PLOTHOLE Authors After Dark: An Interview with lotus-silk

The cover image for Magus Defenders: Gold by lotus-silk and time.to.occur

lotus-silk

Lotus is a sporadic writer of erotic fiction, usually only when some ‘crazy’ idea has a death grip on him won’t let him go until he puts it out into the universe. Outside of writing, he enjoys sitting on lily pads, eating bugs, and being a wet blob.

This interview is part of a series with the 10 contributors to the PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition bundle!

lotus-silk: *Wibbles my butt into the mud more so I’m comfy ☺️* 

time.to.occur: All right, all right! We’re about to get started with our last author interview! Thanks for being here, lotus-silk!

L: Thank you for interviewing me :3

T: It is an absolute pleasure!

L: TBH, I’m a little nervous, but I’m happy it’s you, Time. ^^

T: Well, I think a little bit of nerves are totally normal! And I promise I’m here to help.

Here’s my first question for you! What is the origin of your pen name? You used to go by something slightly different, right?

L: I used to go by ivory-silk, yup yup. I really just cobbled together a couple of random things for that one. Then I decided, since I already had “silk” in my name, I might as well go with “lotus” as well instead of “ivory”. I’m Chinese diaspora, so this is kind of a subtle hint at my origins.

T: I think that’s a nice sort of subtle tribute.

Okay, the question on everyone’s mind right now…What’s it like being a frog who writes erotica? How do you even get on the internet?

L: Haha. I feel very special. And the answer is by being SNEAKY!!! I borrow a lot of tech for this, as you can imagine. XD

T: Oooo, is it like a public library sort of deal?

Or is there someone who leaves their patio door open often?

L: Sure :3

That’s a secret! 😉

T: Right! We wouldn’t anyone to start being more vigilant because we gave up your secrets. Okay, so how did you get your start writing (and writing smut specifically)? How long have you been writing, and how long have you been writing smut?

L: I’ve been writing in general since I was a wee teenager. Hadn’t gotten around to writing smut till I became and adult though. My first work GSS is literally the first smurt that I’ve ever written. So you can gauge your timing from there. XD

As for how I got my start in writing…in general, I just did? There was no fancy process to it. I’ve written stories for school, people liked it, and at some point I felt like I had something to contribute to fandom so I wrote for it. My first story ever was an Avatar fanfiction if I remember correctly.

As for getting started writing smut, a friend of my encouraged me to do it. I didn’t really want to at first, cause I was not comfortable investing/exploring my sexuality out in the open like that, but I’m glad I did because I learned a lot from having done so! ^^

T: Sounds like it was just something that came naturally! Do you remember what the premise of your Avatar fanfic was?

L: Yup! It was a post-canon fic about Zuko busting Azula out to go find their mom together. I didn’t actually get to the whole going out to find their mom part, it was mostly a commentary about their relationship. But people liked it! ^^

T: Aww, that’s so sweet! 

And do you feel like making the leap (haha, frog) to writing smut helped you explore your sexuality? (And you can answer as little or as much as you like from any of these questions.)

L: Well, first it forced me to acknowledge my kinkiness and really narrow in on it. I wasn’t a big fan of doing that before because I always thought my kinks were weird and abhorrent. But after getting into GSS, seeing the interaction with my fics and with the rest of the community, I got a better sense that kinky people were still just people, and that I could exist with this part of myself without it translating into harm in the rest of my life.

T: That makes a lot of sense to me — that there is a time and a place for the intensity of certain kinks that other people will enjoy and benefit from, too.

Was it a good feeling to find other people with similar interests?

L: Yup! I helped me feel validated and less alone. I really appreciate that we’ve managed to establish such a big community around this. ^^

T: Let’s stick with the theme of community before we hop back around to some of my other questions. What has been your biggest surprise about joining a community of gay kink authors?

L: I think I’ve alluded to this earlier already, but it was that people here are just people. I know stupid, but I had a lot of prejudices to work through at the time. It was really heartwarming to know that people can have kinks, but still be really passionate about social issues and see that yeah, the two things don’t necessarily influence each other.

I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure I’ve so much “joined” as just lurked in the background. I still don’t know most people except maybe Martin and yourself. ❤️ I think I’m just not horny enough or something to engage regularly 😅 but it is what it is.

