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RHINO INTERVIEW

With his compelling plots and true to life characterizations, Rhino has been a top-ten rated author for many years. Still ranked in the top fifteen, he is also one of ES's most loyal, and long-standing contributors. "I was publishing at ES on the old site - had five or six stories over there. When Art transitioned the site after the turn of the century, we all had to reload our stories. I began the process of reloading the stories in 2002 and have published several new ones since. Not all of the stories published on the old site have transitioned, however - for a variety of reasons."

Q: You specialize in novel length tales - a five parter, a ten parter... and others that sare just as impressive. What and when was the first story you published here?

The first story published on the new site was the serial, "In Dreams." It had been previously published on the old site, and I just brought it over, pretty much intact. Later, after feedback, and because of my disenchantment with the serial aspect of publishing the story, I updated it with some suggested revisions, and republished it as 'In Dreams - Reprise.' That version has had a better, if somewhat limited response. I particularly like the story because it's based on a dream I actually had while in college. Only the dream took place in real life. Everything else in the story is the fantasy I derived from the dream experience. To add to the fictional aspect of the story, the dream was enjoyed by the main female character.

Q. How many stories have you published since then?

Six more since 2002, and I have one more in the final stages right now. Additionally I have four more actually started and another fifteen or so in an 'idea file.'

Q. What was your most recent one?

The most recent one already published is "A Chance Encounter." This one was unusual for me. I normally do not like to write in the first person. I find that to be too limiting. I like to explore a wide variety of characters, so most of my stories are about the character and are told from a third person perspective - that of the author, storyteller, or observer. "A Chance Encounter," however just begged to be told first person, so I overcame my inhibitions and let the character tell the story. I observe that many of the first person stories on the site tend to be self-promoting, or self-effacing to the point of humiliation. While I understand each approach, I find it much more entertaining to try and present characters in a somewhat realistic setting with flaws and strengths, and let the story and events carry them to a conclusion. I find it's more difficult to do that when telling the story from a first person perspective. But "A Chance Encounter" has been well received by those who've taken the time to enjoy it.

Q. Now, is there anything you'd like to tell us about yourself?

There's a lot that I would like to tell - emphasis on like - but we probably need to separate reality from fantasy here. I'd like to tell you that I'm a self-made multimillionaire, with a fancy yacht, a fleet of sports cars and luxury vehicles, and a huge mansion filled with loyal fans and loving women. You'd also need to know that I'm ruggedly handsome, fiercely athletic (able to run both sprints and great distances in near world-record times), highly intelligent (business captains and world leaders call me regularly for advice, then never follow it), quick witted, and a sparkling conversationalist. The most interesting man in the world steps aside when I come near him, bowing and acknowledging that I'm his role model and hero. Dos Equis is insufficient for me, Tres Equis is required. That is the reason I write erotica, for Tres Equis. Stay sexy, my friends.

In my fantasy world, I'm a pretty regular person, living a fairly normal life. Not much exciting goes on with me outside of my involvement with my kids. I was born in April, 1972 in Houston, Texas and have lived in the area all my life. Of course that means that I turn forty in the middle of the American political primary season next year. My wife and I married in 1994 and we have four children, two girls and two boys. Our daughters are bookends around the boys, the oldest will be sixteen going on thirty this summer, and our baby just turned seven in December. The boys are ten and 'almost thirteen' - his assessment. We live in modest housing in a suburb north of Houston and are involved in a variety of activities revolving mostly around the kids.

Q. How and when did you begin writing erotic stories?

In high school, I played around writing stories, mostly about sports, and heroes, and stuff. Nothing really exceptional, but I liked letting events play out in my mind and putting those fictional accounts down on paper. In the spring of my sophomore year in high school - I was fifteen at the time - I had a class with a girl who was drop-dead gorgeous, and a member of the school's spirit squad. Not a cheerleader, but the ones who line up wearing short skirts and kick their legs high. I was fascinated with her and she barely knew I existed. I began to fantasize about what it would be like to get to know her, to date, her and to do things that fifteen-year olds are not supposed to do. So, I began writing those fantasy scenes and episodes in a spiral ring notebook.

