“Leading The Way,” Sayeth the Book Gods, “Erotica Evolved with Author Rigel Madsong.”
Rigel Madsong is an enigma. A writer of erotica who has raised the benchmark for all writers of all genres. Rigel is what I would call a “writers writer,” the kind of writer you look up to and learn from. When I first met Rigel, I was amazed by his drive and ambition. A book is only as good as the writer writing it. Rigel Madsong is as good as a writer gets.
The Taste of a Woman” is classy, erotic to the core and has those wonderful, sticky pages that keep you reading over and over again.
Q) Rigel, as an erotic author I have to ask– what is erotic to you?
A) Whatever turns me on. I know that it’s different for different folk. For me it has to have an element of beauty to it, if only in the harsh truth it reveals. But also risking something against the impositions of society to suppress what is natural about our emotional core. Like poetry, erotic literature is about the body. You take it in through the eyes and brain, but you feel it throughout the extent of your physical being. That’s what makes it so exciting. In images I look for something spiritual, something that knocks my socks off. I don’t have to explain it to myself. If it’s right, I respond with my intellect nodding its head and emotions churning.
Q) Do you, as a writer and as a reader, believe the erotic book world needs more literature and less fluff?
A) Absolutely! Erotic literature has at its command perhaps the most precious moment of any human life: intimacy. This little treasure has to be treated with complete respect, bringing the best we have to offer in the way of literary training, psychological insight, astonishing imagery, the music of well chosen words. . . I could go on. The main point is, when given a gift make the effort worth it!
Q) How do you like to write? Are you a daytime writer? A coffee slurping morning writer or a late night typer?
A) I write all the time. If not at my desk. then in my head. If not there. then in my unconscious. When I start a piece–maybe only a few sentences to lock in the entry point–when I return a few hours later, three or four paragraphs hit the page almost instantly, indicating that my unconscious has been at work. This means I put words on the page whenever, between tasks of the day, late at night when the house is quiet, riding on a train. . . once bitten by the bug, the machine is in the on switch position with cylinders popping.
Q) How did you approach the idea of writing an erotic novel? Was it at all threatening for you?
A) Not threatening, exciting. I jumped at the chance. Writers always have to overcome their inhibitions to write anything worth a damn. If it’s not dangerous, then there’s no guts to it. That’s why it has to be taken seriously, but always courageously. If the writer doesn’t put him/herself on the page, spill the guts without being solipsistic about it, then there’s no bloodshed. Blood on the page makes for great stories.
Q) Of all the characters in “The Taste of a Woman,” who is your favorite and why?
A) Oh, my God! I love them all in their own way: the jazz bassman boppin’ his way through a sweet sexual encounter; poor Allye, so inhibited, finally finding a path to her own sensuality; the comic fellow who thought he had lost his MoJo only to find it with the help of his deceased best friend’s turned-on wife. I get excited just talking about these folks.
Q) Which nicely leads me to my next question! One of the stories in “The Taste of a Woman” is based around a jazz combo. Are you a jazz listener, and if so, did your interest in jazz music influence the story?
A) Absolutely! Listener and player. I love what jazz does to bring rhythm, intellect and the body together in one place. It was a natural for me to create the jazz-bass character and speak through his mouth, even to the point of expressing his humility, his shock at being in the focal point of a sexual triangle, all the time wailing out on his axe. Every experience I have had in my life informs my writing. Inspiration comes partly from fantasy and partly from the experience of knowing what comes from leading a full life.
Q) Where do you get your ideas from? Do you base them on things you’ve actually tried yourself, things you’ve heard your friends talk about, or just stuff you’ve thought up yourself?
A) All of the above and more. The writer always has his/her antennae up. Always listening. Always paying attention. Eudora Welty said that the saddest thing about losing her hearing was that she could no longer eavesdrop. My ideas are collected as they arrive through my antennae—things that fascinate me, hearing a conversation on a bus, picking up on someone else’s desire/dreams, spinning off from an image I find that evokes erotic feelings, people I know who have hang-ups that need fixing, failures of my own at love and the fantasies I have had to try and fix them.