Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maxim Jakubowski releases 'Ekaterina and the Night'

Hopping by from the Coffin Hop? See Monday's giveaway post here.

I'm thrilled to have had the chance to interview renowned author and editor Maxim Jakubowski. If you're not familiar with his biography, he's of Russian-English and Polish descent, lived for many years in France and currently resides in London. As a preface to this interview, I have to tell my Maxim Jakubowksi story. A few years ago, I got an e-mail from him as he was editing The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9. I'd submitted a story, but Mr. Jakubowski wrote to me to suggest an alternative title of mine he'd seen published online ("Iced"). I wrote back...beginning my e-mail with "Dear Ms. Jakubowski." I still get embarrassed when I recall this, but at the time I didn't realize that little "e" at the end of French names was the difference between masculine and feminine. Because of the Harry Potter books, I knew the feminine French name Maxime, which caused me to assume that Mr. Jakubowski was a Ms. Jakubowski.

Apparently he didn't hold it against me, though, because my story was included in the anthology. My name is even on the back cover of the U.K. version, though not the U.S. version. Then, through the lovely and talented Lucy Felthouse, he agreed to do the following interview.

How did it feel to be voted the “second sexiest writer” in 2007?

- Most amusing. Although I'd preface this by mentioning this was actually the second sexiest crime writer. I was leading the poll for a whole week until on the final day a whole block of votes came in for the lovely Peter May and I was pipped at the post. Seems my wife and daughter voting for me just wasn't enough. Anyway, it was a fix: Peter is hairy white-haired and bearded Scot who has been to wear a kilt at literary events and his legs weren't even that good! And, amongst crime writers, surely ladies like the delectable Mo Hayder, the fragrant Alex Barclay and Pocket Venus Megan Abbott are prettier than us ugly blokes?

Before Ekaterina and the Night, which was your favorite of your novels to write?

-Its counterpart in the dyptich, The State of Montana, because it was written over just 2 weeks in a state of white heat and I never had time to wallow in despair at its slow progress or ask myself if I was doing the right thing.

Who was the inspiration for Ekaterina?

-Someone I once loved. But she is the only one who would now recognize herself in the character, as I take great care in muddying the waters and seeing that all my fiction becomes a hall of mirrors where reality and fiction are so intricately cooked together that not an unlikely future biographer would be able to separate the truth from the wonderful lies.

Have you ever been attracted to someone older?

-No. Which I reckon says a lot about me. The woman I married is two years older than me, but that's such a small difference I reckon it doesn't count. Does it? Or am I a toyboy?

Early in your career, you were known as a science fiction writer and editor. What caused you to shift your interest toward crime fiction and erotica?

-Even my SF had sexual elements, which was actually something of a hindrance. Everything I have always written has been sexual by nature or, at any rate, sensuous. So when I moved into the crime and thriller genre, it just made sense continuing in that vein (and the coexistence of sexual elements and crime go better together, anyway), and onwards to eliminating all genre tropes and just writing some erotica books pure and simple.

Does being multilingual make you a better writer?

-I don't believe so. Actually, it is something of a problem at times, as gallicisms infiltrate my prose without my noticing it. Thank God for copy editors! I also frequently translate from French, so that's an additional possibility of contamination. And can't say my Italian or Spanish have any sideways effect on matters, though.

What do you think it is about French-speaking men that makes you so sexy?

-The fact that some of us are not actually French! Seriously though, modesty forbids me from elaborating on this...

Which country do you see as being more sex-positive in its reading tastes, the U.K. or the U.S.?

-Superficially, one might say England. But... there is not just one America: readers on the Coasts or University towns are at opposite poles to the great unwashed Mid-West, and similarly in the UK, certain areas prove more prudish than others.


Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’

When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.

She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.

When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.

A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.

A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.

Ekaterina and the Night buy links:

Paperback (available in the US slightly later than the UK)

Amazon U.K.
Amazon U.S.
The Book Depository
W.H. Smith
Barnes and Noble


Amazon U.K.
Amazon U.S.
Erotica Romance E-Books
All Romance E-Books


MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc...) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.



Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome!)

Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.

PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.


Sheila Deeth said...

What a great interview. Maxim has a neat sense of humor which I really appreciated as an English American--okay, only one language, but it still feels like two at times.

Ann Rodela said...

This was a wonderful interview. I almost felt as if I could reach out and touch the writer. Very good interview. :)

Erin O'Riordan said...

Thank you, Ann and Sheila. I had a lot of fun writing these questions, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

If anyone would like to enter the contest, please remember to leave an e-mail address.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview!
The book also sounds riveting...a great prize.
Anyway, email address is:
- Kim
hopping from"Wrestling the Muse"