An Interview with Darklust

Author of "Playing With Toi," "Lips," "Kim," and "The Spin."

How did you choose your pen name (and/or what does your pen name mean)?
I felt it should personify passion with an afrocentric and slightly kinky vibe.

Why (and how) did you begin writing erotic fiction/poetry?
During my "sexual exploration" aka "coming out, I started to investigate every type of gay-related literature I could find. I realized there wasn't this plethora of literature, specifically erotic literature representing me or my sexuality as a black lesbian. Coming out didn't exactly mean sexual freedom in the literal sense like I thought it would. As a baby dyke fifteen years ago I didn't receive too many welcoming signals that would indicate it was natural to be a lesbian. There was nothing sexy, attractive, exciting or alluring about being gay like it was for the boys. In comparison, they were exceedingly flamboyant, enjoying and exploiting their sexuality while the "wimmin" were stereotypically emasculated or overly feminine maternal nesting figures. There were all these rigid stereotypes I clearly felt I didn't fit into. Anything considered ambiguous, alternative or blatantly sexual and even kinky was almost closeted in the lesbian community. And I knew in my heart that we were so much more than that. So in a small way I wanted to challenge this artistically. I always kept a journal and during that time, some of the most revealing entries developed into short stories (admittedly being quite generous with imaginative embellishments). The first erotic story I wrote was in 1991 published by On Our Backs magazine. Called April Showers, it was a piece about two sister strangers and their chance encounter experimenting with golden showers which was particularly daring back then (and still is today).

How long have you been writing?
I discovered my love for writing as a teenager as I believed I had the creative inclinations of an artist, but not the natural born talent to play violin (I played for close to ten years) or a visual artist. My love for the written word seemed to be my destiny but it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I decided to pursue it more seriously.

How do you get ideas for your stories?
I'm inspired by so many things. I admit to having a penchant for examining popular culture and contemporary issues and all its trappings and its influence on society, those around me and myself either directly or indirectly, and on personal, emotional and intimate levels. Exploiting trends so to speak, pushing the limits.

How long does it typically take to write a story?
It varies. My motivation and life in general can be unpredictable making it sometimes hard to produce. Some pieces I've completed in just one sitting (a few hours) where others can take months. I don't work well under deadlines. I need flexibility.

How do your stories reflect (or compare to) your real life experiences?
I'll have to plead the fifth on this particular question. Let the readers use their imagination.

What stories (or creative projects) are you working on right now?
I am currently working on a novel. Slowly. Short stories are much easier to conceptualize and complete. I'm often paralyzed with blocks so the novel is a challenge for me.

Have you published stories anywhere else? If yes, where?
I'm most proud of a piece I wrote that was featured in Best American Erotica 2001 published by Simon and Schuster. The piece is called deflower and I believe it's the only piece by a black lesbian in the entire collection. My work has appeared in about seven or eight other anthologies, Faster Pussycats, Hot & Bothered II, Set in Stone, Skin Deep, Pillowtalk II, Bedroom Eyes.

When can we look forward to reading something else by you on Kuma?

If you had to choose, which one of your own stories or poems published with Kuma would you say is your favorite?
My favorite is Kim but I think Lips might bring on a little more heat.

Which stories and/or poetry on Kuma do you like that were NOT written by you?
I'm feeling Lifeguard by Cherry and Supreme Domination by Onyxstorm.

Please tell us one thing you do for fun.
Traveling, escaping. Foreign destinations, domestic road trips - any adventure for total rejuvenation.

Read Playing With Toi, Lips, Kim, or The Spin.

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