Interview with Scry of Lust author Sumiko Saulson

Sumiko Saulson

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Sumiko Saulson (Mauskaveli on FetLife) is a cartoonist, science-fiction, fantasy and horror writer, editor of Black Magic Women and 100 Black Women in Horror Fiction, author of Solitude, Warmth, The Moon Cried Blood, Happiness and Other Diseases, Somnalia, Insatiable, Ashes and Coffee, and Things That Go Bump In My Head.  She wrote and illustrated comics Mauskaveli, Dooky and graphic novels Dreamworlds and Agrippa. She writes for the SEARCH Magazine.  The child of African American and Russian-Jewish parents, a native Californian and an Oakland resident who’s spent most of her adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is pansexual, polyamorous and genderqueer.

Name of Stories in Scry of Lust: Andona’s Feast, Translucent Skin, Love… poems Spit and Pathos and My Beloved Gave Me A Rose.

Work Sample (From Translucent Skin)

Nurse Night BAGG
“You will find it near the coral reef at low-tide,” Naedra’s father had told her. “Find and fetch the amphibiod home. Only encircle it about the waist with a slender chain of wrought iron first, which you will find at the fence. That will prevent it from using any of its magic against you.”

“It is wrong to bind an amphibiod,” her mother had warned. “Ignore your father’s instruction, child! It is the way of men to use force, when you could use seduction. Seduce it instead, with tender kisses, so it might grow enamored and follow you willingly.”

“You endanger our daughter without cause!” Padre howled and cussed at Madre as Naedra slipped out the back door. Opening her leather pouch as she tip-toed past the fence, she quietly piled the chain into her bag. Better safe, she felt, than sorry.

She continued on her quest, until she found the ambipiod leaning against the coral reef at low-tide at the crack of dawn. It lounged against the rocks, long mane of ruby-red fins decorating its pretty head like the fans of a Betta fish. Its skin was translucent pearlescent silver, and below one could see clearly the function of its heart, liver, lungs and intestines. Even its reproductive organs were transparent like a fish of some sort. Opaque testes and ovaries coexisted in the scrotal pouch below its tailfin, as the creature like all its ilk was intersex. Its wide-set frog-like eyes protruded slightly, each red with a rectangular black pupil.

“You’ve come to steal my magic,” it said without emotion, but a rapid blinking of its eyes and nervous licking of lips betrayed its fear.

“Why steal what you will give me willingly?” Naedra asked teasingly, running her finger over her bottom lip, licking it, and then biting. The creature squinted in what she wasn’t sure whether to interpret as lust or cringing in response. It rubbed its thighs together nervously.

“Many a young maiden yearns for the seed of Pinadoia,” the ambipiod bragged. “It pretty things desire. It longs to believe that the pretty things are in awe and lust over its beauty. How well do it know better. The human only wants its semen for her witchery crafting, to cast spells and make potions with.”

The Interview:

Sumiko Sally

Q. How did you find out about the Kinky Writer’s Group or Munch at Wicked Grounds? Was it online, in person, through a referral, and how well did it meet expectations when you arrived?

A. I’m the founder of the group, so I actually started it. I met Lydia LaRue at a speed dating event at Citadel and we talked about wanting to do such a thing. I had casually discussed it with my friend Serena Toxicat at an earlier time, and I think Kathleen Mahnke before she moved back to Chico, and Ev Joy Lokadottr. But it never got very far until I met someone committed to the project, Lydia. She became my co-moderator, and I showed up every Wednesday with her or Serena for a while, then asked Mir to put it on the calendar. They said Wednesday wasn’t the best day, so we picked Monday, because Lydia and I both go to Death Guild. The rest was history! It’s grown by bounds since that fateful day in January 2019 when we met.

Q. When did you first start writing? Do you feel it was your purpose to put writing in the world – or do you view writing as a hobby, and how did you begin to love writing if you do love it at all.

A. I started writing really young. I told my dad I wanted to be a writer when I was five – I’d been reading since three, so I was some of a language arts prodigy.  By the third grade I was writing poems for people’s wedding invitations. My mom helped me start a little business, in fact. I was on my high school newspaper, and had poetry published in high school and as a young adult. I didn’t write my first novel until I was 42, however, and my short story career didn’t take off until my forties either. In my 20s I was a journalist and a poet.

