I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember. When I was 3 ½, even though I wasn’t quite clear yet on my alphabet, I decided there were never enough adults around to read to me and demanded to be taught to read myself. My Auntie Mo took the time to teach me. At age eight, I volunteered for summer school so I could take a creative writing class. My friends thought I was crazy– all they wanted to do was climb trees, go roller skating, swim. But I knew what I was doing with my summer was even better.
I wrote my first novel at age twelve with a good friend who is also still writing, as far as I know. At a sleepover at her house, instead of sleeping, we stayed up all night crafting a rather horrible romance novel. I like to think I’ve improved since then, and I now have enough sense to sleep at night and write during the day. Usually.
I didn’t get serious about my writing until the summer of 2000. I went into it writing romance novels, since that was what I thought I could sell, but eventually I returned to what I truly love: writing erotica. Now I've blended erotica and romance in many of my books, and I love the way emotion and sex can create a complex and compelling vision my readers can really immerse themselves in. It’s been a difficult and wondrous journey learning about the craft and business of writing, and learning about myself as I make a study of human nature when creating my characters, which is my favorite part. What makes them tick? That’s what fascinates me. My characters are so real to me, and I love every moment of getting to know them and watching their often painful process of self-discovery. Nothing opens us up and reveals our core truths like falling in love, or the vulnerability in those moments of intense intimacy. This is why I write erotica. This is why I write!
In the last ten years or so I’ve begun to work more and more as an educator, with a focus on sex-positive culture and BDSM practice and psychology, as well as writing craft. I’ve been involved in kink culture for most of my adult life. It’s important to me to share my experience, and to do what I can to allow people who want to explore kink to go into it armed with knowledge so they can have safe, fun and satisfying experiences. My classes on sexual positivity for women have become perhaps even more important. I want us all to love ourselves, to accept female sexual desire as natural and beautiful, and to get the most out of life. I didn’t expect my writing life to morph into sex education, but it’s become an amazing and fulfilling part of what I do. My Empower Your Sexual Self course has been a huge hit, and a wonderful experience for me. I also just had my first Kink Retreat for my readers in my home town of San Francisco, and it was an incredible educational and bonding experience. I believe there’s no reason why we can’t all embrace our needs and desires—even when they’re a bit on the dark side—and that we can lead happier lives if we do so. My goal is to help create an environment of self-acceptance and open communication about sex and kink, whether it’s through live speaking engagements, blog posts, podcasts and online chats, or through my books.
Fortunately, someone other than myself loves my work, too. I’ve written for Bantam/Delta, Berkley (as both Eden Bradley and Eve Berlin), HQN and Harlequin Spice, Samhain Publishing, and I have a number of self-published novellas out, as well. Sometimes it’s a struggle—even doing what you love can be hard work—I but mostly it’s heady and exhilarating, and I’m so grateful to do what I love.
I also love to cook (I make a killer Coq Au Vin), love to eat (sushi and pistachio ice cream are current favorites! Um…not simultaneously…), love to lounge on the beach even though I’m afraid to swim in the ocean, take my dog hiking in the woods every week, and I couldn’t survive without the wonderful tribe of women and men who make up my odd and amazing group of friends. I’m obsessed with art (especially the neo-classicists and surrealists, photography and sculpture), tattoos (I currently have seven and am planning the next one. Tattoos are kind of a fetish for me. Okay—maybe more than “kind of”.), my Boston Terrier Voodoo—he’s my baby, and I couldn’t love him more if I gave birth to him myself! You’ll rarely see me getting political in public, but identifying as queer means LGBTQ issues are especially important to me, and something I’m passionate about. I’m also dying to travel more. I would love to spend a few months at an Italian villa, really need to get back to Paris, want to rent an apartment in New Orleans and write all day, then explore the French Quarter at night, and MUST get to Fiji! Meanwhile, I get to write, and someone actually reads my books, which is a pretty good life!