Author Spotlight – Mikey Jackson
Mikey Jackson is a novelist, scriptwriter and coffee addict from the seaside town of Worthing, near Brighton, on the south coast of England where the sun sometimes shines, but it mostly rains. Aside from novels, he writes both comedy and drama material for TV, radio, film, theatre, print and web. He has also had short stories published in print, ebooks and on phone apps.
How long have you been reading and writing erotica?
The first time I read erotica was when I was about twelve. My friends and I stumbled upon a pile of porn magazines hidden in the middle of some woodland. The stories I read that day must have inspired me because, by the time I was fourteen or so, I was writing short erotic stories and selling them to my school friends.
Funnily enough, I didn’t write any more erotic fiction until late 2011 when I wrote Patience is a Virgin.
What do you feel you can say with erotic fiction than other genres?
In most novel genres, sex only plays a small role, if any. It might last half a page or so, with basic descriptions. With erotic fiction, you can really open up. You can tell the reader what the characters are feeling, how aroused they are, what they like sex-wise, and what they absolutely love. Sex, love and lust. Step by step. From beginning to end. Not a “cut to next morning” timeshift anywhere.
How did you get into comedy?
At school, a couple of my friends and I would write and act out our own comedy sketches. This taught me the basic rules of comedy. A few years ago, when I decided to become a professional writer, I managed to locate a few theatre sketch comedy acts who accepted material from outside writers. I sent in some sketches, they performed them, and my first professional credits as a writer were carved onto my stone of life.
How do you see the role of comedy/humor in erotic fiction?
In the UK during the 1970s, the “Carry On” and “Confessions Of” series of movies cast away out-dated views of sex and brought naughty comedy to the big screen. Funnily enough, this was never really done in novels. Therefore, I decided to more or less “invent” comedy-erotica for literature.
I think combining the two genres creates a powerful tool to break down sexual taboos. A lot of people still believe that erotic fiction is only suited for dodgy men in raincoats who frequent back-street strip joints. (And many believe that women don’t even read it!) Therefore, giving the genre a light-hearted feel lifts erotica out of the murky shadows and into a sunnier mainstream.
Oh, and there’s the fact that sex can be a very awkward, embarrassing thing, which makes it ripe for LOL comedy.
More importantly, laughter and sex are two very potent feel-good emotions. I love the fact that my readers can be (potentially) turned on and amused at the same time.
Where did you get the idea for Patience is a Virgin?
Ideas come to me in a flash. They just happen. I don’t know how exactly. They just do. Patience was no exception. The line, “patience is a virgin” is actually a wry derivative of the famous quote, “patience is a virtue.”
With that in mind, a flash of inspiration hit me. I thought to myself, “Hey. That would make a great title for a novel, as Patience can be a girl’s name. But what could it be about?”
I then figured it would be fun to make the lead character a virgin in her mid-twenties who, at first, is pretty cool with the V word. It doesn’t bother her. Until, of course, her friends stumble upon her dark secret. Major embarrassment! Cue her quest to get laid ASAP, whatever it takes.
But of course, I couldn’t make it easy for the girl. That’s why, throughout the novel, every time she is so close to losing her virginity, disaster strikes.
Describe your writing process.
I like to write every day. Even if it’s only a few lines, I feel I have achieved something.
My writing process consists of (if it’s novel) planning a basic storyline by jotting down a few notes. Saying that, however, I don’t write a solid outline listing every scene, as I feel it spoils the enjoyment of the writing flow, and quashes creative freedom.
I don’t do “drafts.” I edit as I go along, writing the novel a few pages at a time. I then go back and perfect the content before starting on the next few pages.
How is writing a novel different from writing a script?
With a script, less is more. All you do is write the basics. Dialogue and screen action, i.e. only what a viewer would see or hear happening on the screen. Nothing else. No character thoughts, no rambling descriptions, nothing.
With a novel, you have far more creative freedom, with no real limits. The reader can climb inside character’s heads and feel their hopes, dreams, thoughts and desires, and be totally immersed by everything going on the novel’s world.
Do you have specific music that you like to listen to when you write?
No. I require total silence. I lock myself away from the world in my writing room, and only emerge for toilet breaks, or for food and drink.
What do you enjoy most about interacting with readers?
I can see in real-time if I’m doing my job right. If they love it, then great. If they don’t, then I’ll strive to do better next time.
Regarding my other writing, I have been to theatres to watch my comedy sketches performed on stage, and I must say it’s a very strange and almost out-of-body experience knowing that the people all around me are being entertained by something I wrote. (Or not entertained if the sketch bombs!)