Heather Cole blogs about sex with her best friend, Nikki, at VAGINA ANTICS. Heather loves sex in all forms but hates labels. However, if you insist…She’s a bisexual, BDSM slave and masochist (i.e. pain slut) in an open relationship. She’s also a single mom, a baker and a budding seamstress. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, sweeties.
When not blogging, Heather writes BDSM erotica and urban fantasy and haunts the local farmer’s market for ripe produce and sausage. Her pies are to die for. She’ll answer all your questions, y’all, but keep a civil tongue in your head. After all, she is a southern lady.
1. What was your path to publication?
Oh, I’m still on that long and winding road! I wrote my first urban fantasy novel four years ago and began querying agents. There was interest, but I stuck my manuscript in a box while I tried to get pregnant. If you’ve ever gone through invitro fertilization, you’ll understand why my writing took a backseat to hormone injections and fertility drugs. Once I had my beautiful baby girl, I started blogging. It was a creativity blog dedicated to mothers. I had maybe twenty minutes a day to myself, and to keep from getting the new mother blues, I wrote. We moved out-of-state, and my marriage started to fall apart. I turned online to begin building a platform to sell my novel. I had decided at that point to self-publish. I made friends on Twitter with horror/urban fantasy writers and wrote short stories for their blogs. Then I got accepted into a horror anthology. I was ecstatic about the direction of my writing career, but my marriage was about to implode. I got divorced and another blog was born. I blog at Vagina Antics with my best friend, Nikki, and we talk frankly about everything your mama told you not to say in public regarding sex. Not to be rude or to sensationalize our sex lives, but because we felt that surely there was someone else out there who could commiserate with us about being over-thirty, divorced single moms looking for satisfying sex partners. Surely!
2. How did you and Nikki Blue meet?
Oh, AmyBeth, this question made me laugh out loud. Nikki and I met on Twitter. We joked about writing, motherhood and decided to form a band called the Soulmateclones since our lives had a lot of striking similarities. Lo and behold, it turned out that we were both having virtual affairs with the same man. Believe it or not, that only served to cement our friendship.
3. Is the memoir you’re working on a life story? Or is it focused on something in particular?
Nikki and I are writing the memoir together. It begins when we first talked about the man we were *cough* seeing, and continues until present day. It’s also about how we rediscovered who we are sexually and came out as being kinky. We’ve tentatively titled it Naked Baking.
4. What else are you working on now?
My priority is writing a new urban fantasy novel, and I started a second novel with the intention of it being erotica but it’s turning into a mother/daughter/Steel Magnolia story. ARGH! My problem is that I can’t write happy endings.
5. What do all the letters in BDSM stand for?
<whips out kink membership card> B/D stands for bondage and discipline, S/M stands for sadism and masochism or sadomasochism. Then there’s my favorite part embedded in the middle, D/s stands for Dominance and submission.
6. What kind of demonstrations does one see at a BDSM conference?
I assume you’re referring to the BDSM Writer’s Conference that Nikki and I are attending in NYC in August. (This is different from a BDSM Convention for example where fetishes are the focus.) I’m not entirely certain about all the demos. I believe there are knife play and bondage demonstrations. I really, really hope to get tied up. The focus of the workshop is how to write believable, accurate BDSM. There’s a very popular book out right now written by an author who googled BDSM without ever experiencing it. The workshop is there to give writers experience without them having to be in the lifestyle.
7. Does the label polyamorous imply promiscuity?
I’m giving you first prize for quality interview questions! No, polyamorous doesn’t imply promiscuity for me. Although, from a monogamous perspective, I’m sure it can look like that at first glance. Promiscuity is defined by indiscriminate sexual relations, like you’re getting down and dirty with any ‘ol person giving you the come-hither look. Let me tell you, honey, there is nothing indiscriminate about my sex life. There’s planning and discussion, debate and more discussion. Up until very recently I had two partners, one who was my Master and Dom and a second boyfriend who was more traditional. My mama certainly thought such an arrangement was impossible. I’ve only been poly for a year so far, and I’m still learning about myself and partners. What I do know is that those two relationships were full of love, mutual respect and honesty. Sleeping with random people wasn’t part of our dynamic.
8. Can human sexuality be divided into heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, or is it more complicated?
