I greatly enjoy meeting edgy, intelligent women who can write—and write well. Vanessa Wu is one of these women. We first connected through Goodreads, and I found her to be gracious and easy to talk to. Since then, I’ve become a fan of her writing. Her in-depth and unusual book reviews show how well-read she is, but they also highlight her knowledge of culture, travel, and literature.
All too often, erotica authors are painted with the same brush—they only like to read erotica or romance novels. This is not true, of course, and Vanessa shatters this myth brilliantly with her eloquent words about all kinds of books.
It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to the mysterious, complex, and fascinating mind of Vanessa Wu.
* * * *
Vanessa Wu was born in Fuzhou, China, where her parents worked in the Communist Army Hospital. She educated herself on a diet of foreign literature, some of it quite respectable, including nearly everything written by Jane Austen, W. Somerset Maugham, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
She graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai and travelled in Asia and Europe where she met many interesting men before completing her sexual and academic education at Westminster University, London.
She works for a law firm in London and lives close to Greenwich Park where she can often be seen talking to people with dogs. If she had a dog of her own it would be a Beagle and she would call him Billy. If she writes enough stories and enough people buy them maybe she can give up working at that stuffy old law firm and stay at home with Billy instead, going for long walks in the park in the morning and having long, sensual daydreams in the afternoon.
Until then, she joins thousands of commuters every day on the Docklands Light Railway and spends many an idle hour anticipating her next erotic encounter.
* * * *
Here are some of Vanessa’s latest books available for purchase at:
Inside Vanessa Wu’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Happiness for me is all about experiencing life through my senses. Looking at a beautiful man with his shirt off. Breathing in an elusive masculine perfume and feeling it suffuse my body. Tasting the salty odour of a man’s skin after a shower. Listening to the crescendo of passion in the booming caverns of a man’s chest. Touching those tender places that men prefer to keep hidden most of the time. Of course, a man doesn’t have to be involved. So long as my senses are stimulated, I am happy.
What turns you on creatively? People are very complex creatures yet we have times in our lives when everything we are, everything we want from life can be focused in a single moment. To me, the greatest challenge is to capture such moments and evoke them in words, to record and to define in simple language one small strand of life that is worth remembering, and allow it to live in other people’s hearts and minds.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Wonderful. Everything can be described as wonderful. It is the word I most often delete when I am editing. It is always a challenge to find a better word.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Empathy. Many men lack empathy. The man who has it doesn’t realise he has it. He is too busy considering other people and their needs. When I see it in a man I stop and literally hold my breath and take a moment to appreciate it.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Vulnerability. Many women are afraid of being vulnerable. But it is often the thing that makes them most exciting to know as friends, as lovers, even as colleagues. Once I spot a woman’s vulnerability, I adore her. I can’t help it.
What is your greatest regret? Truly? I regret throwing away the erotic stories and poems I wrote when I was younger. I was ashamed of them and I shouldn’t have been. I wrote them in secret, which was the right thing to do, but I believed that because I had to write them in secret they were shameful. There are some things that we do in secret that are actually very beautiful. Sometimes there comes a time when it is right to share them, when the shame vanishes, and we feel proud.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? It would be nice if I could never again feel the need to apologise for the smallness of my breasts. But I would never have surgery. Never! I want to change my psychology, which is a very hard thing to do.
What is your greatest fear? There are certain young people who terrify me. They are worse than wild dogs because they are unpredictable. Totally unpredictable. You know a wild dog is going to leap at you and bury its teeth in your face or something. So you take appropriate action. But there are certain young people in streets where I used to live who have knives and sneer at you and sometimes attack you; but recognising when they are going to do it is really hard. I have been followed and surrounded by youths like that and had bricks and bars thrown at me from high rise flats. The police won’t do anything. You just have to get out of there quick.
Which living person do you most admire? Alan Moore. I think he’s a colossal genius, a gentle giant. He towers above the creative arts and writes astonishingly creative works which inspire and move me. But the reason I admire him is that he took a decision very early on in life to be an uncompromising kind of writer. No-one could have trained him or prepared him for the kind of writing he does. He has worked with his own resources to do the very best he can without compromising his integrity. It’s never easy to do that.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I have attempted many. I don’t really know what my profession is. I have been a Chinese teacher, an English teacher, worked for a media production company, been a TV presenter in China and worked for a legal firm in England arranging meetings for people with airs and graces who time every phone call and are too proud to lick an envelope. On the side I am trying to be a lady novelist but I think my real strength is as an agony aunt. Hahaha!
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? Oh, definitely a dog, but not a wild one, a domesticated one, like a labrador or collie. I wouldn’t mind helping blind people or herding sheep.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? So far? Persuading my flat mate to design my book covers for me. She has a real flair for it. I knew she would do a great job but it took me weeks of being nice to her and flattering her to get her to learn the necessary skills with Photoshop. At the moment she does them for nothing but she has made such a difference to my sales that I’m going to cut a deal with her and tie her into a two-year contract, hahaha!
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Taking advantage of their friends, hahaha!
What is your greatest extravagance? To tell you the truth, I am a very thrifty person. Every day I plan for my pension. But I can’t resist bags. I don’t have any fake ones. They are all real. My most extravagant is probably my Longchamp, which wasn’t that expensive but I use it very rarely. It’s for sunny days and there aren’t many of those in London.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Build up my pension pot!
What is your present state of mind? Optimistic. Every day brings a new thrill and I’m confident that there are some thrills ahead that I haven’t even imagined yet!
What are some of your favorite curse words? I like “darn” because it seems harmless. If I’m really cross I might say “bugger.” I use “gosh” a lot because it’s so English and I’m in England, after all.
What is your motto? Never be afraid of your emotions. Even the painful ones are proof that you’re alive, which is a great way to be as far as I am concerned!
Thanks Vanessa for being my final guest author this year. You are lovely, and it’s only fitting I should end off 2011 with an erotica author on my blog.
Readers, please leave a comment for this brilliant writer and say “hi.”