Evan Jackson is a lover of fantasy and writing who has a great appreciation for a created world.
He enjoys getting to have his characters boss him around and not do what he tells them to do. He has a love of the craft of writing and has only recently turned to using that for erotic enjoyment.
He has, however, been reading erotica for way longer.
Evan currently lives in Sydney, Australia. (And, between you and me, he is torturously good at puns. I love it.) This interview is part of a series with the 10 contributors to the PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition bundle! Buy the bundle to support the authors and their chosen charities.
time.to.occur: Thanks for being here with me so early, Evan!
Evan Jackson: Thanks for taking the time to talk. Yeah, good morning from my neck of the woods.
T: I’m excited to get the chance to chat about your work.
Here’s my first question for you! What is the origin of your pen name? I heard that it might be a tribute to a community that you’re involved in?
E: It is. I’m a member of Hyp U. A kinky, gay, roleplay server. Evan was my original character [on the server]. Cam Jackson is one of my current ones. So the author name was sort of an homage.
T: That’s so neat! Do you find that roleplay is a good way of practicing your writing? What do you like about it, especially on a group ERP server?
E: I was reticent at first because of the more public nature of it. But it has been a great way to exercise some writing skill and in a different way. I normally write third person but roleplay (RP) is usually first. Tenses are different too, which is a weakness of mine. So that’s not so much practice as making life harder. Heh.
I love the collaborative nature of it. Playing with others and seeing where they want to take things, reacting to their choices and them to mine. It’s really fun and creative. Writing is always better when it’s not just your own thoughts.
T: I hear you — as much as I like writing on my own, collaborating with other people is such a wonderful way to create something that neither person could have made on their own and get outside of your own well-worn tracks.
Oh gosh, those tense habits must be difficult to shake or reorient when it comes time to write something else.
Although it makes the grammar more difficult, potentially, what are some of the things that you think it does specifically help you practice?
Soren Fitz (Author and Audience Member): Yes-anding is such a fun part of roleplay! Creating together adds so much more life to a story.
E: Yes-anding is definitely my policy. Even if a particular kink isn’t quite my usual fare. And I love that challenge also. Not just the challenge but also the gift. The gift of making someone else hot and bothered or giving them what they need (if it’s emotion rather than sexy they’re looking for).
One of the biggest things is that it helps me practice with character. Thinking more about who they actually are, their thoughts, their desires. What they want. How they would react, [rather than] how I would, for example.
T: You sound like a really generous roleplay partner! It also sounds like this kind of play is a way to see new kinks through different eyes and really work to inhabit the mind of a character and their mindset.
I find that in roleplay, I can definitely get into kinks that aren’t usually part of my go-to, so I hear you there.
E: I try to be. Give openings, hooks to play off of, and contribute the other side of what the other player/s want. Like dancing. Both partners need to have that little bit of tension in the grip or it feels unsatisfying or falls apart. … I rely far too heavily on simile, metaphor, and analogies.
T: That sounds really delightful. I love the metaphor of dancing and working together but also to surprise each other — and “rely far too heavily” sounds to me like, “look at my favourite tools in my toolbox!”
Having seen your roleplay, I can say that I’m often impressed with how you inhabit characters, especially in how you make use of their senses. I have a few follow-up questions, but I’ll start with these: What do you write when you’re not writing smut? Do you remember your first stories as a kid?
E: I don’t remember them all. The oldest I remember borrowed a little from Power Rangers but was otherwise all my own. Including dimensional travel. Let’s not read into portals featuring, eh?
When not writing smut — more recently — I’ve been noodling with medieval fantasy stuff. Nothing for public consumption just my own enjoyment of writing and the world. I’m a fan of sword and sorcery style worlds.
T: I definitely remember writing Mighty Max and Gundam Wing fan fiction as a kid, along with a lot of “chosen one” stuff. It makes sense that writers borrow from what they know. And honestly, I would totally read dimensional travel with colour-coded protagonists. In fact, lotus-silk and I kind of wrote some for PLOTHOLE!