I kept it to myself, too ashamed to let such a personal fantasy be known, but that summer, two friends of mine, a boy and a girl, persuaded me to let them read it. They both liked it, and the girl wanted to go out with me. Nothing ever came of that relationship, because reality seldom lives up to fantasy, but their enthusiasm was an encouragement to me. Shortly after that, I began using the computer to record my writing on floppy disk - a little tricky when my parents were home, but otherwise a great way to practice writing. Those early efforts were elementary and lacked depth, but they were a start. In college I had my own computer and could stay up all hours of the night studying and sometimes writing. And that's pretty much how I got started.

Q. Have you published anywhere other than ES.com?

Nope. I've looked around at other sites and find them to be inferior. I've gone elsewhere to read stories and with very few exceptions have found the quality of writing vastly superior on ES. I did check out the site where Jake Marlow published some of his stories and found him to be the exception. Of course I found some of his stories that used to be on ES and wondered why he moved them away. They were quite good, and I had missed reading them. I'm very contented to have my work on ES.

Q. What is it about writing erotica that you most enjoy?

I like letting the fantasy play out in my mind. But developing the characters and bringing them alive is the most enjoyable aspect to the writing adventure. Outside of erotica, I enjoy writing to convey a message or an idea. Within erotica, I love the fantasy world and how the characters live in it.

Q: What is your favorite category to write in, and why?

I don't exactly write 'in a category.' My muse brings a story idea to mind, and I run with it. I'll develop a tentative plan - a direction to pursue, but the characters end up taking over, and I just follow where they take me. After the story is fleshed out, edited, modified, and polished, I try and figure out which category it would best fit and be read. Most of the time the stories will work in several categories, so it's difficult to classify them. When that happens, I try and find the one category that more people are reading and stick the story there. I really don't like to categorize the stories I've written, because I think each narrative is unique. Since mine are longer than the average story on the site, I think there should be a special category for "Novels" or "Book Length" tales and all the multi-part stories should be grouped there or maybe in a category of their own.

Q. How much of yourself do you include in your stories?

All of my fantasies go into the stories, but the characters take on a life of their own. I'm not much like any of the characters in total, but there are elements of my way of thinking in the stories. I also try and get into the character's heads and consider what they might do in the various situations. When I observe people behavior in real life, I wonder how their actions might be reflected in the way they think. Sometimes I can translate that into part of a story, but ultimately, it's my interpretation about what happened and what might happen from there, not the real life incident.

Q. Is there anything that happens in your stories that you would really like to try in "real life", but haven't yet been able to?

Oh, there are a lot of things I would like to try - emphasis on 'like' - but reality sets in and keeps me sensible. Real life seldom turns out like the fantasy ideas in a story. When you're crafting a tale, you are able to control the flow and the direction of events and outcomes. In real life, different people, with different backgrounds, different ideas and different belief systems tend to muddle the dream world with the paint brush of reality. Then when you have kids, a lot of things that you would like to do - emphasis on like - fall by the wayside because you sure as heck don't want your kids to do those things.

My oldest daughter is approaching sixteen and that eventuality has me rethinking my position on the Second Amendment of the US Constitution - the right to keep and bear arms. Up until now, I've been pretty ambivalent about the issue, but I've become convinced that the framers of the Constitution each had a teen-aged daughter and they thought it would be a good idea to allow fathers to own and use guns.

Q. Does your partner or any of your friends know that you write? What do they think?

My wife and all our friends have no idea. In my real life, I'm a superhero, leaping buildings in a single bound, moving faster than speeding bullets, correcting wrongs that are discovered in messages sent to the bat-cave, and driving flashy sporty cars around. That's what everybody sees when they think of me. They have no idea that I'm really a mild-mannered reporter hiding out in a secret mansion with a computer creating fantasies and appealing to prurient interests around the globe, including my own.

