Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Amorous Woman on my doorstep

[Note: For the story behind this story, go here and here.]

When I enthusiastically signed up for the blog tour celebrating Donna George Storey’s erotic masterpiece, Amorous Woman, I thought I’d be interviewing the author.

But though the woman here with me today looks a little bit like Donna, this character—and I use the term advisedly—has something more ... fictitious about her.

In fact, my guest is Lydia—the unforgettable protagonist of Amorous Woman, an adventurous yet vulnerable American whose sensuous, lonely, and complex sexual odyssey through Japan are the raw materials for Donna’s artistry. Apparently, Lydia got tired of letting her creator get all the attention for telling her story. So she bolted from the book, headed off into the blogosphere, and insisted that I entertain her here, in the fictional flesh.

How could I turn down an offer like that?

Jeremy
I’ve never interviewed a fictional character before. What’s the etiquette? (Like, do I have to keep my clothes on?)

Lydia
Well, Jeremy, as you know, my “odyssey” has made me into a much more thoughtful and compassionate person. I noticed on your blog you like to hang out with nothing but your boxers on with a fedora draped over your knee, so if you’re most comfortable that way, by all means, strip down. I’ve seen naked men before—LOTS of naked men—and I can handle it ;-)

Jeremy
Thank you—that’s much better. Pardon me a moment while I retrieve my notebook from my boxers.

Okay, first question: As I’m sure you’re aware, Donna is a very gifted writer. Tell us how her portrayal of you gave you insights into your own needs and behavior.

Lydia
“Gifted” writer? Hmm, to give credit where credit is due, the old girl did put in a lot of time at the computer on this project. The poor thing downed so many Diet Snapples during those dawn writing sessions, I was worried for her. Worse than opium, absinthe and cigarillos, that stuff. But the truth is—and getting in touch with the truth is another thing I learned from my amorous journey—Donna’s “talent” involved listening to ME. True, she forced me to sit down and tell her everything. That alone definitely helped me put my adventures in perspective. Telling all made me realize that when I was back in Japan I let my desires trump common sense most of the time. Okay, maybe all of the time. With each encounter I usually thought I wanted sex. Rolling around naked with a hot man, juicing up the sheets, screaming my throat raw when my head explodes in one of those full-body orgasms—what’s not to like about that? But I realize now I was looking for other things at the same time. I’m not going to tell you what those things were, you have to read the book. But I will say Donna was like a therapist for me in that sense--and she didn’t even charge me! Still, I am a rather restless person and it’s time to “graduate” from therapy, cut loose a little.

Jeremy
Were there junctures at which you had to redirect the author? Moments at which you felt you had to assert elements of your internal logic over things you didn’t “feel” in the plot outline? (Did she even show you the synopsis when she was preparing the book proposal, or did she send you to the movies that day?)

Lydia
Donna and I were pretty much in sync, but she did have some problems with the male characters. Men are always mucking up the best laid plans. There were two guys in particular who refused to follow the script. One is Masaru, the charming bad boy. He was always trying to improvise. He didn’t like some of his lines and I agree that the versions he insisted on sounded much better. Come to think of it, I am actually rather pissed at Donna for what she did to him, it could be one of the reasons I just had to get away--but that’s for another interview. The real surprise was Dr. Shinohara, the elegant dentist. I mean first of all, who ever thought a dentist could be so sexy? Back in Washington D.C. my dentist was this horse-faced guy with hairy hands who was always asking me stupid questions when my mouth was wedged open. Annoying as hell. Dr. Shinohara, on the other hand, was one of those courteous gentlemen with lovely cheekbones who just oozed wisdom. Plus, he was HOT. Our stereotype of the Japanese male over here is ridiculous, but believe me, I’ve met some spellbindingly seductive fellows. Dr. Shinohara was one and, well, he had a mind of his own. He just refused to follow the script and took his pleasure with me in his own special way.

Jeremy
Since, as a fictional character, you’re not constrained by time and space, I imagine you can relive your favorite moments at will. What’s your favorite moment, among those related in the book?

Lydia
There are plenty of moments I like to relive when I’m alone and feeling a twinge, if you know what I mean. The hairbrush scene, the hot spring scene, “around the world” with Masaru—a very creative man in bed. But if you’re going to make me choose just one moment, it’s the encounter with the luscious Dr. Shinohara I was just talking about. It’s been twenty-four years and his touch still lingers. Mmm, excuse me, how much longer is this interview going to take? With all of this talk about my past lovers, I’m starting to feel a few twinges right now….

Jeremy
I’ll try to talk faster. What’sitlikeforyouwhenDonnareadsfromAmorousWomaninpublic?

