Selina Shaw is an erotica writer, particularly of femdom, fantasy and queer stories. She hails from the rural North of England, and is still totally in love with the countryside and folklore she grew up with. Alongside writing, she loves other geeky stuff, like historic sites, comic books, role-playing games, and anything with witches in it. This is her first published story and she’s really excited to be part of a project with so many awesome contributors.
1) How long have you been writing?
Some of my earliest memories are of writing, and I was always coming up with romance stories as a kid (though much more wholesome than my stuff now!) I built worlds and drafted stories all through my teens and twenties, but it’s only this year that I’ve started sharing my work. I started erotica a couple of years ago, that’s when writing really clicked for me and I got my momentum going.
2) Did you have a muse for your anthology story?
I’ve been a myth nerd since childhood, but specifically I was reading the webcomic Lore Olympus and playing the Supergiant game Hades when I wrote this – they definitely got the Furies stuck in my head! Hades especially, it includes fights with them, and you can have a canon femdom romance with Megaera (Hell, yes!) My conceptions of the Underworld and the Furies are very different to those properties, but they definitely had an impact.
3) Have you ever experienced anything close to the erotica you write?
Gosh, if I experienced this story it would be WILD. I mostly write fantasy, so not super close in a literal sense. But my partner and I do practice femdom and I definitely draw on our play and conversations in my work. He’s an absolutely amazing support! He reads everything I put out, and listens endlessly to me unpicking plot holes and thinking aloud. It was him reading my SFW work and saying “I think you’d write a great sex scene” that got me started! Sometimes writing is a nice way for us to explore new ideas too. So, he and my stories are definitely intertwined, even though the events and characters don’t really resemble us.
4) Female domination or Female submission what’s your preference?
Domination for me! That said, I used to be actively nervous of female submission and that’s definitely changed as I’ve learned more about it. Both take really brave and self-possessed people to get right and stay safe. I’d always recommend switching and listening to “the other side” if you want to dom or sub.
5) Who are your writing influences?
Where to begin?? I really enjoy juicy, sensory description and making scenes fantastical, even if they’re set in the real world. I’ve learned so much about that from Joanne Harris, Angela Carter and Ray Bradbury. Carter was also a huge influence in developing a passion for writing imperfect, but powerful female characters, and using fantasy to wrangle with issues around gender and sexuality. These were the styles I was most trying to emulate in Erinyes.
Although this isn’t much present in Erinyes, I’m also a huge sucker for fun dialogue. I love getting two characters in a room and just having them banter or discuss, with lots of speedy comebacks, playfulness and tension. The works that really capture what I want from dialogue are The Princess Bride (William Goldman), The Reavers (George MacDonald Fraser), When Harry Met Sally (Nora Ephron), Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple (Neil Simon), Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder), anything by Agatha Christie or Oscar Wilde, and my ultimate femdom lovers, Beatrice and Benedick from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. All these are so funny and so joyful, and the dialogue lets you really get to know and fall for the characters; it’s deep and honest, as much as it’s silly or stylised on the surface. Not a comedy, but I’d also add The Golem and the Djinni (Helene Wecker). This novel is mostly two characters talking and it is one of the most tender and compelling things I’ve ever read; the dialogue is so real, and she conveys subtext brilliantly.
As far as erotica goes, I’m newer to it, but loving the journey of finding so many wonderful writers! I would say my biggest influences so far are Janine Ashbless, who is just great at supernatural and dark stories, and Samantha MacLeod, who does awesome stuff with Norse myth (especially in bringing out its often forgotten queerness). Ashbless’ interview on the Breaking the Glass Slipper podcast was also a huge motivator for me to start exploring this genre, (strong recommend – this podcast is all about women in genre fiction!) I’ve also absolutely fallen in love with romance and erotica comics! Vivid images really inform how I think about portraying sex, and I’ve seen so many queer creators really celebrating their identities, which is beautiful. Special love to Keekal, Kataraqui, Sarah Millman, Aruudlay, C. Bedford, Jade Sarson and Tab Kimpton.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to fanfic! Fanfic writers are wildly underappreciated. I’ve read some great stuff on AO3 and writing in those communities has significantly improved my work.
6) Will you be filling any stockings with our anthology this festive season?
Sadly, my smut persona is super, tip-top secret! But my partner will definitely be unwrapping one, and I’ll be plugging it like crazy on social media!
7) Are there any links you’d like to share?
You can find me on Twitter @ShawberryTart. My stories tend to go on Literotica, currently posting a femdom vampire novella, The House of Flame Lilies, chapter by chapter: https://www.literotica.com/stories/memberpage.php?uid=5441978&page=submissions