This week I’m thrilled to share an interview with Kirsten McCurran, one of the top erotica authors in the hotwife, swinger, and erotic romance genres today.
Let’s start with the big question—what made you choose to write erotica?
It’s difficult to pick why I landed on writing erotica. Growing up, I wrote a lot of different things, though most of my writing was in the science fiction and fantasy genre. I’ve always been more than a little nerdy, I guess. But even those stories had an erotic edge to them. Often, the characters had graphic sex. I first discovered erotic writing was a thing when I happened upon a stash of Penthouse Forum magazines. Reading those stories sure opened my eyes! Once I knew it was a thing, I found myself writing my own fantasies (which were fueled by what I read in those Forums) as short stories. Later, I would write dirty stories for boyfriends, and it kept expanding from there.
Were you always a fan of the genre growing up?
As I said, finding that porn stash was eye opening. There were videotapes in there too, but I found the stories were more of a turn on because I could let my mind run wild, rather than being locked into what was happening on a video. I also started reading the dirty scenes in my mother’s Harlequin Romances, which were tame by comparison. And then I found Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy and I thought, this is for me!
You are one of the more gifted writers in the world of erotica today, and obviously take great care in crafting your stories—did you also write in other genres to learn your craft before you came over to the dark side?
Thanks for the compliment, but I don’t know if I would go that far. I believe I am a talented storyteller, but other writers are far more eloquent than I am. Through high school and college, I think I studied every kind of writing, including screenwriting and playwriting, which taught me to really think visually when writing. And writing in other genres taught me the importance of character and motivation. Too much erotica has paper thin motivations for what the characters do, and I really like to think, how would a real “normal” person behave in this situation, rather than just have a prude who becomes a nymphomaniac overnight.
A fellow author in the hotwife genre Kenny Wright designs many of your covers, and has collaborated on some of your titles. How did that collaboration come about? Are you friends in real life?
Kenny is a great, great guy. I really think of him as a brother, and my books wouldn’t be what they are without his beautiful colors and his feedback. We don’t live in the same place, so we’re mostly email buddies, but we have met. We began tossing story ideas back and forth a long time ago, before he was publishing ebooks, and I told him he was more than good enough to publish. I believe he’s almost created a subgenre of his own by blending a lot of traditional Romance elements with dirtier erotica. We began collaborating when he sent me a story he was working on, which became Because He’s Watching. I thought his idea was fascinating, but I was really curious about how the wife, Emily, would react to being put in this situation. Kenny was writing from the husband, Ian’s, point of view, but I wanted to know Emily’s story. Kenny encouraged me to run with it, with the idea we’d figure out how to integrate everything later. I think the end result—seeing the same story from two very different points of view—was great.
One of the first books of yours I read was Bound By Two. In it a woman, Stacey, is presented with the opportunity to have a threesome involving her husband, Tim, and an ex of hers, Alex. As a woman (presuming you are an actual female author as your name suggests!) do you feel that a woman would be more likely to have a threesome with someone from her past verses a total stranger, or do you think this would bring up old memories, and is really something purely of fiction?
There’s real life, and then there’s fiction. I think for most people in real life, if something like a threesome is going to happen, it’s far more likely to be unplanned and the result of some fun, loose people hanging out and drinking. When everyone is comfortable, everything just sort of flows. And if the other guy is someone the woman’s slept with before, she is going to have a sense of comfort already. Let’s be honest, in real life, the results could be disastrous. Everyone could get very weird afterward and old feelings could be stirred. Having a threesome with a total stranger is probably safer, because you never have to face that person again. A planned, discussed threesome with a stranger is probably a better idea, even if it would be difficult to get totally comfortable with him. Was this purely fiction? I will only respond by saying that this particular story and circumstance is entirely fictional.
Sticking with the threesome idea, what do you find hotter to write about—two girls and a guy, or two guys and a girl?
I find two guys and a girl more exciting to write about because of the loss of control and the feeling of being the center of attention. Two girls with a guy is exciting too, but then it’s really more about the guy.
You’ve mentioned many of your stories are fueled by conversations with your girlfriends—do any of them know you are an erotic author?
A couple do, and one knows I have mined her personal life for story ideas, but it’s not the kind of thing I throw around. People make assumptions about you when they learn you write smut.
Are any of your stories based on your own real-life experiences? If so, care to share a specific one?
No specific story—so far—is completely based on real life experience. Some of them are based in innocent situations that I took and spun out of control. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll choose to publish one of the more personal ones.
Devil’s Bargain might remain one of my all-time favorite threesome tales. I love the premise, and the delivery was exceptional. How did a story idea like that come to mind?
Thanks, it was one of my favorites to write. As I mentioned above, I like thinking about what “normal” people who do in an extreme situation. I think Jen and Caleb are pretty normal. The idea of giving a husband a threesome for his birthday is one that’s joked about pretty often, and everyone assumes it will just be awesome. But nothing ever goes according to plan. I really wanted to look at unintended consequences and balance. Sure, Caleb got an amazing night, but could he (and Jen) live with the eventual cost?
You’re written several Halloween-themed books, including Truth or Treat, and last year’s Halloween tale, Queen of Hearts. In the past you’ve also tweeted out a description of your Halloween costume—is this a favorite holiday of yours by any chance?