Lydia
Jeremy, dear, I’ve willingly choreographed and performed a live sex show in front of dozens of drunk men at a year-end party—do you even need to ask? When Donna reads, or rather, when she channels me at her readings, I get to tell my story again. It was great fun doing it for those two handsome California boys in Amorous Woman and it was fun to do it at The Booksmith in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I’ve got plans for appearances in LA and New York and I can’t wait to parade around naked—maybe I should get back home for those. Exhibitionism is obviously one of my vices, not that there aren’t plenty of others. Fortunately, Donna always chooses a nice, juicy scene, like the threesome with the prostitute at the Imperial Hotel. I could live that one over and over again!

Jeremy
I know our readers will want a “bonus.” Can you relate any of your sexy exploits that didn’t make it into the novel, because of space constraints? (I promise I won’t tell Donna.)

Lydia
Donna was in a bit of a rush to get me to Japan, so she left out some pretty spicy scenes from my days at Princeton. Most people think Ivy Leaguers spend all of their time in the library studying to be dentists, but they do other things in the library, too, that would make those library ladies faint.

Jeremy
Not the library ladies I know.

Lydia
Oh, yes? You have to give me their names. Anyway, back to your question, I did fairly well academically, but I got an A+ in extracurricular sex. My boyfriends there were willing to try anything. We tied each other to those bunk beds with my pantyhose, blindfolded each other with scarves, annointed each other’s bodies with Thomas Sweets’ ice cream and chocolate sauce. College was training for all the things I did in Japan, but I understand Donna writes short stories, too, and I think she lifted some of my experiences for those. I don’t begrudge her. Writers are thieves, after all.

Jeremy
[Sotto voce] Let’s not get insulting, now—I mean, there may be some actual thieves reading this, and they might take umbrage at such a comparison.

Next question: Do large groups of fictional characters from across the entire history of literature ever get together for monster parties when we mortals aren’t looking? Is there a particular convention center you guys favor, or do you like to spread it around?

Lydia
How did you know? Of course we do, and just for the record, we include memoirists because over here even they’ll admit what they’ve written is fiction. I’ve partied with Anais Nin and Henry Miller, Fanny Hill of course. And the original Amorous Woman, Oharu. She’s a REAL character. Sometimes—and I know you’re waiting for this confession—the clothes come off and we couple in every imaginable way, our bodies twisted into pretzels of yin-yang depravity. Why not? It’s all safe sex here in Fictionland. As for location, should you want to join in, which I know you do, you can find us wherever things are happening, Paris, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. I suppose I should add that not all parties are as amusing or sweaty as ours. Some of these people are as stuffy and humorless offstage as they are on. Mr. Causabon from Middlemarch? Still a pill, although Dorothea and Will Ladislaw and I had a very nice threesome once. Beneath those petticoats, she hid a passion that surprised me…

Jeremy
[To himself, as he writes in his address book] Im ... perial ... Hotel.

So now that you’ve told us what you get up to with other characters, could you describe your ideal date with a devoted reader?

Lydia
Everyone thrives on attention, Jeremy, you won’t deny it’s true for you. For me it’s even more important—attention literally brings me to life. I adore my readers. I’ll do anything for them, and I do mean ANYTHING. Pick your scene, come on over to my Japan, take any role you please. My lovely readers can be me and I’ll whisper directions in their ears—rise up from the water now, take your breasts in your hands, turn and show him your shapely ass, tease that sucker until he’s panting like a dog. Or they’re welcome to take the part of my lovers and do all of those nasty-but-very-nice things to me. In that regard, I’m still very easy….

Jeremy
And, speaking of attention ... I know that the public is already clamoring for a sequel. Are you available, if Donna makes you an offer?

Lydia
It would have to be a damned good offer, but I’d consider it in the future if my co-stars are worth bedding. For now I’m having a bit too much fun relaxing and hanging out in Kyoto with my buddies from Amorous Woman. Sleeping my way around Japan was EXHAUSTING. Pass the sake, would you? And it was a true pleasure talking with you, Jeremy. Those boxers suit you. But I have to be going. I’m not quite ready to settle down yet….

46 comments:

Jeremy Edwards said...

I persuaded Lydia to stick around awhile by inviting her to spend some time alone in my fedora cupboard, where she could nap (or whatever) undisturbed. I'll play host for all of you while she plays with hersel—that is, while she rests. But Lydia will emerge sooner or later, and I'm sure she'll thrive on your attention!

Ashley Lister said...

Hi Jeremy & Lydia,

Fantastic interview.

I'm one of those readers who've been clamouring to see a sequel to Amorous Woman and think it would be an absolute delight to read What the Amorous Woman Did Next... I sincerely believe readers can't get enough of a good thing and Lydia's adventures are a very good thing indeed.

However, I have to take exception to the suggestion that writers are thieves. I'm currently writing a very original story about a man from the fictional country of MorousWo and the work is not stolen from anyone. I hope you will soon look forward to reading my new novel: A MorousWo Man.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Hi, Ashley!

