Monday, July 14, 2008

Introducing Edie Bingham

by Olivia Knight

Lust Bites has a brand-new shiny spangly contributor in the flock / stable / chocolate-tray, or whatever the correct collective noun is for erotica writers: Edie Bingham, author of The Pride and Southern Spirits, improv comedian, stand-up, closet-cat, and would-be trainspotter. So while the French celebrate the murder of the aristocracy and the birth of La République, we’ve captured Edie and put her in a cage to display to you.

The cage is for her own protection.

Edie Bingham's first novel, The Pride, was written as a bet. Everyone who spent their entire formative years earnestly penning novels in imitation of Jo from Little Women will now lob rocks, fruit, and boxes of unpublished manuscripts, hence the nice thick iron bars around her – because it got published, it’s brilliant, and we’re damn proud to have her on board. (Or, at least, imprisoned.) She’ll dish the details on Friday, but for now – it’s about a woman from a race of hidden people with cat-like traits who tries to escape her traditions to live among men, only to fall for a sensitive historian . When she is abducted and taken back to her Pride, he follows and rescues her. Plus she has a tail, which is cool.
Her second novel, Southern Spirits, also has paranormal elements - a very special train carries people on a ghost tour of the Deep South. In a nutshell, it’s an erotic murder-mystery-ghost-story-detective-novel-contemporary-thriller (as opposed to her earlier erotic paranormal-sci-fi-contemporary… she doesn’t do boxes, cage notwthistanding). Southern Spirits will be released on 5 August this year. As someone with an advance copy, trust me: it steams.
So while we have her safely behind bars, let’s interrogate her…

How did you get into writing erotica?
Ray Liotta walked out of a cornfield and said to me "If you write it, they will cum…" Actually it was an argument about cat costumes being the sexiest for fancy dress which turned into a short story about a woman who was actually a were-cat hiding in plain sight in the chorus line of the musical Cats and gets discovered by a groupie. It just went from there I think… Plus I quite like writing about sex, which helps.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm researching the next book , tentatively called The Forsaken, - about a hidden Crystaline Cavern buried in the desert that moves position with the moon and has a long history of folklore surrounding it. The central character is a folklore historian defending her archeologist father's shattered reputation by trying to find the cavern which supposedly has healing and rejuvenating properties. It has echoes of stories like King Solomon's Mines, She, possibly a dash or two of Indiana Jones... but with a lot more sex.

What is your mental picture of the "typical" erotica writer, and are you one?
I was once told at a comedy gig that I didn't look like a "porn writer" so I told him I'd shaved off my handle bar moustache and left my flares at home. I always picture some lady in tweeds, I think, though I'm sure there really isn't a "typical" type.

Your other personality does stand-up – do your erotica and your comedy feed into each other? Can erotica be funny or does it ruin the moment if someone cracks up?
There are really odd similarities – writing for both requires me to be thinking about engineering a very specific emotional response – either laughter or arousal. They both utilize similar skills of observing human nature and how people behave. I do think my comedy background helps with the lighter moments in my books and I suppose I tend to make sure there is actually some comedic elements in there because it's such a big part of my life. As far as erotica goes, I think it needs a lot of thought but if it's there and works, it’s wonderful. I hate it if it's written badly as I do think it so easily can spoil the mood. I personally find humour extremely attractive from the right man or woman, and extremely irritating from the wrong ones. I always try to have a comedic character in the mix, just to add a bit of reality, because sex and relationships are hilarious as well as sexy and wonderful.

Both your novels have brilliant and quite unusual premises. Where did you find your starting points for them? Are you a train spotter? Were you turning a Turkish holiday into a tax-deductible expense or are you secretly a member of an ancient demonic race yourself?
For Southern Spirits, I was thinking about journeys – sexual journeys in particular. I was also really interested in the notion of places being haunted or occupied, having a "spirit" or personality or entity watching the people within over a long period of time. Setting it on a train keeps the characters close and in a situation they couldn't walk away from easily.
The Pride came out of the argument about cat costumes, but I also think I may possibly be part cat – the part that likes to be stroked and fed by someone else and sleep most of the time. I've also been told I can scratch and bite with the best of em. I've been to Turkey several times on holiday, and the Turkish Restaurant owner Sedat is based on a friend of mine over there. So a little from column A and a little from Column B I think.

Where would we find you – sitting on the station in an anorak with a notebook or lounging in the luxury suite in the train?
Honestly? I'm a total anorak. I love pop culture, nerdy TV shows, geeky guys, science fiction, inane and obscure facts and comic books. I even wear spectacles. Writing sexy books is the only cool thing I do. Thank goodness for erotica!!

In the Lust Bites crowd, you would be voted most likely to…
….leave the ladies room with my skirt in my knickers. Hey, at least I'd get noticed!