Q. What, if any, difficulties do you face when writing - erotic writing difficulties and general writing difficulties? And how do you overcome them?

Good question. For me time is the enemy of production. I have a list of about twenty or so ideas or situations I'd love to write about, but carving out the time to bring them into production is hard. I think of writing - erotic and general writing - as a craft. I have started stories that seemed like a great idea when they played in my mind, but when they appeared on the computer screen, they just didn't resonate. I have a dozen or so files started, with only a couple of pages and nowhere to go. So I let them sit and stew until the muse brings them to life - if ever she does.

Conquering procrastination happens when the story line springs to life and the characters assert themselves. Then it becomes a challenge to keep the story moving through production while keeping up with school plays, soccer games, little league baseball, and paying bills.

Q. How about in more general terms - how do you feel about the "outside world's" perception of erotic writing?

I can't speak for the outside world in general. There are too many philosophies and distractions. I know that humans are very much sexual creatures, and that there is always an interest in that aspect of life. But sex has a sordid side as well. We tend to glamorize it in these stories, but in real life acting on some of the impulses we describe will produce vastly different results than we fantasize. But the "outside world's" preoccupation with sexual matters cannot be overlooked. Evidence of that obsession abounds in advertising, in the entertainment industry, in fashion, and in the media. Unfortunately, there's also the consequence of violent crimes of a sexual nature that arise out of society's general fixation on things sexual and the inability of a few to control their impulses. In summary, I would say that society in general has a fascination with erotica, but concerns over the darker side of the force keeps them from being more forthright about their passion.

Q. One thing that I love about ES is that you very quickly build up a community of fans, who enjoy writing to and hearing from their favorite authors. Do you have any favorite topics that have surfaced in these "conversations"?

I confess, while this is something I would like to pursue, my other life activities command more of my time. That reality prevents me from being a consistent participant. I've read forum discussions from time to time, but just don't stay up on them. I eavesdrop in the conversations, but, sadly, my contribution has been minimal. I'd like to do more, because the discussions spark ideas and questions, and sometimes provoke unspoken responses. Frankly, I'm frustrated with that, but have been unable to do much to ease the disappointment.

Q. How do you feel when you receive negative comments or very low votes from readers?

I don't want this to be misunderstood. There is a natural annoyance that asserts itself whenever a low vote is cast - especially when the reader doesn't explain or offer any rationale for their opinion. Feedback is how authors hone their craft - knowing what the reader wants, likes, and appreciates is helpful. At the same time, as an adult, I realize that an author cannot write to please everyone all of the time. Just Plain Bob mentioned in one of his non-story submissions, or maybe it was his interview, that he wrote for his own pleasure. I like that viewpoint. I write what I enjoy and what I like to read. When I've completed the story and re-read it, if I still like it, I publish it. If I don't like it, it stays in a computer file until it can be polished, if ever. If someone else doesn't like a particular story of mine that I still like, well, they are entitled to their opinion, and I cannot control their thoughts or viewpoints. So, I'm okay with their estimation, because I'm satisfied that I did the best I could with the storyline. If there's something that I would change, I can change it because it's my story. Likewise, if I don't want to change it because I'm satisfied with it the way it is, it becomes the reader's problem that they misunderstand what being communicated. And, at the same time, it becomes my problem to figure out how to communicate the storyline in an understandable way.

