Today I would like to
welcome the mysterious and dashing, Daniel Burnell, author of Naughty Nights Press newest release,
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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.
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
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:
of "Poets" by Daniel Burnell
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.
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.