E: I know. I’m reading that and it gave me some of those vibes.
T: Here’s my other follow-up question: what’s the most unusual kink scenario that you remember having to write live for the first time for an ERP (erotic roleplay) server?
E: Gosh. That’s tricky.
Most unusual for me would probably have been semi-recently where my character was locked inside his head and his body controlled by someone else. Drone stuff, which is also outside my general comfort zone.
So doing that “live” was rather nerve-wracking. Especially with wanting everyone to have a good time with it. It was challenging to not be able to express anything except internal thought.
Another was that my character needed to have his mind “broken” in order to shake off some unwanted attention by an organisation. Someone close to him (who works for [that organization]) enacted that pretend breaking after tying him down. There was a lot of [feelings of] betrayal, compounded by trust. It was a great dynamic. But, of course [the breaking] didn’t end up being completely pretend. That was a lot of fun.
Noam de Pluma (Author and Audience Member): Sounds like a very tricky balance to strike.
E: Noam, it was. But I had some great scene partners and they are experts at finding a balance and checking in. We navigated it with a lot of consent and it turned out to be awesome. Especially the betrayal stuff. Quite a lot going on and the fine line walked.
T: It sounds like the complexity of those situations was really appealing! And like maybe the end-results had some sexy longer-term repercussions. I’m sure that some of our readers can relate to sort of wanting those strong emotions and the experiences of hurt-comfort, loss of control and betrayal.
We could probably spend a lot more time chatting about this, haha, but I think I had better ask you another question. What is something unique to you — a special skill, a particular experience, or a challenge that you face — and how do you think that it has shaped or impacted your writing practice?
E: The easy answer to what is unique to me and shaping my writing is my origin; being Australian. We use British English and unique slang. I did a pass on my writing in order to Americani
sze it with the presumption many of the other stories would be written with that style and I didn’t want my stories to be jarring.
I haven’t gotten a chance to read everything yet so I will smile if I come across a ‘u’ or more s-es than usual.
T: As a Canadian, my life is adding extra ‘u’s to words while trying to figure out whether a word should have a single ‘l’, a double ‘l’, a ‘c’ or an ‘s’, an ‘s’ or a ‘z’! It’s a mess, haha!
That’s a very concrete answer to that question.
Soren Fitz: The perpetual challenge of an uncultured privileged American is trying to represent other people’s cultures well, so I’m curious about how it differs for someone not from America.
E: To Soren, it’s a constant should-I/shouldn’t-I about whether to include that u or c or z rather than s. Just as Time expressed. There’s also a bit of uncertainty or vagueness in location or culture since so many things are analogues (there’s that u again) of American places. Enjoy that privilege of having it be second-nature.
Subconsciously, perhaps I like the medieval fantasy genre because it’s so often an English analogue and closer to home in some ways.
T: Strewth! (;-)) That’s interesting to think about – why certain genres appeal to us and comfort us. I always sort of assumed most of my reading taste came from what was around me when I was cutting my teeth.
I think that you’re right in that these references are not always something that people have to think about, if they’re part of the dominant culture.
Do you find that there are cultural touchstones that you want to use but that you don’t think would be understood by a “general” (i.e. American/Western) audience?
E: I don’t have any touchstones from Australia that I want to include. There aren’t even any I can think of, really. That said, I have had conversations and seen them in video streams, where a common expression or reference draws blank stares and confusion.
T: What has been your biggest surprise about starting to share your erotic writing (whether as roleplay or as stories)?
E: The support has been lovely. Thank you to everyone watching today, it means a lot.
It’s also surprising that someone telling you your story made them hot feels really good. It’s not a common bit of feedback (let alone, perhaps, intent) outside of this space.
T: That makes sense – we don’t necessarily tell someone what we’ve been enjoying sexually unless they’re sexually involved with us.
And yes, thank you to everyone who is reacting and participating <3!
