The AfterDark World introduces a man with such versatility and wit with his work. Straight out of New Jersey, we are pleased to have Alan Jankowski to join us for “A Man’s World Interview.”
1.Alan, thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Please, why don’t tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks Ray, and hold the Jersey jokes will ya? Not a heck of a lot to tell about me, I'm a single guy, just turned 51, and for the past three years or so, writing seems to be the major thing in my life. Lately though, it seems I spend more time doing writing-related stuff other than actual writing...like dealing with editors, translators, publishers, writing groups and newsletters...that sort of thing. Though I think some of the internet writing groups have to go.
2. How long have you been writing and when did you decide writing this genre was for you?
I started writing in 2009 and have to say I'm really the "accidental writer." While surfing the net I came across an article on sex fantasy. It mentioned a site where people post their sex fantasy stories and others comment and rate them. I joined because "it's free, why wouldn't you join?" as it said on the site, without any real intention of writing anything. After a few days of reading the stories, which I thought interesting, I wondered what I could come up with that could possibly make it onto their "Hottest Fantasy" list. So, it was a challenge, like a mountain that needed to be climbed. My first story posted on April 21, 2009 with little notice but I decided to give it a shot three days later. I had seen pictures of a girl who liked to get tied up, she had the ball gag and the ropes and the whole bit, and had hair like Bo Derek in "10." Her hair reminded me of rope. So, I thought to myself "Girl who likes to get tied up, hair like rope...hmmm, there's a story here somewhere." So, I wrote "Morning In The Park." That one not only shot up the Hottest Fantasy list, but got a rather big response. I mean, who knew? It was also the first story I sold, and the first story I sold twice actually.
3. In an industry dominated by women, how you handle the pressure? On top, how do you explain to others about what you write?
I had no clue it was dominated by women really when I started, heck it was accidental anyway, and I'm not sure there's really any pressure in that regard. Heck, some might consider a field dominated by women to be a good thing. I've known a few guys over the years who took up nursing for instance just to meet women, so that may be a plus.
As far as explaining the erotic writing, I usually don't feel the need to "explain" it per se. I can't say I feel embarrased or anything, as matter of fact, I'd probably feel more embarrased to say I didn't think about sex. That said, I'm often outside with my little Toshiba netbook, and if someone asks me what I do I tell them I write and if they seem interested I point them to a love poem or something. I certainly have no shortage of those. But, it's certainly no secret that I write erotica. I just think it's usually safer, so to speak, to start off the writing conversation with something non-erotic.
4. How does you family and friends feel about your work?
Well, my father has read most of my stories from 2009, and I know my mother has read at least a couple. She wanted to read my story "Merry Christmas, Baby" after I told her I put her dog in it. And I've put a couple of my friends in my stories, notably Joe Malgeri and Pete Conroy, as well as using their first names a few times. In non-sexual roles, of course. Great way to get people to read your stuff, btw...put them in it. I think it's safe to say that if you hang out around me long enough you'll end up in a story.
Yeah, I was hanging out with Pete quite a bit when I started writing and he would be the first person I knew to read my stuff. It's funny looking back at some of those stories really. My story "Lost Tribe" for instance starts off with him and I planning a vacation to Columbia to visit his relatives, and he does have relatives down there. We do rather ordinary things like meet at the Old Bridge Fridays and order the ribs and drink Guinness, something we've done many times. The part about me getting lost during the trip and getting captured by a lost tribe of Amazonian wild women is pure fantasy I have to admit.
So, to answer your question, my friends and family have no problem with my writing.
5. Is there a particular genre you haven’t touched, but would be interested in doing?
Hmmm, good question. I have so many stories in so many categories I would tend to say no. It's not so much venturing into new genres for me, as much as venturing into longer works like novels and novellas. So far, my erotic work has been solely short stories. Oh, and poems...have quite a few of those.
So far, I'm only involved in one erotic eBook...I have two stories "Morning In The Park" and "Getting A Raise (From the boss's wife)" included in the first erotic anthology from MWiDP. They're just getting into erotic publishing, and from what I can gather still don't have the erotic site up yet. I chose them because I have a number of stories that were translated into Spanish, those two as well as four others so far, and they were the first publisher I found that showed an interest in publishing the Spanish stuff. The new pen name, Sergio Erotico reflects that. I needed something that would work for both the English and Spanish readers, and that seems to work. There is a very nice girl in Caracas who does the translating, and at some point the stories translated into Spanish will be released with more on the way. And there will be more English language stories released under the Sergio name as well. Watch my Facebook wall for further details, that's about all I can say at the moment.
7. What inspired you to write Morning In The Park?
I didn't come up with the title actually...
8. Do you have any upcoming projects that you wish to share?
Yeah, I have more than a few really. The erotic projects center around the release of the eBooks mentioned above, but most of my other projects are non-erotic at the moment. I really hope to resume working on my novel. I started to turn "Sexual Healing" into a novel back in 2010. I got one chapter done, then had some setbacks notably my netbook got stolen in September, 2010 along with about 15 pages of notes. That really took the momentum out of it.
I also intend to continue to try to get more published. I had my first short story published in print this past December on Dancing With Bear Publishing...
That story "His Christmas Wish" is actually the first 3300 words of a longer story I wrote for an erotic story contest, which is sort of funny since DWB is primarily a Christian and children's book publisher. I never mentioned it was the intro to an erotic story.
My story "The Birthday Party" is coming out in print twice in the next couple of months, first one print journal, and then it will come out in a book in May. The proceeds from the latter will be to benefit cancer research. I also have two poems coming out in April in two separate print books on Inner Child Press. I hope to get more poetry published this year, hopefully a whole poetry book. In 2010 I started branching out subject wise with my poems, getting increasingly away from the erotic. I didn't think much of it until this past September when I found out my 9-11 Tribute poem was used in ceremonies around the world...
I know it's sort of funny, that someone can start out writing sex stories and two years later their work is read by kids in schools and end up in church bulletins, but believe me it can happen. I want to see what happens after this coming September, see how much bigger it gets this year, and then approach poetry publishers about getting a whole poetry book out.
I probably won't be getting back to erotic writing in earnest for another couple of years, except maybe a few contest stories here and there.
9. What was one of the toughest projects you have ever faced, but was proud of the accomplishment?
By far the toughest project I've attempted is turning "Sexual Healing" into a novel. Somehow I have no trouble turning out a 12 page, 6700 word short story in one night, but it took me three months to come up with the 1600 words of notes to do the one chapter of that novel I actually finished, followed by four days of writing. I think it came out rather well though. The trick is to keep up that standard of writing over 100k words or whatever. And that remains to be seen.
10. What advice would you give to other writers, especially to those that are starting out?
Lol...you want me to give advice eh? It used to be my only advice to new writers was to use "spell-check"...sound advice, btw...but, I could probably add a few items. Depends to a large extent what your goals are as a writer really. For instance, if you're looking to get published, don't go posting your stuff online for free because once it's published online you're not likely to sell it to a publisher. The other thing would be to choose a pen name, the keyword there would be "name." You should use a real human name, something pointed out to me by Morgan Hawke after I started using DirtyMartini. I had started writing under the name Exakta66, but when I started selling my stories back in late 2010 I realized that was an active registered trademark and my girlfriend suggested DirtyMartini. I think the Sergio Erotico name should work a bit better. I've made so many mistakes, and realize I still have a lot to learn, so I'm not sure sometimes I should be giving anyone advice. I would add writing a lot though, since you learn by doing, like anything else really, and read stories by other good writers. Heck, go read all of mine.
11. Lastly, where can people follow you (i.e. social networks, blogs, websites, etc.)?
I joined Facebook in September, 2010 about a week after I answered my first submission call. I really only joined to connect with other writers, and I do post everything I do writing-related so feel free to add me as a friend there for anyone who hasn't. Here's my page...
I'm also on LinkedIn...
And Twitter, but I don't really use it that much at the moment...I use FB the most...I'm @Exakta66 here...
