Guest Interview ~ Giselle Renarde
Today we’re thrilled to welcome as our guest Giselle Renarde, author of erotica and queer fiction and fellow member of Sapphic Planet
Why don’t you start by telling us about yourself? Giselle Renarde: I’m Canadian, I’m queer, and my work is most commonly described (by fans and detractors alike) as “different.” Writing erotica and queer fiction is my full-time job, so I’m poor but happy. I love a geek girl, I love my mother, I love my cats, but in very different ways.
Do you read primarily print books, ebooks, or both? Giselle Renarde: I read print books almost exclusively, even though I write ebooks almost exclusively. Reading them feels like work, since writing them IS my work.
Tell us about your writing: How long have you been writing? What genre(s) do you write in? What have you written (short stories, novels, etc.)? What works are currently for sale? Where? Giselle Renarde: I’ve been writing professionally for about 6 years, and I currently have over 50 ebooks on the market (over 100 if you count anthology contributions), as well as 6 print books (Anonymous, Ondine, My Mistress’ Thighs, The Red Satin Collection, Audrey & Lawrence, and Stacy’s Dad Has Got It Going On). Short stories are closest to my heart, I must admit. I write across genres, but I gravitate toward contemporary fiction. I write every sexuality, but my personal preference is lesbian and queer literature, especially stories involving characters who are trans or genderqueer.
What made you decide to write? Giselle Renarde: A friend dared me to write an erotic story and see if I could get it published. That’s how I started my career as a writer. On a dare.
What made you chose to write erotic literature in particular? Is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why? Giselle Renarde: Well, that dare pretty much put me on my path, but I felt like I had a lot to write about because my life has been… “different.” I identify as queer. I spent 10 years of my life as mistress to a married man who was over 30 years older than me. I’ve never been married or had kids or owned a car or smoked a cigarette. My primary attraction is to women, and my girlfriend of 4 years identifies as male-to-female transsexual. I think my differentness probably makes my work unrelatable to readers who are interested in formula romance, but it’s there for people who want something… different.
Which comes first when you’re starting to write a new story: character, setting, plot, or theme? Giselle Renarde: Often it’s a situation, or a spark of a concept. But a story isn’t a story until there are characters, and my characters have a habit of taking over. Sometimes MY idea never plays out because THEY want to take the story in another direction. What can I do? I’m nothing without them.
Any advice for those who want to write? Giselle Renarde: Submit work everywhere. If you get acceptances, that’s awesome. If you get rejections, EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTIONS. So… congratulations, you’re a writer! I remember when I first started out, I took every rejection letter so personally. Oh, they just about killed me! I would procrastinate about opening my inbox because… what if there’s one in there, waiting for me? Eep! Since then, I’ve learned not to ascribe meaning to rejection letters. They don’t bother me anymore.
If an editor takes the time to give you advice, take it. There’s a lot of putting ego aside in writing. Don’t argue. Oh my goodness, don’t go on public forums and call a publisher names because they won’t take your work! I’ve seen this, and it baffles me. Would these people go into a job interview so belligerently? Anyway, you’re not going to do that. You’re smart. You know that the most important part of writing is writing. Write a good story, don’t be an asshole, and you’ll find your success, even if the journey is slow-going.
Which is your most popular work in terms of sales? Critical acclaim? Which is your favorite book you’ve written and why? Giselle Renarde: Funny you should ask. My best-selling book of all time is “Stacy’s Dad Has Got It Going On.” It hit the ground running. Amazon best-seller, etc. I think people bought it thinking it was spank-me-daddy age play and then realized it wasn’t, because it is my most universally despised book… ever. Everybody hates it, except those who love it. But most people hate it.
As for garnering critical acclaim, my anthology of transgender fiction and poetry “My Mistress’ Thighs” was awarded an honourable mention in the 2011 Rainbow Awards, but authentic trans fiction is such a niche market that it hardly sells at all.
My favourite book has got to be Nanny State. It’s lesbian kink, fetish, age play, domination, diapers, lesbian threesomes, spanking… it’s just non-stop. I was so excited writing that book. I remember sitting in my computer chair, writing three words and then bouncing up and down clapping my hands because it was just SO HOT. It pushed my boundaries as a writer and a person, and I just love it. Above all that, my girlfriend the grammar geek edited the book for me, and it was the first piece we’d worked on together. It’ll always be special for that reason.
What’s your earliest childhood memory? Giselle Renarde: Sunlight in a yellow room.
Are you a book hoarder? Giselle Renarde: God, yes.
