Thursday, July 7, 2011
Author Interview: Philip Kramer
Philip Kramer Interview
1. What inspired you to begin writing?
Do you know, I wrote about a hundred pages of a book in my mid-teens. I typed it. On a typewriter. It was entirely inspired by "A Fairytale of New York" by JP Donleavy, a great writer and a great stylist. Unfortunately for me what I wrote was all style and no substance. It was about a fellow (his name was Walter Corner) who, by simple dint of chutzpah, panache and associated good fortune was going to make it 'to the top'. Thing was, I wasn't altogether sure to the top of what. Or which way was up, for that matter. Basically, no structure, no substance, no story. What it did do, though, was set the precedent. I could churn out the words - they just needed some direction. Oh, I lost the manuscript somewhere along the way so I doubt that Walter will ever see the light of day. Poor chap.
To be honest, I was a poseur in those days. Fashion, style, scene. I should have took out an ad. "Substance Wanted!"
Then I turned into a working musician and composer. That certainly instils structure, and a three minute single absolutely demands point and clarity.
So, fast forward a couple of decades. I had a new partner with whom I was, still am, powerfully in love. But we were often apart. So, to be blunt, I think the sublimation of sheer sexual longing inspired me to begin writing erotic essays. At first, they were imagined, designed, written and crafted with the single purpose of turning her on! But after a while a silhouette of a character began to emerge; a talented, clever, powerful and deeply sexual woman who, by increments, developed into my uber heroine, the Princess, a.k.a. The Cum Queen.
2. What was the inspiration behind the characters in your most recent release?
Actually I've only written two books! The first is called The Cum Queen and the second, the follow up, is called The Second Cumming. As I've illustrated, both feature this marvelous woman who is mostly referred to as "the Princess". She does have a name of course, a rather long and grand one, but you'll have to get the book to find out what it is!
There's a hint of me in one of the male supporting characters, called Tarquin. I'm from a city called Birmingham in the English "Midlands". It's a fairly industrial city and when I was younger I was kind of the posh kid. So I got nicknamed Tarquin - which, it's probably safe to say, is a name mostly confined to the upper classes! Anyway it stuck, not least because two of my best friends who date from that era persist in calling me that to this day. So in creating Tarquin I exaggerated some of my more, how shall I put it, "rarified" characteristics and there he was.
As for Dim Sun - my chief baddie, so far - well, I just wanted to create someone unremittingly vile and evil for whom no one (except possibly Hannibal Lecter) could have any sympathy. That way I was able to leverage a huge sense of redemption in what is a pretty dark ending.
3. Which character did you have the most fun writing in these stories?
I adore the Princess. I loved working through the psychology of a powerful, talented, brave and clever woman who is driven by her curiosity about people and an insatiable desire. I enjoyed considering how, as a strong and dominant ruler, she could balance her constitutional and personal drive for control with her compassion, wisdom and femininity. On the back of that, figuring out how she can seduce and enjoy people in innovative, erotic and sometimes, frankly, outrageous circumstances - while examining her thoughts and responses in doing so - was a joy in itself.
For what it's worth, writing about Dim Sun was also a pleasure. It was like, how bad can I make him?
4. What would you say the difference is between Erotica and Pornography?
Well, see above. The Princess gets involved in some extraordinarily erotic situations, but you know what's going on behind her eyes, between her ears. Compare that with bucket-shop porn. Look at those glazed eyes. Like dead fish. All you know is what's going on between their legs.
5. What is your biggest inspiration as a writer?
Right now? Still the study of human sexuality. I think it's one of the maddest things on earth. If you can imagine it - actually even if you can't - someone's done it. Bar nothing. Capturing some of that, the right bits, and making it... delicious, seems like a good thing to me.
Apart from that, George Smiley, John le Carre's cold war hero and a fictional British spy. Mild mannered, shy, fiendishly intelligent and utterly ruthless. Why? Because he gives good plot.
6. What literary projects can we expect from you in the future?
Aha. Well the Princess has had two outings, and it's pretty hard to resist a third and make it a trilogy. So I'm not going to. Resist I mean. So I've just started the third book. It'll be great. This time the Princess is in love - truly, madly, deeply - only, being the Princess, it's not quite boy meets girl. Well, not just boy meets girl. To keep it simple let's just say she and her lover have, er... eclectic tastes.
There're also not one but two real hardcore baddies. You won't like them. At all. But that's mostly their point.
All of them, along with a strong supporting cast of well articulated characters old and new, join together in an exciting adventure (faintly reminiscent of Indiana Jones, but with lots of extraordinarily inventive, amazingly erotic and astonishingly descriptive sex!) in which they struggle to gain control over "The Vortex", a strange and mythical force of great power.
7. What advice can you give to new writers trying to get published for the first time?
Hey, I'm pretty wet behind the ears! And at this point I have to offer thanks and pay due respect to Solstice Publishing and their great Erotica division Solstice At Night. After all they first published me. But as to the question, this is what I reckon. Structure, tension, plot. Great characters that just boogie up out of the page. And when that lot's stacked up, yes, some good words, some lyrical flair.
Oh yeah, then stick it out. It rarely comes easy.