Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Post & EBOOK Giveaway with Maxim Jakubowski


 Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from 'the King of the erotic thriller' When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops. She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society's acceptance. When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered. A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together. A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.




 Please help me welcome author Maxim Jakubowski, author of the erotica book Ekaterina And The Night to A Buckeye Girl Reads.


A MAIL ORDER SHOP IN HOBOKEN
 
I sadly missed the recent Erotic Authors' Association conference in Las Vegas (I only learned of it being organised barely 48 hours after I'd booked and prepaid our annual late summer holidays) so have not yet experienced being  on a panel at a specifically erotic convention. But I have been invited to the forthcoming Italian equivalent in Zibello, and I am sure that for once, unlike at equivalent science fiction and crime events I have participated in, I will not be assigned to the customary ghetto of the obligatory sex and violence panel, or even sex without violence. With the sort of things I write and my activities in literary erotica, that is the panel I'm always assigned to, unsurprisingly enough.

Once on stage at a crime writing conference, I was sat next to a female US author who'd published a couple of generally well-received legal thrillers; she was also a full-time lawyer in real life. It appears that in her first book her heroine, who was of course also a lawyer, enjoyed a a somewhat active and spectacular sex life, which was described at length. Needless to say, that's all the reviewers saw in the book and the questions from the audience made it clear that most of her readers (and also, she revealed, personal acquaintances of hers in the legal world) strongly believed the character was closely based on herself and would keep on nagging her as to what sort of research she did, which as a result saw her blushing wildly in embarrassment. She was so taken back to the public reaction to her novels that she never wrote another book and is now still buried deep in the legal trenches!

Similarly, whenever I've appeared on radio or TV as a result of the publication of one my erotic books or an erotic thriller, the ill-informed interviewers  invariably ask me where I get my ideas or how I do my research, thinking they are being clever or witty or, God forbid, intelligent. To compound my guilt, many of my books deliberately feature male characters who seemingly have many similarities with my own public persona. Although if I had committed all the sexual acts my protagonists repeatedly do, I would by now be in a coffin or walking with the aid of a Zimmer frame! Fortunately, there was always an out, which I'd borrowed from an SF writer, and with a glint of mischief in my eye, I'd always reveal that I actually purchased my ideas wholesale from a mail order warehouse in Hoboken, or Schenectady or any other unlikely American locale with the right exotic name to dazzle us Brits!

Surely, that's not a question I will ever be asked at an erotica conference, or would I?

Which made me reflect on where my ideas did come from, apart from that secret perverse sub-section of my murky imagination that only I am allowed to enter on dark nights, with a special visa tattooed across the lower part of my stomach.

Take my new novel EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT. It began as my take on Nabokov's LOLITA, as I wanted to feature a love affair between a younger woman and a much older man, although not to the extent of making Ekaterina a nymphet. She is 16 when the book begins and the story follows her sexual coming of age over the following 10 years or so. But as I wrote, new elements slyly entered the story and it began going in other directions.

I've always been fascinated, intrigued by the past l;ves of many of the new people I encounter, in particular their sexual history. Come on, aren't you too? Don't you want to talk over the pillow after your first few nights together about who came before you? I do. Even though it's not an erotic book in any way, Julian Barnes' novel BEFORE SHE MET ME is a wonderful exposition of the theme. So, as much as I'm always silently (and quite unjustifiably, of course) jealous of the men who came before me when I meet a new lover, I wanted for Alexander, the male protagonist whose affair with Ekaterina is at the heart of the book, to wonder about his predecessors, and the reader to vicariously learn all about them. Similarly, following their inevitable break-up, Alex obsesses about the men who will follow him in Ekaterina's arms and bed, and he imagines them all, in all their cruelty and necessary lack of sensitivity. There again, a pet theme of mine which I've written about before, particularly in 'The Map of the Pain', the central story of my collection LIFE IN THE WORLD OF WOMEN where the writer/narrator invents a multitude of stories that might occur to his lover after they part, almost as if to punish himself. So where did that idea come from? I'll be damned if I know, but it's a theme that dominates everything I write, the need to know all about others and the fact that in real life they are tragically unknowable.

Even though I only realised it once the novel was completed, there is another idea that made its way into the book: the angel of death. I have written 4 crime novels in which Cornelia appears; she is a highly-educated beauty and book collector who acts as a hitwoman, and between jobs, is a stripper. Readers adore her, I've found. She does not feature in EKATERINA but, behind my back, a twin sister of hers made her way into the plot by the back door.

It looks as if I have no new ideas and seem damned to repeat my old obsessions. Or maybe my credit with the Hoboken warehouse has run out!

At the heart of EKATERINA though is death. That's what the 'night' in the title represents. And the opposition between sex and death, life and darkness. I hope it doesn't sound heavy or pretentious but I am adamant that even erotic books can convey serious ideas and themes.
Maybe that's strongly influenced by the fact that I was educated in France and, as part of my studies there, read widely in French existentialism and philosophy when I was younger. As a matter of fact, French erotica, which I am a great fan of, is generally much darker in essence than what is generally written these days in the English language. It's a shadow I can't escape, even though EKATERINA concludes in Venice in winter, and never sets foot in France.

You really didn't think I was going to reveal where I got my ideas, did you? Just a clue though, that mythic warehouse is somewhere in France... and they only accept Euros.
*****
Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’
When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.
She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.
When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.
A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.
A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.
MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc...) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
COMMENT TO WIN!

Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)
Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule. PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.  *Colettes note: Please note that the winners are for the entire tour and winners may not be from my stop.*

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great post, very interesting to read.

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Ekaterina And The Night" looks like an amazing read.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  3. I'd never heard of Maxim Jakubowski before. Ekaterina sounds like an interesting read, especially for us Americans.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  4. This sounds interesting, I'd love to enter. Thanks!

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete