WATCH OUT: Maxim Jakubowski
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Maxim Jakubowski. Welcome to Watch Out, it is so great to have you here.
MJ: The pleasure is erotically mine…
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
MJ: I’m a British writer who spent many years in publishing, although I’ve been writing since my teens and actually published my first book at 18. I’ve now reached 130 titles although, in my defense, most of those are anthologies, plus 11 novels and 5 collections of short stories. I have written in the science fiction, crime and erotic field, and also edit for Constable Robinson and Running Press annual anthologies of the best short stories of the year in the British crime and the erotica genre. I alternate crime thrillers (albeit of an erotic nature) and erotica, and this year’s novel is an erotic one, called EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT.
SC: You’ve been writing for a very long time. Do you feel after being in the industry all this time there are still things you learn about yourself and the industry itself?
MJ: The industry is in a constant state of renewal, with the digital revolution bringing considerable changes, not all helpful to writers, so one has to stay on top of the situation, although it would be tempting fate to predict the future, what with the rise of online retailing and the upswing in ebook sales. I try to cover most bases, with new titles appearing both in print and in electronic format, and I and my various publishers are in the process of converting many of my older books into digital formats. And Xcite, in the UK, have just issued three exclusive ebook collections, which are unavailable in print. As to myself, I’m still essentially the same person and writer, aware of my obsessions and failings and think I will always remain that way. It’s too late to change my life now!
SC: You put out some of the most successful anthologies out there. What have you learned working with the different authors who have been a part of your projects?
MJ: Editing, discovering new talent has always been at the forefront of my editorial career and this remains true to this day. Whenever I come across a new erotic writer who rings my bell, so to speak, I am delighted. The more the merrier.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current release?
MJ: Some years back I wrote a short novel called THE STATE OF MONTANA, which I would pitch as STORY OF O on the internet. It proved very popular with a number of foreign language editions and a lucrative sale to Hollywood. EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT is an attempt to recapture that book’s mood and feel. It could be seen as an improvisation on the theme of Nabokov’s LOLITA tempered by my customary obsessions and idiosyncrasies. I think it’s unusual in the landscape of today’s erotic field, but then again, I tend to perceive all my erotica as slightly in the margins, not fitting in to traditional moulds. I’m in the wonderful situation now that I write exactly what I wish to write, with no regard for commercial imperatives or fashions; I tread my own little groove and just feel comfortable there. And if I can make a living from it, why change?
SC: Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
MJ: I’m a print person by nature and years. Give me the smell of paper any day. And I prefer hardcovers even more than paperbacks, although a minority of my titles are now issued in that format in English though.
SC: What influences the topics, and genres that you pick to write a story in?
MJ: My life, people I know or come across, memories, feelings. But to put it in a nutshell, I can do no better than follow in Woody Allen’s footsteps (although there is nothing funny about my writing…): love and death are the only subjects worth writing about.
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
MJ. That I wrote my first book in French, where it was actually published, as I was educated there. My father set up business in Paris when I was three years old and I’ve never been to school in England, apart from a single year at the French Lycee in London. I no longer write in French, although I am fully bilingual but still do the occasional translation, more recently a wonderful French erotic novel called MONSIEUR by Emma Becker, which will appear later in 2012 in the UK and the USA.
SC: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about the publishing industry?
MJ: That it’s not, at the end of day, motivated by profit.
SC: Your favourite part about being an author?
MJ: The freedom.
SC: What are you currently reading?
MJ: Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS.
SC: Currently listening to?
MJ: I listen to music all the time; can’t write fiction without rock music blasting out loud and enveloping the study. I collect CDs (no downloads for this Luddite…) with a vengeance, and my collection must be reaching well over 8000 albums ; but as I type this, Arcade Fire’s THE SUBURBS.
SC: Have you ever had a moment where you stepped back and said wow when it comes to all of the things you’ve achieved in your career?
MJ: Yes, of course. I always wanted to be a writer but am still surprised I have managed so many books even though I still feel my best ones are still to come.
SC: Describe your books in 3 words.
MJ: Love, death & sadness.
SC: If you could step into the shoes of another author who would you pick? Why?
MJ: Too many of my best friends are also writers so I know the reality that separates their books from their life, so no one really. In truth, there are many I envy because they write so well, but then they’re mostly dead, so I’m more comfortable remaining alive and writing what may be lesser books.
SC: What do you think sets your stories apart from other authors?
MJ: My eroticism is romantic. Although I’d hasten to say that, in no way, does this make them erotic romance!
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
MJ: Right now, I’m translating a French crime novel for Little, Brown in New York and when it’s over I’ll begin my next novel, likely to be titled DEFINED BY ABSENCE. I still don’t know whether it will be a thriller, an erotic book or something else altogether.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
MJ: Don’t talk about it, just write.
SC: What is one pet peeve you have when it comes to publishing?
MJ: The fact it’s run by accountants.
SC: Any advice for writers out there?
MJ: Be original, don’t follow trends.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
MJ: I’m too busy writing to have got round to setting up a web page. Somehow the time I have at my disposal is better used writing and living. I know I should and might soon, maybe… But I am on Facebook, and you’re welcome to ‘friend’ me. And as to a complete list of my publications, there is an almost accurate listing on fantasticfiction.co.uk which is easier to manoeuver your way round than amazon.
SC: Maxim I want to thank you for being a guest. It is truly a pleasure to have you here to interview.
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.
Ekaterina and the Night buy links:
Paperback (available in the US slightly later than the UK)
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. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.