Your work in progress sounds groundbreaking indeed. Is this the one you were telling me about, in which the protagonist's name is Liam ("Ly") Dia?

Jeremy Edwards said...

Fantastic interview.

On behalf of the otherwise-occupied Lydia and myself, thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed it; and, as for Lydia, I have a feeling that at this very moment she's postively ecstatic.

Nikki Magennis said...

OH MY GOD - we've got a channel to the other side! Quick! Jeremy! Lock Lydia in the cupboard. I need to ask her a few things ...

(And pass me that sake, will you? Pint glass is fine. Cheers.)

KM said...

Wow! I'm so glad I had a nice comfy futon for that! If I were you, I'd give Lydia some time alone in your boxers and keep your notebook in the fedora cupboard. So...did you give Lydia the names of the librarians?

Dōmo arigatō!

Olivia Knight said...

Fabulous interview. You must have amourous women on your doorstep all the time, in an outfit like that...

Jeremy Edwards said...

You must have amourous women on your doorstep all the time, in an outfit like that...

Yes, the Amour book does seem to attract them.

By the way, I'm thinking of having the doorstep moved inside—so much more comfortable for us, you know.

Jeremy Edwards said...

If I were you, I'd give Lydia some time alone in your boxers and keep your notebook in the fedora cupboard. So...did you give Lydia the names of the librarians?

Well, she sort of helped herself to both my address book and my notebook. She had to reach into my boxers to get them, of course. It was very pleasant—er, awkward. It was very awkward. Um ... may I have a swig of that sake, Nikki?

Jeremy Edwards said...

By the way, Nikki, the cupboard locks from the inside (fedoras like to have their privacy sometimes). But maybe if you stand just outside the door and start coaxing Lydia, she'll come out soon and grant your every wish.

Donna said...

Whew, I've finally found her--and yes, I know what she's doing in that closet. Expect to hear some rhythmic moans in a minute or two. But listen, I need your help. We've got to lure her out somehow, I'll stand by the cupboard with my now-blank copy of Amorous Woman open to the first page, and when she comes out (being woozy from her recent activities) I'll slam the pages shut and carry her off so she won't get into any more trouble? Thanks, guys. And hey, I'll take some of that sake, too. And I'm really looking forward to your new book, Ash. Sounds tres originale ;-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

I know how to lure her out, Donna! I realize the book is blank, but you must have it memorized by now. I bet if you recite one of the hottest passages, Lydia won't be able to resist. (I know I won't!)

Craig Sorensen said...

Nicely done!

Having read Amorous Woman, I thought I knew Lydia so well, but it just goes to show, there's always more than meets the eye!

Oh, and Nikki? A pint of Sake?!?!

Alison Tyler said...

But when Lydia comes out of the book, does that mean that Donna goes in?

Fabulous interview to all, um, three of you!

XXX,
Alison

Shanna Germain said...

Hello, hello!

*waves*

Such a delightful interview!

And, I'm a magpie, not a thief. I only steal shinies! Get it right ;p

Jeremy Edwards said...

You hear that, Lydia? Now why don't you put away your shiny and come join the party!

On second thought, never mind the "putting away" part. This is "come as you are," after all.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Oh, and Nikki? A pint of Sake?!?!

Generous of you to assist me with the drinks, Craig—but I think she just had one.

Donna said...

Excellent idea to draw her out, Jeremy, Fortunately, I have memorized a few portions of the text, my, ahem, favorites, which I know appeal to Lydia as well. Let's try this from the famous hot spring scene in Part Seven:

Then the professor began tapping my asshole lightly as if he were playing a little drum. A searing spasm of pleasure shot through my body and I yelped in surprise.

‘Shall I stop?’ he asked with concern.

‘Oh, no,’ I stuttered. ‘Please, I…’

‘…Find pleasure in it?’ the professor finished for me.

‘Yes.’ Could he see how very much I did?

He made a low grunt of assent and continued to stroke my cleft, paying special attention...

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

And hey, Nikki, km, Olivia, Craig, Alison and Shanna, Ashley--once we get this girl out of the closet, I think it's time to pour another round of sake! This is like a reunion of my favorite erotica writers ever!

Emerald said...

Awesome interview! I imagine it's quite a relief, Donna, to have Lydia back where she belongs, but I have to say I'm glad she made it out for this! ;)

Xoxo,
Emerald

Smut Girl said...

Wow. I'd love to say something clever, but I'm busy counting my characters. I had no idea they could just take off like that.

Lovely smut break, J. (and Donna and Lydia...and fedora...plus, the um...socks)
XOXO
Sommer

kristina lloyd said...

Is there any sake left?

Or maybe I already had some. Or maybe Nikki just breathed near me. Cos I'm sure I saw Donna making out with George Eliot in a cupboard. That can't be right. And one of them was wearing a fedora. Not sure who though.

