Today, I’m sitting down with Aoife Brennan, an erotica author from Dublin. I hope you enjoy learning more about her influences and her writing process!
Only this year. I always loved reading and sometimes when I put down a particularly awful book, I’d say: ‘I could do better than that!’ Of course, everyone can be a critic and not everyone can write a book. I don’t mean a good book, just a book – with a beginning and a middle and an end. That is a feat in itself. So while I have often critiqued a book, I also realised that I had never done one, until this year.
This year two things happened for me. The first was I had read the 50shades book and thought again that I could have written a better book. This was less to do with the erotic writing and more to do with the characters which I felt were very false and stiff. Also, I was tired of reading about people who were ‘prefect’. It is similar to the airbrushing techniques in glossy magazines. I wanted to find a woman I could relate to, understand and feel sympathy for. The second thing that happened was I hit rock bottom financially. That ironically gave me freedom in time since my job was gone. So, I took up my own challenge to see if I could really write a better book. Of course, history will judge me in this regard.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
Panster. There are so many things in my mind I could not possible plan things properly.On the flip side, if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done!
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
My first book was just writing. Literally putting one metaphorical foot in front of the other. I’m now writing the second book in the trilogy and I have plotted the whole book in advance. When I do get stuck on parts, I tend to go for a walk and often by the time I get back I have figured out how to resolve my block.
I write on a laptop.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
EL James for opening up the genre. Although I have to say my books are not erotica. They are what I like to call #realworld book with some adult content. I mean life does contain adult material so I don’t mind it in real writing. Other serious influencers would be William Trevor, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, and too many great writers to mention. I often think its like music, I may not be able to sing Opera but it does me no harm to listen to the best. That way, when I sing in my little choir at least I can sing my heart out.
I have just published The Cougar Diaries, Part I. There are two more books in the trilogy, book two should be out by the summer and the final one before the end of the year. It’s all write, write, write this year! I also wrote The cougar Diaries, The Prequel as a short introduction.
6. Any tips for new writers?
The best advice is just to write, write crap, write good stuff, write purple prose, write elegant prose…whatever just write. The second piece of advice is read good writing – it will lift your game.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Ah, very interesting question. Life can be a bit discouraging alright. All too often new writers get huge attention and the old ones, who are still producing books are ignored or put down. You are only as good as your last book – that is pretty daunting.
Well, for me, anyone who reads my writing and likes it – that makes my day. For people who read it and don’t like it, well I’m only newly published so I have only got good reviews so far but I am sure there will be many negatives to come. When they do, I’m going to try and listen and hear constructively their points and then promptly forget them!
It is funny but being a writer or an artist is very tough. Not only do you have to believe in your work, you also have to put up with other people talking about it! I mean if I was a plumber, I would only have to do my job and get paid. As a writer, I do my job, hopefully sell a few books to get paid, and then am open to people who want to express an opinion on my work. That is very scary and daunting, but which is also thrilling and exciting. I hope that by the time I get to be an ‘old’ writer I still keep that passion.
Many thanks indeed