I know it’s a terrible cliché, but it really is a chance to cut loose and have fun and pretend to be someone else for a night. I love an excuse to dress up (assuming I’ve been going to the gym!) and I love a good party, and when you combine those two things, naughtiness can happen. Writing a Halloween story has become a fun tradition, though I do not have a good idea for this year yet.
Fun fact: Truth or Treat is one of the oldest stories I wrote.
Swinging Saved Our Marriage… do you think the title of that book would ever really be true, or is swinging not the answer to a broken relationship?
Swinging is absolutely not the answer to a broken relationship. It will probably make everything way worse. It even wrecks a lot of relationships couples believed were strong. Too many people swing for the wrong reasons. Swinging, like a lot of other alt-lifestyles, can work really well for the small subset of people who can emotionally handle it, but I don’t believe most people are equipped to handle the feelings it stirs up. Again, fiction v. reality. The genesis of that story was that I wanted to write a story about swingers where the wife drove the action, instead of the typical husband-convinces-the-wife story. I thought if they opened up to each other sexually, it would lead to greater honesty overall, and things like swinging always seem to supercharge a couple’s sex life. I did a lot of research before writing that, including visiting some local swing clubs with my husband. I have another wife-driven swingers story in my brain I need to write.
I wish! And I’m sure some readers do too. But I’m trying to sell books, and I’m not sure anyone wants to see that.
Dana and Dave are pretty “out there”, even for swinging couples. Without giving away too much plot, they push the boundaries of the shared wife or hotwife idea with Dana making videos with her lover that her husband eagerly watches. Do you think this is a common fantasy among those who want to experience such a relationship, or is this purely for fun and kept to the electronic pages of erotic tales?
Just like for my swinging books, I did a lot of research into the hotwife lifestyle, because I wanted to write it as true to life as I could emotionally. BTW, never tell a hotwife husband you think he’s a cuckold, but cuckold porn is hugely popular. Cuckold and hotwife are at least kissing cousins. I think a lot of men like the idea of a “normal” woman, someone’s wife and mother, letting her slutty side come out completely. I think a lot more of that fuels the popularity of the porn than does men who’d actually want their wives to ever do anything like that. And among the men who do have this fantasy, I would guess a lot of them know it’s wiser to keep it as fantasy. But there are couples who do it, just like there are couples who swing. But if you really look into it, the reality varies greatly from the erotic fiction that’s typically written in the hotwife genre. I’m not saying all your neighbors are closet swingers, but I think swingers are much more common than people who only indulge in the hotwife side of things.
What do you think of the role authors play right now in the lives of their fans? Specifically, I have seen folks come to erotic authors for marriage advice, be it on comments on blogs or on Twitter. Does that make you uncomfortable at all, or do you enjoy it?
Moreso than other genres, I think erotica lends itself to a sense of intimacy, so I understand why readers might feel closer to erotica authors than in other genres. I find it flattering whenever someone asks me for advice, but I don’t know that I’m qualified. I do the best I can. Speaking to male authors, I’ve found that female (or perceived female) authors get different kinds of email and interaction than the males do, so I think it’s very important to keep a line drawn. But I have “met” some wonderful people through my writing.
You’ve mentioned recently you’ve slowed down your writing schedule. Are you finding you’re happy with the amount of material you’ve put out and the success you’ve achieved, or is there some Holy Grail of erotic fiction you still hope to find?
I’ve always felt that my writing is slow, especially when I compare myself to a lot of my peers. But I am an “amateur.” My writing is squeezed in between working a real job, the kids, church activities and exhaustion. So I can’t compare myself to people who can just sit and write all day. But I can be jealous! I am very flattered and touched by my success. I’m thrilled people like my little dirty stories. I’m not sure there is a Holy Grail of erotica out there, but at some point I would like to dabble in other genres.
If you had the full support of your significant other, and all the money and resources in the world to make it happen, what would be your ultimate fantasy?
We would be living in a beach house on Maui and I’d write when the mood struck me. My kids would have all the options in the world. And maybe my husband and I might have the time to have some real life naughty fun!
Any recommendations for other erotic authors you’re enjoying right now?
It’s shameful, I know, but I rarely read erotica! I have precious little time to read these days anyway, but when I do find the time, it’s usually a juicy mystery or a science fiction adventure. I read erotica when I want to be in a certain mood. I find Ben Boswell’s work very exciting, and I love the way Kenny Wright twists his characters emotionally. And I enjoy the dirtiness of Arnica Butler’s writing, when women feel confident enough to let their dirty side out. We all should!
What’s next for Kirsten McCurran? Any summer titles we can look forward to?
There is a slim chance I will have something out this summer, but I am a slave to the limited writing schedule. Currently, I’m working on a book about a couple who moves into an up-and-coming, gentrifying neighborhood. The pretty blonde wife catches the eye of a longtime resident who sets his mind to seduce her. It’s a cheating wife, interracial story, and I hope people have as much fun reading it as I am writing it.
Anything else you’d like your fans to know?!
I’m writing as fast as I can! Seriously, thank you all for your support. Words cannot express how much it means to me. I love your emails and your tweets. Knowing that my dirty mind is appreciated gives me a wonderful feeling of acceptance. And finally, the greatest support you can give any author is to review us on Amazon. So if you like a book, please review it. You can set your review to Anonymous if you’re afraid someone will figure out you’ve been reading smut.
Find Kirsten McCurran’s new book Hot Dates 3: Consequences of Being a Shared Wife on Amazon now.