Interview with Selena Kitt

Christmas Stalking (An Erotic Suspense Romance Story)When I was looking at my interview schedule last week, I realized that I didn’t have one for this week. I decided to ask my friend Selena Kitt if she’d be interested in helping me out and promoting her new publishing company at the same time. Thankfully she jumped at the chance. Selena and I met about two years ago when I was assigned to be her editor at StarDust Press. We butted heads a little over how to edit, but since she’s done some editing herself, she’s seen the error of her ways.
Jen: Selena, welcome to Book Talk. Will you please share a short bio with us?

Selena: Well, when I’m not pawing away at my keyboard, I worship my devoted husband, corral four kids and almost a dozen chickens, all while growing an organic garden on about six acres of land. I also enjoy belly dancing, photography and taking long, lazy cat naps in the middle of the afternoon.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us about your call story…

Selena: I was first published by the now defunct Stardust Press. I had no real interest in e-publishing at the time, but someone sent me a contest they were running, and being the competitive type (I think they call it “A” 🙂 I entered. I didn’t win the cash, which is what I was hoping for. Instead I won a publishing contract… and so I was plunged into the seedy world of e-publishing, tell-all memoir soon to follow. Okay, I’m kidding. Except about the contest and getting publishing part.

As for my “call story.” Interesting term! And quite apropos, I suppose. Writers always say they’ve been writing since they could hold a pencil—or a crayon. Me, too. *shrug* You’d think, as writers, we’d make up some great story about how we discovered our art, right? Because that’s what we do. We tell stories. We make stuff up. So I should tell you I was backpacking in the Himalayas on a break from my college courses when I visited a Tibetan monastery and had an epiphanic spiritual awakening wherein I was charged by the divine to go back to the States and write porn… ha. But that would make me more James Frey than…than…oh, hell. Somebody the opposite of James Frey. So I’ll just be boring and tell you I’m just like all the other writers out there. I write because I have to, because I’m called to. Indeed.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words?

Selena: Poignant. Intelligent. Hot. (I bet everyone says hot! 🙂

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Selena: To quote Vivienne in Pretty Woman: “I’m actually no, I’m not a planner. I wouldn’t say I’m a planner. I would say I’m a kinda fly by the seat of my pants gal. You know moment to moment, yeah that’s me, that’s…yeah…”

Jen: Please tell us about eXcessica. What makes it different from other publishers? Why did you set it up?

Selena: eXcessica is a publisher… but we’re not a traditional publisher, who collects money from an author’s work to cover costs and make a profit (generally called a “royalty,”) nor are we a “self/vanity” publisher who collects money from the author him/herself to publish their work. Instead, we’re a partnership of authors who have come together to work in symbiosis to benefit everyone within the cooperative.

eXcessica was my little brainchild, just an idea I had to bring authors together who might not have a chance at publishing with the other houses—not because their writing wasn’t good enough, but because their subject matter was too “taboo” for companies who relied on reputation and a bottom line in order to make money.

With eXcessica, I wanted to create a publishing cooperative, rather than a company that was out to make a profit. I didn’t want to make money on other authors’ work—just my own. And as an editor, I’ve always had an interest in furthering the works of other talent. It just seemed like the natural progression, to allow each author to become his/her own publisher within the protection and to the advantage of a larger whole. At eXcessica, working together as a group benefits everyone.

And because eXcessica is a partnership, each member reaps all the benefits—the name, the marketing and production—without all the strings attached. Peer editing, cover art, production, it’s all done within the partnership, each person volunteering to do something at which they are skilled.

I’ve heard comments like, “I don’t get it. Why would they publish something if they’re not making money off of it?” I suppose that’s the typical capitalist view, and we’re a rather socialist experiment in that regard. We’ll see if it pays off. So far, it’s been more lucrative for myself and many of eXcessica’s authors than, I think, any of us could have imagined.

If you want to find out more, just visit us at www.excessica.com

Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?

Selena: Well, the yellow ones are just so un-original… I do like the pink and neon green ones, though. Okay, okay… seriously? Let’s see…oh, I know! I was recently listed #5 on the Fictionwise Bestselling Author list. Not just in erotica, but on the entire site. I was actually sandwiched between Nora Roberts and Stephen King there for a minute (a stranger threesome you’ll never see!) That was kinda neat. NYT Bestseller List, here I come? *snerk*

Jen: What’s next for you?

Selena: Well, I’ve got about five loads of laundry to fold, and I’m probably going to turn on Pride and Prejudice for the 100th time while I do it…because who can ever get enough of that Mr. Darcy? Ohhhh you mean, like, writing-wise? 😉 I’ve got lots to finish (just see the coming soon section on eXcessica!) And when all that’s done… who knows?

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Selena: All sorts of places I shouldn’t be. Oh, and here:
www.selenakitt.com
www.myspace.com/selenakitt
www.selenakittyn.com/blog

Jen: Do you have anything you’d like to add or ask our readers?

Selena: Yeah! How many licks DOES it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
The first commenter who can tell me what year that commercial first aired wins a FREE eXcessica ebook of their choice – any title, any author!

Jen: And since I’m one of the editors at eXessica when I can fit it into my schedule, I’ll throw in a free ebook of their choice to a random commenter (excluding the winner of Selena’s prize). This winner will be chosen on Friday, July 25 at 5:00 PDT. Check back to see if you’re a winner.