Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you two like?
A lovely cuppa with milk and sugar for Salome and an energy drink, if you’ve got such a thing, for Talon, thank you.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We like to think of ourselves as a pair of domestic perverts, writing together though living far apart.
When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted by Storm Moon Press, what were the first words that fell from your mouth?
Our manuscript for After the First Taste of Love was submitted as a story that was rejected for an anthology but urged on for expansion into a novella. “OMG” was Salome’s response, and “Good thing our boys have more to say,” was Talon’s. Salome had published only short stories, and Talon had mostly written fan fiction. We were both overwhelmed and overjoyed. Now, however, we’re working on two more to make a trilogy from that one little story.
What forces brought you over to the GLBT Genre? Do you focus on one part of the QUILTBAG or do you write various identities, expressions, or orientations? What made you want to write what you do?
It didn’t take force to bring us to the queer zone. Our pansexuality long predates our work with Storm Moon Press, in life and in print. As writers, there are few orientations and identities we haven’t written or been tempted to write, apart and together. We love all flavors of the rainbow, all forms and fashions of desire, and we’re always greedy for more.
Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.
CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE. We’re drooling over here.
How many hours a day do you spending writing?
As co-authors, we work in spurts (see what we did there?). Some days, weeks, or even months are incredibly, deliciously productive. Thousands and thousands of words just pour out of us. Other times, we’re attending, reluctantly, to the mundane. Neither of us is a full-time writer, though even when we’re not composing fiction together, we’re emailing tidbits, talking through ideas by phone, or composing in our minds.
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
Yes. Less glibly, we often begin with characters and their relationship, and then force them into plots, whether they (and we) like it or not. Some of this depends on length, prompt (such as calls for submissions), and genre (erotica vs. romance, for instance).
Of your characters, do you have a favorite and why?
“The boy who must not be named.” Talon has a character (perhaps best described to the uninitiated as a type or a template) who first popped out of her head in a 2002 story and began to appear in our fiction a handful of years later, and refuses to leave. He infused a dose of his short, bratty, irresistible self in After the First Taste of Love‘s abuse survivor Nick, and has incarnated himself again, substantially transformed, into our forthcoming novel Turning Trick as protagonist Jen, the short, bratty, boywhore with OCD.
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
Writer’s block is not a problem for us. Finding the time and energy to write—and finish—all the deviance in our heads is our primary complaint. This doesn’t mean every call for submissions inspires us or that every tale we begin pans out. But there’s always another wicked idea lying in wait, leaving a little trail of rainbow sprinkles for us to follow.
Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)
We’re both desk writers, sitting at our computers. For Salome, it’s a corner of her bedroom since she’s been ousted from the front room by her videogame-addicted son. For Talon, it’s the basement, surrounded by other family computers and the husband and daughter who insist on using them, invading her throne room. Also, for both of us, our writing spaces are unavoidably cat-infested.
When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
Why use a sign when you can angrily snap, “Leave me alone, I’m writing!”? And Talon is always ready with empty energy drink cans to throw at determined interlopers. Clearly, this interview has much to teach us.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
Talon insists she doesn’t have a sense of humor, but Salome would say she does, and it’s dark, perverse, and childish. Lots of TMI, too. Salome desperately hopes to be reincarnated as a person who can tell a joke well. Meanwhile, Salome grooves on Sarah Silverman and Sacha Baron Cohen, Talon favors Eddie Izzard and Christopher Titus, and we both like Michelle Cho.
What question is your most frequently asked as an author?
“Will you write more [fill in the blank]?” For Talon, this is usually completed with “the boy who must not be named.” For Salome, it’s “Godzilla porn.”
What are you working on now?
Together, our primary energies are on finishing Turning Trick for Storm Moon Press. May we blurb?
Jen has been a hooker for as long as he can remember. He’s managed to put a painful past of mistreatment mostly behind him, thanks to the care and guidance of Ko, the trans whore who took him in years before. Now, Jen has the skill, control, and life he wants–for the most part–and hopes to repay Ko’s kindness by taking on a protégé of his own. She introduces him Patrick (a.k.a. “Trick”), a kid off the streets who’s tired of being exploited. Jen lets him move into his spare room, certain he can keep his emotional distance… but there’s something different about Trick. There’s something special that happens when they’re together, if Jen is willing to admit it. When stories of vicious beatings of local whores—who all look suspiciously like Jen—begin to circulate, however, it seems there may be more to worry about than falling in love.
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your lifestyle as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive, both in your work and out of it?
First, it isn’t how we make our living, which for us is a good thing. Pressures to meet deadlines occasionally inspire us but more often cause stress. Our spark seems to have its own eternal flame, if you will, but we fan it by talking about our projects, current and future, by writing email to one another in-character, and by weekend visits, as often as often as we can accommodate them.
What kind of books do you like to read outside of the GLBT Genre?
Ones with well-written words? Assuming you mean outside queer erotica/romance, that’s still not an easy question for either of us! In terms of fiction, you can often find Talon reading fantasy (e.g. Tamora Pierce or Diana Wynne Jones not those stupid sparkly vampires) and Salome enjoying contemporary novelists (e.g. Michael Chabon or Achy Obejas).
Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer.
This one’s almost too easy for Talon: horse trainer. She grew up with and around horses, and she’s done it, is good at it, and loves it. Salome, though she’d need to go back to the basics to undo what sexist HS teachers did to drive her from the field back in the day, picks scientist.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Selective film and TV viewing, reading yaoi manga, eating, and sleeping. Also sex.
Any special projects from you at Storm Moon Press that came out recently or will be coming out soon we should watch for?
In addition to Turning Trick, which should be out by the end the year, Salome has a trans noir story (“Double-Cross”) in the Legal Briefs charity anthology (already available), a collection donating net profits to Lambda Legal, and one in the forthcoming Coffee Break Quickies, a heterosexual companion volume to Gay & Lesbian Coffee Break Quickies, entitled “Coffee Break in Hell.”
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
How kind of you to ask! Our website is http://www.salandtalerotica.com. Salome hangs out a lot on Twitter these days (@SalomeWilde) and Talon stops by when she’s in the mood (@talonsage). We also have individual Facebook accounts for Salome Wilde and Talon Rihai and a shared Facebook page.
It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!
Sure, we love playing in the kitchen. Be warned: we often end up making more of a mess than we clean, especially when there’s CAKE, and a saucy interviewer!