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Author Lauren Emily on writing aerialist erotica story "Spin"

Lauren Emily is the author of aerialist sex story "Spin," the final contribution in Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 5. She will be reading from the story Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 7 pm at Women and Children First bookstore in Chicago and Friday, February 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm at Skylight Books in Los Angeles. Below is an interview with Lauren Emily about how she began writing erotica, her writing process, writing about an aerialist performance and what she's working on next.

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How long have you been writing erotica? How and why did you get started?

I wrote my first erotic story in 2012, after having a real-life experience I wanted to preserve, even if I was the only one who ended up reading it. I got some great feedback from writer friends (one of whom is a romance author) and entered it in a short story contest that I didn’t win. Fast-forward to early 2017, when my sister heard from a friend that a new adult entertainment site was looking for erotica.

The story I wrote in 2012 ended up becoming “We Just Work Together,” my first story for and my first experience working with the wonderful Jayne Renault, who also has a story in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 5! Shortly after I signed with Bellesa (where I’ve done single stories and serial fiction since), I was introduced by another friend to an editor at BUST magazine, who was looking for erotic stories for their One-Handed Read section. I sent her "Thankful," a story I’d written for a Writing Sex class, which was published in their June/July 2017 print issue. My third One-Handed Read for BUST, "Country Living," appears in their September/October 2019 issue.

What was the inspiration for your story, “Spin,” in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 5?

As a writer and professional performer, I don’t have many hobbies because I don’t have time! However, I started circus training—contortion and eventually, aerial—four years ago thanks to a friend who’s a full-time circus coach and performer. I used to train at a circus school in Chicago that’s a renovated Catholic church (and since I grew up Catholic, that’s especially interesting). Aerial arts are not only beautiful, but very technical, specific and difficult. I wanted to see if I could convey that in a sexy but relatable way.

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How does your story relate to the book’s outrageous theme?

The story mostly takes place during a performance, so the sexual aspect is very public—but also private because the women are half-concealed in a sling (a very long and strong loop of fabric rigged from a high ceiling). I liked the challenge of keeping intimacy in an act that a converted church full of spectators are watching unfold.

What’s your favorite line or paragraph from your story?

Finding “your” apparatus is much like finding the one you want to fuck. Not just a one-night stand, but over and over until you know their favorite takeout place and the one gesture—a flick of the tongue or finger traveling up their thigh—that always gets them going. Maybe not a soul mate, but someone whose sheets you’d like to tangle for a long, long time.

What were the most enjoyable and most challenging parts of writing your story?

I wrote it very quickly! I went back and forth on whether to submit and by the time I’d decided on a concept and story, I had about 36 hours before the deadline—and I work full-time and had a weekly flexibility class I didn’t want to miss. This meant a lot of typing on the bus to and from work and at my desk when I could grab a few minutes, eating in front of my laptop, and then having a celebratory glass of Prosecco when I finally hit send! That said, working so fast was exhilarating, and I loved incorporating aerial sling, which is my very favorite apparatus though I’m not as talented as the women in the story.

What are you working on next?

I’m also a YA author. My first novel, Satellite, is written under my full name Lauren Emily Whalen and is available wherever books are sold). My second novel, Two Winters, a young adult retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, will be released in 2021 under my full name, Lauren Emily Whalen. I’m looking forward to writing more stories for Bellesa, and as a freelance writer I’m usually juggling multiple deadline. I have an article in American Libraries magazine.

Anything else to add?

Erotica is freaking awesome. I’m not much of a visual person so porn generally doesn’t do a lot for me, but I’ve discovered a lot about my own sexuality through reading romance and erotica. I hope I’m helping others do the same through my writing!

Find out more about Lauren Emily at her website and follow her @laurenemilywri on Twitter and @laurenemilywrites on Instagram.

Buy Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 5 in print, ebook and audiobook from the following retailers:

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