Q. What kind of stories would you never write?

I'm not a big fan of horror, bondage, extreme fetishes, physical abuse, and young people exploitation. When I write, I mostly focus on the characters and try to get inside their minds. If something there is too dark, I discard the character or change the outlook. In my fantasy world, people may disagree, but they still can get along without being too disagreeable. I notice that some of the other authors will occasionally address violent attitudes. I understand that these attitudes exist and am often entertained by their stories. And I admit that there are some situations where I'd like to knock some sense into someone ... or a character, but really, what does violence produce? Usually more violence, anger, and fear. We all have to deal with our baser instincts, but it's not a general theme I would pursue at length in my stories. On the other hand, some of my attitudes have changed as I've grown older and am dealing with teens in the family and outside. See my earlier comments on the Second Amendment.

Q. And do you read, and respond to, other writers on the site? Who are your favorites?

This is my favorite question, and like many others who have responded, I find it difficult to narrow this down to a few. There are so many talented writers who share on this site that it's impossible to mention everyone that I like. I'm going to attempt it, but if you are one of my favorites and I fail to mention you, please forgive me. I like your work. I just can't think of everyone in such a short time.

Before I get too far in, I must admit that Naughty Miranda is one of my favorites. You - uh, she writes really well. "The Wrong Reunion" resonated with me. Besides, I love your picture - uh, her picture. You 'er - she is really cute ... sorta reminds me of my wife. Are you sure we're not married? Did I suck up enough?

Q. A little too much, perhaps. Go ahead and tell us your favorites.

Let me classify my favorites into early, middle, and recent. Early favorites include bobfr - I love his skill at storytelling, and he tackles topics that titillate me. His stories are long, like mine, so I have an appreciation for the effort it takes. It was a while between stories, but he finally added one in 2010. "Home Business" and "Boys Town" are my two favorites. KK has three of my all-time favorite stories, "The Roundup," "Wendy," and "Wendy's Story." He's a great writer and his stories hang together extremely well. Jack Handee is another good one. His "Career Limiting Moves" is one of the best crafted stories on the site. I also like Jake Marlow, but he removed two of his best stories, "A Friendly Wager," and its sequel. Then there's Sally and Jennifer O'Donnell. I would like both of them even if they couldn't write. But they write so extremely well and their stories are a real turn-on. Finally, Gary Johns is a gifted story teller from the early days. His tales pass the test of time. I also remember Amanda, and miss her so.

In the middle era, I like Just Plain Bob. He is so prolific with his stories, and though he seems to repeat a theme a lot, he does it with panache, and is never boring. My favorite of his is a two-part story, "One Man's Fantasy." He's written so many good ones, he should have his own category. I also like Lisa Peacock a lot. Oh, and she can write compelling stories, too. "The Wife Swap" inspired and enchanted me. Lady Grey is in a class by herself, and she has so many wonderful stories. Raingirl's "Prom Night Practice" is a classic in pure erotica, and "The Boy from Next Door" is another excellent piece, but she has many more choice tales to tell. DarthGator writes really well. "After All, We're Family!" is my favorite. It's not a typical story, but then all of his stories have a unique quality about them. Of course Jillbaby is far and away the most popular author on the site. Her pictures reveal her to be a wet dream, and her stories are well crafted and erotic beyond belief. After reading her stories, I always have to catch up with my wife and help get her in an amorous mood, or else relieve myself. Either way, Jillbaby is hot both visually and verbally.

More recent favorites include, Alden Bradley. He's been around for a while, but for some reason, I only recently discovered him. I really like his work, especially his characterizations. He tells his story through the characters, which is also what I try to do. Teddibear is another fairly recent favorite. She only has one story on the site, but it's a real winner, "Understanding Men." I wish she would write some more. She shows a real talent for storytelling. Anoyed is a recent author who successfully spins a long yarn. And Dancing Doll has just burst onto the scene with a picture to lust after, and stories to match. And I love LoveAshli, her beautiful picture, her lovely voice, and her stories. KathHal win my vote for the best picture on the site although Jillbaby has more great variety.

So, there you have about twenty-two or so favorites. There are others, and there are individually great stories. These skilled weavers of erotica are what make this the best erotic story site on the planet.

