Harper Impulse Author Profile: C. Margery Kempe
Madeline here with a re-blog blast from the past.
C. Margery Kempe has been rocking the anthology world with her naughty stories for some time and she’s been doing well with her MAN CITY series too. She posts here at LadySmut every Friday. This was the first little chat I had with her about a year and a half ago.
Read below to find out more about what inspires her various story ideas.
MADELINE IVA: You are (under other names) known for writing fancy literary stuff. What drew you to the world of smut?
C. MARGERY KEMPE: I was always there! I just wrote it for a very select audience 😉 Then in 2008 an agent I knew said she was starting up an ebook publishing company focused on erotic romance. Hey, you mean I could make money writing these?! So I tried my hand at it. It was easy to write the sex; romance is a lot more challenging. But I’ve become much better at that. It kind of woke the slumbering romantic in me. I credit my fortuitous meeting of my current partner to my alter-ego Ms. Kempe (well, her and Twitter [http://www.asininepoetry.com/works/view/1845] both) because writing about love under the name of C. Margery made me open to the possibility once more.
MADELINE IVA: Erotica or erotic romance?
C. MARGERY KEMPE: I’m not bothered — I write both and while I know some people definitely believe that they are completely different things, but I don’t see it that way. They are different kinds of narratives and the sex means something different when you add the element of romance, but the sex is the same — hot!
MADELINE IVA: I have a feeling that you (like myself) are drawn to fairy tales. Tell us about SPINNING GOLD. What interested you in taking the beloved Rumplestiltskin story and turning it on its head? Tell us about your other fairy tale inspired erotic romances as well.
C. MARGERY KEMPE: My story SWAN PRINCE from Tirgearr is another fairy tale and I have a few more in me (I wrote a fairy tale novel PELZMANTEL under my own name as well as a collection of stories based on Finnish folk and fairy tales, UNIKIRJA). They’re just endlessly entertaining. We have a deep bond with those stories and they are infinitely elastic. I was on a panel with Graham Joyce talking about them and we both agreed on that: the elasticity. So yeah, I could make Rumpelstiltskin full of twists — a boy masquerading as a girl because his mother didn’t want to lose him to war, falling for a prince who isn’t quite what he seems, either.
MADELINE IVA: You like spanking stories, yes? What can we modern feminist women do to understand our forbidden desires for fantasizing about spanking & sex?
C. MARGERY KEMPE: We can accept and not judge them! Your sexual persona cannot be shaped into something that ‘should be’ — it is what it is. We should not be ashamed or afraid to say what we desire, though clearly we do. Feminism is about EVERYONE being who they really are and treated fairly. For all the scorn heaped upon 50 SHADES, it did a little bit to normalise some kink practises to the wider public. People do like to experiment and there’s now a vogue for spanking and some mild B&D, but a lot of people still see anything but vanilla sex as ‘deviant’. We need to get over our puritan cultural training and just accept that there are all kinds of ways to experience excitement.
MADELINE IVA: You also seem–interesting author that you are—to be dabbling in stories that involve cross-dressing. Tell us more about the forbidden appeal of a man in a skirt and pumps. You’ve done cross-dressing stories that are m/m as well as f/m, too. Did you work them differently, or at heart are they the same kind of story?
C. MARGERY KEMPE: I’ve never really thought about it specifically — I guess I do love masquerade. There’s that wonderful quote from Wilde: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” This is why Halloween is so popular: people get to experiment, don another persona and walk around in it for a while. The story SEX CYMBALS was inspired by a friend’s music video, where he wore a wig and dress and it was really sexy, so I thought up the story at once. But there’s a lot of medieval stories where women have to pretend to be men; romances, but also saints’ lives. There are so many issues to explore. Fortunately there’s a lot more acceptance of gender blurring today, so it’s less about transgression than it is about blending. Playfulness! That’s the key.