Q&A with Bill Kieffer

as originally posted on bellbookanderotica.co.uk/


About the book

Q: What inspired you to write this book? I was exploring my own bisexuality and other stuff from the safety of my home in the online world. In my research, I’d uncovered a then hidden corner of the Internet known as Furry. I “met” Giles online and we became friends and virtual lovers through what we then called “Tiny Sex” and Cybering. I have no idea what young people call it today.

We were both discovering things about ourselves and my journey online let me know that I could be poly in real-life but not as the Dom. On Gile’s side, he poured all his energy into being himself online and using a mask in real life to be “normal.” For a long time, that seemed to work… but there were many stresses building up in his head and heart that he ignored. At first.

Eventually, it all came to a head and he realized that he was living a lie in the real world and only living honestly in the fake world. He quit the online world almost cold turkey, but eventually he left everything behind to heal.

And that included me.

So, I built this story to make me feel better, to see him with a better life, and to use all that frustrated horniness to good use.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book? I think it took about a year or so. There were many revisions and adjustments. Early on, I had decided not to make it too autobiographical. I had an Urban Fantasy setting that I used for some short stories where people were sometimes were born with animal souls and magical wards were sold in supermarkets and I put Frank and Glenn here.

I am on a writer’s email group called the TSAT, which stands for the Transformation Story Arcive – Talk. They helped with a lot of beta-reading and cheering on.

Q: Where did the ideas for your characters come from? Are they based on people you know? Do they have similar traits? Frank is based on the idea that gay-bashers are closeted, self-loathing homosexuals. I reversed engineered that so that Frank has spent his whole life suppressing anything “special” about him which includes his magic talents, his complex emotions, and the poetry that sometimes slips out form his pen. There’s very little about Frank that’s like me, except that I do have a cruel streak and a blazing anger that pops up now and then when things aren’t perfect. Frank’s cruel streak is a mile wider. His anger doesn’t dissipate with a little verbal venting.

Glenn is sorta like Giles as I think they are both SAMmies. Neither would agree with that and probably just blame their stubbornness on their caprine natures. But Glenn is certainly a more extreme masochist… or perhaps he’s willing to put up with a lot and pretend to like it because he has a hidden agenda.

I try to leave that for the reader to decide.

Q: Do you have a favourite scene in the book? If so, which? The shower scenes with Glenn were fun. In my head, there were more than actually made it into the book. Glenn’s a SAMmie (Smart Ass Masochist) and a shower was a relatively harmless thing that caused him to complain and protest the most, which, in turn, excited Frank the most.

About you

Q: How old were you when you started writing? I was a freshman in high school and I had a subscription to Writer’s Digest. In my senior year, I took four study halls and took over an office in the high school library no one was using to work on my writing. I started submitting to all sorts of magazines, including digest porn on newsprint. I didn’t dare ask my mother to cash any of the checks for me. It was just as well, because some of them bounced once I got around to getting a checking account.

Q: Where do you get your book ideas from? Real life and nightmares. I like to take the things people think are funny and peel the skin back until the story screams.

Q: Does your family know you write erotica? If so, how do they feel about it? If not, why not? Yes, in the last few years, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, the cat got out of the bag. It was only this year that my siblings and mother discovered that I was bisexual, however. All this time, my brother just thought I was the male version of a fag hag. None of them are big readers of books, so I doubt they’ll read any of my stories.

Q: Are you going to write more books? If so, will you continue to do so under the erotic genre? Oh, yes and yes. I plan to return to this same universe and I’ll be playing with a different mix of horror and erotica as two men become connected magically. One’s soul will be destroyed and the other must live in both bodies… each body having its own wants and desires… the working title is The Horses: Building a Perfect Team and I hope those that love shifter stories will find this appealing.

Your Views

Q: What do you think makes a good story? I think a good story should evoke emotions and thought. I’m perfectly comfortable evoking unpleasant feelings and unhappy thoughts, and if you read, The Goat, I don’t think you’ll finish liking Frank.

Q: What do you think most erotic authors do wrong? There’s a formula and it’s good to follow that formula like it’s a recipe. But like any recipe, it’s only a starting point. You’ve got to tweak it, adjust for high altitude, and keep an eye out for the freshest ingredients. That’s true for many writers no matter the genre.

For erotica, I think there’s a special issue with purple prose, when and how to use it, Some writers only use the purple prose during the sex scenes, and gosh, I know that seems exactly the right thing to do… but that’s why you need to question it!

Purple prose is equated with passion and most very passionate people have passion so much of the time that maybe there needs to be that descriptive fluffing. Certainly after good sex that next cup of coffee if going to taste damn good. Your waffles are going to have the most amazing textures… I want to see passion outside of sex in a good erotica story.

Otherwise, I think you risk becoming just porn.

Q: When reading, do you prefer eBook or print? Why? I prefer print. For some reason, and I’m embarrassed to admit this, I can edit, beta-read, and proofread on the computer… but I cannot enjoy reading a stack of pixels with the same joy and depth that I get with dead trees vandalized with ink sitting patiently in a stack in a corner of my room.

Maybe I am old fashioned that way. Plus, I like giving the books I read away. I’m a bookcrosser.

Q: In your opinion, what elements make a good erotic scene in a book? I like to see power exchanges and co-operation (you might not believe that from what you’ll see in The Goat, but this is an exception). I like humor and awkwardness and if one or both members can surrender to something/someone, I really like that a lot.

Just for Fun

Q: What’s your favourite board game? My friend, Stephen, publishes a game that I really enjoy: https://strongholdgames.com/store/board-games/survive-escape-from-atlantis-30th-anniversary-edition/ but my favourite games are the card games like Loaded Questions and Cards Against Humanity. I’m a terrible conversationalist, so I’m so grateful whenever I get a chance to play these with my friends.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Straight. *sigh* Well, I got halfway there.

I also wanted to be a priest or spiritual leader. That didn’t quite work out.

I also wanted to be a writer that people would read and turn his books into movies. *sigh* So, I’m halfway there, too.

Q: Tea or coffee? Tea. I like variety. I am drinking Caramel Chai this week. Next week, I’ll be drinking Earl Grey with Lavender. And, yes, I do actually queue up my tea choices a few weeks in advance. Not because of any OCD or control issues (sincere, honest look forced onto face), but because I used to buy every damn flavour I saw… and then only drink Lipton. So, I have a queue and I only buy more tea when the queue clears, otherwise all these cool flavours go stale.

I swear there are no control issues…