Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
When I was in the fourth grade, I was given a writing assignment to construct a poem about Easter. I don’t recall what I ended up throwing together, but the teacher was quite impressed. That was the moment I discovered that I had a special gift and have been writing and writing and writing ever since. It’s become my companion, my art, my therapy, my self-expression, my passion and my way of life.
Tell me a little about your books.
4play is the prequel to my first book, Libidacoria: In a Plain Brown Wrapper. As with my first book, I have continued my semantically-jolting style and strong feministic perspective. And again, many of the poems chronicle a juxtapositional struggle between the modern independent female sexual spirit and a desire for real connection and unconditional acceptance.
…But it’s more than that this time.
4play is the artful seduction and power play of words. Through the divergent rhyme patterns and the selection of imagery, 4play is a collection of erotic poetry that draws the reader in. The poetry gets inside your head and draws you into the fantasy.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
My biggest inspirations have to be Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Deborah Garrison.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
I never force my poetry. I write whenever and wherever the inspiration hits. I have poems on napkins, flyers, envelopes…anything I can get my hands on at the time. I have notebooks in nearly every room of my house and fear that when I die, someone will be taxed with figuring out what has been published, what is crap and what needs to yet be sent to print.
My essays and social commentary pieces, on the other hand, I force myself to write. I try to maintain a schedule that produces a piece every two weeks, but lately, my live performances have taken priority. I’m looking forward to my schedule slowing down again so I can produce some more podcasts.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
I tried to go the conventional publishing route, but every publisher asked that I tone down my language. I know it might seem silly to some, but my language is part of my art. It’s about the unpretty, unadulterated, and very real emotions and thoughts that accompany modern womanhood. To change the language would sacrifice the art.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
My goal is only to push myself and challenge my own limitations. I’m writing to create art. The fact that women are identifying with my poetry and reaching out to me with words of encouragement is far more than I could have ever hoped for.
How have you marketed your books?
In March of 2008, I simultaneously published Libidacoria: In a Plain Brown Wrapper and began a podcast to promote the book. The Shades of K—: Chronicles of Libidacoria podcast began with audio readings of the poetry in my book along with accompanying essays on sexuality (some diary, some social commentary). The podcast quickly gained popularity and is now being downloaded and streamed in over 59 countries around the world. Not only does the SoK:CoL podcast feature my essays and poetry in my own voice, it also showcases some great music by independent and local musicians. This show is available via iTunes as well as directly from the podcast site and Libidacoria.com website.
In May of 2008, I partnered with Harry Rooster, The Professor of TPBN (The Phonetic Bells Network), to record a song called, I’m Not Asking for Love, based on one of the poems in Libidacoria. I made this available on major online music download sites.
In March of 2009, Libidacoria branched into the talk show realm with Libidacoria: The Late Night Talk Show. A laid back, sarcastic, but educational program, myself and a crew of co-hosts— examined modern sexuality on a variety of topics. This show was recorded on BlogTalkRadio and took a different aspect of sexuality for each themed episode. We brought in special guests, themed blogs and relevant internet sites. This show just recently ended in April 2012 so I could concentrate on some other projects, but there are over 3 years of episodes in the archive and available on iTunes.
In July 2010, I began recording original erotic audio stories for sale through distribution channels such as Amazon, iTunes and Napster.
The podcast, the talk show, and the audio files were all created to push traffic to the Libidacoria website and increase sales of the book as well as the other projects.
In 2011, I actually began touring the Midwest doing live performances. I first performed at the Detroit Erotic Poetry and Musical Festival in February. Then in March, I performed at the Dirty Little Secrets show in Dayton, Ohio, introducing a bit of burlesque into my live poetry performance. In both April and December 2011, I did the Kira’s Oasis V.I.P. Burlesque show in Centerville, Ohio, working both my poetry and love of dance into a full-blown burlesque acts. In August 2011, I appeared in the 1st Annual Ohio Burlesque Festival in Cleveland and again did the Dirty Little Secrets show in Dayton, Ohio. Burlesque was a perfect fit for my erotic poetry performances and the crowd I was attempting to market to.
2011 also saw the release of my second musical attempt, On the Floor, a dance/rap song written in collaboration with Talianna L., a teen singer/songwriter from Ohio.
Now in 2012, I’ve continued my live burlesque performances, been invited to participate in several local art festivals, and just published my second book, 4play.
Away from Amazon, have you had much luck with other outlets? Do you use Smashwords, Barnes & Noble etc?
iUniverse has extensive Amazon distribution outlets, so I haven’t had the need to explore other options. I have been dabbling with Bookrix.com for my erotic story publications.
Do you worry about Amazon gaining a monopoly in the ebook market?
With the number of start-ups and the way things seem to go in the business world, I don’t worry too much about Amazon’s monopoly as there will likely be another platform around the corner that is both more advantageous to authors with even great innovation.
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
I have 2 more volumes of poetry I’m hoping to publish either late 2012 or early in 2013, and I’m going to continue performing. I’m also working on a sexually-themed cookbook…and who knows what else. I’m open to anything that pushes my limits and artistic scope.