Here are a selection of blog posts I wrote as part of the month-long blog tour to promote my latest erotic novel, Ekaterina and the Night.

GOODBYE MONTANA, HELLO EKATERINA

A decade or so ago, I wrote a novella which I titled THE STATE OF MONTANA over the course of a 2 week break in the Maldives. If that sounds like the perfect waste of a holiday, it wasn’t altogether the case. I had promised my then (trusting) publishers a new short novel and somehow the deadline got dangerously close, so I felt that writing the book away from home and all its daily distractions might help. The fact that the book’s cover had already been designed and printed before I had even written a single word of the book was incentive enough.

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LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GUYS

I’ve always been struck by how few recognised contemporary male authors of erotica there are right now whose stories and novels appear with some degree of regularity. Think: Thomas Roche, M. Christian, Mike Kimera, Jeremy Edwards, Chris Garcia, Michael Hemmingson, Robert Buckley and myself spring to mind, and then you have to direct a microscope at all the websites publishing fiction, anthologies and ebooks to find a few more names drowning in the sea of oestrogen.

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HOW NOT TO WRITE A SEX SCENE

I don’t plan my novels, let alone my short stories. They all begin with the germ of an idea, a title and an opening line, and then it’s in the hands of fate and my imagination as I improvise my way down the sometimes rocky and winding road, serenaded by the flashing cursor on my screen. A bit like a journey into the dark, although I sometimes have a glimpse of the finishing line, a sentence, a feeling, something I’m moving towards.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT WORDS

In the UK we say tomato; in the USA you say tomato. However, it sounds different. But it’s the same word, of course. Just another indication of the ever widening gulf between our two cultures. In other instances, words are spelled slightly differently, or expressions can have different meanings depending on which side of the ocean you are standing.

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A MAIL ORDER SHOP IN HOBOKEN

I sadly missed the recent Erotic Authors’ Association conference in Las Vegas (I only learned of it being organised barely 48 hours after I’d booked and prepaid our annual late summer holidays) so have not yet experienced being  on a panel at a specifically erotic convention. But I have been invited to the forthcoming Italian equivalent in Zibello, and I am sure that for once, unlike at equivalent science fiction and crime events I have participated in, I will not be assigned to the customary ghetto of the obligatory sex and violence panel, or even sex without violence. With the sort of things I write and my activities in literary erotica, that is the panel I’m always assigned to, unsurprisingly enough.

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How did you start writing erotica?

It feels as if it was the moment I was born. But, seriously, somehow an evident form of eroticism was already present in the science fiction I wrote when still a teenager and it quickly spilled over into all my later writing, irrespective of genre and category. I insist on making my characters credible and, as a result, they cannot escape the spider’s web of sexuality which has always surrounded me and, surely, everyone, or am I an exception?

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J.S. Mr. Jakubowski, it’s a real privilege to have you here today! For the readers who aren’t familiar with you or your work, would you mind telling us a little about yourself?

MJ: Just an English writer who was educated in France, hence a certain sense of disconnect between what I write and the majority of other stuff being done in English-language erotica these days. Just a question of background and sensibility, I reckon. I worked for many years in publishing and now divide my time between writing, editing, translating, and working for film festivals.

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Do you ever wonder if people read your work and judge you as a person?

Of course, and sometimes I know what they think. Being an erotic writer does give you the sort of reputation that precedes you when you walk into a room, to say the least. I find it amusing. But I smile knowing they could never guess half of what I do or am!

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Article no longer available online.

 

For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself and how your career started.

I’m deeply ashamed to reveal that my first book was published when I was only 18. It was terrible and should never have been printed and I will not allow it to be reprinted, ever! I should not have been encouraged so recklessly, as a result of which I’m now at the stage where my book publications have actually reached 130. Most of these have been anthologies, but among the crowd are 11 novels, 5 collections of short stories, two reference books, a film book and a travel book. But as they say, quantity is not necessarily quality and I’ll leave that judgment to my readers.

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1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are?
MJ: Just an English writer who was brought up in France and worked for many years in publishing and alternates crime thrillers (with a strong erotic content) and erotic books. I write and edit full-time and seem to publish much too much, even though I still feel I am twiddling my thumbs most of the time, so it’s deceptive.

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EROTICA WITH A DIFFERENCE

You are what you eat. I think Bob Dylan came up with that saying, or maybe it was attributed to him. In essence, it means all of us are a product of what we have seen, experienced, intellectually digested, so to speak.

On the occasion of the publication of my new novel EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT, I’m now part way through a 21 installment blog tour to promote and publicise the book, a combination of features, credos, cries from the heart and assorted interviews. The most commonly asked questions are, as ever, where do I get my ideas and how do I conduct my research. Surprisingly, no one to date has asked about my influences.