E: Writers and artists are always feeling vulnerable and battling imposter syndrome. Sharing writing and art is deeply personal and gives a lot away about the creator. Erotica even more so (if you’re not being commissioned) as it implies a lot about what turns you on. In some ways it can be like sharing your sexual fantasies with strangers. With consent.
There is a very small pool of people with whom I would [typically] do that so it’s a pleasant – though strange – adjustment to announce it like this.
T: Yes, it does feel like there’s an inherent vulnerability to being like, “hey, I made this thing, I hope you like it” and then adding in the dimension of it being kinky or sexy and sharing it with strangers.
E: I imagine people who take commissions could have the added aspect — similar to roleplay perhaps – where you are bouncing off someone else’s fantasy and wondering if readers are thinking this is really your thing and that fear of what they may think. For those of us who are conditioned for a lot of shame and caring what others think of us.
T: I hear that, thinking about whether people are judging you for writing a kink that isn’t even yours to start with.
As a follow-up to that, what is the kind of feedback that keeps you writing? What’s a comment or reaction that has stuck with you so far?
E: I received some wonderful comments during editing of my stories and those made me feel really good.
Someone who also writes said that something I’ve written was both extremely hot, but also well-crafted in some way to get at an emotion or experience is a great feeling. Having positive feedback that, “hey maybe I can do this and people will like it” definitely makes me want to write more. Humbly, having an author whose stories I’ve enjoyed giving a thumbs up is a bit of a fanboy moment.
T: I, for one, can’t wait for you to write more. Seriously, I love so much about what you did with Good Behavior and Stranded.
Okay, I’ve got a quote here. Robert Hass says, “It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
Discuss. What’s your writing practice like and how do you hold space for it?
E: Oh dear. I’m a bad, bad writer in this regard.
I absolutely agree with the quote. Writing well is not an easy thing. Finding that perfect word to tie together and evoke the right feeling in the reader is both a fun challenge and a frustrating torture. Not writing, equally a problem because you really ought to be writing, and the characters and world are knocking on the inside of your skull insisting to be let out. Having just written you can feel like you’ve paid your sacrifice to the demons and you’re free for a little while. Productive and satiated.
I tend to write very sporadically. I am not disciplined at all. (Also, thank you. I appreciate the compliment and I hope everyone enjoys the stories.)
T: What I am hearing is “Ah, Evan needs some discipline ;)”.
I do think that’s very relatable — it’s hard to hold that space! Maybe that’s why collaborating feels so good — there’s someone else in the equation to help keep things on track.
E: Evan definitely needs some discipline! Yes, definitely.
Holding each other accountable is one of the more practical aspects of collaboration. Provided, that is, all the collaborators aren’t just as bad as one another. Collaborating feels so much better because of the organic nature of the ideas. A living, growing thing that would literally never have existed without the energies of all the people working together.
It’s a writing orgy. It’s all too easy to “eh, later” but when someone else gives you those puppy-dog-eyes to create what can you do?
T: Absolutely, hard-agree on everything that you’ve just said.
Okay, let’s flip the script a little and talk about what you read. What do you like to read in queer porn? How do your tastes in reading differ from your tastes in writing?
E: I like a good mix of porn and connection in the story as an ideal. But I would like to think I include that in my own writing so that probably doesn’t count. My writing typically doesn’t involve quite as much overt hypnosis and mind control as my reading tends to do.
I’m a big fan of GKS and I’d like to contribute there more as a sign of thanks. Part of the fun there is, like with RP, you can come across (and maybe unintentionally develop) new kinks that normally aren’t something you’d seek out or write about.
T: That makes sense! There’s room for expanding your horizon with stories that aren’t quite your usual fare.
Your stories made me feel that way when it came to chastity and edging. Somehow, your writing made it tickle my brain (and I’ll ask more about that soon).
Soren Fitz: I feel that last bit, on developing new kinks—although mind control in general isn’t my vibe, I got a taste for pheromones and “irresistible horny” vibes from some of the stuff I read on GSS, and now I’m really into it. It’s weird how that works.
