Today I would like to welcome the mysterious and dashing, Daniel Burnell, author of Naughty Nights Press newest release, POETS.
NOW FOR ONE LUCKY READER WHO LEAVES A COMMENT AND THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS, THEY WILL WIN THEIR VERY OWN COPY OF “POETS”!
Thank you for joining us here today Daniel, I hope that through your answers to the following questions, our readers will get to know a bit about you and what inspires your writing.
NNP: What inspired you to write POETS?
As I got into the writing, there was an interesting disconnect in the narrator between the repressed, conventional, well-meaning persona she presents to the world and her wild, wanton inner self straining to break free. I found this interesting and sexy and worth pursuing as a writer. She’s real and regular. She’s sitting next to you on the bus on the way home from work. As I got to know her and wrote in her voice, I was struck by the authenticity of her fierce wishes for a wilder life and how they powered her to go beyond wishing to actually acting out step by step her most sexy savage desires. Because she turned out to be a keen observer of the world, her close observation of the stripping away of her inhibitions with these two poets was a real turn on. Sometimes I write erotica without getting turned on. Not this time. It was the slow stripping of clothes and inhibitions that made her absolute nakedness so authentic and sexy.
Here’s something else: A version of “Poets” actually happened to me years ago but because I was, in the intro above called ‘the mysterious Daniel Burnell’, I’m not going to reveal who I was in the menage, the woman, one of the men or the voyeur next door. It doesn’t matter. As a writer, you have to imagine characters and let them lead you. This time, unlike most of my stories, I used an actual event to help inspire me to create the voice and character of the woman and then just followed her.
NNP: Have you always wanted to be a writer Daniel?
Yes, absolutely, ever since I read and was carried away by great literary works as a teenager (among them in the beginning, “Huck Finn”, “Catcher In The Rye”, “Lolita”) I said to myself, ‘I want to be able to do that’ and set out to accomplish it. Nothing else seemed nearly as worthwhile. How else do we know we want to write except by our experiences in reading? Those great authors created worlds that were more real to me than my own world and characters more revealed to me than I was to myself. Writing fiction seemed to me to be a heroic quest. You set out all on your own into uncharted territory and come back, if you’re lucky, with a treasure to present to the world. It’s a true test of the whole self.
Let me say, right here, that I write all kinds of things, plays, literary fiction, reviews, under my real name. Writing erotica these last few years, I have had to bring all my skills to bear on the story telling and the writing has totally engaged me. It’s let me have a creative outlet for material that’s unacceptable to the literary world though the lines between the kinds of writing are getting more blurred (and that’s a good thing). Sometimes I get into a story and start to wonder, is this erotica or not? Several of the stories, I started out thinking were erotica, I wound up publishing under my real name. As a writer, you have to like being different people.
NNP: What comes first for you, the character or the setting when you begin writing?
You know it varies and the process feels magical to me. It seems that my imagination is working on its own in private, that the various elements of story telling, character, setting, voice, dramatic action, come together organically without my participation until the story tears through into my awareness and must be written, almost like writing down a dream. That’s the kind of alchemy that has to go on for a story to catch me up. I hardly ever consciously say, I’m going to write about his person or this place. Something has to go on unconsciously for my imagination to be truly engaged. I do my best thinking in my sleep.
NNP: What is the main quality you like to see in your characters?
First off, they have to be interesting. Really, interest is the only thing that matters and that usually comes down to the authenticity of the human truth being presented. Get your readers to believe in the truth of who they’re reading about and they’ll follow your characters anywhere. There are lots of ways to achieve this authenticity, voice, how the characters see and behave, the step by step truth in the rendering of their experience. But if characters don’t become ‘as if’ real, forget it. Erotic scenes, no matter how descriptive, are just plain boring, if the reader hasn’t been made to care about the people. It’s flat, cliched, formulaic, not sexy. Only believable characters can inspire voyeuristic pleasure in watching them behave.
NNP: What type of research do you do for your writing?
Hate research. Never do it. I know a lot of writers thrive on it but I like to make everything up. I’d probably benefit from research and that I don’t like to do it has no doubt limited me as a writer. I can understand how research creates a treasure of authentic detail.
NNP: Do you have any type of ritual that you go through before you begin to write?
When I feel a story is about ready to be started, I’ll clean up my workspace. As I straighten things out, it seems the elements of the story are being arranged by other hands.
NNP: Do you have any other books in the pipeline or due for release that our readers should keep an eye out for?
There’s “Marietta Exorcism”, a novella just out from Etopia Press,
Set in Liverpool in the 1870’s during a Halloween-like revel, it’s the story of a beautiful, aristocratic young woman’s night long debauche to avenge a betrayal. Hide this one from the children.
I also have stories in a few current or forthcoming anthologies ‘Gotta Have It” and “One Night Only” from Cleis Books and “Lyrotica: An Anthology of Erotic Poetry and Prose” from Vagabondage Press.
NNP:Thank you Daniel for joining us on Naughty Nights Press blog today, I am sure I speak on behalf of all readers when I say; we hope POETS is a raging success for you.
POETS CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE FOLLOWING SITES:
Synopsis of "Poets" by Daniel Burnell
San Francisco, city of pirates, prospectors and poets, has a well-deserved reputation for sexual freedom. People have long come to the city to liberate themselves, release pent up desires and do things they would never dare at home, in short, to go wild with others there to do precisely the same thing. Such is the story of the narrator of "Poets": A sedate woman to all appearances, a first grade teacher living conventionally, having shelved her fierce desires for wildness in her life. She has always had an outlet, a tame one so far; poetry. She attends readings in San Francisco and, on the night of the story, after a reading, she finds herself the object of intense sexual attention of two well-known San Francisco poets. The poets are a pair of smooth-tongued, sexy rogues well practiced in the art of seduction and ménage with women like her who they immediately recognize, she says, as "caged, desperately seeking poetry in her life, ready for anything". She does, in fact, throw all caution to the wind.
When the poets start putting their hands on her in the dark of Vesuvio's, a famous San Francisco saloon, the narrator tells us: "There was a point at the beginning of the proceedings in Vesuvio's when certain thoughts tried to stop me from doing what I was apparently determined to do that night: 'This isn't you. You don't do things like this. You're a responsible person who has to get up early tomorrow morning to teach the wonderful first graders who love you so much. Why are you letting it happen?" But in almost no time at all, I had to admit that many things about my life were false and that this crazy thing felt like one true thing at last."
Their fooling around manages to get the three thrown out of Vesuvio's and then they adjourn to the woman's car and her apartment for a no holds barred, scorching and ravaging, poetic and very naughty, all night ménage, a night the teacher and the reader will never forget.
Excerpt from "Poets"
I was sitting at a small, round table upstairs in Vesuvio's, in the semi-dark, sandwiched between two guys, both of them poets, good poets - I'd made sure of that, with one poet's hand on my left thigh and the other's hand on my right and both pretty far up there but neither touching anything private yet; and one poet's tongue in my mouth and the other poet's finger tracing my breast through my blouse, tentatively, as if it was a wild, caged animal he wasn't quite sure of.
I liked it a lot, really a lot - the tentative, exploratory, poetic attentions of the breast-tracing poet. He was barely indenting my tit, being quite artistic about it, sensitive, and bringing me to life gently, after my long sleep. His touch was of the nerves, flesh and skin and yet not of the nerves, flesh and skin, sensual and not sensual, electrical and not electrical, personal and impersonal; kinky behavior in a saloon and a new poem written into my flesh. I was becoming someone other than who I was and more completely myself at the same time, the truer version. And of course, the regular bodily reactions were happening down below, my pussy, hot and wet, and throbbing wildly with the beating of my heart but I didn't want the poets to kiss me or feel me up any harder or touch me anywhere else just yet, though I certainly would have permitted that and any other poetic or dirty thing these guys wanted to do to me. I wanted them to take me wherever they wanted to go but slowly, poetically and for a long time, just like they were doing.
My breasts felt like they were waking up after a long winter's nap and starting to realize just how hungry they were after their dormancy of not being touched by anyone for many months. Just keep doing it like that, poet, tracing and tracing my flesh, making me quiver and shiver just like that. At the spring rains you may switch to the other one, Sir, and when summer comes, after these delicate attentions, I grant you permission to feel me up like a fumbling teenager in the back of his car and then devour me whole.