...and now, it's open to the rabble to hurtle fruit, questions and champagne at our latest Lustie!


Madeline Moore said...

Welcome to the pretty pink folds of Lust Bites, Edie. Your books sound fascinating. Good luck with the latest.

I have great admiration for standup comics. You have nothing, not even a flute or a great singing voice, between you and your audience. Also, the response to the work is obvious. Laughs must happen or the work has failed. There's no wiggle room. Yikes!

I like to toss a little humour into the mix in my books as well, and it is a tricky thing to do. Although if it isn't working for one reader, it may work for another and anyway, I'm not going to know, am I?

Good luck with your dual careers, Edie, and once again, welcome to Lust Bites.

Edie Bingham said...

One of the things I find really difficult with my writing is just how long you have to wait to get a reponse from your "audience" to your work. It's absolutely maddening, and in such contrast to Stand Up where the live or die responses are absolutely immediate and in your face.

Not that I'm saying erotica needs to be met with those same responses that comedy sometimes gets - not sure how you would heckle an erotic story anyway, since shouting something like "get your **** out!" might be a bit redundant. :0)

You certainly need lots and lots of patience with writing and the feedback is sparse even then - that's why a place like LustBites blog is so fantastic for writers. Do remember that, folks - we're ALWAYS really happy to hear from our readers, so thanks in advance to all the Lustbites followers. xxx

Portia Da Costa said...

Wow, your ideas are amazing, Edie! I thought I had a good imagination, but it's sedate compared to yours. LOL

Welcome to Lustbites!

Madeline Moore said...

Funny, Edie, because I'm also a screenwriter and I find the response to my fiction much more immediate than any response I get to the produced script. It takes for freaking ever and there are so many hundreds of people involved in a production and, especially in Canada, the process is long and slow.

The TV writers I know don't even watch the show once it makes it to air. I wrote two episodes of a series and watched the first one, mainly to see my credit alone on the screen. written by - ME! Sadly, the story contained not one line of dialogue that I'd written, and the episode was obviously used to fill space without using up any of the budget. Sigh. I didn't watch the second one.

I went to a blog where the show was being discussed and the concensus was that, while the animation was terrific, the writing sucked and they should hire new writers. If people only knew...

Maybe that's why I don't care that much about edits made without my knowledge in my fiction. What's one word when the story producer will change the entire script without so much as a word to the writer?

In truth, writing fiction is a much more satisfying experience for a writer than writing for TV. Of course, TV writers get paid ten thousand times more money...which does help in the licking of wounds...

Kate Pearce said...

Welcome-I love that book cover!
I can't imagine being a stand-up comic-being a writer is hard enough!

Edie Bingham said...

Madeline, now it's my turn for admiration - all the TV producer types I've ever met have irritated me within minutes! Anyone who writes for TV is a far stronger person than I - the Napoleon Complex you ha ve to deal with most of the time would drive me to murder I think. LOL - Writing Stand Up brings with it an enormous amount of personal freedom as regards content and delivery and persona. That said, it stands or falls totally on you, the comic, and although the successes are grand, dying in front of a crowd is a hellish experience and there's no one to blame but yourself. LOL So much for creative control :)

As for time scales, I began writing The pride at the start of 2003, submitted the proposal Oct 2003 and The Pride was released finally in October 2005. That's a long time for it to reach the public.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Pleased to meet you, Edie!

I also do both erotica per se and (under a different name) humor per se, and it's always interesting to see where and to what extent these two per ses can cross-pollinate.

Edie Bingham said...

Well howdy to you, Jeremy :)

I'm getting all flushed and flustered now, being in the company of all these prolific writers.

< Waynes world on >
I'm not worthy!!
< Wayne's World off >

Edie B xxx

Madelynne Ellis said...

Hi Edie, welcome to the madhouse. Being a stand up comedian sounds terrifying. I think I'll stick to writing books.

Your new book sounds fab.

Madame Butterfly said...

Hi Edie-- reader here. I'm already drooling over Southern Spirits

erotic murder-mystery-ghost-story-detective-novel-conte

Seriously? Just about everything I get off on seems to be an element in this book. It looks to be very interesting.

I'm putting this on pre-order el pronto.

Edie Bingham said...

Actually it's already out in the UK but USA and Canada have to wait until August 5th, which is very mean.

I'm hoping it won't disappoint, madame B

Olivia Knight said...

Sorry, Edie, my fault, that one! Madame B, it definitely won't disappoint, trust me ;-)

Deanna said...

Hi Edie,
Sorry I'm late with this. I've never been very good at getting anywhere on time, unfortunately.

Your books sound absolutely fascinating, I'm looking forward to reading them and getting to know you better.