Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Amorous Chat with Denny Smithson on KPFA

Yesterday brought another very enjoyable highlight of my Amorous Woman book tour when I was interviewed on Denny Smithson’s weekly show on books called “Cover to Cover” on my local radio station, KPFA (94.1 Berkeley). Of course, I was a little nervous beforehand as I always am, but excited, too, to be part of the historic Free Speech radio station, a Berkeley institution.

Unlike my midnight taxi adventure for Dr. Susan Block’s show, transportation was a breeze this time as I only had to park near my son’s school and stroll over to the station. Denny was there to greet me and I have to say he was totally charming from the start and immediately put me at ease. I could have talked with him for hours, and we did have a nice warm-up conversation about writing and sexuality and our own personal Berkeley histories as we were getting ready for the show. Denny has been in Berkeley since 1960, having been raised in the south and in France, while I’ve been living here since 1986, an East Coast kid. However, we both agree Berkeley is the home of our hearts and sensibilities.

Soon I was seated at the guest’s microphone with my water and my copy of Amorous Woman open to the place where I would read a teaser excerpt. The naughty parts were duly excised to avoid any on-air legal complications, but I hope the poetry of my language came through anyway! Denny opened the show with some celebratory comments about the election of Barack Obama, while I nodded—mutely—in hearty agreement.

We then went on to talk about erotica writing, Japan and sexuality, sources for my novel, the problems I face promoting a literary erotic book, our society’s focus on the superficial elements of sexuality over the quality of experience, and other juicy, but intellectual topics. It all went by so fast. Denny had read and enjoyed the book and was clearly supportive of my work. It truly was a pleasure to talk with him and I felt very enriched by the experience. At the end of the interview, I was the opposite of nervous—I felt I understood my own work better for having shared ideas with a smart, insightful reader.

And I guess practice does pay off—there were fewer “um’s” this time, a novice’s habit I’m working to improve.

If you’d like to hear my interview, you can listen from KPFA’s archives here.

And remember, make time to read a good book this week—preferably from Cover to Cover!


Jeremy Edwards said...

I love listening to you, Donna--to your insights and your voice. You are such a perfect spokesperson for intelligent, sex-positive erotic literature. Thank you for the light you shine!

Donna said...

Jeremy, I can't tell you how much your words mean to me! To be honest, I feel pretty vulnerable putting myself out there like this and to know at least one person enjoys it and finds some value in it makes all the difference. Of course, your voice on the air is also my inspiration. For those of you who haven't heard Jeremy's awesome interview, head over to www.drdicksexadvice.com (November 2008) for a great discussion of erotica writing, including some very hot excerpts from Jeremy's work.

Anonymous said...

What a FABULOUS interview! And your interviewer sounded lovely as well -- I loved what he said at the beginning about sexuality and the (orgasmic) connection to the Universe.

While I have loved all the interviews I have heard you do, I would agree that you sounded even more fluid in this one than any I had heard before. Well done, and congratulations on a great interview!!

Donna said...

Thank you, Emerald! Yes, Denny was totally cool. One of the advantages of living in Berkeley!

Maryanne Stahl said...

Yay! glad I caught this. I shall link to it. You do shine a light! and I wish I lived in Berkeley!