In celebration of the UK publication of Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray, feast your eyes below on the latest Piatkus interview . . .
This winter, I, Nicole Audrey Spector, published my first novel, co-authored by the oblivious (dead) Oscar Wilde, Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray. Upon its release in the UK, I took a few minutes to chat with my biggest fan and greatest enemy: myself.
Q: Hey, Nicole! Thanks for your time. You're looking a little tired today. Have a crazy night? I mean, as a writer of erotica, I'm sure every night is sexy madness!
A: Actually, no. I mean, I slept fine. I look tired?
Q: Just, sort of . . . the flu is going around! Anyhow, I know we haven't always seen eye to eye on matters, so thank you for taking this time to talk.
A: No problem. I'm actually not sick or tired, though . . . And yes, I appreciate that we can be on good terms, considering that you didn't even want me to write this book.
Q: Not the case, Nicole! You've always had my support on this project. I just didn't want you to use your real name . . . it's so serious. You know, you'll have to live with it for the rest of your life.
A: Yes, but I mean, I'll have to live with my life for the rest of my life – though you do have a point, and initially I intended to use a pseudonym. I only opted to go with my real name once I sent some chapters to writers and comedians I admire for feedback. They endorsed and encouraged the work, and even offered to blurb it, which gave me confidence to be totally transparent about the project and own it.
Q: Ah, yes, you could drop quite a few names if you wanted to: Ken Kalfus, Fred Armisen, and Frederic Tuten to name a few. I can see how that would build up anyone's ego –
A: (Interrupts) Well, it was not ego-building, per se . . .
Q: OK, we'll go with your synonym “confidence,” since you're under the weather. Now, Nicole, I don't mean to offend, but what in God's name made you think you can write so much as a single sentence alongside the great, inimitable Oscar Wilde?
A: Oh boy, this concern has kept me up countless nights!
Q: Yes, you look exhausted!
A: Well, no I'm actually fine now.
Q: Yikes! I was reading a comment on a blog in response to the book's debut in the states, something along the lines of, 'Are you f*ing kidding? Turn on the gas and get me a noose . . . '
A: Ha, sounds kinky. No, honestly, I completely understand, and even appreciate, those who want to barf their brains out when they first hear about this book. I'm the same way. I'm a cynic and a snob, at least when it comes to literature and pickles. I scoffed at Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I thought it was a violation in the name of marketing. Neither had I any serious interest in the Fifty Shades trilogy, which I just assumed was a tacky fad. So, when I signed on to write Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray, I too was thinking about gas and nooses, doubting that I could create something that a hater such as myself could tolerate, let alone enjoy.
Q: How did you get over that?
A: By reading Wilde, which teaches everyone that they're fools for taking their insignificant selves so seriously, and by deciding to create a book that did not feel like a knock off, or even, a mashup, per se, but a funny, smart, and yes unbelievably sexy love letter to The Picture of Dorian Gray. It would have been a copout to simply infuse Oscar Wilde's scenes with sexy explicit details, so I needed to make new scenes, and, more importantly, I needed to make new characters and story lines. I was also compelled to address, with duly humor, some of the more preposterous moments in the Fifty Shades trilogy, like the notorious scene where Christian Gray yanks out Anastasia Steele's tampon. How exactly would that have worked in Victorian times?
Q: Hmm, so, is this is a humor book, then, or an erotic novel? You seem more interested in making people laugh than in turning them on.
A: Oh, no, there's plenty of sex in the book. And a good deal of spanking. But there is also an undercurrent of absurdity. It's, really a mash up of the two genres. It's Humrotica.
Q: Well, good luck, Nicole, hope you get that cold sore taken care of – feel better!
A: What? OK . . . Thanks. I really hope you like the book. I'm still trying so hard to impress you.
Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray is out now from Piatkus! Brave your way through the snow and buy a copy for some salacious and hilarious fireside reading . . .
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