Several months ago I found myself being interviewed on Reddit by u/Jaeger. Here is a complete transcript of that interview. Special thanks to u/Jaeger for his kindness towards me:
Jaeger: So firstly on your blog, you’ve identified yourself, aren’t you worried about people knowing who you are and possible repercussions from other LDS and/or church leadership over your erotica?
Meredith: Although my real first name is Meredith, I do use a pen name and take all reasonable steps to protect my identity. That being said, the main focus of my blog is to foster a sex-positive environment. Too much of the LDS culture is sex-toxic. I’m not even sure that’s a word, but it is now. 😉 I went through many painful years, and I write about all of them on my blog until I came to a sexual enlightenment of sorts. It is at odds with church teachings. That’s painful to me. Put that sex-positive environment is so crucial to everyone’s mental and physical and spiritual well being.
Jaeger: Where would you say yourself and husband are on the faith spectrum? Still strong believers or questioning, etc?
Meredith: That’s a great question. No. My husband and I have had the same experiences but I’d describe him as a faith pessimist and myself as an optimist. I hope I don’t make him mad with this, but he sees where we differ on our stances with sex and the church’s stance on sex and he sees that as entirely exclusive. That having a different opinion makes him apostate or that the church is wrong and therefore false. I see it as the church is an imperfect organization and it lags behind and hopefully, the asynchronous elements will someday align. He questions, I believe for the most part.
Jaeger: Great answer!
Now that BYU has started to offer caffeinated cola drinks, will you be updating your blog to allow readers the chance to buy you caffeinated cola?
But more seriously, you have written about a number of erotic experiences on your mission, they do come across as clearly first-person real-life experiences – different to your fiction, but are they true anecdotes, a mix of reality/fiction, or pure fiction? If it breaks the illusion, feel free to not comment…
Meredith: Ha ha! Yes, that’s a good joke. Whenever I see caffeine-free diet coke I’m reminded of Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five when he describes diet soda as “boldly proclaiming that it contains zero nutritional value”. I’m actually a sucker for full powered Mountain Dew. 😉
I wrote about the reality of my writing in my latest post. It’s called creative non-fiction. It’s a thing. Those experiences did happen to me. So I do my best to tell those true stories well. I also protect my identity and the identity of others by obscuring revealing details. But the experience and more importantly the feeling behind it is real. I do write pure fiction, but even in those stories, even in my horror story, there are elements of truth. A writer creates their tapestries with pieces of stolen truth. That’s a good quote. I’m writing that one down somewhere.
Jaeger: Your voyeuristic experience of the couple’s blowjob on the train while you feigned sleep was particularly captivating. I guess at the time you didn’t write home about it but was it experiences like that that helped nudge you into writing erotica?
Meredith: I’ve always been an avid writer. I’ve tried many different genres. My husband used to travel a lot for work and was gone for a week or two at a time. I’d write him spicy emails to ease the distance. I found I had a passing talent for it.
Jaeger: Cool. From what I can tell you’ve only been publishing fairly recently, has it been received well? and for something taboo like this, how the heck do you get this out there (marketing) to LDS community?
Meredith: So far so good. Unfortunately, I have been harassed here and there. Nothing I can’t handle.
As far as reception goes, I get to see the backend number side of things. I have roughly 100% more readers than followers. That means people read what I write and come back regularly. But they don’t subscribe. Why? They don’t want to be tracked to such a site. So that shows there is a real taboo that people fight with themselves. Everyone is on their own path, but living honestly with yourself sexually is important. I suppose in many ways it’s not much different than what I do with the pen name.
As far as marketing goes, it’s a real niche market. Word of mouth is how it works.
Jaeger: Now, I see that you’re tantalizing with some possible stories about you and Esther, your former missionary companion. Do you think that might be a bridge too far for some TBMs who might otherwise find your hetero/straight erotica permissible?
Meredith: I don’t care about offending uptight people 😉 They’re not my target audience as it were. Besides, what people may say they disapprove of in public they crave for in the privacy of their own mind. My numbers back that up actually.
Jaeger: You mentioned in an earlier comment that the post on the exmormon sub seemed to “ruffled feathers a little bit. It really opened my eyes a lot.” Why was this? What was surprising about the comments?
Meredith: Well, my initial reaction was surprise that so many people were passing condescending judgment on the blog without checking it out. They mocked without looking. But then, of course, I realized how oxymoronic Mormon erotica must sound and learned a lot from their preconceptions. One commenter put it best that it’s erotica in a Mormon setting, not erotica you’d read in relief society. And there were some really hilarious spoofs that just made my day.
People love to be puritanical about things. It’s an easy reaction. A great definition of a puritanical spirit is “Someone somewhere is enjoying themselves. And it must be stopped.” I think that describes stuck up members of the church to a T. But I’ve noticed that people who’ve transitioned from the church are equally puritanical but more along the lines of “Someone somewhere is not following their own rules. And I must point it out loudly.” So seeing people pass judgment like that was obnoxious. But I understand where they’re coming from.
This interview was from several months ago