Author Interview: Lilah Harding~~Erotic Writer

Lilah Harding studied journalism, worked telephone solicitations to earn money while in college, and fell in love for the first time. From that first tumultuous relationship, she learned the arts of suspense, seduction, anticipation, and illusion. Those arts began to inform her writing, as well.

Facing financial hardship, Lilah discovered by a lucky accident that she had a talent for the entertainment industry of phone sex, which paid much better than the traditional telephone sales she’d undertaken. Each client was a story, a play, an intimate theater production for an audience of one.

The story changed for each client, based on their needs and desires. Stories ranged from innocent tryst to experimentation to humiliation or violence. Lilah embodied the roles of counselor, partner, dominatrix, victim, enemy, and lover.

As a writer, working with clients provided fertile ground for the development of erotic stories. It allowed rare glimpses into raw, guileless human behavior which could inform future characters.  Lilah Harding writes erotica for fun and profit.

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH LILAH HARDING

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it?

Lilah Harding: Writing is my avocation, and it adds to the bottom line, but my vocation is counseling and consulting. I’ve always looked at actions, choices, and behaviors and asked “Why?” My desire to understand others’ motivations is prompted by my own desire to be understood… but it provides an interesting interface for reaching out to help others.

What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Lilah Harding: I have been a retail salesperson, a Lifeguard, a floral arranger, a telephone solicitor, an adult entertainment phone operator, a sports coach and trainer, a photographer, and a tour guide in addition to the jobs described above.

What compels you to write?

Lilah Harding: There are times when my mind will not allow me to sleep or eat or think unless I pay attention to “the muse” and write down the stories or poems or even the few measly lines that come to me. I’ve learned, over the years, that its easier to simply write than to fight! At those times when I can not write, I will sometimes send myself a voice mail to capture the specific lines, wording, or ideas which overtaking me. Sometimes, I have no choice but to memorize selections and write them down later.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Lilah Harding: Not always. I wanted to work alone or with animals. I am an introvert by nature, but I force myself to be somewhat of an extrovert to work with clients. From an early age, I found animals to be much more honest and open than people, and far less brutal. Writing became a therapeutic medium early on and developed into a form of entertainment. Eventually, I found that I had a knack for communication. Many of the things I write for entertainment hold little other value, but it is a world away from the professional writing which I undertake.

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Lilah Harding: I usually choose silence. However, sometimes I like instrumental jazz, classical, light rock, folk, or country.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?

Lilah Harding: Sometimes it hits like a wave, just as inescapable. Like most writers, I can force myself to sit and write, to pound out paragraphs and chapters. And then there are those times when nothing can stop the flow of words.

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Lilah Harding: I have a sense of pride in coming to accept and like myself, with all my quirks and eccentricities.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Lilah Harding: I’m not married, yet. I am in a committed relationship with someone who is very supportive of my writing. I have no children. My parents and siblings live in a much different world than I do. They are not aware of my writing.

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Lilah Harding: The main characters of my stories are sometimes based on people I know, including myself, my clients, or composites. Other times, my characters are based on profiles based on newspaper stories or the fantasies which have been relayed to me over the years. More often than not, I find my characters take on a life of their own once they are created and tend to act as they will… naughty hooligans.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

Lilah Harding: There are several established writers whom I admire! I don’t believe I have a writing mentor, per se, but I lurk amongst a community of writers and have learned a great deal there. Accentuate Writers Forum has been critical to my growth as a fiction writer!

When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

Lilah Harding: From the ages of 10 through 13, I read all the Louis L’Amour I could find! Then I started reading Dean Koontz. J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne Rice, Robert A. Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Robert B. Parker, Agatha Christie, John D. MacDonald, Janet Evanovich, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Michael Crichton, and Scott Turow. There were plenty of others, including all the normal required reading classics, as well. Reading became my escape from reality.

What about now: Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

Lilah Harding: It would be impossible to say just one author or one genre was my favorite. That would be like asking me to name only one band/musician and one musical genre as a favorite. I couldn’t do it!

Hey, let’s get morbid. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

Lilah Harding: I doubt they will say anything about my writing or books in my obituary! Of course, they might write a comedic obituary, in which case they could mention that I was able to make more men stand at attention than General Omar Bradley, if you know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). But seriously folks, she single-handedly caused more loads to be blown than “shock and awe” (ba dum bump).

In reality, I hope it reads something like: “She loved like she’d never been hurt; She was adopted by animal companions who taught her well; She sang like nobody was listening; She experimented with spices and life; She danced as though nobody watched; She sampled great variety in life with gusto and gratitude!”

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm?

Lilah Harding: I grew up in suburbia, on the edge on a city. There were farms nearby. These days, I live in a huge metropolitan city.

I f you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?

Lilah Harding: The introvert part of me still wants to live on a deserted tropical island large enough to have fresh water and close enough to a mainland to have easy access to supplies. The practical extrovert part of me will settle for a beach house, a house in the mountains or in hill country, a lake house, a farm house, or perhaps a villa in Italy, Spain, or Greece.

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them

Lilah Harding: I have one BHD (Big Honking Dog), which is sort of a challenge in a major metropolitan city. We try to go for walks at least twice a day. We also have an emergency backup on the balcony (it’s the sort of mat that’s used shipboard by travelors and can be cleansed in the shower if necessary). Mongo found and adopted me when he was a pup. He is very protective!

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?

Lilah Harding: The house is quiet and the lighting is soft. Sometimes I use candles, other times soft lighting suffices. I always write on my laptop. It makes editing much easier! Sometimes I sit at my desk, sometimes in my favorite chair. More times than not, there is no music and definitely no TV. I usually have some hot tea or a cold drink with me, depending on the weather and my mood.

What about movies? Same as above.

Lilah Harding: I watch the news. Human behavior fascinates me. I think that life is often stranger than fiction. I’m not sure that any particular story inspires my writing, but human behavior, both normal and abnormal informs it.

If you write romance or erotica, do you do so under a pen name? If so, why?

Lilah Harding: I do write erotica under a pen name. I do so because I counsel and consult professionally and it behooves me to keep my lives compartmentalized for the comfort of my clients as well as myself.

Focusing on your most recent (or first) published writing, tell our readers what genre it is and what popular author you think your writing style  most like.

Lilah Harding: My published writing is erotica which might occasionally slip over the line. It is a slippery slope, after all. I’m not sure there is a popular author out there who would care to hear that I compare myself to him or her!

How long does it take you to write a short story?

Lilah Harding: It depends on the story. Some short stories might only take an afternoon while others might take a month. Sometimes my characters do something I hadn’t planned on, and I have to figure out how to get them out of the mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Other times, inspiration strikes and everything flows.

Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

Lilah Harding: Thank you to the one who knows my heart, supports my dreams, and forgives my foibles. You motivate and encourage me daily to find and live my passion. I only hope I can do as much for you.

What are your writing dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future?

Lilah Harding: I intend to keep writing short stories and I hope to someday have a compilation. Perhaps someday there will be inspiration for a novel, as well.

Is there any one particular book that when you read it, you thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I’d written that one!”?

Lilah Harding: There are authors whose talents I greatly admire, but I have never wished to have had the idea or inspiration before them or to have had a shot at writing the book before they did. I am usually awe-struck by their work, left hoping that I will be able to inspire someone that way someday.

Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you’d go back and do differently now that you have been published?

Lilah Harding: I wouldn’t change a thing!

Many authors have said that naming their characters is a difficult process, almost like choosing a name for their own child. How did you select the names of some of your lead characters in your book/s?

Lilah Harding: Most of the time I try to avoid using names of people I associate with every day or people who are within my first degree of separation. Instead, I tend to use names of people from the second or greater degrees of separation. For instance, one character’s name is the same as the step-daughter of my mechanic’s former best friend. I know my mechanic socially and have for several years. I had met his best friend several years ago just after he married. He had mentioned the step-daughter. I filed the name away.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Lilah Harding: I think some people might take lessons away from the stories while others will simply be entertained. We meet people where they live and allow them to take what they will receive.

 

To read stories by Lilah Harding, you can pick up a copy of the short-story anthology Rendezvous, by Passionate Pens, an imprint from Twin Trinity Media, LLC. The book is available in paperback and contains two stories from Lilah Harding. If you’re interested in reading some short stories from Lilah, check out her two shorts with the TTM Digital E-shorts: In Plain Sight and Silence.

For Kindle users, Amazon.com has both available for instant Kindle Download here: COMING SOON

And you can get them in multiple formats of your choice for instant download on Smashwords under Lilah’s profile here.

 

 

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