Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Interview- HE: A Sexual Odyssey by Stephan Morsk

What inspired you to become an author?  

Reading got me through some tough times, specifically reading about authors.  I decided I admired writers about as much as I admired any profession.  When I was growing up you used to see authors on TV more often, they had a presence and an (often eccentric) personality.  They were looked up to.  Now they’re largely invisible.  I decided I’d like to become one of those guys. 

Do you have a specific writing style?  

My favorite author is Norman Mailer.  I could never hope to approximate his writing style, but have drawn from several writers I respect including Elmore Leonard, Philip Roth, Erica Jong, Hunter S. Thompson.  (I’m dating myself I know.)  The bottom line is you choose which aspect or aspects of writing you think are most important and push them to the max.  I used to think the only essential element in writing was sound.  I submitted a whole collection of short stories called ‘Radish Heart’ to the Flannery O’Connor prize.  I didn’t win, but I respected myself for remaining true to that ideal, even though I’ve moved on from that.  You’ll see some stories like that on my website

Do you write in different genres?  

I invented my own genre term, ‘mysteroticom’ combining mystery, comedy and erotica.  As far as I know I’m the only one doing it.  I do it well.  If I’m not enjoying the writing I know it’s time to change something.  I go for entertainment value, lightening fast reads with horse-like doses of sex, humor, even drugs. 

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?  

‘Mysteroticom’ as I said.  I write in the first person.  Mailer called this his ‘trump card’.  I think it gives an immediacy of experience if you get inside the narrator’s head and know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling.  My novella, “HE: A Sexual Odyssey” is in the third person however which suits its plot line to a tee.  

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?  

It was originally called ‘crispi-sulcans’ which means winding or serpentine in Latin.  But since few people would have any idea of what that meant, I simply changed it to encompass what I felt was the most salient feature, this introverted protagonist searching for Ms. Right and connecting only with his penis.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?  

I changed it along the way.  Usually I do title my books when I start and stick to it.  The title provides a guidepost for what the book’s supposed to be about, albeit a rather vague one. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

A couple of themes stand out in “HE: A Sexual Odyssey.”  The protagonist, a thirty-ish law student in Manhattan is in search of salvation from his rather isolated existence.  He’s looking for Ms. Right.  Women are largely seen by “HE” as the blessed immaculate deliverance from his cubby hole existence.  The power of women, emotionally and sexually stands out.  Finally, the cruelty of a tornadic vortex of gonzo karma is ever present.  “HE” is thrust into a series of intolerable situations through no fault of his own. 

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?  

Most of it is made up.  Characters are drawn from people in my life past and present but then altered subtly to fit the ongoing landslide of the plot line.  I always visualize someone whether from TV, real life, movies, etc. when I describe a character. 

What books/authors have influenced your life?  

As I said, I’m old school.  Norman Mailer, Erica Jong, Philip Roth, Hunter S. Thompson, Elmore Leonard to name a few.  I haven’t connected with any contemporary authors, probably because I’m too busy writing and don’t have time to read much.  When I go on vacation I bring a book with me.  Usually it’s an old classic and I rarely finish it.  I’m a shamelessly slow reader. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  

Mailer. Read his book “American Dream”.  It reads like genre but is chilling in the anvil-like sense of guilt pervading its pages, its lush descriptives, you name it.  Also read “Tough Guys Don’t Dance.”  Devastating.  By the way he won TWO Pulitzer’s. 

What book are you reading now?  

None!  I’m a sloth in the reading department. 

What books are in your to read pile?  

I’ve never read “The Naked and the Dead,” Mailer’s out of the box hit after WWII.  But I’m not big on war books.  I tried to read “A Visit From the Goon Squad” once but just didn’t connect with it. 

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?  

“Green Light.”  It’s part of a series (As is “HE”) about a screenwriter’s misadventures.  Again the insouciance of blitzkrieg fate shines through, and the adoration of women.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  

In “Green Light” the screenwriter, a successful guy in his forties outside of LA, meets a woman in a bar. A few days later she shows up at his door.  The next day she leaves but is later found dead.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Shit for karma.  He thinks he knows who the murderer is and gets beaten up over it.  By the way, he has a mammoth penis.  So be it. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  

Keeping it always fresh, deliberately humorous and intriguing, always changing to keep the reader (and myself) entranced.  If you try “HE” you’ll see what I mean.  It’s sexy as hell and a lighting fast novella.  (71 pages)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Mailer’s descriptives, the constant impression of his thought processes, his invincible timing.  He also ran for mayor of New York, made films, stabbed one of his wives, was an alcoholic and spent time in Bellevue.  Harvard grad.  He held his own in an interview with William F. Buckley.  Quite a character to earn two Pulitzer’s. 

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?  

Not at all, except mentally. 

Who designed the cover of your latest book?  

I did with help from Infinity Publishing.  I sort of had second thoughts about it for a while, but now I’m convinced it’s just perfect. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?  

Write, write and then write some more.  Identify what it is in writing that intrigues you and push that aspect to its God forsaken limits.  Then start all over again. 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?  

“I Dig a Pygmy” by the Beatles.  Just kidding. 

          Thanks so much for allowing me this time to elucidate a bit about myself and my work.  Follow me on, Twitter (@SMorsk), Facebook.  “HE:A Sexual Odyssey” is available in softcover (Amazon), and e formats Kindle and Nook.  

HE: A Sexual Odyssey
Stephan Morsk

ISBN: 0-7414-8224-X

Genre: erotica

Book Description:

In HE the unnamed protagonist, a law student, is involved with a series of women who either loathe him, try to poison him, save his life or exploit him sexually. The first is the nanny of his ex boss’ kid. She sends him a hateful letter, enclosing a pubic hair and rubbed with pheromones. After observing a woman in a coffee shop whose breasts are ‘freaks of nature’ she leaves a briefcase and departs. He’s unsuccessful in returning it to her, but this karmic event exposes him to a bevy of dangerous and seductive paramours.

Available at  Buy Books on the Web and at Amazon

About the Author:

Stephan Morsk is a mental health professional who writes daily.  He won a 7th and an 8th place in the Writer’s Digest competition 2001 out of a field of 19,000 writers.  He has published a short story and won honorable mentions in other years.  His web site offers a new short story each month.  He is interested in novellas and recently submitted “Parrot Moon” to the Paris Literary Prize.  He’s finished several other short books, part of a four part series including “HE”, “Trashy Novel-A Love Story”, “She” and “I”.  He lives in rural Minnesota with his family.  Favorite novelist, Normal Mailer.  He enjoys exercise and is a reasonable amateur magician.   

April 14 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

April 15 Feature
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine

April 16 Spotlight
Sapphyria's Steamy Book Reviews: 

April 17 Guest blog
Mythical Books

April 18 Spotlight
Fang-tastic Books

April 21 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

April 22 Spotlight and review
Corazones Literarios 

April 23 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

April 24 Interview
Darkest Cravings - Adult Blog

April 25 Interview
Author Karen Swart

April 28 Spotlight
Eclipse Reviews

April 28 Spotlight
Books & Tales:


Stephan Morsk said...

Many thanks to Roxanne's Realm for allowing me to introduce you to myself and my work.
Stephan Morsk