I would like to thank Frank Carlyle, author of Lady’s Submission, for taking time and answering these questions. His responses are fantastic and he’s written the most out of all of my author interviews, so many thanks!!
Disclaimer: The following answers do contain adult themes, so under 18 is not advised!
Enjoy and do check his new book out!
1. What got you interested in writing erotica, and also what got you interested in Christian Erotica specifically?
Well once upon a time I was addicted to erotica as a teenager. Without the love of my life yet to be in my arms erotica for me, as a Christian youth, became a frustration more than anything as I had no honorable outlet for my stirred up desires much less the ramped up hormones of simply being a teenager. I was raised very conservatively and everything that occurred at that time with me to do with erotica was done very clandestinely and I felt a good deal of shame towards my double life so to speak. Years into it I gave it up and went cold turkey as it were and six months later I met my wife. Nine months later we were married. I thought married life would be the cure so to speak, but I made the mistake of approaching my marriage bed as a ‘Nice Christian Guy’ and I for lack of a better word for it stumbled inthe application of relating who I was inside with what a ‘Nice Christian Guy’ should be like on the outside as Christianity defines it. I was a very repressed individual. Later on in an effort to break free and in the frustration of an alpha chained into acting like a beta slave I attempted to write erotica themed stories for my wife with the intent of spicing my marriage life up. It failed. The writing was bad and I still felt guilty for having anything to do with something I had relegated with as being something sinful to partake in. Time went by and through the grace of God I became a prolific author in multiple genres of Christian fiction such as Fantasy and Action Adventure. My stories were bestsellers and very different than the usual fair to be found on the Christian market. They were full of romance, action, and gripping reality. That said even though they were sexy and quite passionate I closed off what the audience could see of the world of ultimate intimacy by closing the bedroom doors as it were. For a while I believe that was exactly what God wanted of me, but with time I also came to the understanding of more indepthly of the ties that bind us. Ties within the spirit realm that have nothing to do with God and have more to do with the orthodox structure of what is known as the Christian Religion, that has become in many ways something apart from what it was started out to be, as it relies heavily now on the doctrines of man than it does the doctrines of what God has actually said. I am a Bible literalist, meaning I believe everything that God’s Word says and so upon reading the Song of Solomon with my wife one night imagine my awakened surprise at just how much of an erotic tale it is right down to the sexual positioning for intercourse and full on descriptions of oral sex. Right there in God’s word was full on erotica and why not because after all God created man and woman to enjoy each other and though I’d read that book of the Bible many times before I now looked at God’s healthy and entirely sensual view of sex in a new light and it changed me. I didn’t know however that God had a purpose in the path He was setting down before me though. As a former addict of erotica I’ve fought recurring battles over the years of my marriage to delve into it to assuage what I thought missing in my marriage bed. Any relapse only ever led to more of a sense of shame so imagine my surprise one night when I specifically felt the Holy Spirit of God move on me to buy a book from an author I had once read with a lot of delight in the past. I was appalled as it seemed to be a denial of all the safety parameters that I had built up over the years and yet I was a vastly different person spiritually than when I first started my forays into erotica as a teenager. I also at present am willing to deal with people hating on me more for pursuing what I feel led by God to do, as I want to please Him more, than them. That wasn’t always the case, as I tend to be a people pleaser, but now God always comes first. I told my wife what was going on and we talked about it and through lots of prayer I made the move to venture back into territory I had sternly avoided. What I found was part of why I wrote over fifteen of my own books. Yes some aspects of some erotica stories are good, but I couldn’t as a man of God identify with every aspect of the story from the endless clichés to the men willing to shove their unit in every available female only to become miraculously monogamous when they met the right woman to the bratty females populating so many of the stories that one is brought to the point of, as a male, with the desire to strongly avoid any such individual, if ever one should encounter them in the flesh. Once again it became very real to me that there was a void that needed to be filled. Erotica as the world often does it doesn’t satisfy me as it’s not conducive or spiritually aligned with my born again relationship with God and His commandments and yet I have a firsthand example of what He does approve of and went so far as to include in His Word. It was at that time I felt very convinced as to what God wanted me to do and so I have proceeded to do that very thing. I’ve taken it upon myself to represent my faith in the one true God in a genre where He’s never talked about. A genre that dwells and revels on the very physical aspects and elements of erotic form and function that He created from the beginning and so this is why I write Christian Erotica. My God has called upon me to represent Him in yet one more avenue of fiction than I already have and while it is not without its hardships chiefly represented in the loss of friendships, which may occur because of such a decision on my part to proceed past established ‘Christian’ custom it is still worth the doing, because my heart is to be obedient to my God above all else and represent Him as He really is and not how He has been distorted by the keepers of a religion named Christianity.
