First a few facts about our author:
We never know which road life will take us down. J. F. always wanted to write but a lifetime of work and family happened, passing all too quickly while his dream got pushed aside. Who knew, all these years later, that his passion would return in the form of hot group sex stories? He’s so grateful to be able to share them and loves dreaming up new fantasies for his characters to experience.
Today, he lives in Wisconsin with the love of his life, his soul mate, and the inspiration for all his work. Besides sex and writing about it, his passions include baseball, music, playing the drums, his two daughters and especially, spoiling his grandchildren. He never gave up on his dream of being a writer. He just took the scenic route.
He loves hearing from readers. Find more about Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe and J. F. Silver by visiting his website: mrandmrsaveragejoe.blogspot.com or checking him on Facebook: www.facebook/jfsilver.98.
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, JF.
What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not read in your official bio?
I guess the fact that I didn’t begin writing until the age of fifty and then just as a fun hobby. Publishing was something I never even considered.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about the Mr. & Mrs. Average Joe series and what inspired these stories?
Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe is an erotic series about an older couple named Joe and Elaine who have a very active and adventurous sex life. Married thirty years, they’re baby boomers, empty nesters and grandparents. One night, they invite another woman into their bed, fulfilling a long time fantasy. Elaine is especially inspired by this new experience and wants to explore further, suggesting they meet another couple to play with. They think long and hard about this before answering an ad from a couple named, John and Mika. From completely different backgrounds and cultures, the couples hit it off immediately, especially the women. Each visit finds the friends becoming closer, sharing fantasies and discovering new pleasures. This isn’t a typical open marriage/swinger story, though. These couples genuinely fall for each other. The second book, “Nothing Gray About Fifty,” finds them getting even closer, never more evident than when they begin celebrating birthdays together. Book three in the series, “Along For the Ride,” finds the lovers challenging each other to try new things away from the bedroom. Each picks something they’ve always wanted to do and the others leave their comfort zones to experience new adventures. The books have become known for maintaining a high heat level while remaining age appropriate. Things like ED drugs and the use of sex toys to climax are common topics of discussion for our characters.
Now for the fun part. What inspired these stories?
Well, almost eight years ago, I wanted to give my wife something special for her birthday. We’d been married thirty years at the time and the kids had left home years before. I decided to write a hot, erotic story, which described a fantasy we’d often discussed. I honestly didn’t know how she would feel about this. She loved it and, just like Elaine in the first book, suggested bringing another couple into the story. I began writing them using our real names which she wasn’t crazy about. So, we went with our middle names, her idea, and yes, they are Joe and Elaine. She also came up with “Average Joe,” years later when we decided to publish. That may never had happened if another certain book series with “Fifty” in the title hadn’t become a phenomenon. I wrote these very personal stories for over five years just for the two of us to share. One day in the Fall of 2012, I was sitting in a waiting room and picked up a Time magazine. “Fifty Shades” was taking off and I read about the exploding popularity of erotic fiction. We talked it over and decided to try to get ours published. I worked for months polishing them before the real fun began, searching for publishers. I did a lot of research and discovered hundreds of them but where would a story with characters in their fifties fit? Frankly, I didn’t find anything like our stories anywhere and that’s what I used to sell them. Fitting the story to each different set of guidelines for that publisher was actually a lot of fun. I was rejected instantly by the first couple then waited a little longer for two more that weren’t interested. Number five was a small publisher named, Stiff Rain Press and I knew instantly this was the one for me. I signed my first contract with them in November, 2013 and haven’t looked back.
As a writer of Erotic Romance, do you feel the story line is as important as the sex scenes?
First of all, my series didn’t start out to be a romance. It was strictly erotic heat but eventually it does develop into a love story between the two couples. The sex definitely drives the story, as good erotica should, but you have to keep it interesting and moving. Coming up with plotlines and different scenarios is my biggest challenge and I still rely on my real life muse for help. As a male author in a genre dominated by women, both writers and readers, she helps me keep the stories “women friendly.” I honestly couldn’t or wouldn’t write these without her.
What three ingredients do you consider an absolute necessity to writing a hot sex scene?
For me, a hot sex scene should have: 1. Build up, anticipation, even tension. 2. Lots of foreplay, be it oral, BDSM themes like hot wax, spanking, etc. 3. A big climax. But, we also know that doesn’t always happen especially for older characters. There are very few “quickies’ in our series. The sex scenes generally go on for several pages.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
Is this a trick question? (laughing loudly) A psychologist would probably have a lot to say about how we put so much of ourselves into these stories. They really are just fantasies but a lot of real life situations find their way into them. We’ve had good friends say, “we didn’t know you were into that sort of thing.” Um, we’re not, okay. It’s fiction!
What comes first for you; character or story?
At first, it was definitely about the characters. But, in a series like this, we don’t want it to become boring or stale so story takes on more importance. Taking the characters to new situations and places has become key.
Do you think your stories are unique among the erotic genre in the sense that the two main characters are an older couple?
Yes, I really do, at least in the U.S. When looking at different publishers, I was finding categories titled, “Silver Years,” ‘May-December romance” and lots of, “Cougars – MILFS,” but looking at them. I discovered most had characters in their late thirties or early forties. Now, in England and the U.K., where my books have done quite well, I’m seeing stories about “Senior Swingers,” when I check my own on Amazon. Another interesting thing is that they’ve charted higher on Amazon in Australia than here. I did read that folks down under are the most open in the world to trying things like those my books describe. It’s very interesting.
How much influence do your characters have on which direction the story takes you?
The characters have diverse interests, backgrounds and occupations which often determine which way the story is going to go. I often use real life events (the Great Recession, for example) to drive the story a certain way.
Who are your favorite characters amongst both those you’ve written, and by other authors?
When I first started writing this series, I found an actual ad for people looking to “swing,” that described the female as Asian and our “Mika” character was born. Exotic, worldly and a yoga teacher, Mika is also openly bisexual. She’s Japanese and researching things like religion, spirituality and holiday traditions was a lot of fun and I’ve used it all. She’s definitely my favorite character, a sexual dynamo and the wild card that keeps the flame going for everyone.
As far as other author’s characters, sometime last year I was approached by a Canadian author named Mia Moore who was interested in a review exchange. Her stories are much like mine but with more traditional (if you can call it that) “in the lifestyle” swinger themes. She loved mine, I loved hers. She has many more works published than I do and I can’t imagine how she comes up with all the various scenarios and combinations. They are scorching hot with all types of diverse characters. If you like my books, chances are you’ll like hers.
Is there a secondary character in Mr. & Mrs. Average Joe that you feel deserves his/her own story?
No, they’re all on this adventure together.
What one thing about your hero, Joe that drive his heroine Elaine crazy? And what one thing about Elaine that drives her Joe nuts?
Joe is very laid back and likes to take things easy. Elaine is slightly impatient and hates waiting. If they’re in a hurry to get somewhere, she has to drive. Joe would much rather take the scenic route.
If you could have anyone play the roles of Joe & Elaine who would you pick?
Mature but still sexy Viggo Mortensen and Michelle Pfeiffer. Yeah, that sounds good. They’re around our age. They would have to sign off on a lot of nudity!
Can we have an excerpt from Mr. & Mrs. Average Joe?
Definitely. This is the day after the two couples meet in the first book:
Meeting these new friends was exciting. Who’d have thought we would actually do something like this? For Elaine especially, it was quite an awakening. Both of these encounters found her getting intimate with other women, and she really liked it. She didn’t worry about turning gay or bisexual. She just felt liberated and liked that, too. Her feelings for me didn’t change a bit, but her desire did, in a good way. She thought a lot about Mika and how hot it had been with her, and I was so grateful to reap the benefits. But I also realized that our experiment with another couple didn’t end quite the way we expected. We didn’t actually swap partners in the traditional sense and most of sexual fireworks were between Elaine and Mika. There was an undeniable physical attraction, but Elaine also wanted to get to know Mika better as a person and a friend. She knew there was a lot more there than just sex. The night with Renee was certainly memorable, but it was purely about lust and sex. Mika was someone Elaine connected with. At first we didn’t want to seem too eager to get together again. Not to worry. Mika called Elaine the next day to tell us what a great time they had. We made plans for dinner in two weeks, again a Saturday night at their house. Elaine was happy about that but also knew the evening would probably end in a similar way. That would definitely keep her mind occupied.
Do you consider yourself to be a one-genre writer or do you feel you will cross over to others?
I’m actually thinking about doing a non-erotic sci-fi themed story. I’ve got some notes down but it’s on the back burner for now. Joe and Elaine still have a lot of life in them. Besides, I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at this erotic stuff.
Do you have a particular daily writing schedule you stick to?
No, not really. I could certainly be more disciplined when it comes to that. I’ll go days without writing then sit and bang out several chapters in a few hours. We still have day jobs so afternoons and early evenings work best but I’ve been known to stay up until the wee hours if need be. As you know, a writer is always writing, at least in their head. You can’t shut it off.
What would be the one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring writer?
This is easy: don’t give up! I’ve only been in the community of authors for a year or so but what an incredible group. When I began my journey, things like e-books and self-publishing didn’t really exist. One lesson that stuck with me early was, “if you like the story, someone else will, too.” I was concentrating on the erotica market but it’s really true for everything. I have many friends who are willing to help either as readers, editors, street teams, whatever you need. My advice would be: do your homework. If you want to publish traditionally, look around. Find one that works in that genre. There are more ways to self-publish today than I could even imagine. But, don’t give up. Ask for help if you need to. It’s there.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I definitely read them but realize a story like mine won’t appeal to everyone. Most have been excellent and some show that the reviewer got what I was trying to convey. I even use some in my promos. Some make me just shake my head. Did you even read it? I get things like, “sexy but reads like someone’s naughty diary,” or “the writing between the erotic bits was very mundane,” and they want more plot. Conversely, I’ve seen them that say there’s “too much plot!” What do you do? Well, what I don’t do is let them influence my writing. You can’t let them get to you.
What has surprised you the most about being published?
The response from other countries. I never dreamed my little book would be #524 on the Erotica chart at Amazon Australia. Wow. Some other amazing things have happened. A late night Facebook chat with another author’s PA who saw my books led to her volunteering to help me as well. So, a brief shout out is in order for Monica “Argyle Doll” Wasserman. She’s created incredible banners and teasers for all three of my books. Another example is this interview. I’m being sought after by bloggers and book promoters and I can’t tell you how much these things mean to me. I’m extremely grateful.
Now, a few fun questions:
Lace or Silk?
Definitely silk. It’s mentioned in the books, too.
Boxers or briefs or commando?
At my age, briefs. Definitely went commando when I was younger, though.
Go to snack when writing?
Peanuts or potato chips while writing.
What are you currently reading?
We just got our first Kindle for Christmas and have a huge backlog. My wife is by far a bigger reader than I am. I just started one by a new author named Alice Hart called, “Treasury of Erotic Escapades.” It’s a fun collection of hot short stories. So, yeah, I also like to read erotic stuff.
What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
I’ve done a couple of “anything goes” interviews for the Writer’s Online Network that were specifically for erotic authors. This is a tough question since I’ve already been asked things like, favorite words for penis or vagina? Who would read the audio book? (We agreed on Samuel L. Jackson. Uh, still wrapping my head around that one. I haven’t been asked what my favorite pizza toppings are. Answer: sausage and onions. Honestly, this was an awesome set of questions right here.
What books or projects do you have coming in in the future?
I’m currently working on the fourth book in the Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe series: Life’s Too Short. It promises a few twists and introduces some new characters. Joe and Elaine still have a lot of things they’d like to do.
To Purchase you own copy of Mr. & Mrs. Average Joe, go to:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/j.f.-silver
Stiff Rain Press: http://www.stiffrainpress.com/92.html