Monday, November 23, 2015

I’ve Been Lying to You All This Time

By Lisabet Sarai

For more than fifteen years, Lisabet Sarai has been a fixture in the erotica community. Elusive, exotic, highly educated and widely traveled, Lisabet has published stories in almost every erotic sub-genre, often set in foreign locales. She has edited collections of BDSM tales and vampire stories. She runs several blogs. Still, she’s difficult to pin down. She won’t say exactly where she lives. She avoids personal appearances. She won’t even do podcasts for fear someone will recognize her voice. When prodded to be more public, she cites the fear that the conservative government of her adopted country will link her real-world identity with her off-color literary persona and deport her. Despite her online presence, Lisabet is to some extent a woman of mystery.

It’s time for me to come clean. I’ve been lying to you all this time.

I’m actually a fifty three year old white male, a backhoe operator with a high school education from Queensland. I’m married with three kids. Aside from a couple of holidays in Bali, I’ve never been outside Australia.

But I do have a formidable imaginationas evidenced by my successful charade of more than a decade.

I created Lisabet Sarai in 1999 when I submitted Raw Silk to Black Lace. I’d read my first Black Lace book six months earlierPortia da Costa’s Gemini Heat, as I’ve explained in my many biosand decided to see if I could publish my own erotic novel. But Black Lace wouldn’t accept submissions from men. Pissed off (justifiably, I would argue), I set out to create a female alter-ego convincing enough to fool Virgin Publishing and the world.

I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

Lisabet’s first name was borrowed from our Queen, her last from the star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since my novel takes place in the Orient, I wanted something that was ethnically ambiguous. Originally, I created an outrageous life story for Lisabet. Her mother was a Lebanese belly dancer, her father a French diplomat. She grew up in a dozen countries around the world. She’d been the mistress of sheiks and millionaires. Eventually I scrapped all these particulars. I opted for vagueness instead.

When you’re building a falsehood, too many details can trip you up.

And then, some of the bits and pieces about Lisabet’s life are true. I spent my twenties sleeping with lots of women and hanging out in university libraries. I guess you could say I’m self-educated. When I first encountered BDSM (in Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy), I knew I’d discovered my true sexual self. I read everything I could find about power exchange. I started writing fantasies I could use to jerk off. By then I was dating the woman who’s now my wife. I proposed that we try some of the stuff I was reading about. She was not enthusiastic. Our few timid experiments were minor disasters.

I took refuge in composing more sexy stories. Then I discovered I could publish them.

Sometimes I think it’s better than the real thing. In fiction, there are no limits.

Some of you may find my confession hard to believe. How can a guy write so convincingly from a female point of view?

Have you read my stuff with male narrators? Just as convincing, I believe. A real author can put himself in any character’s head. Arousal is a universal experience. At least that’s my view.

Then there are the (very) few of you who can claim to have met “Lisabet Sarai” in person. I have to apologize for deceiving you. In the few situations where Lisabet needs a physical presence, I’ve called on my cousin Helen to take on that role. She’s a top manager for a multi-national corporation and flies all over the world, so it’s quite convenient to get her to impersonate me. As open-minded as I am, but a good deal more experienced, Helen loves my sexy stories. She’s one of the only people who knows the truth about Lisabet.

And what about my headshot? A girlfriend from my wild period. She agreed to pose for me, in return for a long session of cunnilingus. Needless to say, I was more than willing to oblige her.


Come on, you didn’t really think someone who looks like this would be a shy and retiring author, did you? A model, maybe, but an author?

This is the real me.


Wouldn’t sell many books with this mug, would I?

Anyway, I’m not in this for the cash. I make a good living in the construction business. I write for fun (as Lisabet always tells you), and to turn myself and my readers on. In eight or ten years, I’ll retire and turn my full attention to creating erotica and romance.

Meanwhile, nobody outside the limited audience of this blog will know the whole story about “Lisabet Sarai”.

And even if they read this post, they’ll never really be sure. Will they?

Truth is a slippery beast.


25 comments:

  1. We Queenslanders need to stick together, right Barry?

    Or do we...?

    Dahn dahn dahn DAAAAAAAAH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, mate. I was delighted to be able to recruit another Aussie for the Grip.

      Delete
  2. Oh, c'mon, Lisabet, don't you think maintaining a PO box address in western MA was a bit over the top? Do you have one in every state?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sacchi, that doesn't mean a thing. I understand erotica writers all over the world maintain PO boxes in western Mass., simply for the prestige such a hip address affords. (It's like those mail-order companies who are all apparently doing business from Beverly Hills, "suite" so-and-so.)

      Delete
    2. Clearly I managed to fool you, Sacchi!

      Helen visited Northampton several times in her travels. She suggested that western MA was an ideal location for erotic authors.

      Delete
  3. Oh no! What will I do with all my fantasies?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, Lis,

    So my next question is--why did you decide to out yourself here? I imagine the vast majority of readers don't look too deep into "who wrote this" and your secret will remain mostly that -- a secret. As long as the enjoyment of reading continues...

    Good job, and a great post. Cheers! Roger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thing is, Roger--you never know the truth about anyone these days.

      Anyway, I'm tired of living a lie. ;^)

      Delete
  5. Oh noes! World view shattered!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    But the real you is pretty cute. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that a proposition, Cam?

      You know, I'm very open-minded...

      Delete
  6. Love your books, don't care what gender you are just please keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your books, don't care what gender you are just please keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. I'll bet you think you really met me, Daddy.

      But are you sure?

      Delete
  9. I'm jealous of anybody who's really met you.

    Actually i wish i looked like that guy or you or whoever.
    Garce

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bloody hell, Bazza, I think you and your backhoe came around to dig the storm drain on the block the other week!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, please tell your cousin Helen I was very impressed that she was willing to come out to have a drink with me and Rachel Kramer Bussel in New York City, when pouring rain forced us to find the nearest bar, quite a few years ago (2003?). :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a great rep for me.

      Like Willsin says, people expect an erotica author to be a babe.

      Delete
    2. And yeah, that was 2003. She was in NYC for a conference.

      Told me she very much enjoyed meeting you, too.

      Delete
    3. Not this reader. I care how a book makes me feel, not what its author looks like.

      Delete
  12. Is this your April Fool's Day post? Just wondering, since I feel someone's hands pulling at my leg. ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'll just revise my fantasy to hope that I one day meet Helen! ;)

    ReplyDelete