A Conversation with Xavier Axelson by Gavin Atlas

Xavier
Axelson
is a writer of erotica for Silver Publishing and Seventh Window Publications.  He is also the Los Angeles Sex Advice
Columnist for Examiner.com, contributes regularly to Queer Magazine Online, and writes a column for All Bear Online Magazine.  Xavier has worked in the adult industry for
over 15 years.  During this time, he has
assisted countless people with exploring their healthy sexual needs, questions,
and lifestyles.  He has trained as a
dungeon master, worked for a notorious Hollywood Madame as a consultant and as
a talent agent for the adult film industry. 
Xavier has several degrees in fields such as communications, library
technology, and literature.

Hi, Xavier!  Great to meet you!  As OutinPrint is a book review site, I
usually start by asking authors what formed their interest in writing.  However, I’m a bit distracted by that bio.  So, of course, please tell us about what in
your upbringing stirred up the desire to write, but could you also, without incriminating
yourself,  tell us about the most
eye-opening experience you had as a dungeon master or as a worker in the sex
industry?  

I’ve always had a
passion for reading, and I think it turned naturally to writing probably around
4th grade.  I grew up in a
household where art, nature, culture, and expression were always
celebrated.  My father is a self-taught
artist and my mother is very creative, she can put a table, room, or house
together perfectly.  She has exquisite
taste.  I learned everything I know about
personal style, art, food, reading, and individuality from them.

As for an eye-opening
experience in the sex industries, hmm, where do I begin?  It would be too easy to pinpoint any number
of people who I have worked with over the years.  I think, over all what is eye opening are
people’s issues with sex, sexuality and acceptance.  I wrote and directed a talk show in college
and had my friend who was a dominatrix come on and she gave some great
advice.  She said, “Ladies, listen to
your men, because if you don’t, they’ll just come to me.”  I think it’s eye opening after all these
years that people just don’t get that it all comes down to listening to who you
are with.  I will tell you now if your
partner is into something kinky and you don’t or can’t accept it, you better
know they are going to act that fantasy out somewhere/somehow.

When you’re in guidance mode, are there ever times you feel your
client’s fantasies are too self-destructive or dangerous or are in some aspect
something that makes you think it’d be best not to encourage them?  If so, what recommendations might you
give? 

I really love when a
couple comes in and asks for ways to spice their love life up.  It brings out the artist in me.  I think it’s very important for people to
research what it is they are interested in sexually.  I had one woman tell she was wanted to try
anal play on her husband but didn’t think she needed to use lube.  I think I might have choked on air when she
said this.  Her husband looked so
scared.  I literally had to talk them
through why it was extremely necessary to use lube, especially when he had never
had anything up there before and why the massive butt plug she was cradling in
her arms was not the right choice for a first time.  They left with a better understanding of what
was in store for both of them, and the husband looked much relieved.  I love the education part of sex.

Moving on to your writing, could you tell readers what you want them
to know about your novella, The Incident?  I’ve read that your brother is a police
officer.  In what ways did that help you
shape your story?  

I think The Incident
is a story about coming through the darkness and finding the light.  I think sometimes we can move away from the
lighter part of ourselves due to trauma, pain, guilt, etc and I want people to
know that just because you may not always cherish the light, it doesn’t mean it
isn’t there.  You just have to find it
again.

My brother is a cop
and while I definitely used his perspective to learn chain of command, certain
lingo and what he did on a daily basis I found when I was done writing The
Incident it really became more about the small town police force I grew up with.  I think the mythology surrounding those
memories/people shaped the story.

Your main characters, Michael and Angel, are police officers who both
come across as alpha males, but Michael suffers from some post-traumatic stress
after shooting an innocent kid and Angel appears to be basically straight.  What do you like about Michael?  What kind of reader feedback have you gotten
about these two characters and their relationship?

I love Michael’s
struggle, I love his spirit.  He is
struggling to make sense of something awful in the very small confines of a
tiny town.  He has to have a strong
spirit to persevere and I am proud that he does. 

The feedback has been
mostly positive.  I think I’m the type of
writer who elicits strong reactions on both sides of the fence.  You either like what I write or hate it.  What I’ve been most pleased with are the
reviewers who may not like the story but feel there is something more to it
that stops them from trashing it.  But,
overall readers and reviewers have been amazingly supportive and generous with
their feedback.

