Emerald is the pen name of Emily McCay, an erotic fiction author whose work has been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She is an advocate for sexual freedom, reproductive rights, and the rights of sex workers, and she serves as a Facebook group moderator and assistant newsletter editor for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW). Her first single-author collection, If…Then: a collection of erotic romance stories, is out now from 1001 Nights Press. Find her online at http://www.TheGreenLightDistrict.org.
With no time to waste, MFRW gets down and dirty with Emerald...
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Good question! Thus far, I have only worked in short form fiction, so my books are collections of short stories. If I ever complete a novel, it seems I’ll be better equipped to answer this! But the amount of time I take to complete a short story seems to vary greatly. In some cases, I’ve written a complete first draft in a few hours and then spent only a few days editing. In other cases, I’ve had a story in the works for years that just hasn’t seemed to draw to a close yet.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Ideally, I would like to have a schedule, but historically, I seem to write when the urge strikes. I will say that, schedule or not, I have tended to write much more prolifically and effectively when I give myself permission to focus on <i>only</i> writing and not constantly feel as though I “should” be doing something else. The internal patterns of my psyche have historically seemed pretty distracting that way.
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres?
While I’ve had about 30 short stories published in various multi-author anthologies, I am immensely thrilled that my first solo book, If… Then: a collection of erotic romance stories, was released in mid-September. It contains ten stories (eight previously published and two new) and would most fittingly be called contemporary erotic romance. A few stories contain LGBT and BDSM elements.
How do you come up with story ideas?
That seems such a common and understandable question, yet I have yet to figure out a simple answer for it. Things just come to me, it seems. Sexuality is a subject of fascination to me, so I’ve been known to see it in a lot of situations. When that’s happened, I’ve not infrequently made a story out of it!
What does your husband/wife think of your writing?
I have found my partner invariably supportive of my writing endeavors. I haven’t asked him to read all of it (generally, I’m loathe to ask people to read my work, especially when it’s unpolished, and I only tend to do so if I feel particularly stuck around something or in need of specific advice/feedback), but he has read some of it, and some of it he’s heard when he’s accompanied me to the various readings I’ve done. :)
Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
Yes. Especially when I’m writing from a male point of view. While I don’t at all buy into the idea that men and women have fundamentally different viewpoints from each other or that each respective group (male and female) is monolithic regarding perspective, I do like to check in with him to make sure the mechanics, if you will, all make sense!
Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
I have no doubt many people I don’t even realize have influenced my writing have done so. Probably, on some level, everyone with whom I’ve ever come in contact has influenced it. As far as those of whom I’m aware, the authors (of any genre) whose books, especially fiction books, have left me in awe have influenced me by inspiring me in an intangible and profound way to express as beautifully as I feel they have. That list would include, among numerous others, Victor Hugo (Les Miserables), Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence), and Donna George Storey (Amorous Woman). I also feel that any author or book (in this case I refer more to nonfiction) that results in increased self-awareness and expanded consciousness in me allows me to write more effectively, as such things allow me (or anyone) to do virtually anything more effectively.
What can we expect from you in the future?
My second single-author collection, Safe: a collection of erotic stories, is due out in a matter of days. (!) I actually submitted Safe and what became If… Then as a single manuscript. My publisher recommend we split it into two volumes, an idea I initially resisted but have come to see was an excellent idea. If… Then is an erotic romance collection, while Safe is erotica. Erotica is my usual genre, though I’ve been known to write erotic romance as well. I’ll have a new short story included in the Best Erotic Romance 2015 anthology forthcoming from Cleis Press, and I recently finished a baseball-themed erotic novella for inclusion in a forthcoming Sweetmeats Press anthology on sex and sports.
How do we find out about you and your books?
I welcome anyone reading this to visit my website, The Green Light District, at http://TheGreenLightDistrict.org. There’s a section devoted to my publications that includes not only information about If… Then and Safe but also the various anthologies edited by others in which I have had stories published.
How can readers/fans contact you?
The upper-right corner of my BLOG (just under the header) shows a plethora of icons representing ways to do just that! :) Readers are welcome to email me at the address linked to there, and I am on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads and may be reached via my profile on any of them.
My favorite novel ever falls into the “classic” category: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. It feels difficult to me to articulate how I have felt affected by the reading of that book. The words “yearning,” “breathtaking,” “poignancy,” “gratitude,” and “inspiring” would likely all be jumbled in there were I to try.
MFRW Author Emerald recently released If... Then: a collection of erotic romance stories with 1001 Nights Press.
In these tales of sizzling erotic romance, deep affection and the warmth of familiarity underlie the erotic connection between longtime lovers. “The Plant on the Mantel” explores the unexpected implications of a generations-past affair on a young married couple. “Honey Changes Everything” finds Kim wondering how to lead her husband out of his state of despair upon losing his job; inspiration comes when breakfast in bed serves up more than just pancakes. And “If…” and “…Then” examine what happens when Valerie finds herself intensely attracted to someone other than her boyfriend—and what he does when he finds out.
With original stories (“Soft and Gray” and “Shattered Angels”) joining the eight previously published tales in this collection, If… Then is a testament to the scorching eroticism that can so seamlessly subsist with long-term romance. " In these ten tales of sizzling erotic romance, deep affection and the warmth of familiarity underlie the erotic connection between longtime lovers. If… Then is a testament to the scorching eroticism that can so seamlessly subsist with long-term romance.
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