E: Hah. Soren. Those were two I was thinking about as I wrote that
T: We’re all just slooowly kinkifying each other. While there’s some kinks that I don’t think will ever be for me, I have definitely added some kinks to my roster for sure. I love that for all of us.
Here’s a question from another author: “What about your experiences and feelings to date made you take the plunge into writing your own story now, for PLOTHOLE? How do you feel about it now that it’s done and you can reflect on the experience?”
E: I wrote the first draft of the stories a few years ago and I was proud of them. They were originally written just to get a feeling of how the collated ideas from a couple of friends and I would actually interact, with my own spin. But what is included in Plothole is a very different beast and I’m even more proud of it.
Honestly, I saw the Plothole call for submissions and I thought about how nice that would be and immediately dismissed the notion. Intending to just be a reader. A conversation with Time led to sharing those drafts and their encouragement prompted me to actually submit (my work).
Time also gave a lot of welcome advice and editing help and the stories are so much better for it. More cohesive. There is still some level of being the freshman and invited to sit at the seniors’ table. (There’s another example of a culture touchstone translated. We don’t use those terms here.) But it’s been a wonderful experience and given me a bit more confidence. And PLOTHOLE was the perfect project to do that for, given that lore and world details were required and encouraged.
It was also odd to come back to the stories after the break and see them freshly. In fact, seeing them with sketchy memory of some for the world details. It was really valuable (and also some of Time’s feedback) [for seeing] that their original intent meant a lot of assumed knowledge and shortcuts.
T: Thank you for really delving into your process on this! I am so delighted that you felt encouraged to submit them from our conversations.
What else do you want us to know about your stories in the PLOTHOLE bundle and any other stories in there?
E: My stories harness the joy of being horny and I hope the readers will really lean into that while they read.:D
The PLOTHOLE bundle is great value. There’s a LOT of content in there from terrific authors and across a variety of topics. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and a lot of the proceeds will be going to charities. The authors and especially Time have put in a lot of work to make it something for fans of lore and plot to add to their porn.
T: It’s been great to get to explore what a bundle made by our community could look like! I’m very thankful that we’ve been able to put together something so cool. I’m going to keep making you talk about yourself now ;)!
E: Curses, I thought I’d escaped.
T: I have more specific questions about your PLOTHOLE stories and who you are as an author and human being.
In Good Behavior and Stranded, you explore sexual pleasure as an energy source, including orgasm control, denial, and chastity. It is incredibly hot, and I think what makes it especially hot is imagining the forms of cultural mind control and discipline around those practices. Can you speak to what draws you to those themes and what it was like to develop the societies that host them?
E: Chastity is one of those things that is not 100% my own kink but that that reading other people’s works has given me an appreciation for it and it is the perfect tool (forgive the pun?) for what the military aspect of the world in Stranded do with their soldiers to get energy from them.
Orgasm control and denial are things I’m into and I wanted to encapsulate that edging and horny buzz being used for something more. It was really fun to find ways to incorporate that into the society. And not all in the same way.
The society is split into different mindsets about how to best get the most from their people or informed by a balance of cost/reward for their particular part of the society. The merchants are more about profit and they aren’t regulated so they rent out space as private prisons and then get “free” energy just from housing them.
As seen in Good Behavior some of them can be nicer than others might be.
T: (No puns will be forgiven during the course of this interview.)
E: That, I think, is a comment on domming and subbing in general.
There are absolutely prison ships that just milk, or whip and force orgasm from people who don’t enjoy that process. And they get a much lesser result from it. Good Behavior has Chargers with a mindset of making everyone happy and leading to a much higher yield because of it (emotionally and physically).
I’ll stop talking about that for the risk of spoilers.
T: Well, I think “happy” is a very subjective term when it comes to Good Behavior, but I think the characters certainly learn to enjoy themselves!
E: A fair point.
T: Thank you so much for these thoughts. It’s great to get these insights. In your own body of work, do you have a favourite story, a favourite character, or any other favourite elements? You’re allowed to pick more than one, and I promise I won’t tell any of them. (This can include forthcoming work or RP, of course.)