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THE LONG, SLOW AND WINDING ROAD TO EROTICA

I think a lot of authors write erotica because they one day came across some by intent or trial and error on a random bookshelf and it appealed to them and they thought ‘why not me?’ or ‘I can do that’. Which is as good as reason as any. Or, if they are professional writers were given the opportunity to write erotica for the money (as happened to Anais Nin) and then hopefully found out that they were actually quite good at it. A smaller proportion of writers chance upon erotica by accident or even, I have come across some authors/friends who didn’t even realise they were writing erotica until it was actually pointed out to them.

My path to the holy grail of erotica was different.

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GIVE ME EROTICA, NOT ROMANCE

Having agreed, on the occasion of the publication of my new novel EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT to participate in a 21 day blog tour, which means coming up daily with a new subject or angle to discuss, rather than boring you all to death in promoting what is, naturally, a wonderful novel full of lust, travel, deeply troubled characters and explicit passion set all over the world and the centuries (end of advertisement…), truly sharpens the mind and has made me think quite deeply about why I write the sort of things I do, my motivations, my past involvement with writing erotica and also, I fear, about some of what irritates me most in our field these days.

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How did it feel to be voted the “second sexiest writer” in 2007?

– Most amusing. Although I’d preface this by mentioning this was actually the second sexiest crime writer. I was leading the poll for a whole week until on the final day a whole block of votes came in for the lovely Peter May and I was pipped at the post. Seems my wife and daughter voting for me just wasn’t enough. Anyway, it was a fix: Peter is hairy white-haired and bearded Scot who has been to wear a kilt at literary events and his legs weren’t even that good! And, amongst crime writers, surely ladies like the delectable Mo Hayder, the fragrant Alex Barclay and Pocket Venus Megan Abbott are prettier than us ugly blokes?

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Speaking in your role as editor of the annual Mammoth books of Best New Erotica, what are the hallmarks of an outstanding erotic story? – In jest, one that keeps me reading beyond the opening paragraphs! I have a profound dislike of stories that, in fact, have no actual storyline and are just wish-fulfillment episodes or adjective-full streams of consciousness. A good story should be original and a good story with believable characters in evidence long before the sexual element even intervenes. But I feel I should not be dictating any steadfast rules;, insofar as when a good story is set in front of me, I immediately recognize it, and its uniqueness. Some authors achieve this on every excursion on to the page, others more rarely. But when a story ‘talks’ to me, you’ll hear a woop of delight.

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CITIES AND SEX

I’ve mentioned in another blog as part my blog tour for my new novel EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT how one of the most common questions I’ve been asked on the occasion of interviews is ‘how do you do your research?’ in view of the fact that most of my novels and stories are erotic.

Let’s get over the sex part of it: I might not have personally experienced/experimented all the combinations and variations in sexual activity that appear in my books (although you might be surprised when the unlikely time comes for someone to write my biography…), but I read, observe, speculate wildly, spend much too much time on the internet and, come on, if there is one thing I am not short of as a writer, it’s imagination!

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Say Hi Maxim 🙂

-Hello out there in the electronic wilderness

So, tell me, what made you write ‘this’ story?

-The bittersweet memories of certain people I have known and the desire, as I grow older, to write about death but make it sexy enough to entertain readers

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SEX, FOOD AND ROCK N’ROLL

I sadly was unable to attend the recent EAA conference held in Las Vegas (I’d only heard of it a couple of days after prebooking -and paying- for a family holiday for the same week…), so when the opportunity arose to travel to its European equivalent, I jumped at the occasion.

The first ever Un Po di Eros Festival was held in Zibello in Italy over the week-end of the 8th and 9th October. Zibello is a beautiful, if somewhat sleepy little town, on the Po River, just a half hour from Parma. The event was organised by local author Rosalba Scaglioni whose writes her erotica as Liviana Rose and who, with her parents, owns and runs one of the most famous restaurants in the region, the Leon d’Oro.

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When and why did you start writing erotica?

Because it just came naturally to me when I was writing, whether it was when I was active in the science fiction field or later penning crime and thrillers. Although eventually, and in response to the many criticisms I was getting from including sex in those genres, I decided to write an outwardly erotic novel with no elements from other genres. I now tend to alternate strictly erotic novels with others.

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SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Maxim Jakubowski. Welcome to Watch Out, it is so great to have you here.

MJ: The pleasure is erotically mine…

SC: Ohhh

SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.

MJ: I’m a British writer who spent many years in publishing, although I’ve been writing since my teens and actually published my first book at 18. I’ve now reached 130 titles although, in my defense, most of those are anthologies, plus 11 novels and 5 collections of short stories. I have written in the science fiction, crime and erotic field, and also edit for Constable Robinson and Running Press annual anthologies of the best short stories of the year in the British crime and the erotica genre. I alternate crime thrillers (albeit of an erotic nature) and erotica, and this year’s novel is an erotic one, called EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT.

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