With UPSTAGED! less than a week from release, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some of the authors. Up today is Sonni de Soto, an author who is knew to me. Her story in the anthology features a burlesque dancer splitting her time between her job in politics and her life on stage.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Finding the time. Even when you desperately want to be writing, there seems to always be something pulling you away from your stories: work, friends, partners, family, life. Finding ways to carve out time to write can be hard and, even when you do, getting motivated during that precious, carved-out time can be even harder.
What is the hardest part of publishing?
Understanding that a story will never feel “done.” Before I was ever published, I would tell myself that I’d send out my work once it felt ready. Felt finished. Felt done. But that feeling never came. There were always sections to be reworked or phrases to be tweaked or commas to shift about. In the end, what motivated me to send my work in was the realization that perfect isn’t possible and waiting around for it would never make my dreams come true. You write your story to the best of your abilities, polish it up the best you can, and then you let it go. I think the aim should always be polished, but it helps to remember that published is always better than perfect.
Tell us a little about any upcoming projects.
I have a collection of my short stories called “Kinksters at Play” with Deep Desires Press, as well as a feminist, space alien novella called “Open Season” with Less Than Three Press coming out in September. As well as a story in The Sexy Librarian’s new, upcoming “In Medias Res” anthology.
How has your life changed since becoming a published author?
My favorite part of becoming a published author is the community. When you’re writing just for yourself, it’s cathartic but often lonely, an activity you do by yourself and for yourself that no one else sees. But this has enabled me to be part of a community of writers and editors and artists who share in each other’s joys and frustrations as well as collaborate to make each other better.
What cultural value do you see in storytelling?
I firmly believe that stories are a glimpse into the psyche of their particular time and place in human history. Particularly romance, erotica, and porn, which tell us so much about humanity. What we desire and fear. Our values and taboos. For genres that are too often dismissed as fluff, they allow us to explore sides of ourselves that we can't anywhere else. We need to start giving it the credit it deserves. Smut showcases the soul.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m a plotting pantser or a pantsing plotter; I find it’s helpful to have an idea of where you’re going but to let the story ultimately decide the journey.
Coffee or tea?
I’m a caffeine-lover, so coffee in the morning; tea for the rest of the day.
Cats or dogs?
I love other people’s dogs, but can only handle taking care of cats.
Reusable or disposable grocery bags?
Reusable as much as possible; every little bit helps.
What’s a charity/cause you support?
I’m a crappy present giver, so recently I’ve been giving personalized donation gifts to charities I think that person would love, like Planned Parenthood, American Humane Society, the ACLU, the NRDC, the Trevor Project, and NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.
Do the people in your life know about your writing?
Some know, some don’t; I think we all have the right to share and celebrate the details of our lives, or not, with the ones we choose and I firmly believe that, in some cases, we have the duty to shield those details from others (stay in denial, Mom).
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write all the time; it is what I love, but it’s not how I earn a living. My office job is what enables me to do what I love.
What’s one of your hobbies?
I’m a huge cosplay fan. My grandmother was a seamstress and she made it look like magic. I am less magic than MacGuyver, but I like to think she’d be proud of me anyway.
As a kid, were you a Goody-Goody or a Wild Child?
I was, am, and will always be a hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone Goody-Goody by day, and a bring-it-on Wild Child by night.
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About Sonni de Soto:
Sonni de Soto is a queer storyteller of color, who believes that the romance genre too often doesn’t get the credit it deserves. For a genre that is too often dismissed as fluff or pure entertainment, it allows us to explore sides of ourselves that we can’t anywhere else, what we desire and fear, our values and taboos. It allows us, as storytellers, to showcase the soul. de Soto has had the privilege of publishing romantic erotica novels and stories with The Sexy Librarian, Cleis Press, Sexy Little Pages, and many others and has been nominated for and won several literary awards and has been featured in Rolling Stones. An escape artist at heart, de Soto also enjoys consuming stories of all kinds and cosplaying the fictional loves of her life.Find more from her at sonnidesoto.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/sonnidesoto.