Interviews With People came from my 2013 New Years Resolution to ‘get to know everyone well’ which, for some reason, seems a tad ambitious to some people. There was even one woman who turned away and whispered impossible under her breath.
That won’t stop me from trying though. I want to know everyone. That desire won’t die.
If you’d like to be an RD Interviewee 2013 read the original Interviews With People post and follow the directions.
This week I got to know about Ronnie F Strong, his erotic fiction and his passion and concern for the planet ~ RD.
Getting To Know Ronnie F Strong
My name is Ronnie F Strong. The image I provided below is a picture that I have used to represent myself as for the moment I need to protect my anonymity.
Deciding to publish erotica while still conducting a more conventional life has meant leading a double life, which is quite exhilarating and exhausting.
I really thought I would have sold more than 500 copies of my erotic stories by now, but it hasn’t happened. I also thought I would have published in different genres by now but finding the time to do everything I want to do is quite impossible.
Climate change and the genocide and mass extinctions that will accompany it make me despair. I cannot believe that wilful ignorance is our preferred posture so we can pretend that our planet isn’t going through human-caused changes that will make most of our only home uninhabitable within about two-hundred years.
I love THAT person so much because she gives herself to me in every way that she can without surrendering her own self.
When I was recently awarded a PhD for my historical research and writing I felt like all the pain and potential of my long ago youth had somehow been vindicated.
The experience of love lost and love destroyed has deeply affected me at different points in my past, and I only wish that I could be more present in the present.
Getting To Know Ronnie F Strong Well
RD:You’re a very good writer. I’ve read some of your stories and you write erotica well. If I could write erotica well I would use my real name and tell people what I did, at work and at parties. What scares you most about ‘coming out’ as a writer of erotic fiction? Does the secrecy add something significant and positive to your life?
Ronnie F Strong: Thank you. I do tell people what I write at parties, and I have told a few close colleagues at work. What scares me about telling people more widely is that I will become stereotyped as a writer in a particular genre, erotica, closing the door on my other writing interests. I plan on writing and publishing using other names: my birth name for non-fiction, and another name for sci-fi. Basically it is about branding, but there is another reason too.
I work for a statutory body, and have public servant limitations on my personal and professional conduct. I cannot bring ‘disrepute’ to my role, or my employer. I could probably negotiate my way through these issues, but it is simpler to keep it private. I must say that I also like the thrill of doing something quite different to my official paid work. And it sure beats being a lion tamer.
RD: You’ve talked about having other publishing goals and you’re clearly disappointed that you don’t have the time to focus on them. What is it about your erotic fiction goals that make you prioritise them ahead of all the others?
Ronnie F Strong: When I was studying writing I got an invite to hear some authors talking about their erotic writing at a meeting of Pleasure Salon Melbourne (now Pleasure Forum Australia). After listening to them talk about their craft I thought I can do that, and wrote my first erotic novel The Laundromat, over the next eight months. My next story, Dolphin Heat, was directly inspired by a vivid dream, and for me it was an exercise in creating that mood on the page. I am now writing a third erotic story which is my attempt to write something a little more romantic. This third story was commissioned by my wife, who has since given up on trying to influence its content.
These three projects have pretty much prevented me from writing anything else over the last eighteen months or so, apart from a very short sci-fi story and an article on climate change. It is interesting to consider why I keep writing erotica rather than produce something more mainstream. I guess I like writing erotica. It is a challenge to write a sex scene, or describe an orgasm, without it sounding awfully clichéd and pedestrian; especially when you are writing repeatedly about such wonderful events.
I remember that one of my original motivations was to write porn that wasn’t phallocentric and solely aimed at pleasing men. This is one reason that I write in the first person as a woman; I like the challenge, exploration and uncertainty involved in doing this.
RD: How do you justify spending so much time on your personal goals when you could be using your obvious skill as a writer to promote climate change awareness and to influence others to change their relationship to the planet?
Ronnie F Strong: I am trained as a scientist and I am also trained as a communicator and an advocate so I do feel some responsibility towards trying to influence and change our current trajectory. I also feel increasingly pessimistic, although in some ways that is only further motivation to ameliorate some of the large-scale climate change misery heading our way. So far I have focussed on direct local action, through using every possible avenue in my own energy consumption, and on global action via contributions to Greenpeace. I could do more, and so I should.
RD: How has the pain from your past affected your relationship with your current partner? What would you most like to apologise for?
Ronnie F Strong: I have always had high expectations for myself, mixed with a lot of self-doubt, and sometimes self-sabotage. I was in a very unhappy long-term relationship with two kids when I met my wife. I have found that I still react in the present moment to old hurts, fears and expectations. This has happened periodically, on about an annual time scale, when I forget what it is that I have and what it is that I want. This year I managed to avoid falling into this old cyclical trap and I am grateful for that. I am sorry for sometimes losing sight of the abundant love and closeness that has been gifted to me over the last fourteen years.
RD: When you look back on your life from your current vantage point what do you celebrate most?
Ronnie F Strong: I celebrate achievements of mine, for which I had to rely on inner conviction and the loving support or kindness of others: finding and sustaining love; raising wonderful children; long-haul advocacy on behalf of a vulnerable group; educating myself and making an original contribution to knowledge; good friendships; and balancing pursuing my interests with bread-winning. The one thing I would celebrate most is my marriage to my rather amazing and beautiful wife. Our marriage has been the basis for almost everything else good in my life.
RD: Now imagine you’re lucky enough to live to a very old age and you have the time to reflect on your life just before you die. Will your answer to the previous question change?
Ronnie F Strong: I don’t think my answer will change. I once read that no one on their death bed wishes they spent more time at the office. I have used that insight to re-evaluate what I want from my life now that I am in my very late youth, or middle age as others insist on calling it. I think I have been lucky to have young children in my life over the last twenty-five years. They have forced me to be a little less selfish, which is a major effort in my case. I haven’t travelled much yet, and I may wish that I saw some more of the world while it was still there.
Follow Ronnie F Strong on Facebook
Ronnie F Strong’s Erotic Novel – The Laundromat
Buy erotic story Dolphin Heat
If you’d like to be an RD Interviewee for 2013 read this post and follow the directions.