In my humble, non-scientific opinion it’s WAY complicated, and not necessarily in a bad way. I feel that it’s a unique combination of biology and anthropological influences. However, I respect and honor that each of us is “wired” a certain way. I remember wishing with all my heart for a girlfriend back in high school, but I would have died before admitting it. I still want a girlfriend, but I want a man as my main partner. How’s that for complicated? Hetero-flexible is a popular term these days. So is sapiosexual. I mean, there are a million ways to categorize our sexual needs. It’s easy for census polls to give us three main categories for our sexuality, but my personal philosophy is that you love who you love. I mentioned the whole hating labels thing…right? <grin>
9. What advice would you give a person having trouble reconciling woman as “Mommy” with woman as a sexual being?
Great gravy, I have been there. After my daughter was born, I didn’t consider myself a sexual being for a loooooong time. My sexuality had flown the coop! Really, I had only buried it. As human beings, we are never just “one” thing. We are multi-faceted, dynamic women. The trick is honoring all the parts of you. Yes, I journeyed out in the goshdang southern summer heat to take my little girl to a movie looking suspiciously like a zombie in yoga pants. However, tomorrow I’m going to be wearing a dress and heels and styled to the nines to go pick up men in a bar. JUST KIDDING! I’m having friends over for fondue and a flogging demonstration. My point is that it’s about tapping into what makes you feel sexy. And you as a beautiful, desirable, sexual woman is also the same woman who will bring a bazillion cupcakes to three-year-old soccer day camp. Yes, that exists. Yes, it’s hell. Um, did I answer the question?
10. What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
I heart Evernote HARD! I store all my freelance client notes, novel notes, and Vagina Anticsnotes on there. It’s like working with electronic post-it notes that you can organize into notebooks and even share with other people. PLUS, you can clip articles, recipes etc off the web and add them to your notes. I swear, almost all my life is in Evernote.
11. What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
My Pilot Dr. GRIP Gel pen in metallic pink.
12. What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
MY CHILD. Whom I adore and yet…oh, there’s Twitter too.
13. Many writers go through a stage when they hate what they’re writing. Do you ever feel this way? How do you get through it?
Yes, yes, yes! Oh holy carps, did I loathe my fiction for a bit. It was because I was trying to write a novel with a happy ending. I admire and am envious of writers who can do that. I got through it by accepting that I can’t write them worth a goshdarn and decided to stick with writing about something I love. And I love writing the not-so-happy ending. Even if I trash a 1000 words, if I wrote it in pursuit of the idea I’m passionate about then it’s not in vain.
I’m a Twitter addict. I tweet about what I’m writing, freelance work, sex, what I’m baking and the spider that inevitably sends me shrieking on to a chair. My mama says that I’m a drama queen on Twitter and that my followers are a Greek chorus. <rolls eyes> I also tweet about my mama.
I don’t care for Facebook although I have a page.
15. Do you have rules for how steamy you write your sex scenes?
I have no rules. Wait…that came out wrong.
16. When you first heard about Felt Tips, did you immediately have a story idea?
Yes! I immediately pictured a woman in love. In hell. Literally.
17. What is the most memorable (or disturbing) thing Tiffany Reisz has ever tweeted?
During the last RWA, she went to the Sex Museum and tweeted that ducks were necrophiliacs. I now view every duck with suspicion.
18. What’s the best thing about being a part of an anthology?
The amazing writers I get to meet. Like you! I’ve seen you around Twitter (not in a stalking way) and always wanted to say hi, but never had the guts. The anthology gave me the impetus to gather my gumption and say hello. It’s the sense of community and being part of a creative collective that makes me swoon.
19. In your interview with Jenny Lyn, you said that your favorite office supply is post-it notes. Don’t you worry about paper cuts?
Oh no. My post-it note addiction is too strong for caution.
20. Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
(I busted out my Princess Leia bikini to answer this. It’s fantastic to wear a collar and leash again.)
Han shot first. Of course he did! He wasn’t going to let some half-assed bounty hunter get the drop on him. He was one of those perfect characters, flawed with a hint of oily in his charm and drop-your-pants charismatic. Re-writing it was an act of writer’s ego. That wasn’t a tiny re-write. It was a huge one! Never mind that Captain Solo was the prototype of my dream guy in my twenties. Do you have any idea how many men I dated to find that one, might-have-been Han?! No, don’t answer that.
After Heather sent me her answers, I read her interview with Jenny Lyn and I just HAD to ask one more “bonus” question!
21. What exactly is an ”Artichoke Gauntlet?”
AMYBETH! You gorgeous, woman! Where did your power go? Did you put the hamster in the wheel to power electricity to your laptop? Or am I the only one who still does that?
(Note: my electricity went out in the middle of writing the e-mail. We had to go recruit new hamsters.)
Yes! The artichoke gauntlet….oh how I love that sassy Jenny Lyn.
We were discussing Felt Tips and the authors we’ll be featuring at Vagina Antics. Jenny Lyn wrote and asked for some ideas. She said that she wanted to do a short fiction piece but that she needed some clues. Like, Colonel Mustard in the library with a candle stick. Ooooo…hot wax…wait, what was I saying?? OH! So I put my thinking cap on, and since I’m thinking about food most of the time, I replied with “culinary school, whisk and artichoke.” (in a TMI note: I began slave training in a kitchen with a giant, solid wooden spoon, and I can honestly say that spoon hurt worse than the riding crop I now have. What can I say, I have a fondness for utensils.) I followed up with JL with a quick, “but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to! I shouldn’t have worried.” Jenny Lyn rose to the occasion with a bunch of artichoke research. I LOVE HER! And thank goodness for Twitter. We had a week straight of artichoke tweets.
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