Monday, October 31, 2011

Maxim Jakubowski - Cities and Sex


Hi All!

Please welcome Maxim to the Blog!


COMMENT TO WIN!
Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)
Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.
PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.

CITIES AND SEX

I've mentioned in another blog as part my blog tour for my new novel EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT how one of the most common questions I've been asked on the occasion of interviews is 'how do you do your research?' in view of the fact that most of my novels and stories are erotic.

Let's get over the sex part of it: I might not have personally experienced/experimented all the combinations and variations in sexual activity that appear in my books (although you might be surprised when the unlikely time comes for someone to write my biography...), but I read, observe, speculate wildly, spend much too much time on the internet and, come on, if there is one thing I am not short of as a writer, it's imagination!

And that apart, I don't do research. It's just not me; call it laziness, lack of time or whatever. As a result I've never really written anything set in a historical period I haven't lived through, even though I thoroughly enjoy books that do and have a great admiration for authors who write in the historical genre. I've tried, believe me.

However, one important aspect of my books and stories is the sense of place. I find it vital for my characters to always be situated in a specific geographical context. Maybe it's also because I write crime and thriller fiction (often combined with erotica) where that sense of place is all-important. To that extent I published a book two years ago called FOLLOWING THE DETECTIVES, a combination of travel book and literary essays, about the real places that fictional detectives belong to and inhabit (Sherlock Holmes' London, Maigret's Paris, Ian Rankin's Rebus' Edinburgh, etc...).

I find that knowing where my characters tread the pavements (or wallow in hotel room beds) is vital to my 'feel' for their story and peregrinations. It brings the pages to life in subtle but illuminating ways. The descriptions of places, streets, nature, landmarks provide textures for the story and are an element of my fictional palette. As I retrieve memories of cities and places I've spent time in and place my characters in their centre, the whole book or story I'm writing takes shape (and often goes in different directions I even expected, although never a dead-end street!) and I can see it all in my mind as I type. And because I'm more of a big city guy who feels lost and lonely in the countryside, however beautiful it might happen to be, my tales are essentially urban, with an occasional sprinkling of Southern beaches.

And when it comes to places, no research is needed. It's all there in my head. I travel  a lot; less so than I used to do when I was in export or in book publishing, but not a year goes by without my spending time in New York, New Orleans, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, for instance. All cities in which books or stories of mine have been set or passed through.

I have one rule: I never write about places I haven't been to. I need that reality of experience to bring my stories to life. And I would not encourage anyone to rely on maps or Google Earth, you need the feeling that only time in a city provides to make something believable as opposed to recognisable.

This was, of course, at the origin of the SEX IN THE CITY anthologies I assembled for Xcite Books recently, with 4 volumes presenting an variety of stories by some of my favourite erotic authors set, respectively, in London, Paris, New York and Dublin.

But EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT is also an erotic book about cities.

Ekaterina, a young Italian girl confronted by the abyss of sex is first encountered in Rome on the occasion of her first (non-penetrative) sexual encounter with her tennis coach.

Alexander, who will become the tragic love of her life, is first seen in London, then Paris, where his own sexual adventures and disappointments take on a melancholy hue.

Emma, my angel of death, whose origins are shrouded in mystery, also spreads her dark wings across New York and Paris.

And the sad finale where all the different plots finally come together in a wintery apocalypse is set in Venice. More specifically, on Venice's Lido, a fascinating small island, so different in nature from the main, watery city, where the annual film festival takes place and where Thomas Mann set his classic DEATH IN VENICE.

All places I have visited many times or have actually lived in. And which I hope I have evoked well in my novel, so that you can better visualise my characters' waltz into darkness as they progress along these murky streets, or might actually wish to visit once you have read my book.

Disclaimer: I also earn a commission from the local tourist offices in addition to my modest royalties!
*****
Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’
When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.
She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.
When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.
A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.
A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.

Ekaterina and the Night buy links:

*****

MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc...) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
*****
COMMENT TO WIN!
Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)
Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.
PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the interview! I think I have to agree that writing about locations you actually know adds a weight and feel to novels that you can't get from research.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

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  2. Great interview !!!

    reginamayross@gmail.com

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  3. Please enter me in this contest. Thank you.

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  4. This sounds good....i hope i can read it soon. thank you for visiting carrie's blog

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  5. Awesome interview, thanks for sharing!

    Eva
    evitap67(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete