Q & A with Konstantine Paradias!
Tell us about your newest release.
Loved By Heaven, Fouled byHell is my first novelette release. The fact that it is in the erotica genre (a previously unknown territory for me) is an even bigger triumph. It’s the story of a woman named Lucretia, daughter of Eli Mandrake who was one of the world’s most influential sorcerous adepts. After helping her father escape his contract with Hell on his deathbed and chains the Angel Hael who is there to document her father’s passing, Lucretia finds herself freed from her father’s influence, his sizeable fortune and power in her hands.
But can Lucretia come to terms with her own newfound freedom without destroying herself? Can she handle the pressure of her chained servants, each of them vying for her soul?
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
You mean besides the obvious fact that erotica is way harder than it looks? Then I have to go with learning about the science of story hooks, of doing my absolute best to provide the best I can for my readers and that above all, erotica is the place that authors go when they want to really cut loose.
Most people thing erotica as being ‘high-brow smut’ and let’s face it, the consensus on the genre is causing authors to fall in with that idea as well. But we owe it to our readers to provide them with better, more competent stories and to never once take the needs of our audience for granted.
Do you have any interesting quirks or rituals?
Plenty, as far as writing goes. Used to be, I used to listen to very specific set of American Idol terrible performance remixes back in 2010, since that made me maintain a steady pace. Later, as the novelty wore off, I opted for absolute silence. When that got too bad, I wanted noise around me which is why I currently write while I work in my store. I guess the pressure helps.
Then, I read this article that explains how going through doorways makes you forget things (because our brains are weird that way) so I make sure I stay put in one room and not leave it until I am done with what I’m writing. And then there’s the post-it notes where I write the story outline which I go to great pains to get rid of before I start working on it.
Right now, I guess my weirdness has been safely limited to writing a single very short creepy story as warm-up, take notes on anthology calls (where I strive to work on the borderline What We Aren’t Looking For specifications) and then just getting the thing done at all costs.
When that’s over, than I ask someone that I know is going to hate it to give it a read. If I get a ‘meh’, then I’m golden. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
Well, if we are going to go that far back, then I guess we ought to start off with Michael Moorcock and his Elric saga, which was what convinced me to get down to writing in the first place. Then it was Roger Zelazny who convinced me that even the weirdest ideas can turn into solid gold if you give them the respect and attention they deserve. James Morrow told me that there’s no such thing as ‘a crazy thought’ when it comes to writing fiction.
Afterwards, artist and good friend Justin Case plain old told me (while I was going through a phase of self-doubt) ‘if you can’t handle the heat, then try flipping burgers at McDonald’s. God knows nobody’s gonna complain there’. It was also author Brent Millis who gave me the ultimatum that he was blocking me ‘until I started working on the damn book’ and of course, my girlfriend who said to me that writing for a livinf is a terrible idea but she’d stick by me, come what may.
What does your family think about your career as a published author?
Well, my father used to be a sculptor and in fact used to make his living off it back when he was my age. While he enjoys the idea of myself looking for a venue to live off my any artistic inclination, he is overly cynical about I, what with having experienced the artistic world firsthand. But I remember his overall take on my writing problem shifting back when I had my first couple of professional publications (in UFO! 2 and Third FlatIron’s Lost Worlds) when he decided he might cut me some slack.
My mother on the other hand, has gone on record explaining how ‘she doesn’t get what I’m doing’. That’s not because she can’t be bothered, but because she has had her own brush with trying her hand at playing the piano for a living and has herself experienced a number of ups and downs. She is happy to see me make progress, but I think she’s traded places with my father on the cynicism front. I think it’s that clash between them helped give me that boost I needed.
As for my brother, he keeps trying to convince me to try my hand at Young-Adult oriented literature. He doesn’t like to admit it, but he was a huge Harry potter fan and I secretly think he has a passion for the genre that is very hard to match. He does occasionally send me emails with his book outlines and I have to admit, some of those are pretty damn good.
Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Damn, that’s a tough one. Sometimes writing consumes so much of my time, I barely have time for anything else. I do have a soft spot for horror schlock and terrible science fiction movies, but my favorite hobby has so far been attending a number of low-budget movies as an extra. It started by playing a very short role as a zombie in The Almighty Tycoon of the Ninja (a movie directed way back in 2005 by some friends of mine) which I enjoyed so much that I’ve tried it again and again. So far I have just been playing a background thug, but I am aiming for perhaps getting a line in at some point.
Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
At the moment, I am working on a science fiction novel titled The Chrome Horde, where a motorized Mongol Horde is resurrected in the aftermath of a fossil-fuel apocalypse. It’s a coming of age story that takes place across the length and breadth of Asia and Europe. I have also started making the first rough sketches of the next book in the Loved By Heaven, Fouled By Hell cycle and, weather permitting, I have enlisted the help of a friend in my attempt to create our own graphic novel, which has the working title of Gordon’s Torment.
How can readers connect with you online?
Oh there’s plenty of ways. I have a Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/konstantine.paradias) and I lurk on Twitter (@KonstantineP). There is the mandatory Google Plus (+Kostas) but I mostly work on my blog, which you can visit at Shapescapes.blogspot.com
She turned to him and saw his face healed somehow, his flesh rejuvenated by this act, his lips slick with her juices. He looked different now; his eyes bore a confidence she had never seen before. She gasped when he grabbed her by the hand, pulling her up. Her knees were weak, and she stumbled, spilling the last standing stack of books as the angel put his hand on the back of her neck, raised her leg, and beat his wings.
Once they beat, and the tug of gravity let go. Twice, and they were already hovering in the air. She held on to him, her legs wrapped around his waist as he flew her around the great library. She let out a long, passionate shout when the angel began to move inside her in long, slow strokes, and she felt the entirety of his length.
Hael flew her across the great library, holding her against him, then buried himself inside her to the hilt, holding her close. He turned in the air and beat his wings, steadying himself, placing her with her back to the loft's railing. Gasping with both pleasure and relief, she spread her hands and held on to the railing as the angel moved inside her, this time in faster, harder strokes, many feet from the ground. The glare of the midday sun as it shone through the library's balcony matched the warmth that radiated outward from inside her.
It was then that the angel forced himself inside her, and she leaned back against the railing, letting out a howl of pleasure, her neck craned back, looking at her father's great portrait inverted, the old man unimportant and detached from her for the first time since her birth. Her sex convulsed then, and she let herself go. Suddenly, she was filled with light, and she held on to him for dear life. She shuddered as she rode the angel's member constantly, perfectly synching her motions with his, shaking her head as he let go inside her, and this time it felt good. This time she felt whole and complete, and she climaxed again and gasped for air, milking the creature dry.
He picked her up in his arms as she wheezed, stepping up on the railing gracefully and beating his wings so he could lay her on the floor. Lucretia almost collapsed the minute he let go, but he grabbed her again, helping her steady herself.
"It was. But there is a creature of Hell here with you who you have tortured. It won't..."
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek writer, who has always thought that erotica should be more than just steamy sex scenes. When writing Loved by Heaven, Fouled by Hell, he drew heavily from his influences of the Quabalah and the Ars Goetia to provide his readers something more than just a raunchy tale.
He is hoping that he has achieved that much and that you have enjoyed this endeavor. If you did, come and find him over on his blog, Shapescapes (shapescapes.blogspot.com) or add him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/konstantine.paradias) and let him know what you think.
He pretty much also answers every tweet he gets, so dropping him a line at @KostantineP won't hurt.