T: There are lots of ways to be a part of a community! And contributing work is definitely one of them. You don’t have to be the most talkative or horny person. ❤️

Okay, so one way you do seem to engage with people is through the writing. What is the kind of community feedback that keeps you writing? What’s a comment or reaction that has stuck with you?

L: I think I’m like most writers in that the most motivating comments are the ones that most deeply engage with my fiction. Short comments about stuff being hot or fun are nice too but they don’t have as much of an emotional impact. I’ll be honest though, I’m a bit of rock when it comes to writing. Unless I really like an idea or am really moved to write a thing, I won’t write it no matter what other people say. 😅 (Tis why I have such a big gap between projects on GSS). Maybe the biggest motivator for me to write, community-wise if actually when I’m working on a project with a specific person, like in an RP. Then that person 😏 will push me to write more than anything.

As for what comment has stuck with me…hmmm, probably the comments about why a reader thought a story was important to them. Those are not really associated with my kink stories though, so 😅 

T: Aww, I hear you on having a writing or roleplay partner. That’s definitely very motivating for wanting to see what happens next. It’s definitely a huge part of how I write! And it sounds like your brain knows what it wants when it comes to the stories that move you.

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?

L: Sorry, internet issues for a moment there.

T: No problem! Glad that it came back!

(I was worried you got chased out the patio door!)

L: I think the one most influential thing on my writing has been my experiences as an immigrant and Chinese diaspora specifically. It translates to me trying hard to make my writing as inclusive as possible, and it often informs how I structure the words I write in, and who ends up being the protags and antags in the story. Discipline is an example of me using my experience to inform the characters of my story. Typically when I see people write jock types on here, they don’t think about dragon boat paddlers etc, or most don’t wear strings of beads the way a lot of Chinese guys do (mostly as a bracelet than a necklace though).

T: So, it gives you that extra layer of awareness to what the tropes might mean, and who they include and exclude?

L: Put the Evil in Me is another. Voclain the multi-billionaire being the villain of the story comes from there too.

T: That makes so much sense — that it would encourage you to go off the typical script.

L: Oh yeah. Like at of a tropes on GSS especially that center on what it means to be a jock or a femboy etc really tread on a white perspective of masculinity. It might seem like the most normal thing to other people, but to me reading story after story with that same take can feel very boring and limiting when my perspective never quite aligns with that.

T: It sounds a bit alienating, or at the very least not especially interesting!

L: IDK about alienating, but definitely boring 😅

T: Well, the last thing most people want from their erotica is to be bored! (No kinkshaming to…boredom seekers?)

You said in your bio that you mostly write when an idea takes hold of you and won’t let go. Can you give us some examples of stories that you’ve written or are writing that wouldn’t let go? What does that feel like?

L: Hmm…there’s a story, idk if you’ve heard…that I’m working on with a guy named Time…

T: Oh, yeah? Sounds like a dashedly handsome fellow.

What’s the story about?

L: That one’s probably one of the longest story deathgrips I’ve felt in a long while, and it really just means I feel like I gotta write this thing or it won’t leave me alone. And as Time would know, it also translates to me being nitpicky AF when writing said story. XD

Hmm. The story is about a knight from a monastic order getting dragged into kinky shenanigans as he goes on his quest to save the world. I think that’s the best I can do to summarize without giving too much away.

T: Ooo, well, I was saving these questions for later. But I think maybe I’ll ask them now.

Okay, here’s a question from another author for you: “Silk, I heard from Time that the banner for his itch.io page features two characters from a story that the two of you are working on and haven’t yet released. Who is that snake boi and his bubble-butt friend?”

(The picture in question.)

L: 😤

*grabs Time by the neck and shakes*

You’ve almost walked us into SPOILERS!!!!

💖

The bubble butt guy is the main character from the story I just talked about. The snake is just decorative/a character he comes across along the way.

T: Oh, I see, just a decorative character.

Is the snake boi a self-insert — snakes are sorta similar to frogs, right?

L: Snakes eat frogs Time! D:

How DARE YOU

T: Hahaha, oh no. I didn’t know! I thought there would be friendship there!

What’s it like writing a character who would eat you?

L: No. I am chompy chomp. D:

I tell myself they’re not important, so it doesn’t matter. 😔 

T: Aww, well, I hope bubble butt will meet a nice frog someday.

Okay, here comes the Hass. Robert Hass says, “It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” Discuss. Or to put the question another way, what’s your writing practice like and how do you hold space for it?

L: Me too! XD

So…not to be glib but…I don’t relate. 😅

T: That’s okay! Some authors do, some don’t.

L: The “it’s hell not writing part” to me feels like there’s always some kind of pressure to not write. And that’s not me. I mean sometimes when I’m not able to work on the story I want to work on, I’m like “dammit, when will I finally get to” but it’s never hell. When I’m not writing, I’m usually perfectly comfortable not writing. And when I am writing I’m usually so juiced up and in the zone that it’s like a flow process and is quite enjoyable. 

So my writing process is really just turning the story over and over in my head until I’m happy with what I’ve got so far, then just hitting play and recording down what happens at each interval. And like I said, I basically only write when I want to write and have time to write. So if neither of these things are applicable, I just do whatever else it is I wanna do and don’t worry about it. 

T:  I hear that, so it sounds like you’re able to keep it as a manageable part of your hobby time!

L: Yup! ^^

T: What’s your revision process like?

L: I have zero goals to be a professional writer. One of the perks of being a frog. XD

It varies. But these days I don’t really put out a story until it’s been revised as least three times. Sometimes I do it in my head before I put it onto the page, and sometimes I revise after. Most often, it’s a mixture of both. I will keep poking away at a story/chapter until I’m 100% happy with it before I publish.

T: That sounds similar to my process! It’s almost like we collaborate well together!

Did you work with any other authors in preparing for PLOTHOLE (either on your work or theirs)? How do you find collaborating with others on something as personal and “transgressive” as porn?

L: le gasp!

Did I collaborate with any other authors… 🤔

Hmm… 🤔

T: 😄

L: There’s this one guy, named Time I think…

lol, I think he did more work on the story under my name than me XD

And I find collaborating on porn to be a very good bonding exercise, thank you. XD I know, shocking.

T: It is a very intimate act, isn’t it?

L: Indeed XD

T: Haha, well, I’m glad we were able to share this story with the world.

L: Me too 💖

T: Aww. ❤️

What do you like to read in queer porn? How do your tastes in reading differ from your tastes in writing? Also, do you have any recommendations for us?

L: I think the biggest difference for me is that I like writing long and complex stories exploring a bunch of different topics but I like reading one off wankers. XD I just don’t tend to like spending a lot of time trying to get off, ya know? And then when I’m in the mood to read longer stories, I don’t really care for the porn in them. 😅 RP kind of helps bridge that gap a lot.

As for recommendations, I think anything written by Baralai has been my go to for quite some time. Time’s The Machine is also very good. ❤️ As well as several titles by MissNya on AO3. Mouthy, Blurry, Fido, and Retribution specifically. 

T: I hear that! I’m somewhat similar, depending on my goals for the day, haha. And thank you for those lovely recommendations!

In a similar vein, here’s question from another author: “Who are some of the smut authors who have been influential on your work? Are you in dialogue with any authors who influence you now?”

L: So the ones I just listed recommendations from are also the ones who’ve influenced my writing the most. Baralai’s work was really the groundwork that got me into writing smut. Somehow, their stuff just always perfectly pushes all of my buttons. MissNya’s Blurry was what inspired Put the Evil in Me and really helped me explore the dark part of my kinks. 

As for Time… 🤔 I don’t know… I might talk to him a little bit often. Just a little. That might have something to do with his influence on my writing. Just maybe…

T: Haha, this gentle roasting…I am very honoured to be a collaborator and influence on you, silk. <3! And it makes sense to me that the people you return to are also the ones who influence you the most.

Which of your favourite kink/erotica tropes do you think is the most unusual? What are your top three?

L: I think my favourite unusual kink trope is when a couple gets dicked down together, ie. they’re both bottoms. I don’t see that very often, but it’s definitely one of my favourites. I’m also a big fan of cunt men or more specifically, mean acquiring cunts. 😅 I think that’s actually also two of my top three. The last one is less unusual, but to round out the list, another top kink of mine is just straight up sluttification. 

T: Those are delightful! And it’s true — I read a fair bit of erotica and it’s rare that both people in a couple get to experience that! Thank you for sharing with us.