Great party!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Hi, Emerald ... Sommer ... Kristina! I was so busy "paying special attention" to the lovely cleft—uh, I mean to the lovely excerpt, that I'm afraid I forgot my manners. Glad you found your way to the sake!

Kristina, are you sure that wasn't one of Sommer's characters playing dress-up with G. Eliot? Her head count may have come up short—so anyone with some extra head should probably offer to give her some.

Meanwhile, I think Alison may have been right about Donna and Lydia swapping places. I just opened my copy of AW, and it's full of "Donna this" and "Donna that." So if Lydia stays away much longer, she might just find herself out of a job!

Craig Sorensen said...

I think we're gonna need more Sake!

Thankfully, the futon seems holding up okay.

So far...

Donna said...

Emerald? Sommer? Kristina? I've got someone's breast in my hand--is it yours? Look, who needs Lydia? Let her rot in the cupboard with the fedoras for all I care. This is too much fun....

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

FUN? Without me? Hold on a minute, there's always room for one more....

Jeremy Edwards said...

Lydia! If only those fedoras could talk. Never mind ... I can talk. In fact, my tongue is wagging like crazy. (Just let me know if you want me to vary the pace or rhythm.)

Craig Sorensen said...

Man am I glad I brought more Sake!

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

Now wait a minute, it's even kinkier on this side than over in Fictionland. I'm thinking I might stay...a dedicated cunning linguist, a guy who likes to watch while sipping some Sakuramasamune (the best brand). Maybe I won't ever go back to the pages of that cheesy little novel...aaahhh, yes...a little to the right.

Donna said...

Psst, Jeremy. I've disentangled myself from this pile of naked eroticists and I'm ready to pounce on her. Keep it up--yes, I see that you are.

Emerald said...

Hell of a party you throw here at your freshly vacuumed blog, Jeremy! I innocently stop by to watch you and Lydia...talk...and next thing I know, my left breast is in Donna's hand!

Yay blog parties!!

(P.S. That means I could still use someone to attend to the right...)

Jeremy Edwards said...

That means I could still use someone to attend to the right...

I see you've got quite a long line forming there after that last comment, Emerald! Do you think maybe I'd better get out the random number generator, just to keep things fair? (And who's going to hold my place in line while I do that?)

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

All right, you thieving writers, pull yourselves together. I know you're really here to talk to me, so before I hop back into that book and let the professor finish that luscious thing he was doing with his tongue (not to slight you, Jeremy, you're quite talented yourself), now's your chance to ask me questions. I do love to talk about myself, you know, every dirty little detail, and the night is young....

EllaRegina said...

Is that a notebook in your pocket or are you just happy to see your interviewee?

Wonderful interview -- it felt like a live radio program -- and congratulations for blurring the line between fiction and "reality." I cannot see straight right now and have to sit down.

EllaRegina said...

Lie down would be more like it. Am feeling twinges. Lydia has, uh, rubbed off on me...

Jeremy Edwards said...

Would you like to reserve a slot in the fedora cupboard, ER? We have a 10:00 open, or a 10:45 ...

KM said...

"Sleeping my way around Japan"

What other countries have you slept around in? And how does one pack for such travels? Oh, and does the Imperial have room service?

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

Does the Imperial have room service?

Oooh, yes, you should see what they deliver in Part Eight of the novel. A memorable souvenir, but a little hard to fit in a suitcase....

Before Japan I spent a few weeks in Paris, but that was more sleeping my way around arrondissements. You need more time to do a whole country.

To pack? A toothbrush, silky undies, and a whole lot of libido ;-)

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

EllaRegina? The Lonely Onanista has told me all about you. We're on excellent terms, she and I.

KM said...

Thanks Lydia! You have charmed your way into the arrondissements of my mind. Looking forward to your arrival in my mailbox.

EllaRegina said...

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

EllaRegina? The Lonely Onanista has told me all about you. We're on excellent terms, she and I.


Uh-oh. I hope she just told you the nice things.

You two would have quite the party together, except she rarely leaves her monument so it may have to be an in-house affair, so to speak.

I think she'd appreciate learning a few key Japanese phrases. How much do you charge for language lessons?

(Damn, I missed my fedora slot.)

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

I prefer the barter method, EllaRegina. What do you have to offer?

EllaRegina said...

I have nothing to offer but Miss Onanista can teach you how to masturbate in a very particular way or can give you a lovely (unused) vintage handkerchief.

Lydia Evans Yoshikawa said...

Sounds goods--it's deal. I've heard all about those handkerchiefs.

EllaRegina said...

They work. Plus she could have them custom embroidered -- a few dirty words in Japanese, perhaps -- at the fictional Etsy she's been logging hours with during her "alone" time.