Welcome to another week of Sexy Saturday — today’s guest is Lichen Craig!
Let’s jump right in and find out more about Lichen and her books!
Lichen Craig has been writing nonfiction for nearly 30 years, around subjects as diverse as veterinary science, child psychology, nature and environmental protection, wildlife, and social and political issues. She published her first novel, Gentlemen’s Game, in 2012. In 2013 her short story, “Frozen” was included in the anthology Out in Colorado, published by Storm Moon Press. Today, she writes fiction exclusively and works as a freelance editor as well. Lichen lives at the foot of Pike’s Peak in Colorado, with three large dogs and a cat that runs the household.
1) What was your first experience with erotica / erotic romance?
I really can’t remember. I suppose it must have been a mainstream novel of some sort. Erotica has always seemed just a part of life, a logical part of a story, to me. It isn’t something I seek out in literature – but if it’s there and serves a purpose in terms of the story, I am very comfortable with it. I would be more likely to notice an author had left out a sex scene that would have made the story better. Including highly-erotic scenes in Gentlemen’s Game was not something I gave a lot of thought to… it just occurred as a logical part of the tale. They simply fit there; the narrative required them.
2) Describe your journey from reading to writing to publication.
Again, I hardly remember. I was an avid reader from a very early age. At 10 I was reading Victorian classics. My teacher called my parents to check whether they knew and approved what I was reading. Haha. I remember reading classic horror – H.P. Lovecraft and such – at about 10. The Brontes. Dickens. I was an odd child, obviously! I wrote my first novella at about 12. It was never not part of my life. I published my first magazine articles before I left college. As far as writing fiction that was publishable – I think I had to get a lot of life experience under my belt before I could really tell a good story. I was 50 when Gentlemen’s Game was published, and that seems right somehow. I could not have told that story even a decade ago.
3) What scene or book was the biggest challenge to write?
Gentlemen’s Game, Chapter 14. You who have read the novel know what I’m talking about. I remember lying awake one morning, knowing what direction my characters really wanted to go, and warring with them in my mind. I really didn’t want to go there. I knew it would be taxing. But I learned that when it’s frightening is when you can step up and do your best writing. I read one writer once in a interview – I wish I could remember whom to credit her – who gave the advice, “Write into your fear.” And she was exactly right.
4) Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers of erotica / erotic romance?
Well, my advice would depend upon your goals. If you want to make some money, you know what to do. If you want what you write, however, to be remembered as a notch above the run-of-the-mill pulp erotica, you have to work at the craft a little more. There are people who want to “be a writer”, people who “want to make money” and people who “need to write.” Depending upon which category you fall into, you must work differently. For me personally, writing is an art. Like any art, it has to be learned and honed and practiced. You don’t sit down and write a great book. You can sit down the first time and write something that might sell – but not a great book. Not without educating yourself in technique. If you want to be a really good writer – and write books that will live for decades or more – you need to learn the craft. Go to university and learn it. Or work with a great tutor or editor to learn it. Read about writing. Read good books – don’t read garbage, or you’ll write garbage. You have to put the music of great writing in your head over and over so that it lives there and rings out inside your head as you write. You have to feed yourself carefully. You have to keep your mind free of garbage, and stimulated in the proper ways.
5) Tell us a bit about your latest release.
I am just finishing a novel. The first three chapters were a teaser and did well online. So I’m really looking forward to people seeing the entire book. It’s gay-themed, literary, like G Game. Dark. Of course. It is, after all, Lichen Craig. Haha But I think it says some good things. I hope people like it as much as the first one.
Sounds good! Thanks for stopping by, Lichen!