Friday, December 05, 2014

Interview with Mitzi Szereto: An Author and Anthology Editor of Multi-Genre Fiction and Non-Fiction

Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, has her own blog of humourous essays at Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog, and is the creator and presenter of the Web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers the “quirky” side of London. Her books include Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance; The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray; Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles); Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire; Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying for It: Tales of Sex and Death; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series; and Silk Sheets: Collected Stories of Mitzi Szereto. She’s become known as a pioneer of erotic writing workshops in the UK and mainland Europe, teaching them at literature festivals and on residential writing courses. She’s given talks and readings around the world and lectured in creative writing at several British universities. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotic fiction to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

What career did you plan during your education days?

Mitzi: I was always doing something creative from an early age—painting, drawing, writing, playing guitar and piano (I even wrote some songs!). It was inevitable I’d end up being a creative artist in at least one of these areas. My strongest subjects in school were definitely English, creative writing and art. I pursued art when I went on to higher education, but ultimately ended up getting a journalism degree, which returned me to my writing and eventually led to a post-graduate degree, which unexpectedly resulted in some university teaching.

What languages can you speak and write?

Mitzi: Only English, I’m sorry to say! I’ve studied other languages, but if you’re not actively using them, they won’t stay with you.

What are your forthcoming writings?

Mitzi: My latest book release is an anthology of Gothic-themed short stories entitled Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance. It runs the gamut from the traditional Victorian to ghosts, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and even a bit of steampunk. It will be available worldwide in December 2014 in print, ebook and audio book formats. In late 2015 I’ll have another anthology coming out called Love, Lust and Zombies. I think the title says it all! It’s already listed for pre-order from most major booksellers including Amazon. As for works in progress, I’m currently writing the next instalment in The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles—a sort of quirky crime/cosy mystery series about a photojournalist from England who just so happens to be a small bear. It continues Thelonious’s (mis)adventures that readers were introduced to in the debut novel Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles), but instead of Norfolk, England, this time he’s in the American South. I created this series with my sidekick celebrity bear, Teddy Tedaloo, who’s the co-author. I’m pleased to say that these and most of my other books are available in India.

What genres do you write in and why?

Mitzi: I consider myself a multi-genre writer and find that I expand into new genres all the time. A lot of my work blends more than one genre in a single volume. I tend to avoid trying to fulfil a specific expectation of genre—I don’t like being confined in that way. I like things to happen organically. My work to date has encompassed Gothic fiction, paranormal romance, crime, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, horror, parody/satire, and erotic fiction. Since we’re discussing genre, I’m not overly keen on this business of labelling authors and their works and trying to pigeonhole them for expediency’s sake. I think it sells us short and can misrepresent the content we’ve created. I’ve seen this happen with the “erotica” label. Although my earlier work fits this brief, I’m more so convinced of the label’s inaccuracy when I see what is actually being published in erotica markets and how little connection it has to what I’m doing now—unless, of course, you want to label anything that contains a sex scene as “erotica.” And that would include a lot of authors! Sometimes a label can even put off readers, not to mention stymie a writer’s freedom and creativity by typecasting them; not everyone wants to use a pseudonym each time they write something different. Another example is what we see happening with women writers who aren’t read by men because it’s assumed they’re writing books for women. Men are missing out on some excellent reads because of the way many books are marketed and labelled. Perhaps in an ideal world we could get rid of all these labels and simply have people read the book description, then decide for themselves if it’s for them. If nothing else, it would certainly broaden readers’ horizons!

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?

Mitzi: I’m still reading paper. I know it’s inevitable I’ll be reading ebooks at some point, but I still haven’t bought a tablet!

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Mitzi: Vibrant colours, tastes, sounds, scents—a people full of spirit and humour.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to opposite, what will be your first reaction?

Mitzi: I would be shocked, but I’d also be okay with it. It’s far better to be a man in this world. Anyone who tells you otherwise is self-deluded. Regardless of any advances made in society, it’s still a man’s world—and I don’t see that changing. In fact, I think we’re going backward, not forward.

The title of your autobiography would be…

Mitzi: I don’t know, but it would definitely be shelved under science fiction!

Mitzi Szereto website:

Mitzi Szereto on Twitter:

Mitzi Szereto Facebook fan page:

Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog:

Mitzi TV:

Mitzi Szereto Google+ Fan Page:

Mitzi Szereto author page on Amazon:

Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance:

Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles):

The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray:

Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts:

Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire:

Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance:

Teddy Tedaloo on Twitter:

Teddy Tedaloo Facebook fan page:

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