Today I am please to feature a splendidly naughty, intense, sincere and eloquent (did I mention bestselling?) erotica author Nadine Marie (N.M.) Catalano.
MJN: In your biographical blurb you mention that your life has been filled with intense emotional experiences. Do you feel it's important for an author to have a colorful emotional past to write convincing multi-dimensional characters? They say, write what you know? Or is it enough to have a vivid imagination?
NMC: In my opinion I feel that yes, it would be beneficial for one to write from intense emotional experiences but I think that might also make it one-sided. I think it is more important for one to feel deeply, which is what you have said being from a colorful emotional past. I'm sure it helps if one were to have intense emotional experience as well, of course. But to bring a reader in, make them feel it deep inside, the writer must feel what his characters are feeling, be able to live the experiences of what is happening in the story, each angle of it, even if only from a vivid imagination and a fictional standpoint. That is what makes writing exhausting and draining, make it seem as if we're opening a vein and pouring everything within onto the blank page. Without it, the story is flat and lifeless. When I was writing STRANGER, my first release, I was completely inside myself and living in those lines and words. So many readers have said it felt like what was happening in the story was happening to them, they were inside the story. That was the greatest compliment.
MJN: You mention that you are in love with all your characters. I imagine, many of them are based on real life individuals. As a writer, I know I am guilty of writing alternative endings in literature to relationships that did not pan out a certain way in real life. Have you ever had anyone from the real world approach you and say, "Hey, I recognize that plot twist!"
NMC: *smiling* Yes, many of the characters in my stories are based on real people. None have said they recognize the plot twist though. What they have said, or rather asked is for me to write their fictional happy ever after. Another thing they're taken with is seeing how they are perceived through someone else's eyes, their traits, mannerisms, what makes them special, their beauty from within, and without. They are amazed, their words being, "That's me? That's how I'm seen?" It's a beautiful and humbling experience and I feel so lucky to be able to give them that gift.
In my latest release, THE ROOSTER CLUB, THE BEST COCKS IN TOWN all of the men are based on a real group of men who actually did call themselves this. Most every single situation I've written actually happened, from the sex to the drug deals in some way or another. But a lot of us who grew up during this era lived amongst these scenarios, whether it was us, someone we knew, or someone they knew. This lifestyle was rampant, and still is in many ways. We've stopped calling the places discos, they're clubs now, there's still a drug of choice, and addiction has been expanded to include technological. All of the main players in the story are alive in some way, shape, or form now and we all know them.
MJN: I noticed that there is a slick, almost Spartan vibe to your covers. The titles are terse one-worders, and the color scheme is very minimal. Stranger. Kink. I do believe that sometimes less is more. An abstract cover can be more intriguing and suggestive than a close-up of a sixpack or a fake rack.
NMC: The vibe of the stories made me want to keep the covers crisp and minimalistic with that element of intrigue. I believe it's because the theme of the stories are all zeroed in on something, pin pointed to a specific concept that's masked in sensuality and mystery. Although my stories are romantic in feel, they are contemporary, and it's definitely more about the story rather than just the six pack on the cover. It's about feeling, pulling you in, getting you lost, it's about the mind, the heart, the body, and the soul. My last two books touched on very sensitive topics. KINK had cutting and rape. In THE ROOSTER CLUB, THE BEST COCKS IN TOWN the story was built around addiction. My upcoming release PERFECT is based also on addiction but a different kind.
MJN: You have two talented beautiful daughters. As a mom, do you ever cringe at the idea of your children having experiences like the ones you describe in your books?
NMC: Every. Single. Day. We live in a very beautiful but also a very dangerous world. It's hard to know who you can trust and who you can't. Society has made the unacceptable and forbidden now common place and acceptable. It's a daily battle I fight reminding them the difference of right and wrong, what's acceptable and what's unacceptable and trying to keep them from growing up too fast.
As far as them being women, it's a fine line I teeter on when trying to keep them loving themselves, (God knows the media throws enough at them for that). Because I write primarily erotica, I don't want to make their sexuality something taboo. Rather, it is something that should be embraced. The fight is making sure they know it should be with the special one. Promiscuity can be dangerous. With songs playing on the radio belting out lyrics saying, "I want you to eat my booty like groceries," wtf, come on!, I cringe. Yeah, please do, but love, respect, and appreciation should be first and foremost.
My primary objective is to teach my children about these things: love, honor, respect, and appreciation. First, to yourself, then to everyone and everything around you. If I can do that successfully, then I will have done my job as their parent.
MJN: Your other area of expertise is fashion design. How do the two passions complement each other? Do you believe that your fine motor skills enhance your prose, make it more ... tactile and appealing to the senses?
NMC: I have never thought about a relation between motor skills and writing. Obviously there is as one must have command of one's motor skills in order to do the act of writing. Where I do see, and feel, the relationship is the concept of creating. All art comes from the heart and soul. In my minds eye, when one creates I see it as a living being, it's own entity, being born from inside the individual. It's its own life force, we as writers and artists are only the catalyst by which it comes to life. And you hear so many writers say they have voices/their characters talking in their heads demanding to come out, insisting on being born.
When I finish a story, and to me it's never finished, I'm exhausted, my brain is fried but I feel exuberant.
Yes, I do love my all of my characters <3
Thank you again so much for chatting with me. Join me on Facebook and at my blog.
~ N.M. Catalano