A Minute With Author Selena Kitt

Selena Kitt's Avatar

Selena Kitt’s Avatar (Image courtesy of Selena Kitt. Used with permission.)

by Flash

New York Times Bestselling author Selena Kitt has written over 30 books and over 100 short stories, her most recent book being Dragon Sass. Over one million copies of Kitt’s books have been sold. In 2008 Kitt started eXessica, an erotic publishing company, that releases eBooks and print books. eXessica boasts a large stable of growing authors including adult film director and writer Kay Brandt. Kitt also runs the online bookstore Excitica.

“I write a variety of stuff, from erotica to erotic romance, in lots of subgenres, from paranormal to contemporary.,” Kitt said. “I like writing around the edges, pushing boundaries and delving into the forbidden or taboo.”

One of Kitt’s series is the Baumgartner series with Doc and Mrs. B. The first book in the series is Babysitting the Baumgartners and tells the story of the Baumgartner’s barely legal babysitter Ronnie who goes to the Baumgartner’s summer retreat to help take care of their kids and becomes entwined in a series of sexual escapades with Doc and Mrs. B.

The New York Times Bestselling book Babysitting the Baumgartners was optioned by Adam & Eve Pictures and director Kay Brandt to become an adult movie. The cinematic version of Kitt’s book was written by Brandt and stars Mick Blue, Anikka Albrite, and Sara Luvv.

Kitt is current writing the next Baumgartner book.

Flash: When did you start writing erotic fiction?

Selena Kitt (SK): I started writing erotica back in 2007, writing for Literotica’s Survivor contest. The grand prize at the end of the year long “most stories written in a year” contest was $500. I came in second ($250) and was left with a huge glut of work.

My husband said to me, imagine if you had a nickel for every time one of your stories was downloaded, and I thought – hm. Lightbulb moment! So I looked into the small ebook publishers at the time (places like Samhain and Phaze and Ellora’s Cave) but most of them were just doing erotic romance—and what I wrote was erotica. Some were just started erotica lines, but they didn’t accept some of Literotica’s most popular selling categories (like incest). So that route to publication was out.

I decided to contact the biggest ebook seller at the time (Fictionwise). They said they didn’t take individual authors—you had to be a publisher. That meant you had to have at least ten different authors and twenty-five titles. Not to be thwarted, I went to my writer friends at Literotica and asked, “Hey, guys, do you want to be published?”

And that’s how Excessica was born. We’ve grown from that ten-author stable to over 400 authors. We’ve published over 700 titles. And we have grossed almost a million dollars a year for five years running.

Flash: What made you want to get into writing erotic fiction?

SK: I honestly never intended to write erotica as a career. I just entered Literotica’s contest for fun, and a little extra cash. I started Excessica for some supplemental income. But it snowballed, and now this is my day job. My husband quit work several years ago and we both do this full time—he does cover art.

I continue to write erotica as Selena Kitt, although I have to literally carve time for writing into my schedule (you can imagine that running a publishing company, as well as two promotional companies for erotica and erotic romance—excitespice.com and excitesteam.com, respectively—is time consuming!)

Flash: What was your first novel?

SK: I started writing novels longhand in notebooks when I was thirteen. My first typed novel was a horror book I wrote on an old Royal typewriter when I was sixteen. My first e-published novel was The Surrender of Persephone, which was published with Phaze in 2007. That was just before I started Excessica.

Flash: What went through your head when Adam & Eve and Kay Brandt contacted you about wanting to make Babysitting the Baumgartners into an adult movie?

SK: I’ve been approached in the past, more than once, about making my books into adult films, but I’ve turned those offers down. Why? I think I hesitated because I didn’t quite trust the vision of the people who wanted to bring the book to life. When Kay Brandt approached me, she’d already made her own book (Safe Landings) into a film, so I knew she understood the challenges involved. But what really won me over was that Kay “got it.” She understood that what I was trying to do in Babysitting the Baumgartners wasn’t just regurgitating the seduced-babysitter fantasy.

My intention was to pen a tale of real sexual awakening, with all the naivete, curiosity, demurral and slow, eventual immersion into passion and carnal abandon that came with it. I think, at least from the way fans received the book, that I accomplished that. But I wasn’t sure, until Kay started talking about her vision for the story, that the same journey could be conveyed on film. When I agreed to this project, it was truly because I trusted Kay, and I knew we were on the same page. Having a woman in creative control was paramount – I knew she understood the deeply felt emotion in the work, and would do her best to bring it to life on screen.

