Wednesday 28 August 2013

Guest Author Interview - Senta Holland

In today's guest author interview I meet erotica author Senta Holland, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Senta Holland and I am a writer.
I write at least 5 times a day.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Oh wow that’s going back a bit. I first started writing as a teenager and my writing was already very emotional and unconventional. My very first book was rejected by all publishers because it was written – well, actually it was written in a very similar style to ‘Out of the Shadows’ which also took a long time to get published.

My main inspiration for writing is probably reading. Books take me to a very different world, or at least I feel that that is what they should do. Every time I start a new book I hope for a journey to a new universe. So then at some point I wanted to be the captain on that journey. I started to write myself.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I always find it very difficult to answer this question because I like so many different authors. Shakespeare? Virginia Woolf? Chuck Palahniuk? Murakami? Baudelaire? I like them all for different reasons. Maybe what these 5 that just jumped into my mind all have in common is that they all have a very distinct voice, almost instantly recognizable, and that they all developed a new writing style. I love that, it opens a new world on a different level of perception.

Where do your best ideas come from?
Life? I mean, everything you write ultimately is filtered through your life experience, whether you experience it with your body or whether you read about it in the paper.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?
Can I instead have a date with someone from the future? That’s where my passion is.

What is your favourite word?
I actually looked that up in my books and it seems to be : change. Interesting.

How do you become a better writer?
I think I’m a pretty good writer already – I say that because I want to honour those tens of thousands of hours I spent writing (so far). I also say it because there is sometimes, in the writing scene, a whiff of ‘you’re never good enough’. Why is it that, in many other professions and even art forms, people can say, yes, I’m pretty good at my job, but in writing you somehow dare not say that?

On the other hand, I practise writing very much as a craft, so I always try to find new techniques and new ways to keep my mind fresh, particularly in a long project. What I found, and hadn’t expected, is that my writing gets much more fluid and expresses my thoughts much more directly when I write a lot. Volume, at a fast pace, gets the material from the unconscious mind flowing, at least for me. Stop and start is poison.

What are you working on at the moment?
 Top secret I’m afraid.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
‘Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness’ was published by HarperCollins in February 2013. It’s a Literary Erotic Novel and its written in a very unusual style (one reviewer compared it to the Fight Club). ‘It has to fight harder against conservative expectations’ my editor says. All very true. Particularly since it is (mis-)categorized as ‘Romance’ which is, narratively, a very conservative field.
I worked on this book for four years full time (yes, full time, two 4 hour sessions per day) and then tried to get it published for another four years. I am very fortunate that HarperCollins are supporting me – they even offered the book for free for three weeks running which they have never done before with this category. Many readers of conventional romance are confused, but many are also delighted. The book is often called an eye opener and welcomed as an authentic love story from a dark world. Oh, the dark world? BDSM. Real BDSM, not the stuff of fantasy castles and billionaires.

I find it hard to describe the book, it’s really an experience more than a novel and I guarantee you that you will come out on the other side knowing more that you do now. In fact, I promise I will take you to a different universe, the kind of experience I am looking for myself in the books I read.
There are a bunch of reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and there are a bunch of reviews out on Goodreads and Amazon and on various interesting websites. I even got to write a feature in MarieClaire about the history of women's erotic novels.

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness is available from Amazon

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