I don't have my own website or blog, and really not in a hurry to get either...I seem to be busy enough as it is.
Time for some trivial questions...
12. Cocktail Moment: If there was a drink of your kind, what would it be (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)?
I would have to say a Dirty Martini. They're rather good, actually.
13. Your Day Off: If you could take a day off from your normal activity, how would you spend it?
Lol...that's funny, because I always seem to be doing something writing related these past couple of years, even if it's not actual writing. Like hanging out in writing groups, going through writing newsletters, and I'm a moderator over on Stories Space these days, which is a non-erotic writing site.
It probably would be nice to just sit around and listen to some good electric blues, like Albert King.
14. Favorite Man Food: It’s your day off and you wake up at 10AM, describe your kind of brunch?
Steak and eggs would be nice, perhaps a nice Porterhouse medium rare...heck, you could probably hold the eggs.
15. Something Extra: Is there anything trivial you wish to share to your readers about yourself?
I collect Exakta cameras, which is why I started writing using the name Exakta66. That picture with myself and Angel was taken with a 1938 Exakta 66 camera in Johnson Park here in New Jersey. Actually, that picture was taken back in 2005, but I like it.
Alan, I truly thank you for the interview and I hope to see you on here again. Thank you so much!
Thank you Ray, it was a pleasure...and I hope to be back someday.
Here is an excerpt from "Morning In The Park" from the above anthology...
Joyce looked hot in her short skirt and T-shirt when we arrived at the park. It was still early and it was an overcast day, so there was no one around. We passed a swing set as we walked through the park on our way to the tennis courts. She asked me if I would push her on the swing. I agreed and we headed over there. As I pushed her on the swing, her long hair blew back every time she swung away from me. It looked so beautiful in the breeze. Suddenly I had the urge to grab the chains as she swung back. I grabbed her wrists between my thumb and index fingers while holding firm on the chains with my other fingers. I lifted up the chains with an abrupt movement and held the chains to my shoulders forcing her butt against my crotch. I felt like hiking up her skirt and bouncing that soft butt up and down on my stiff cock by hoisting the swing up and down by the chains. But I didn't. I just slid her clothed body up and down my crotch a couple of times. My feelings of arousal mixed with my feelings of anger as I dragged her butt over my stiff cock.
"What's up?" she asked.
I just remained silent. I lifted her off the swing and we proceeded to walk to the tennis courts.
As we got to the courts again there was nobody around. A slight breeze ruffled the canvas tarps that were tied to the fence to break the wind, but otherwise all was silent. As Joyce bent over to put down the cooler with the food and take out her racket, a sudden burst of adrenaline shot through my body, like a convict hurdling over the prison wall. The sight of Joyce bending over incited me like fresh blood to a shark. I grabbed her by her wrists and held them above her head, spinning her around and forcing her back against the fence. As I held her arms above her head, I tied her wrists together with her long blonde hair. I then looped the remainder of the hair through the fence and proceeded to tie her securely to the fence with her own hair. I took off her skirt and pulled down her panties as I sat down for a moment on the cooler to survey what I had done. I got up only to rip her T-shirt down the front, letting the few remaining untied strands of long blond hair rustle softly in the breeze over her erect nipples. I sat back down briefly again for a moment until once again I started up like a man possessed. I opened the cooler and surveyed my findings. I took out the hummus and walked over to her. I opened it and started spreading the cold paste onto her nipples, down her tummy and on her thighs. I then proceeded to lap it off her like a lion devouring a steak with hard firm strokes of my tongue. She tried to struggle and as she did the sound of the chain link fence clattering against the fence posts clashed with the ruffling of the canvas tarp. My saliva made her round breasts glisten as the morning sun tried to poke through the clouds. I then reached back to the cooler and pulled out a banana. I proceeded to tease her with it as she remained totally helpless tied to the fence. I touched it to her lips and proceeded to drag it slowly down her neck, circling her nipples and outlining her breasts.
"You like bananas?" I asked, "I know you do."