and he reaps the reward of all of my research endeavors.

7.) Independent writers are always talking about pricing of e-books, what works and what doesn't, what is good and what is bad, etc. As an erotica writer, how do you come to the subject of pricing e-books?

I think that a lot of authors price themselves too low due to insecurity or laziness.

There are those that choose a low price as a marketing tool, and there are short works that are appropriate at a very low price, that's fine. But there are also a lot that price themselves down in the bargain basement just because they don't have the confidence that someone will actually pay money for their work. That’s insecurity talking.

Laziness comes into play when people drop prices instead of doing the marketing. No matter what price your book is, they don’t sell themselves. Even free promos don’t really take off if you don’t market them properly. Or they haven’t spent the time to research what books in their genre run, or they put their book up riddled with errors and problems. Lower prices do not fix those problems.

My theory is that you should be building the customer that you want for the long haul. Is your customer a .99 customer? If so, you’ll need a heck of a lot of them, so you had better get busy. What price are similar books in your genre? Are you filling a specific niche? It is fine to do the occasional sale or special promotion, but your baseline price of your book should be what it really deserves. That is, something in line with the rest of its peers, maybe a dollar or so less. Then get out there and market, market, market and bring in your customer. Once your customer shows up, you have to write, write, write and make more great books for them.

Thanks again for the interview.

For more on Andre SanThomas, check out her ...
Blog: Being His: Words by Andre SanThomas
Amazon page for Ielle, the first book in the Real of Janos series
Amazon page for Inside: The Realm of Janos Series Fantasy short story
Amazon page for Driven, a contemporary novel in the Sensual Submission series

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