E: Hah. Please don’t tell them. I really love Charger Cho and his supportive nature. He has an agenda but he tries to draw out and encourage more positivity. And Phil getting to go on a journey and allow himself to embrace that.
T: Charger Cho is incredibly persuasive in a care-Dom kind of way. Love him, too. This time, I won’t say anymore for fear of spoilers! I can’t wait for readers to get their mitts on these two stories.
Now for more about Evan Jackson. In the time that I’ve known you, I’ve seen you spin up some of the best and most delightful puns at a moment’s notice. Not like dad-joke puns, but these linguistic gems. Do you have a favourite bad pun that you remember inflicting on the world? How can I get better at making puns? Is there a training regimen?
E: The only training regimen I can recommend is practice. I love puns, they are a great experience of toying with language. Bad pun? Those don’t exist. Though there is certainly a scale of quality.
One that springs to mind that I hope will be taken in the spirit it is meant, as a joke: What is Darth Vader’s favourite fruit?
And I shall see myself out.
T: Hahaha! Thanks for that one!
E: I’ve had better bad ones but I can’t recall them. I really ought to start writing a book when I think of them.
T: There’s a pun that I want to tell the story of, but it just doesn’t translate. Electric sheep. Static as in not moving, static as in electricity. )
It was glorious.
E: I appreciate that. I was rather pleased with myself. For readers, I’ll try to translate. One of the roleplayers on the server I’m on was going to bed. His character has a Drone storyline and I made a reference to the Blade Runner series wishing him dreams of electric sheep. I then thought about the typical counting of sheep to sleep and their movement. Thus I then said they stand still because they are static.
This is how my brain works. Beware.
T: I love it.
E: I will say, much like the Americanization and privilege in culture reference, my pun humour is very English focused because that’s the nature of a pun and language.
It feels a little unkind to use when there are English as second language people involved in a conversation. Slang is the same. I’ve become more conscious of that in all of my interactions.
T: It’s kind of you to think of that. I think there’s room for both that linguistic play and that respect for different experiences. But it’s good that you have that awareness!
We’re coming to the end of our time! Any shoutouts, last words, rude remarks, or requests for anyone reading this?
E: A few. Thanks for the opportunity.
Firstly, thanks to everyone for the support coming along today and reacting or asking a question or commenting. I’m very used to feeling more like I’m writing in a self-contained room and seeing more faces and making more friends has been so lovely.
Secondly, I would like to encourage everyone to get the bundle if you are able to do so. (I don’t make money, I legitimately think you’ll enjoy it.) There are a lot of great worlds you can steep yourself in and enjoy from some really creative people.
Finally, I’d like to extend a congratulations and a thank you to you, Time. You’ve worked and are continuing to work so hard on PLOTHOLE. Not least, wrangling a bunch of authors to a deadline for release and beyond that, you’re now including marketing and these interviews. We see you and we love you.
T: Aww, thank you! And oh — that feels important — Evan’s portion of the bundle proceeds are going to the Trevor Project! So far, they’ll be receiving around 50$USD [Editor’s Note: Now 57.75$USD thanks to those who bought the bundle in the interim! Thank you!]
Evan, thank you so much for taking the time so early and accommodating the time zone difference! You are a delight and your writing is hot as hell.
E: Thank you all.
Essex (Author and Audience Member): It’s been great getting to know you and your writing, Evan. Thank you for sharing with us, and cheers! Will be on the lookout for more in the future.
E: This experience has certainly made me feel like I want to write more. And give more enjoyment to people. Time is a wonderful and thorough interviewer. Thank you for taking the time to do this. And for those reading, taking the time to follow along.
PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition is a bundle of 10 authors, 17 stories, available until June 15th 2022 on itch.io. It contains porn with plot, stories with worldbuilding and lore alongside some very hot erotica.
You can find Evan Jackson’s Stranded and Good Behavior along with 15 other stories here for just 10$.