Flash: Did Kay Brandt have you give input into the script? If so, in what capacity?

SK: She wrote the script from the book and sent it to me as she was writing. She paid great attention to my dialogue and I was pleased with the result.

Flash: When one writes, they get a mental image of their characters. Do Mick Blue, Anikka Albrite, and Sara Luvv resemble the mental images you’ve had for Doc, Mrs. B, and Ronnie?

SK: Honestly? No. But that’s the case, I think, for any author. I’m sure J.K. Rowling’s visions of Harry, Ron and Hermione were different than the actors who ended up portraying those characters. But now they’re cemented in everyone’s mind. I had my own visions of Doc, Mrs. B and Ronnie—and I’m sure fans did, too. That’s part of what makes bringing a book to film so difficult, and one of the reasons everyone says, “Oh, the book is always better than the movie!” Our imaginations will always be more powerful than what can be projected on screen. Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the effort to bring books to life on film!

Flash: Now that they have portrayed them, will this affect your mental images?

SK: Yes. For me, Anikka has truly embodied the character of Mrs. B. And the way she and Mick relate to each other brought a great deal of love and tenderness to their roles that I don’t think we would have seen if they hadn’t already been lovers. Sara wasn’t the Ronnie I’d envisioned either, but she really threw herself into the role and became the character. A.J. Applegate, too—just a perfect, gorgeous Gretchen. I imagine, when I’m writing the next Baumgartner book, I’ll have visions of these amazing actors in my head. It’s hard not to, now that they’ve come to life on screen!

Babysitting The Baumgartners

Flash: Have you seen Babysitting the Baumgartners? If yes, what was your reaction the first time you saw the movie?

SK: You know that feeling you get the first time you hear your recorded voice? Seeing the movie was kind of like that. Those were my words being spoken, this was my creation… and yet, here it was, outside of myself. Part of me, but in some ways, I didn’t recognize it. I knew this was how people would see Babysitting the Baumgartners forever. It was both strange and exhilarating, to think that this movie now existed portraying my story, my characters.

Flash: How do you think the finished movie captured the feel of the book and the characters?

SK: Beautifully. It wasn’t exact—what ever is? But I think Kay stayed true to the feel of the book. And the cast was just superb. Everyone worked wonderfully together. The chemistry was amazing. In fact, I loved Ronnie and Gretchen together so much, I lamented the fact I hadn’t written more scenes for them! Guess what? The new Baumgartners book is going to have LOTS of Gretchen and Ronnie!

Flash: Do you have any aspirations to write an original screenplay for an adult movie?

SK: No. I’m not a screenwriter. I wouldn’t know the first thing about it. I enjoy the freedom of writing novels where I don’t have to think about stage direction.

Flash: Which of your books would you most like to be made into an adult movie and why?

SK: Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed. But Adam & Eve passed on that one, and I understand why. It’s taboo. But it’s a fan favorite and I think it would be so damned hot! But for mainstream, I think Bluebeard’s Wife or Unfolding would be great (more menage) and I’d love to see The Sybian Club come to life. Because who doesn’t love watching women ride Sybians? It’s probably the only thing Howard Stern and I have in common! *grin*

Flash: Has Adam & Eve expressed any interest in optioning any of your other books?

SK: Kay will be pitching them more Baumgartners soon! I think they’ve really been pleased with the sales of Babysitting the Baumgartners so far and would like to do more of them, if possible. The problem is, many of them just aren’t adaptable to adult films. There’s a lot of drama in the Baumgartner series, believe it or not, some taboo and dark subject matter. And there’s the issue of setting—Letters to the Baumgartners takes place in Venice, for example. I can do that in a novel—but making a film of it? That requires quite a budget! So the short answer is—yes. They have expressed an interest. Now we all just have to figure out how to make it happen!

Flash is an adult film reviewer and can be reached via e-mail at adtflash@gmail.com. Flash’s adult film reviews can be read at www.adultdvdtalk.com/reviewer/flash. Flash’s other interviews can be read at interviews.adultdvdtalk.com/category/interviews-by-flash.

Selena Kitt’s website can be seen at www.selenakitt.com and eXessica can be found at www.excessica.com. Kitt’s book Babysitting the Baumgartners is available here. Kay Brandt’s Adam & Eve movie Babysitting the Baumgartners can be purchased from Adam & Eve or from your favorite DVD retailer.

Babysitting the Baumgartners DVD cover

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