Q. Do you remember the first pornography you ever saw?

Oh, yes. It's indelibly imprinted in my memory. The picture is so vivid I can still see it in detail today. I was in Junior High - far too young for this sort of thing - after school and after basketball practice I was walking by the main school building with my friend. We saw some of the janitorial staff that we knew and regularly talked to. They were looking at a picture and making all sorts of noises. We were curious and asked to see. They didn't want to show us, but how do you say 'no' to a couple of kids? It was a black and white photo of a male torso with a kneeling, dark-haired woman attached to his member at her mouth. She had her left leg extended back so her dark bush was clearly visible. Her body was shifted so both firm tits were visible to the camera, and thus to us. Her right hand was holding the object in place. I was astonished. I didn't know anything like that happened and wanted to ask what was going on, but managed to keep my mouth shut, well except for a little drool.

Not that it made an impression, or anything. It's a reminder to me today of the extreme power of pornography. Any further questions?

Q. What's the kinkiest thing you have ever done?

The missionary position during sex. Actually, that reminds me of a story about a college lecture on sexuality. The professor stated that there were exactly 102 positions where the sex act could be accomplished. From out of the back of the lecture hall, a voice yelled out "106". The professor glared in the direction of the interruption and repeated, "102". Annoyed, the professor restarted, saying there were exactly 102 positions, starting with the missionary position with the male on top of the female. "107" came the response from the back. Okay, I guess you had to be there.

Probably the kinkiest thing I've ever done was on a vacation trip my wife and I took to Colorado. The kids were on an outing with some other family members, so we drove through the mountains enjoying the magnificent scenery together. There was traffic around, but not a whole lot. We pulled over at a wide spot in the road and scrambled up the side of the mountain about fifty feet or so and found a sheltered location behind some bushes and trees overlooking the road. We stripped down and enjoyed a quickie while the roar of traffic below us continued unabated. After about ten or twelve minutes (fifty in my fantasy world) in the trees we dressed and returned to our vehicle and continued our tour, only with silly grins on our faces.

Like I say, pretty normal. Doesn't everybody do that? Oh, wait, I forgot, the most interesting man in the world steps aside when I ....

Q. Do you have any fantasies that you would like to fulfill?

We don't have enough time or space to cover all that I would like - emphasis on like - to try. Just read my stories. They are filled with things I'd like to do. But the truth is that, if I were able to act on any of those fantasy scenes, the reality would not match the dream in detail or aftermath. Oh, it might bring a temporary rush, but ultimately you have to deal with relationships and with people. That complicates the fantasy.

Q. What is a major turn on for you during sex?

Everything about it is a turn-on for me, starting with innuendo, then teasing, then foreplay, which leads to passion, innovation, exciting touching, words of endearment, demands, fulfillment, climax, orgasms (several), the responsiveness of my partner, and tender reflection after sharing a wonderful experience. I like all aspects of sexual stimulation, especially oral - mutual oral play. My wife and I have a varied, exciting, and exclusive relationship. We simply enjoy each other and are open to trying anything together. We just discovered 108.

Q. How about a major turn off?

How can anything involving sex between two committed lovers be a turn-off? Oh, I understand bad breath, but if I even notice, I just bury my head in the pillow next to her and keep on focus. Or we shift positions. Bad breath is not an issue if you're addressing genitalia with your mouth. Some object to poor personal hygiene. Heck, that's what showers are for. And foreplay in a shower is among the most fun and erotic experiences I have known. If you're turned off during sex, you need to see a shrink, or a sex therapist, or play baseball or something. You're just not focused on what's important.

Q: How do you feel about same sex relationships, both personally and as a writer?

