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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, February 4, 2013 10:43 am
Hostile Questions: Cara McKenna
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

HOSTILE LOGOI don’t know about you, but when I’m in the mood to see perspiring torsos, seductively blowing manes of hair, and high-riding skirts, I head right on over to the website of Cara McKenna and gawk at the book jackets and synopses, which tease me with everything from the erotic promise of an “unheated subway station” (Thank You for Riding), “a sexy, hot-blooded, infuriating sculptor” (The Reluctant Nude), and “an unlikely mix of romance, lust and hate-sex, plus a ton of way crazier crap that the author delights in not preparing you for” (Skin Game).

I may be a bad boy, Ms. McKenna, but I have a heart of gold. Let’s let our inhibitions go–just this once!–and see what happens.

One bad influence to another.

 It’s one bad influence after another around here.

Just who do you think you are?

I’m a sort of medium-aged, medium-sized, medium-educated woman from New England. I write books with a greater-than-medium amount of boinking in them. I also enjoy running, baking, and admiring the sphericality of a well-rounded bird.

Where do you get off?

Oh, the usual sorts of places. Not that it’s any of your business.

What’s the big idea?

Is this where I plug a book? I have one out in April with Penguin, called After Hours. It’s an erotic romance set partially on a locked psychiatric ward. Sexy, right? But I promise neither protagonist is a patient. It’s dirty—not unethical. It does not feature any billionaires or BDSM props, but certain parties do get rug burn, plus it’s got lots of cuss words and emotion and private parts interacting dynamically with other private parts.

What is your problem, man?

Um . . . I don’t really have any, at the moment. Too many deadlines, I guess, but that’s a lovely problem to have, as a working writer, and if I whined about it I’d feel compelled to punch myself in my own face. I also have more generalized issues with centipedes, reverse triangle pose, sudden loud noises, feelings of inadequacy regarding my housekeeping abilities, trapdoor spiders, fancy French disorders of the foot, weeds touching me when I go lake-swimming, the mouth-feel of uncooked onions, plus an inability to make fudge that doesn’t turn out hard and chalky. Recipes welcome, as long as they do not employ the use of marshmallow fluff, because that is cheating.

Haven’t you done enough?

Jeez, I hope not. Not doing stuff is probably my second-least favorite thing to do. Right behind driving to Logan Airport.

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