Let's talk about gender roles in the world of erotic fiction. When a woman writes steamy scenes, she's called "bold" and "daring". When a man does the same thing, he is called a pervert and a predator. Dear friends, meet N.J. Salupo, formerly known as Raine Storm, author of dark, provocative, boundary-pushing fiction.
MJN: It's fair to say that the world of erotic fiction is dominated by female authors. Do you think that as a male author you offer a different perspective and a different "edge". Or do you prefer to be regarded as gender-free?
NJS: Yes I feel that as a male author I can offer a different perspective and there's no doubt I offer a different type of edge with my style of writing. I never hold back when it comes to my novels. I do however often feel the industry is gender-biased at times. For example, I can run the same contests or write erotic novels just like the women of the industry but at times will be seen in a different light or declared a predator by hypocrites or jealous haters.
MJN: Before you were known as N.J. Salupo, you had another alias - Raine Storm. It's true that many authors write under different pen names to keep various personas separate. On Amazon you are very upfront about the switch. At what point did you decide to reinvent yourself?
NJS: I really didn't have a choice when it came to reinventing myself. Facebook forced the switch 11 days before my Tampa book signing. It was tough because a lot of people were looking for me and were not able to find me. They simply didn't know I was there but had changed pen names. As Raine Storm I had tons of followers and fans and it took some time for them to find me again once I became NJ Salupo but here I am going strong again.
MJN: According to your biography, you pride yourself in shock factor, which is something near and dear to my heart. The challenge is that readers and people in general are becoming increasingly jaded and therefore harder to shock. There are very few things that are considered taboo. I find that my own ultra-conservative posts on Facebook generate stronger reactions than messages heavily loaded with explicit sexual content.
NJS: Shock factor is so important to telling a good story and though these readers are becoming more and more intelligent and tougher to shock I still keep finding ways. Also I'm known to be one of the better cliffhanger writers out there which earned me the title, "The Destroyer of Kindles," since you'll want to throw the book at the end but still want to purchase the next one, or so I'm told.
MJN: The Abduction of Stephanie almost reads like a nightmare. Did you interview any teenage girls to ask them what they feared most?
NJS: You know I didn't get a chance to interview them for that particular book which is still my favorite one I've written but I would love to do so in the future as I feel it could help with my writing of future novels. I know it's got to be tough being a teenager in this day and age and not only should we know their fears but we should pass along ways in which they can protect themselves. I have a teenager myself, though a son not a girl, I still stress to him how important it is to be careful around strangers and explain to him that evil in fact, could be staring us right in the face. It could be an aunt or uncle, a neighbor, even a teacher. Teenagers need to be careful and aware of their surroundings.
MJN: I imagine that one of your literary idols is Marquis de Sade. Just a wild guess. And your favorite film director must be Tarantino. If you were to have one of your novels converted into a screenplay, would Tarantino do it justice?
NJS: I'll be honest with you, other than what I learned of Marquis in a college philosophy course, I never thought of him as an idol of mine. Hemingway is more my literary idol. Favorite director is definitely Tarantino. I absolutely love his work. He is extremely talented and if I ever get the chance to have him direct something I've written it would be a dream come true. My goal has always been to have my books converted into movies and TV shows and it's no secret my ultimate goal is an academy award for having written a kick ass screen play.