As many of you know, my story “Lifting the Veil” was just published in This Is The Way The World Ends, an anthology from Freaky Fountain Press. But the Fountain actually published two great anthologies on March 1st. The other, Bad Romance, is a collection of erotic tales of dysfunctional relationships.
I asked Lydia Nyx, author of Bad Romance’s “Maleficent” (click to read an excerpt), to talk a little about why she writes:
I don’t know why I like to write dirty things. Or why I like to write dark things. As a teenager I was an avid fan of horror novels — in fact, that’s part of the reason I started writing, because I wanted to write horror novels just like the ones I read. I guess when I got older I decided sex was very nice too and I’d like to include that as well.
I cross genres a lot, so I can’t call myself any one ‘brand’ of author. I write horror and paranormal, but also urban fantasy, and of course, lots and lots of erotica, and even romance. I mix these ingredients together in various quantities in my recipes. I slink in amongst the romance authors even though some of my stories don’t have happy endings (or really, love). I slink in amongst the horror writers even though some of my works don’t have a drop of blood in them. I’m quite enamored of urban fantasy and if I was ever forced to choose one genre, urban fantasy would probably be it, as it mixes healthy doses of all of my preferred subjects — equal parts sex, love, and things that go bump in the night.
I like being diverse, though. I have a little something for everyone and I’d get bored if I was constantly sticking to one subject. There are authors who do, and quite well, and I salute them for their ability, because I know I’m far too scatterbrained to stay on one path.
Misconceptions arise however, concerning genre authors. I loathe when literary types scoff at romance and erotica, as if neither is a valid form of writing. Meanwhile, you’re hard pressed to find a person on this planet who doesn’t like sex. You can walk into a public place, spin in a circle, and assuredly smack into someone who enjoys watching porn or reading about it. If it weren’t for us smut peddlers the world would be woefully lacking in pornography, then where would we be?
Likewise, horror writers are sometimes thought to be twisted people who just never had the ambition to make it as serial killers. I imagine your average scholar thinks we sit in dank, dark, dungeons and pen our stories with the blood of our slaughtered victims. Actually, most horror writing stems from the darkness that lives in all humanity, and if it bothers anyone it’s because you see the same thing on the news every night. Horror is a mirror held up to human nature, as much as erotica holds a mirror up to our bedrooms. Besides, do you know how hard it is to write with blood?
But, I’m actually not here to cry ‘no one understands me!’ In fact, I’m here to say sometimes it’s wonderful that I’m misunderstood.
The fact is, writing, no matter what the genre, takes the author away from the mundane everyday and makes us seems like some sort of magician to the reader, which is the most we can hope to be idolized. Authors aren’t like most other ‘celebrities.’ The paparazzi aren’t chasing us down the street, people aren’t asking us for autographs in restaurants — hell, most of us, nobody even knows what we look like. But between the pages we get to preen and shine and hopefully someone will look through the words and see us there and say, “Hey! You’re awesome!”
This is where genre comes in to play. When the reader gets a peek of us, the genre colors their vision. Maybe they think of erotica writers as penning their stories while stretched out on satin sheets while the hunky, naked houseboy feeds us grapes. Maybe they think horror writers are sitting on an antique Victorian couch gathering inspiration from the screams of terror emanating from the basement. Urban fantasy writers — I don’t know. Maybe we’re clicking away frantically on our laptops in the back of a cab speeding through the darkened London streets in pursuit of a werewolf.
Believe me, if any of this were actually happening it would be a terrible distraction and I’d never get anything done.
However, it’s a hell of a lot more exciting than sitting at my cramped desk, sipping coffee from my thrift store mug, constantly putting the cat off my lap, while talking to my online friends in a chat window and checking Facebook every ten minutes when I should be concentrating. So really, I don’t have a problem with other people’s preconceived notions, unless they’re saying I’m not a real writer because I write about sex and death — the two things most people are thinking about more than any other subject on a daily basis.
Please, misunderstand me. It’ll be more fun for both of us that way.
So, circling back to the first thing I said: maybe I do know why I write dirty stuff, and dark stuff. Maybe it’s because I’m not creative enough to reach beyond the subjects I think about the most. I wish, dear readers, I could give you glitter and rainbows and tell you everything is going to be okay. Would you settle instead for a slightly used cat that won’t stay the hell off my laptop?
Lydia Nyx is from Cleveland, Ohio, a multi-published author of erotica, romance, horror, and urban fantasy. She’s older than she looks and not as wise as she seems. Her many incredible talents include making things up, finding amazing clothes in thrift stores, and giving her opinions on things no one asked her about. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite color is black, not because she’s dark and broody, but because it doesn’t show the stains when she dumps red wine on herself.