I’ve read that for readers who aren’t familiar with your work that you
recommend starting with A Valentine for Evrain which is
set in Arthurian times.  I’ve also read that
you describe it as very rough and sexual.  
Er…could you please elaborate?

Actually, it isn’t set
in Arthurian times, the main character has an Arthurian name.  It’s about a small town chocolatier who has
more of an appetite for men than chocolate. 
I recommend this piece because I believe in throwing a reader right into
the thick of things.  I wrote it in one
sitting.  The story came fast and furious
and when I was done, I barely remembered what I had written.  He had a story and demanded I tell it.  I think Evrain makes people
uncomfortable.  He’s sexual, manipulative
and believes he is immune to love.  I
also think he is very real and flawed. 
You have to be willing to take the journey to see his growth.  The sex scenes were also rough; there is physicality
and a psychology to the sex and I think the scene between him and a friend in
the kitchen is particularly kinky and hot.

Evrain was a growth
process for me.  I evolved so much as a
writer through the process of writing and publishing that piece.  I was one writer before I wrote it and an
entirely different writer once it was published.

What are your favorite aspects of writing fiction?  Are there aspects that you find the most
difficult or frustrating? 

I love the process of
writing.  I love when I sit down and a
story comes from somewhere and makes it to the page as if it were just waiting
for me.  Writing is complicated and
singular.  I love the solitude of writing
and the challenge of forcing myself to stretch my creative mind when I’m writing
something new and foreign.  I think
writing is always difficult because you are investing so much of yourself in
each character and story, it can be draining. 
I’m always writing in my head and that is frustrating.  It’s hard to shut my writer up.

What are some of the hottest books you’ve read?  And what are some of the books that have had
the greatest impact on you emotionally?

Hottest books, hmm, I
don’t read much erotica, but I do remember really liking the Sleeping Beauty
Books by Anne Rice.  I read those back in
High School and I think they are the only books by her I like.  I also remember a really sexy book called, Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey
about a brothel in Beverly Hills, it was super erotic and a little bit of a
revenge tale.  Sex and revenge, what’s
better?  For emotional impact, I’ll have
to go with anything by Tennessee Williams. 
I’m a huge admirer of his writing, all his stuff impacts me.

 

A random question for you.   Say
you’ve suddenly become a superhero (or super villain if you prefer).   What powers would you want?  If forced to have a Kryptonite-like weakness,
but you got to choose it, what would you pick?    How
would you describe an arch nemesis you’d find intriguing?

I’d have to be a
villain.  I don’t think I could write
about being a superhero and not have Hell swallow me whole.  I think I’d want to be a cross between Poison
Ivy and Venom.  Those are my two favorite
villains so maybe a shape shifting tree hugger? 
My weakness would be cinnamon, because I’ve developed a distaste for it
recently and am intrigued as to why.

I’d want a complex
arch nemesis who was drawn to me but also bent on bringing me down.  I think I’d want someone like Ripley in
Aliens.  I love the relationship that
develops in those films between her and the aliens.  They almost become the same, they are drawn
to each other.  Or like Freddy and Nancy
in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.
 

I read somewhere that one of things on your bucket list is to visit
Sweden.  Why Sweden in particular?   You also want to write a “bestseller”.  Are there any genres or themes that you’re
not working with now that you’d like to explore in the future? 

I fell in love with
Sweden because of this random cooking show I got hooked on while watching PBS
and my obsession grew from there.  I have
a fantasy of lying by some perfect lake in Stockholm and sipping vodka all day
and writing.  Or visiting during a
midsummer celebration over there.

I’ve dabbled in all
kinds of genres.  I recently took a
creative nonfiction course just to force myself to write outside my box.  I loved the challenge and learned things
about myself creatively from the experience. 
I would really like to get back to my horror writing, and I know I have
a kids’ book in me somewhere.  It’s
funny, erotica was probably the last genre I would have picked if asked a year
ago how I would start my career as a writer.

Could you finish this statement?  
“If the world only learns one thing from me, I want it to be
_____________”

   
“to indulge your imagination recklessly.”

Thanks, Xavier!  For more information on Xavier, his fiction,
and for free reads, check out http://www.xavieraxelson.com/.  

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