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Thursday, April 8, 2010

BITS & PIECES: Happy Birthday, Lori Perkins!





This is just a week for fabulous women's birthdays! Bette Davis earlier in the week, and today is Lori Perkins's birthday! Lori is the ultimate dynamo. I remember when she came to the RWA-NYC meeting a few months ago, so full of enthusiasm about Ravenous Romance , which unless you have fallen off the face of the earth you cannot not be aware of, and was talking about erotica, which is my particular love and obsession. Not at all surprising is that she likes Anais Nin and GONE WITH THE WIND.  My own love of erotica started with Nin, and Lori is truly in the vein of her. Ravenous Romance is so much about making all kinds of erotica available for the everyone and bringing new readers to the genre and exploring new themes with old hands.


When we met for dinner at Carmine's in Times Square, I was afraid that she would not remember what I looked liked--we had only met breifly at the meeting--but there was not doubt that I would recognize the stylish blonde that she is the second she walked in. We were seated instantly, and her energy is simply infectious. She has such a level of can-do personality that you can believe--and witness--her doing it all. With all the hats that she wears, including agent and editor, she has a love for what she does that is so genuine; she is not in the least bit jaded. She talks about the industry in a smart way--she is very smart about it--, and she has not lost her sense of excitement at something like discovering a new author.

And she is a Yankees fan--BIG time--so between that and Anais Nin I felt like we were separated at birth! For her I am doing a special birthday Bits & Pieces for the first time on a day besides my usual every other Wedsnesday post. Happy Birthday, Lori--you are such an inspiration!

 


"One of the first things I loved as a young girl was DARK SHADOWS, which was paranormal romance.

"After reading DELTA OF VENUS and LITTLE BIRDS as a teen, I knew then that when I grew up, this is what I wanted to do. I was thinking of starting an erotica magazine. I really love what we are doing at RR. I think we are being innovative and really working cross genres with the romance genre. I hope we are bringing new readers to the romance genre.

"I am a double Aries with Sagittarius rising and Holly Schmidt (her Ravenous Romance partner) is a Sagittarius with Aries rising--it is like two houses on fire burning next to each other. It's great working with someone who is as
driven and can-do as I am.

"LUST IN SPACE, sex in outer space, is one of my favorite books>  What is there not to like? I love our erotic Harry Potter series by Cecilia Tan. I met Cecilia Tan when she was reading about a sexual round robin on a starship and I suddenly understood why all these guys liked sci fi.

"Just when you think that that you have successfully managed juggling the 11 plates, there is a 12th, but you get adept at what you doand you realize you can add one more plate. I work a 16 hour day, I work out every day--I read a book on the elliptical. Right now I am reading Stephen King's huge tome, UNDER THE DOME, that you cannot carry on the subway. I am reading for pleasure and I am working out.

"I see things in the city, plays,movies, art exhibits. I edit four books a month for Ravenous Romance. I go to readings. I like doing that, I meet new writers that way. I support existing writers that way.

"I try to forecast the zeitgeist. There are moments I am working on a book and I feel like I am working on the Pentagon papers because an ebook can be published so quickly.
"I have found that sex can make a novel deeper and richer. I have read a lot of sex writing, both fiction and nonficition. The good writers make each sex scene unique and the bad writers keep doing what they have seen before.

"I also have a degree in art history. I like art that makes you think.

"I also have a degree in journalism from NYU with a magazine concentration so I look at the RR editorial schedule as a magazine. Each novel is like an article assigned in a magazine.

"It has to be an erotic romance for me. (Saying this, she looks at the buttons on her shirt.) If you are churning butter and that is a metaphor for something that is not enough for me.

"With the MM romances, many of our books are written by male authors, so reading our books is like being a fly on the wall. It is a voyeuristic pleasure. The men
write about different things than women - the scent of their balls, for instance, so now you know. I never thought about that, but now I do.

"My favorite books - ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1984), DRACULA and GONE WITH THE WIND.  In terms of genre, if you mixed those books up and gave me a cross genre version, I am a happy person. That is what is so great about doing this for women. Women readers can handle cross genres.

"I went to a horror convention, NECon, and someone said you cannot have a zombie romance, and I said, is that a challenge? That is how HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, our zombie romance anthology, was born.

"One day, I was at Orchard Beach drinking margaritas with friends and we had tickets to a Yankees playoff game that afternoon. It was like I was on a private beach and I said to myself, I am the happiest I will ever be. I am such a devoted Yankee fan, that I am exhausted at the end of the season.

"My 17 year old son is my pride and joy. I'm a little amazed that after years of threatening to become a robotics engineer, he did an about face and has decided to major in English and follow in his mom's footsteps. He's off to college in the fall, but he expects to go into publishing as either an editor or agent (or maybe both, like his mom). He's already sold a short story to a major publisher as part of a gaming anthology.

"I've kept a journal since I was 17.  I go back and read parts of it.  It feels like deja vu.  I learn from what I did that did not work.  I say, ' I have done that so let's try something else.' "  (And she does!)

8 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Lori.

    One of the interesting things about RR is that so many of the authors and editors have so much in common. For people who live and work in such different places, there's a strong connection. As a kid, I was a fan of Dark Shadows...I even had stacks of fan mags...lol.

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  2. Great article, FSolomon! Already re-tweeted.

    (:

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  3. Happy birthday, Lori!

    I loved learning more about you in this post; we at Ravenous Romance really do all have so much in common. I'm another Dark Shadows fan.

    This is a really great article. I'm definitely sharing!

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  4. Happy Birthday, Lori. Great post. I love how you take a challenge and make it successful. No doubt that's how you got so far in the business and will get even further.

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  5. Happy Birthday, Lori.

    Your son is stepping into great shoes. I love how you went from Dark Shadows to GWTW to Zombie romance. Congratulations. --Maria

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  6. Happy Birthday, Lori!

    And yeah, fellow RR authors, I'm another Dark Shadows fan... Quentin's sideburns fascinated me... watched that show from the beginning when it first came out!

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  7. Happy B-Day Lori. I am really excited about RR and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree Fidencia - Lori approaches the industry in a smart way. It's been a pleasure for me to be involved in "Hungry for Your Love"

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  8. Happy Birthday Lori! I hope it was wonderful!
    Thanks so much for this great interview from one Yankee and Dark Shadow fan to another.

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