What’s the one question you wish people would ask you when you tell them you’re a writer? How would you answer it? Giselle Renarde: The questions I wish they WOULDN’T ask are “What do you write?” and “How much money do you make?” (The money question appears courtesy of my uncle). As for my answers: “Nothing I’d want my mother to read,” and “Enough to live below the poverty line.”
Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written? If so, who is it and why is s/he your favorite? Giselle Renarde: I have a soft spot for Bernice and Layla from “Friday Night Lipstick.” Bernice in particular was inspired by a friend of my girlfriend’s, and I guess I paired her up with the luscious Layla to somehow compensate fictionally for her real-life hardships.
Bernice and Layla are both trans women. Layla presents female 24/7 while Bernice is fairly closeted, trapped in a marriage that keeps her from blossoming as fully as she’d like to. They’re a little older than your average romance heroines, but for me that was half the appeal of writing them. They’ve been friends for twenty years, and swinging single Layla has been in love with married Bernice all the while. The one thing Layla never realized was that Bernice’s wife is abusive, emotionally and physically. Layla likes lovin’ but she’d never intrude upon a happy marriage. Now that she knows Bernice’s marriage isn’t functioning, everything changes. Friday Night Lipstick hits the market July 13th from the TransFix line at loveyoudivine Alterotica.
Is there a way for fans and others to contact you? (email, social networking links, etc.) Giselle Renarde: I’m on twitter pretty much every day @gisellerenarde and I blog at donutsdesires.blogspot.com (that’s my home base) plus I have a website www.wix.com/gisellerenarde/erotica but that one’s pretty static. Oh, there’s also the dedicated site for my pansexual Wedding Heat series: www.weddingheat.wordpress.com
Tell us about your latest release – we’d love an excerpt, too! Giselle Renarde: My latest release, on an ongoing basis, is Wedding Heat. Wedding Heat is a pansexual series of stories released as ebooks. Each story focuses in on the sexy and romantic happenings of different guests at Maggie and Ed’s luxury woodland wedding retreat. There are 6 stories on the market so far, and more to come! I’d say my fave is Wedding Heat: Pretty Cousin. I’ve been waiting a long time to write that story.
Vanessa’s had a crush on her cousin Maggie since before she knew what love was. They were inseparable growing up—that is, until Vanessa came out as lesbian. That confession sparked a rift between the girls that stretched out more than ten years
Two days before Maggie’s wedding, she meets up with Vanessa for the first time since they were teenagers and makes a confession of her own: Maggie’s mother was adopted by Vanessa’s grandparents. They aren’t related, not by blood. They aren’t really cousins at all.
Will Vanessa give in to her lust and try to seduce Maggie so close to the wedding? Or will Maggie give Vanessa no choice?
WARNINGS: This title contains graphic language and explicit lesbian sex between non-blood-related cousins.
Vanessa spoke so softly she could barely hear her own voice. Shaking her head, she let her gaze wander the length of Maggie’s naked flesh. God, what a body! Maggie’s thighs were like cream, two milky paths culminating in pinkness hidden beyond a trim strip of hair.
“I can’t, Mags, I just can’t.”
“Can’t what?” Maggie whined, reaching for the soap dish indented in the shower wall and pulling herself to standing. She opened the tiny bottle of shower gel and drizzled it across her breasts. “You can’t wash me? You can’t just wash me?”
The way Maggie said that word, wash, made it seem like not such a big deal. Still, Vanessa fought with herself: should she let go and abandon her good sense, or obey moral law and fight her urges and Maggie’s advances?
Maggie didn’t give her much choice. Grabbing Vanessa’s sopping shirtsleeves, the girl pulled her in for a kiss. She didn’t even see it coming. Her mind was clouded, hazy, lost in the heady sensation of Maggie’s tongue whipping around her mouth.
Moaning, Maggie pressed her big breasts against Vanessa’s front. They writhed together under the shower’s hot flow as the mango-scented body wash began to froth between them. In the midst of their frenzy Vanessa felt the tiny bubbles working their way through her undershirt and popping against her nipples. The sensation defied description. All she wanted was more.
“You’re such a good kisser!” Maggie cried as Vanessa licked her wet neck. “Oh god, that’s amazing!” Vanessa hesitated for an instant, assuring herself that Maggie wasn’t really her cousin, and then ran her hands across the supple length of the girl’s waiting flesh, tracing the perimeter, exploring all the boundaries. “I want to lick your pussy so bad, Mags.”
“Do it.” Maggie’s voice was tight and high, like she was so desperate for this to happen she could barely speak. “Do it now!”
Available from Amazon