2. What’s it like being a guy in a mostly female populated genre?
It really doesn’t bother me. I had two older sisters who tried to be my boss growing up. They failed by the way, but in general I have always gotten along better with women. As a man I am both very passionate and yet very emotional and I’ve been gifted heavily with the gift of empathy. So much so that in several of my non pen name books I have told the story from the perspective of the female, as the first person perspective, versus always being from the male view. I’ve had really good success with being able to tell the stories that I have because of that and for readers of my current erotica series they’ll get to see that shift in perspectives in Book 4 of The Warriors of Ar’mora, Possessing All Of A Lady. Even though I can shift perspectives to the feminine I am and always will be a man at heart and yet I have a great deal of God given adaptivity as an author in order to write what the story needs most. Adaptivity aside I can promise readers of my erotica fiction that they will never read anything outside of what God has ordained as ‘good’ contained within the scope of the story or any implication thereof and again I know this is going to get me my share of haters, but as the Bible says in Galations 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”KJV
3. How did you come up with the idea for Lady’s Submission?
I borrowed heavily in terms of location and the aspect of essentially a mail order bride being delivered to a plantation owner from the classic 1950’s movie The Naked Jungle starring Charleston Heston and Eleanor Parker. Again let me state how conservatively I was raised by stating that the first time satellite TV was introduced to my childhood home was when I was 16 years old. To make up for the time before that though my parents bought us all the classic movies of the 40’s,50’s and 60’s. To some that might not seem so great, but I loved those movies and as a result I have an older mindset and approach to the way I do things than I believe is common today and that has served me well. Being steeped in the era of such a classy bygone time also taught me among other things to be a gentlemen and yet also a passionate defender of all that is mine and that along with other literary influences continues to come out in my fiction today. I highly suggest watching The Naked Jungle to anyone who hasn’t. Some movies do get outdated with time, but this isn’t one of them.
4. How old were you when you started writing?
I wrote my wife a short story when I was dating her and that was really the first time I ever attempted to do anything along those lines besides some poetry I wrote in my teen years. I was 23 at the time I believe. Several more years went by though before I really took off in terms of writing stories of a book length nature.
5. What’s some writing habits that you have (such as eating mints when you write, using a specific computer, lighting a candle, music, etc.)?
I write all my stories out by hand first. To that end I prefer Signo Uniball pens with a .05 stylus size and always Noir black ink. I have thrown away literally hundreds of those pens drained away of their ink supply. Getting off topic for a moment can someone please explain to me why the replacement cartridge for a perfectly good and entirely reusable pen costs more than simply buying a whole new pen? Also along with writing I prefer a specific flip up steno journal pad that only seems to be able to be found at Dollar General anymore. You can’t go wrong with having some good chocolate on hand either.
6. How did you choose your pen name?
Have you ever wondered about what it would be like to one day have to flee for your life and live under an assumed identity? Well I have and Frank Carlyle, for I’m not sure what reason, was the preselected alias I had contained within my imaginative daydreaming of future circumstances and so it seemed natural to use it to pave the way into my double life of fictional tale telling.
7. In your spare time, what can you be found doing?
It might sound clichéd but spare time is in short supply for me. Really the attainment of more ‘spare time’ is a goal for me, but unfortunately that often only means more work for me in the present in order to hopefully effect that future that has more time for other things. In general though I enjoy farming, splitting wood with a splitting maul (no joke), building structures out of rock and daydreaming about what I want to write next.
8. What are your top 5 favorite books?
Growing up I was a big fan of the epic scale of fantasy to be seen in Tolkien’s writings and in terms of action I’ve always been partial to science fiction and westerns. Leaving my forays into the more erotic side of storytelling left unsaid I will confess to the fact of a time one very boring summer as a boy when out of desperation for something to read I took advantage of my sister’s entire collection of Jane Austin. It did me good, but I don’t think I’ll ever be reading Mansfield Park again in my adulthood. Who knows though maybe I will.
9. If you could vacation anywhere in the world (money not being an issue) where would it be and why?
That is an increasingly difficult question to come up with an answer to. Let me sum it up by stating a range of factors. Somewhere that the crops aren’t being sprayed with pesticides. Somewhere the food isn’t genetically modified and intentionally designed to render the eater of it both sterile and with a much shorter life span. Somewhere where my next door neighbor isn’t a crime boss, a former government agent or a reality tv star. Somewhere that still has honest hard working people, who aren’t debt slaves, and at heart are happy and content with what they have in life. If anyone knows of such a place please don’t hesitate to contact me about it. I’m serious.
10. What are the top 5 things you cannot live without?
This kind of ties into a funny story that came out of dating my wife, which I met through an online dating service. One of the profile questions was much the same as this question. In truth I’ve forgotten what my 5 most important things were at that time of my life, but I well remember how I waded through the female matches that were delivered to my Inbox based solely off what they had listed as the most important things in their life were. I know oral hygiene is important, but seriously one woman had it listed down as her number one priority in life to brush her teeth at least three times daily! I have to admit that superfluous statements like that and whether or not she ate red meat(vegetarian was a popular #1 option and no offense meant to those of you who are vegetarian, but I personally require a well fleshed out diet in order to function properly) or not was how I largely rejected a lot of matches that came my way. But all joking aside my top 5 are: #1 Close/Obedient relationship with God, #2 Loving/Protecting my Family, #3 Being an Honorable/Righteous man, #4 Helping/Teaching Others, #5 Creating a legacy of Righteousness/Faith for my children to follow in and one day God willingly surpass me in.