Q. Before Scry of Lust, had you ever put your writing out into the world in any form and if so, how and where (links, if available)

A. I have been a published journalist and poet since I was a teen in the eighties, and I have been a novelist since 2011. My works can be found on my website Things That Go Bump In My Head , and I write for Search Magazine

Q. Some of the pieces in the anthology are sci-fi leaning; others are fantasy, real life scenarios, poetry, or transgressive fiction. How would you describe your own brand of erotic fiction?

A. Most of my works in this book are in the sci-fi or fantasy erotica genre, which isn’t that surprising considering that I had already been writing the paranormal romance series Somnalia and tried my hand at sci-fi erotica for Scierogenous II and supernatural shapeshifter erotica for Babes and Beasts: Tales of Lusty Shifters.

Q. Many of the people in the anthology are marginalized in one way or another. Women are underrepresented in horror while men are underrepresented in the romance literary genre, queer people are under-represented in literature and disabled people and ethnic minorities are more often written about by others than able to self-represent. Do you view yourself as a member of any marginalized communities and if so, how do you feel about the representation of those communities in both this anthology and in erotica in general?

A. I am an enby biracial black woman of African and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (also a bit of Irish), disabled and pansexual, so yes. I feel the anthology has a lot of queer representation including trans- and genderqueer stories (and agender!) but there is a definite lack of stories with female or femme tops in ratio to male top stories. This is definitely a reflection of both the market and the kink community’s representation overall. Cis-male tops are encouraged in both the queer and straight kinky world as a norm.  Female or femme tops and trans/enby tops are rarer. Anyone who goes to Folsom Street Fair or your local dungeon will quickly see that. But putting ourselves out in the fantasy world will encourage our outing ourselves in the flesh.

Q. Erotica seems to have a bad name in certain circles as a trash genre – do you think that is true? Anne Rice said that erotica and romance are maligned because they are genres written mostly by women for women, do you think that is valid? Finally, do you think people view male-written erotica like John Norman’s Chronicles of Gor as any more or less trashy?

A. The literary world is loaded with pretentiousness, just as all forms of entertainment are. People want to believe that jazz music didn’t start as a lowbrow genre, and that classical music and literature were always things found in the gilded halls of learning. Most of the things we eventually come to think of as classy were once thought of as trash. Erotica is no different. Yesterday’s porn is now hanging on the walls of museums, lauded as cultural enlightenment at the most or historically relevant at the very least. Humanity needs to get beyond acting like the act of procreation is inherently dirty and therefore, less worthy of remembrance in prose, poem and ballad that the courtly love story, tepid, dry, and bereft of titillating lust and simmering sexuality.

Q. Which of the other writer’s stories did you like the most and want to recommend that the readers check out? I know you loved the whole book, but this isn’t the question. If you wanted to entice the prospective reader to buy the book, name 1 to 3 works that you didn’t personally write that you would point them at to read first. And why?

A. “The Penetration of Albion” by Charlee Verrette is a personal favorite, delightful and filled with titillating visual imagery, humor and rollicking analogies about Merry Olde England that capture the reader’s mind and reel it in. Lif’s “Fireside Legends” is a super hot read for me as a dominant, as the demon narrator is unapologetic about its unabated hunger for sexual control. “Aduality {0≠2;1=108}” is under one of Merlin Monroe’s myriad pen names or just names as fey have so many. It is the purest sci-fi erotica in the book and brings to mind pornographic takes on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Finally, Serena Toxicat’s “The Leftist Appendage” is touching, funny, and erotic while being altogether sensitive and romantic.  I also loved the number of nineties Generation X centric pop culture references therein.

Q. Finally – since this is horror blog – what is your favorite scarerogenous hot sexy scene in a horror movie, and do you think it is appropriate or inappropriate to be turned on by this?

A. Not really a horror movie but certainly a horror scene, the bug removal scene in The Matrix. So these three well-dressed hot people snatch Neo up in a car, pull out guns and order him to take his shirt off. After this, Trinity shoves some tube-gun apparatus over his belly button, which pierces flesh before extracting a wiggling bug thing up through a glass tube of some sort. Is it inappropriate? I don’t think it is any less appropriate than similar scenes in the movie Videodrome that were intended to be erotic.

Come to the Tuesday May 28 Book Release at Octopus Salon!

Buy the eBook Pre-Release!

~ by Sumiko Saulson on May 20, 2019.

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