“Great erotica should not only heat the loins, it should unveil the possibilities — for love, passion, and romance.” — A chat with author Seelie Kay
I caught up with author Seelie Kay for a chat on art, writing, her battle with MS and how that influences her art, and much more, ahead of her newest release, a collection of 10 short stories that is “a kinky romp through Lawyerland” called “Kinky Briefs, Cinque” — coming out June 1 via Extasy Books and June 15 via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The resultant conversation is a fascinating look at genre, creativity and the power of art to help us all overcome even the most insurmountable obstacles in life.
Seelie writes about “lawyers in love with a dash of kink”, drawing from her more than thirty years’ experience in the legal world as a journalist and attorney. Her other books include “Kinky Briefs”, “Kinky Briefs, Too”, “The Garage Dweller”, “Kinky Briefs, Thrice”, “A Touchdown to Remember”, and “Kinky Briefs, Quatro”, as well as the romance anthology, “Pieces of Us”.
In “Cinque”, “A young lawyer’s wicked pen unleashes erotic flights of fantasy, spinning tales of a sensual Sheikh and his lawyer wife who battle terrorism despite a price on their heads, a former rocker turned lawyer faced with a life-altering decision, a law school ménage a trois gone wrong, and a criminal defense attorney whose practice tips into the paranormal. The naughty yarns continue with a medieval adventure, a secret agent’s obsession with a law professor, a Lady turned lawyer fighting to regain her footing after a profound loss, a law student who strips to fund her studies, a fledging lawyer questioning a sexy deal with the devil, and a kinky lawyer fighting a chronic illness. This scintillating collection of ten sizzling short stories will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, and yes, they’ll even make you blush, but in the end, you’ll run out and buy a set of handcuffs. Because you’re going to want to experience at least one of these hot little fantasies!”. An excerpt from Chapter 9 can be read below this interview too.
I have gotten to know Kay through my work with The Nu Romantics, and I can say she is sharp as a tack, very determined and incredibly creative. Find Kay online here, her blog here and her Facebook and Twitter by clicking the respective links.
Her work is well worth your time to check out, very much including “Kinky Briefs, Cinque” when it comes out June 1.
Hello and welcome Seelie! This is my first time interviewing an author about just their written work and not at all about film (after my chat with Laird Barron on the screen adaptation of his work). I would like to start by asking about your history a bit. How did you go from journalism to law to erotica author?
Although I have been writing since I could hold a crayon, my writing has taken different forms throughout the years. As a journalist, I did features and investigative pieces for newspapers and magazines. As a lawyer, I continued to write for legal publications, but also did stints drafting opinions for a judge, as a speechwriter for the presidents of the American Bar Association, as an editor of a legal weekly, serving as in-house marketing director for law firms, and then launching my own PR/marketing consultancy. (I did practice law as well, but writing was always the priority.)
Unfortunately, Multiple Sclerosis intervened, creating all sorts of physical collateral damage. Between 2010–2015 I had seven medical procedures, all of which required sedation. Most people are unaware that one dose of anesthesia can take up to a year to totally leave your body. My continual “dosing” left me pretty out of it. I could barely think, much less write. It was a pretty dark time.
Finally in 2016, the fog began to clear and I knew it was time to get my house in order. I decided to shift gears. I wanted to try my hand at writing fiction. I had been doing research on my grandfather, who lead a cult in Canada in the ’40s, and decided to see if I could make a book out of that. However, there were a lot of ugly skeletons in the guy’s closet, and as his granddaughter, some of it was tough to process. I got access to a lot of records no one else had and if you can get PTSD from research, I did. So, I began to write erotic shorts about lawyers in love on the side as a form of stress release. Soon I had 10 stories and decided to pull them together into a book. I started shopping them around, got three offers, and “Kinky Briefs” was born.
Unfortunately, that foot-high pile of information on my grandfather is still sitting there, taunting me.
Wow. Fascinating. I can’t even imagine how it would be to have that kind of dynamic in one’s family history. How does your fight with MS craft your art? I am always inspired by artists of all stripes who, like you, are driven at least in part by this kind of struggle, as I am too. In fact, my hand tremors are partly why I picked up photography, which led to me studying film in depth on my own to craft my eye.
MS is a nasty, fickle disease. It changes from day to day. It is incurable and possibly, progressive. That curse forces you to make a choice: You can wallow in despair or you can unleash the warrior within. I refuse to let MS beat me and one way I do that is to do the things that bring me joy. One of those is writing erotica. When I write, I laugh, I cry, I blush, I get overheated… what a rush. It is my way of flicking “the finger” at MS, because though I have MS, it certainly doesn’t have me! Every time I finish a story or a book, I am giving MS another kick in the ass.
Absolutely inspiring — never ceases to amaze me how art has that kind of power. What attracted you to erotica as your genre of choice?
While I am a romantic at heart, I absolutely hate the purple prose that masks sex in romance novels. I didn’t set out to write erotica, I just wanted to portray sex openly, honestly, and yes, explicitly. In my opinion, to do otherwise creates a false narrative, one that I think creates very unreal expectations in love and in the bedroom. Although my friends are amused by this theory, I am absolutely convinced that unrealistic portrayals of romance and sexual relationships in romance novels contributes to disappointment in the bedroom and relationships, and may be responsible for the increase in divorce.
I think you could argue that more broadly in movies too — the “Hollywood ending” and the like.
What books, authors, and other kinds of art would you consider most influential on you as an author and story teller?
I read anything and everything, and usually make it through about five books a week. (Thank you, Evelyn Wood.) I enjoy compelling and character driven stories. However, when I write, I am more inspired by great conversations, provocative art, political scandal, quirky people, and sometimes, a particularly dramatic opera. I was trained to be an observer at an early age and I just tend to sit back and let everything going on around me soak in. When I write, it is not unusual for an incident or conversation from many years ago to pop into my head and play a role in one of my stories.
Fascinating to get a window into your process. What makes a great novel? What makes great erotica?
What makes a great novel? A story that forces me onto a rollercoaster of emotion and keeps me there until the last page. I like the stories that make me feel and characters that are so compelling they have an impact on my psyche.
What makes great erotica? Great erotica should not only heat the loins, it should unveil the possibilities — for love, passion, and romance. It takes a step beyond sex into a world filled with fantasy, bliss, euphoria, and yes, that overused word, ecstasy.
Getting into the “Kinky Briefs” series more deeply, what was the initial inspiration for it? That is, aside from what was already touched upon above.
Actually, my stories were driven by a realization that the power exchange in BDSM Dominant/submissive relationships is alive and well in the legal world. Some of it is sexual, some of it mental, some of it emotional. It just makes perfect sense for some lawyers to be kinky, given the dynamics of Lawyerland. However, my legal career and the exposure to a variety of personalities and situations throughout my life made it easy to spin my wicked tales.
Interesting dynamics there. What have the challenges and rewards been like for you on the journey through the series, arriving now at “Cinque”?
I write under a pseudonym simply because my family was scandalized by the fact that I write erotica. If they could have shut me down after the first book, they would have. To me, they missed the greater point: That despite MS and the beatings my body have taken from the medical world, I was actually able to produce a book and get it published. The rewards come through personal satisfaction. I truly love to write and to create stories and see them published is magical.
What would you like readers to know about the new installment?
There is something for everyone in “Kinky Briefs, Cinque”, everything from sweet romance to contemporary romance, BDSM, and erotica. I think love comes in all shapes and sizes, and it doesn’t always result in explicit sex. And while there is certainly plenty of that in my book, I also tried to craft compelling stories with strong, believable characters.
What do you hope readers will take with them from the series and from “Cinque”?
That love can be romantic, adventurous, outrageous, and sometimes, downright kinky!
Cool. What is next for you?
I just completed my 2018 ‘stocking stuffer’ called “The President’s Daughter” and am moving onto a new book in my publisher’s “Divorce Divas” series. Of course, my story involves four former law school friends who meet a few bumps on the marriage train and band together to seek revenge. In addition to the release of “Kinky Briefs, Cinque” on June 1, I have another book, “The President’s Wife”, set for release on July 4. That story revolves around a conspiracy to overthrow a newly democratic nation by kidnapping the wife of the president and forcing the new president to surrender to their evil intent. I have also begun collecting more stories for the next “Kinky Briefs”.
Read an excerpt from Chapter 9 of “Kinky Briefs, Cinque” here:
(From “Kinky Briefs, Cinque”, Chapter Nine: Marrying the Devil)
Sometimes you make a deal with the devil and you like it. Especially when that devil is an exquisitely handsome mass torts lawyer who holds the keys to the kingdom — to Lawyerland, that is. Sure, we all like to fantasize about that perfect love and overwhelming attraction, but the reality is, when possible career advancement is thrown into the mix, that devil’s deal becomes almost irresistible. Until you meet his mother, Momzilla by any other name. When she-who-shall-not-be-named starts bulldozing her way into your life, suddenly that deal fills you with dread and your only option may be to flee. The question is, will the devil follow?
* * * *
…Laura threw her phone across Carmen’s living room, narrowly missing his head. He snagged it with his right hand, then frowned at her. “What the hell? Who was that on the phone?”
“It was the Women’s Club, confirming the date for my wedding shower. Three days before finals. I told your mother that I wanted the shower after finals and graduation. She just won’t listen. None of your sisters work, so everyone in your family thinks my legal career is a joke. Your mother even told me, once we have children, I would be staying home. Your mother has no respect for me or my aspirations. I am sick of it.” Laura threw up her hands, frustrated. “I don’t have time for this shit. Your mother has turned into some sort of wicked witch. This is becoming her wedding, not mine. Dammit, if I can’t have the wedding I want, then what’s the point?” Laura pulled the engagement ring off of her finger and handed it to Carmen. “I’m sorry. I want to marry you, I do, but I can’t do it her way.” She began to button her coat.
Carmen rushed to Laura and pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry.” He nuzzled her neck. “I know my mom is a handful. Tell me what to do and I’ll get it done. Please. You know I love you and I will do anything for you. How do I make this right? Canceling the wedding is not an option.”
Laura pulled away and looked up into his dark brown eyes. “Let’s elope.”
“What? My mother will have a stroke.”
“This isn’t about your mother. This is about us. You and me. This is about what we want. I will marry you today if you want. Let’s just go to City Hall. Your mother can knock herself out planning a reception after graduation. And my mother can do her thing as well. All I know is that I am done. You want to marry me? Take me somewhere and marry me. Your mother has me so stressed out I can barely function. Otherwise, I walk…”
Wess A. Haubrich is the contributing editor of the film section of The Nu Romantics and London’s award-winning culture website The 405. He is also a “top writer in movies” on Medium.com. He can be reached on Twitter or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org as he is always looking for cutting edge cinema especially and innovative forms of all kinds of art to bring to his readers by probing the minds of their creators.