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.

L: On GSS, I think that’d have to be Put the Evil in Me. There’s a reason that’s the only multichapter fic of all of [my stories there]! That story was really important to me because I wrote it as both an exploration of some of the darker parts of my kink (it helped me come to terms with and get comfortable with that part of myself) as well as a commentary on power, both within relationships and in the world at large. The fact that the main character’s codename is “Power” is both deliberate and me being very not subtle about that fact, and I’m very proud of how that one turned out and glad I was pushed to finish it. 

I really enjoyed demonstrating that when it comes to mind control, physical power really means nothing – hence why Voclain can control Lucas with such ease even without draining his power like I see in so many other stories. Also, I really hoped that in walking the readers through the story, I was able to demonstrate that overarching influence of hegemony. That even with uncontestable capacity to do violence, as a person, you still have to live in society and be constrained by the existing hegemony. And that for that reason, you’re physical prowess makes you no less susceptible to exploitation, and that ultimately, it’s social power that triumphs. One of my favourite things to do is make social commentary in my stories you see. XD

For that same reason, ’cause Lucas is probably also my most developed protagonist as a result, he’d also be my favourite amongst the characters I’ve written for GSS.

T: It sounds like it’s your favourite for a good reason! There’s a lot of care you’ve put into how you’ve crafted the story. I’m glad you decided to finish it, too.

Speaking of Lucas Knight…Your story, Put the Evil in Me, is a fan favourite and apparently your favourite, too! Lucas Knight, the main character, is Kanaka Maoli or Native Hawaiian. Can you talk about why it was important to you for Lucas to be Hawaiian? Any other thoughts about representation in erotica?

L: So, there’s both a good and a stupid reason for this. For the “good” reason, around the time I first started writing that story, I’ve seen exactly zero polynesian characters being featured in stories on GSS. Someone actually commented on that in the “need more diverse characters” thread or something. So it was important for me to put that out there to change the status quo. IDK how things are like these days, but I haven’t been reading as much lately, so I can’t comment. Anyways, inclusion and diversity are very important to me, and I enjoy exploring other cultures, so writing Lucas as Kanaka Maoli meant a lot to me.

Now for the stupid reason. The idea I got for that initially came from a very roundabout Dragon Ball Z reference. See, Lucas’ power set is very much drawn from that lore (the powering up, the energy blasts), so making him Kanaka Maoli was a roundabout way to give a nod to the Kamehameha wave. If you guys don’t know, that name was drawn from the Hawaiian King Kamehameha, so yeah…very roundabout reference there. 😅

T: Oh, that’s so sweet that you pulled it from the thread as something someone wanted to see and decided to do it! And I did know the name of the Kamehameha wave…I have some friends who went to Kamehameha School and my brain fully could not decouple it from the DBZ reference, much to my dismay!

What do you want us to know about your story in the PLOTHOLE bundle and any other stories in there?

L: Aww *pat pat*.

“My” story is really just a fun exploration of the magic boy trope that I’m working on with Time. It’s a lot less intense than some of the other stuff I’ve been working on, so I hope people find it as good chill kinky shenaniganry. The same goes for Honeypot. The interactive fiction I also worked on with Time. Like Noam said, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone there, so I do hope people enjoy ^^.

T: Good, chill, kinky shenanigans sounds like a ringing endorsement! And HONEYPOT has the potential for people to see at least one of lotus-silk’s top three kinks in action…Hmmm…

Okay, so you’re a frog. What is your favourite bug to snack on while you’re writing?

L: Crickets.

Crickets are great! Very crunchy. Also grasshoppers, but they’re more of a mouthful and I’m always looking to have a full meal when I’m writing, ya know?

T: I hear you! And you probably hear the crickets while you write!

L: hehe XD
T: Storebought or fresh-caught?

L: What am I, a pathetic human? Of course I catch them myself!

T: Oh, well, I should have known!

Any shoutouts, last words, rude remarks, or requests for anyone reading this?

L: Ribbit ribbit

T: Thanks so much for being here with me, lotus-silk!

L: Thank you for interviewing me Time! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

It’s been great fun.

T: My pleasure! ^^ It’s been great to hear your thoughts on writing.

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 Magus Defenders: Gold along with 16 other stories here