Thursday, October 21, 2010

Helen E.H. Madden: Nerdvana Author Interview

Helen Madden is a prolific erotica author, podcaster, and artist. She writes erotica of all flavors. Her stories usually pack an emotional punch beyond the sexual arousal, so you'll find something more to sink your teeth into with her stories.

1) What inspired your Nerdvana story?

The Bully on the Playground was probably inspired by another story I wrote around the same time, called "The Honey Bee," about a dangerous relationship in Victorian England that did not have a happy ending. I honestly think the best stories are ones that don't end happily ever after, and that tragedy and angst work far better in erotica than happiness and warm fuzzy feelings.
For The Bully on the Playground, I wanted to show a really dysfunctional relationship, one where one of the partners can't admit his true feelings or sexual orientation, and the only way he can interact with the person he wants the most is to bully and dominate him. I think I was also inspired by some very naughty and rather pornographic pictures of attractive men having
fun at a playground.

2) How do you feel about a reviewer describing your Nerdvana story as "haunting?"

It was described as haunting? That makes my day. I want to write stories that linger in the brain for a long time afterward, whether because they make people think or make them want to wank. Either works for me. And since I particularly love writing stories that are creepy, spooky, and eerie, then "haunting" comments works all the better for me.

3) How did you get into writing gay erotica?

It was a gradual thing. I started out by writing vanilla hetero erotica after reading through the stories in an issue of PlayGirl. The stories were so awful, I thought, "I could write better than that!" Then I learned PlayGirl paid for those stories, and I thought, "Hell yeah, I can write better than that!" So that was my start in erotica in general. The more I wrote, however, the more I began to explore the possibilities of what was out there in terms of erotica. I gradually moved into BDSM and GLBT erotica as a way to explore various ideas I have about what is erotic and how people interact sexually. Eventually, I made the decision that I should be able to write erotica from any point of view or sexual orientation, and I continue to pursue that goal. BDSM and gay/lesbian erotica are probably the most exciting for me, as I tend to come up with the best story ideas and the kinkiest tales.

4) What other erotica projects do you have coming out soon?

I recently wrapped up the third season of my erotica podcast, Heat Flash. For three years, I wrote, recorded and produced at least one erotica short story every week. I had 164 stories when I was done, for a total of 300000 words. I'm taking a break from that now to work on a sci-fi noir novel called "The Little Death," which I intend to start podcasting in January, and hopefully publish in print and e-book format later next year.

I have a short story called "Metamorphosis" coming out in February with Freya's Bower. "Metamorphosis" is a coming out story with a twist and is being published as part of the latest Dreams and Desires charity anthology, with proceeds going to an art therapy program for women's shelters. In addition, I have a short story coming out with Dreamspinner Press called
"The Sower and the Reaper." That's another gay erotica story, one that focuses on the idea of sacrifice and how it affects people.

5) What non-erotic projects have you written?

Probably the closest thing I have to a non-erotic project is my weekly web comic, "The Adventures of Cynical Woman," which is about my life as a stay-at-home mom and erotica writer. I once did an interview for the Balticon Podcast, and the interviewer was rather surprised to learn that a mom would write sexually explicit stories. My response to that was, "Where do you think kids come from, pal?" I have to admit, I have a very unusual situation in that I don't use a pen name and I'm pretty open about what I do with my writing. I've encountered very little negative response, which I understand is pretty rare. The web comic is my way of showing the world that erotica writers are basically normal, everyday people too.

6) Do you have a website or blog your fans can follow?

I have two websites. The first is my writing and art website, Cynical Woman, at http://www.cynicalwoman.com. This is the home for my web comics, weekly blog posts, online art gallery and other miscellaneous stuff. Then there's the Heat Flash Erotica Podcast at http://www.heatflash.libsyn.com. I'm on hiatus right now, but all 164 episodes of the show are available for download in MP3 format. And they run under a Creative Commons 3.0 license, so they're free to share!

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