My guest today is Kate Julia White, who’s written a frank, funny and very filthy memoir about her adventures on London’s swinging and scenes, Tough Love. Welcome to the Naughty Corner, Kate.
Thank you to Liz Coldwell for inviting me to her blog, I’m very excited to be here… Liz also very skilfully edited my forthcoming book “Tough Love” (out on 15 June through Accent Press/Xcite Books), for which I am eternally grateful. In fact, she was the one who sent me a message with the magic words that my manuscript had been accepted for publication.
I get the question sometimes where I find the inspiration – and the truth is I’m rubbish at making things up. I have a friend who writes YA novels very successfully. She builds marvellous worlds and engaging characters with unexpected powers and endearing soft spots in a way I truly admire. I just can’t make things up which are consistent and credible. So, in a way I don’t have a choice: my inspiration comes from everyone around me in real life.
My friends and lovers don’t know they’re stars (or villains) in my writing, but it’s a fail-safe way to get a fresh stream of rich, nourishing ideas, vignettes and scenes. The “life is stranger than fiction” cliché really is true, and in Tough Love, everything actually really did happen. That also means I feel surprised, gullible, excited and horny when I reread my own writing, just like when everything took place. I laughed a lot when many of the events unfolded; I had a lot of exceptional sex and met some wonderful people. God forbid they should recognise themselves.
Look around and try to see beneath the surface. The best source of inspiration is you, your friends, their partners and exes, your neighbours and your colleagues. Within the immediate circle of people you meet daily, there will be all sorts of quirky and loveable individuals juggling affairs with their coworkers, making plans for swingers’ cruises and hiding the welts from the cane last night. You rarely have the privilege to get close enough to share their most eye-widening moments.
I’ve been lucky; I’ve typed up the stories I have experienced and been inspired to seek new adventures. I’ve written about it, as all of them deserve to be told – some to share the desire, ecstasy and joy, and some to serve as a warning, for you to giggle at if you like. But they are all true stories about life, love, and lust in London today.
Inspiration? Just think about the last time you were wildly turned on. Or ask your friend to tell the full story about how she lost her virginity. Or talk about how it really felt when you noticed someone watching you intently from across the train carriage with a wicked smile. Or remember the time you slipped the beautifully embroidered birthday lingerie on and looked in the mirror. Life really is full of wonder and laughter; we just forget sometimes. And sexy stories are the best way to remember. Kiss me, and you’ll see. Maybe I just make more of the opportunities come true than many other people.
This is a short excerpt from Tough Love, out on 15 June from Xcite Books:
One of the best parties that summer was David’s leaving do – a fully clothed, vanilla event at a local pub followed by a drinking marathon to finish off the contents of his bar at home. It was a celebration of what he had brought to London, with true love and affection between friends and neighbours mixed with the unavoidable sense that he would be missed. More by some of us than others. The party has about half kinky swinger friends and half workmates and neighbours who knew him as a fun guy but had little clue of how close the rest of us were. The wife of the family in David’s street looked straight at me for several seconds, completely unable to place me, before she realised who I was.
I was in a group of fairly glamorous-looking giggling, whispering friends, all made up and in a nice tight silk dress. I was far away from the frumpy mother of her kids’ classmate who was always late picking up after play dates. She was stunned to see me there, and my explanation of how we knew David through mutual friends and being invited to parties may not have added up, or maybe she knew more than she cared to admit to herself or her husband about the goings-on next door. She looked glad to see us but a bit confused – if we knew his next-door neighbour so well, why hadn’t we mentioned it when speaking about their street at dinner parties and at the school gates?
Then suddenly the gorgeous black girl who was a regular guest and supplier of snow decided she had to leave early, snuggled up to my husband, and firmly kissed him on the lips, promising we’d see her soon again. I stood next to them, happy that my husband was being kissed by a younger, better-looking woman with a deep cleavage, and also got a hug before she trooped out the door. The neighbour’s eyes nearly popped out of her head, I will never forget the looks of disbelief she gave us. A moment to savour; what could she possibly say or do even if she had her suspicions?
Tough Love is an erotic memoir of a married woman, a mother and business executive, who together with her husband decides to have an open marriage after many years together. The resulting adventures are both expected: exciting sex, strange characters and suspicious neighbours, and unexpected: male escorts sharing their wares for free, wedding invitations where she’s slept with both bride and groom and some remarkable friendships. The story is a declaration of love to London and its people, and all of it is true – it really happened.
Kate lives in London with her husband and children. By day she is a successful business executive, by night an active participant in the exciting sexual adventures London has to offer. Oh, and she writes about it on the train to work or in bed with one of her lovers.