I am an enormous fan of the sensational erotic author Vanessa Wu. Her style of writing is evocative, sensual and full of the imagery I try so hard to get into my own writing yet she does it effortlessly. It was to my great delight that she agreed to be interviewed by me. I hope you enjoy the result.
CC: Hi Vanessa. Thanks for joining me Under The Covers.
VW: Glad to be here.
CC: You were born and grew up In China. Do you have any plans to return?
VW: Yes! Definitely! I will return with all the secrets of the West to help China become stronger, sexier and better at PR. In fact I go back regularly but whether I will ever settle there again, I doubt. China is changing so fast it no longer feels like home and the young people speak a different language from me now.
CC: I wish you every success with that :) Are there any differences between writing styles in China and here?
VW: China is an incredibly big country. Really, you can’t conceive of the differences within it from one province to another. So, yes, there are certainly differences from Western writing styles but the broad themes are surprisingly similar. Romance is very popular, gothic tales, vampires and ghouls. But I suppose the really different thing is the proliferation of micro serials. These are published in very brief instalments, which are designed to be downloaded and read on your phone. They are never-ending and full of cliff-hanging suspense. It’s a very competitive industry. The top writers can grow rich while there are very, very many struggling for recognition. I myself prefer soap operas that I watch on the internet!
CC: I had never thought that the Romance Industry would be big in China nor so competitive. Can you remember the first erotic thing you ever wrote?
VW: Yes. I was half in love with one of my teachers who encouraged me to write film reviews. I wrote a secret review, not for publication, after watching Paris When It Sizzles. The film was not generally available but I got it through an underground source. It sent my imagination into overdrive.
CC: A teacher crush! We’ve all been there ;) Your stories are so descriptive. Where do you get your inspiration from?
VW: From real life, from watching films and from reading the highest quality literature.
CC: In the introduction to Intense Sensations Volume 1 you mention your desire to be a film critic. Your stories have a very beautiful visual element to them. Does your obvious love of film influence the way you write?
VW: Ah, I’d forgotten I’d already written about my early life as a film critic. I write visually because that’s how I think. Before writing anything I usually close my eyes and play it through in my mind to see if it works. Sometimes I will spend 30 minutes invoking the imagery in a scene, getting it clear in my head and feeling my way into the dialogue. Then the writing just happens. If it doesn’t work, there’s no harm done. It’s easier to discard a daydream than a thousand words of text.
CC: Your daydreams must be pretty hot! What is it about the English Language that made you fall in love with it?
VW: English is very flexible. You can be ambiguous, allusive and vague. But you can also be absolutely precise. Because the vocabulary is so rich you can choose words for their sounds and, miraculously, sacrifice none of your meaning.
CC: I so agree. English is such a rich language for Romance and Erotica. You say that in England you learnt the language of erotic love. What does that mean to you?
VW: Did I say that? Haha. Yes, that’s true. Because in China we didn’t speak of erotic things. Oh, in England everything has a double meaning. Sex is constantly in the air, but not like in France where every politician has a mistress and a man’s not a man unless he’s making love to you. In England it’s all in the language. The English are very playful and insincere. They never really mean it when they say “I love you.” Oh, but I’m not answering the question. I think my approach to erotic language is more sensual than the average English person’s. I think I’ve learnt from them but adapted the language for my own use.
CC: Your writing style is certainly very strong and very rich. I can’t help but wonder, is there any part of you in the stories you write?
VW: Absolutely! Haha. I think you will see more of me in the stories and you will also see how I’ve changed since I started writing for publication. The main character in Love Has No Limits is all me, with very little disguise. In some of the stories the narrator is called Vanessa and she’s an erotic author, so … draw your own conclusions from that.
CC: I hear you on that :0D. Do you have a favourite line from any of your stories and why would you chose that particular line?
VW: Yes. I think I put it on Goodreads. It was actually pointed out to me by a reviewer. It encapsulates why I write and how I feel when I write: “Perhaps writing a story or a novel was not something that should be done for money, or to win praise, but for the sheer sensual pleasure of it. I liked that idea. It made me want to write lots of stories, to give myself that pleasure.” It’s a lesson learnt by the narrator in Love Has No Limits after talking to a photographer.
CC: Absolutely. Write for your own pleasure first and if others enjoy it, so much the better. Do you have a favourite character in your own books?
VW: Yes. Beiru, who calls herself Valentina in Love Has No Limits.
CC: Characterization is obviously important in your stories. Your characters are so full and well rounded. Where do you find them?
VW: There is a disclaimer at the beginning of all my books saying the characters are not real and not based on real people etc. etc. It’s all lies. Of course they are based on real people. They’re my friends, mostly. But I can’t say that. They’d sue me.
CC: Snap! I get characters from everywhere I go. What do you think about the recent explosion in erotica? Is it good for readers?
VW: Oh yes, definitely. England is supposed to have a free press but … well, I don’t want to name names but before the ebook revolution, many of the explicitly erotic books in the bookshops were not to my taste at all. I very much enjoy good quality erotic writing and I am prepared to go to considerable effort to find it. Fortunately, I have to make less of an effort now, although there is still wheat and chaff, as always.
CC: You recently wrote a piece on your blog about ‘vanilla sex’. Do you think that current authors are trying ever more extremes just to be original?
VW: I don’t know what motivates other writers. You can’t really tar everyone with the same brush. But I think a huge amount of effort has been spent chasing hot trends on Amazon. The topics that skate on thin ice and come closest to being banned seem to be the focus of many, simply because the people who are into those fetishes seem to have insatiable lusts and very deep pockets. They will buy anything if it has the right title.
CC: You say that there is an intimate connection between sex and travel. Is sex a journey for you?
VW: Oh, definitely! There is a lot to explore and you can’t borrow someone else’s map. Sex doesn’t work that way. You have to find your own summits and quagmires.
CC: Preferably more summits than quagmires! Do you think current writers focus too much on the end goal?
VW: What is the end goal?
CC: Well not putting too fine a point on it the sex and climax bit!
VW: I think there is a very wide variety of writers. Many can be praised for quite different reasons. And some I instinctively avoid. Do you mean there’s not enough foreplay? Well, I think it’s a shame that if you buy an anthology of erotic stories, each story is usually about 3,000 words and at least half of that (usually the second half) is explicit fucking of some sort. That leaves you 1,500 words to set the scene and establish character. Some very good writers can do that but not many and not consistently. But if there’s no fucking the readers complain. My stories are generally about twice that length because I like to explore around the fucking a little more and make it less linear and bring it about in different ways. Some of my stories have no fucking at all. The Swimming Pool, for example. Still, I think it’s an erotic story.
CC: I agree with you whole heartedly. I always feel my best prose is never about the sex but the smaller, more intimate moments. Those that may get missed in the more furious action! Do you have a writing routine?
VW: Yes. But it’s very flexible. I’m not a machine. If I want to get something done I write every day, definitely at the same time every day and often in several time slots, early morning, lunchtime and bedtime. If I stop writing every day I generally write nothing for weeks.
CC: I have some pretty sparse periods as well. Currently I am struggling to get back into it after some annoying problems. What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?
VW: Oh, I still have two unfinished novels from last year so perhaps the hardest thing is getting the plot right over the length of 70,000 words. I think that takes a bit of practice. I prefer short stories because they are easier to rewrite when you take a wrong turn. The hard thing about novels is the time it takes to finish them. They can suck the life out of you.
CC: I hear you there! I am dead beat by the time I finish a story. What is the best thing about writing for you?
VW: Doing it. I am very happy when I’m writing. It’s like I’m floating.
CC: That is a lovely way of describing being in the flow of writing. What have you got in the pipeline that we should know about?
VW: I’ve just published a story called Playing With Fire. It’s a departure. I’ve taken a rest and come back with a slightly new direction. It’s a threesome, which I’ve never done before. It’s also more explicit than my other stories. The next story, as yet unpublished is called Scandal! It’s another threesome but with a different twist. It’s very dirty. The third story in this trilogy of threesomes is about a friend of mine who collects swords. It’s called Swordplay. It’s erotica with an edge. Haha!
CC: I”ll be on the look out for those. Do you have any final words of wisdom for our readers?
VW: Yes. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in my stories are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Also, please remember that Samurai swords are very sharp. They are not toys and should not be used for sex play.
CC: Ha Ha! I agree, swords are not for bedtime! Vanessa thank you so much for agreeing to be Under The Covers with me on my new blog.
Well there you are guys, Vanessa Wu, one of the most sensual erotic authors you can find anywhere. Pop on over to Amazon and download yourself some of her truly sensual, erotic masterpieces,
Love Carla x