'Relationships' is the key word here. All humans have relationships with other humans. A relationship does not necessarily imply or involve sex. In fact, most relationships do not involve sex other than an occasional flirtation or innuendo. Real relationships are built on mutual interests, compatibility, and trust. It is not my intention to offend, because I believe that everyone has the right to make their own choices. Everyone also needs to understand that choices have consequences. I have many male friends who I feel very close to and would share most anything with. However, I have no desire to mate with them or conduct any type of physical sexual activity. Some of my stories include F-F relationships, but I recognize that the F-F action in my stories is of more prurient interest as a visual encounter from a male perspective. I'm not trying to justify a double standard here. What two consenting adults do is between them, and as long as they do not attempt to involve a non-consenting adult or impose their behavior on others, it's not an issue for me. The consequence, however, of regularly practicing same-sex physically is a shorter life-span. The data that this is true is overwhelming. As a writer, I try to deal with feelings first, then move to the physical. It is unlikely that I will ever write about an M-M sexual encounter. It is extremely unlikely that I will ever personally participate in M-M sexual activity. And it's a choice, not a genetic accident. If evolution were true and involved in the process, the whole phenomenon would evaporate in one generation, because that kind of sexual activity cannot produce offspring and will never be able to do so without some type of intelligent intervention. The only way this practice will continue is through active recruitment, and that is what is so insidious about the movement. It preys on the weak and susceptible, and pursues militant intimidation to cower the normal.

Q. Do you explore these feelings, positive and negative in your stories?

Feelings about same-sex involvement? Not too much so far, but a new story I'm working on has some elements of F-F contact and I do explore the different characters' reactions to the event. Wait, I may have included some F-F in the Johnny and Natalie series. I just don't remember, but I was not as sensitive to the political ramifications of the movement back then. More generically, I always try to involve the character in expressing feelings, both positive and negative. I try and pursue realism among and between the characters - at least realism in thought (if fantasy in action).

Q. How long does it take for you to write a story? Could you talk us through the process?

My stories are long and they tend to tell themselves. I just go along for the ride and record the events and conversations as they play out. This usually means that a story takes a lot of time to develop. Sometimes I reach a point where I wonder what to do next, where to go. When that happens, I usually set the story aside and wait until it calls me back to finish. Occasionally I back up a little bit and let the tale take me down a different path, but often, the next event just happens, and I record it. This is particularly true of my upcoming release, "Spontaneous Combustion." It started out as a fairly short story (for me anyway), but I never could quite bring it to a conclusion. Some intervening events in real life caused me to set it aside for more than a year. When it finally called me back, there was a lot more to tell. Now, when it's published, it will be the longest story on ES - a full length novel. I'm in the story wrap-up right now. I have the ending outlined and am rapidly moving toward that conclusion. Then I'll review and edit the manuscript, trying to polish it and make sure it's presentable and that it hangs together well from start to finish. Then I'll be ready to publish it.

Q. What do you think is the best story you have published here?

Hard question. All these stories are like my children. Each one is different, each one is special, and each one has meaning and significance. The "Adventures of Johnny and Natalie" is a multipart series and represents my early work. I polished it some when I moved it to the new site, but should have completely re-written Episode 1 - "Problem and Solution." When I originally wrote it, I was not sophisticated enough to grasp that I needed to craft the story and establish character motivation. I tried to do that with the first sentence, and it was totally ineffective. But, I like the series - it represents my early fantasy life and, if you're patient enough to go through the entire series, I think you'll notice marked improvement as the overall story line develops. I have a sequel to the story involving most of the same main characters, but haven't published it yet - it's not quite finished.

"In Dreams" and "A Chance Encounter" were discussed earlier. "A Really Nice Guy" was another story from the old site. I did a modest rewrite, embellished some of the events to make them flow more smoothly, and rewrote the ending. For a number of years it was my highest rated story on the site, and I still like the characterizations. I intended it to be part of an anthology - hence the 'A Four Foxes Story' designation. I just never got the encouragement to expand the concept, so nothing ever developed.

"A Regional Training Conference" is a personal favorite, because it is the only story I've written that is based on a real event that I attended - the conference, not the rest of the action. It is also the only story that uses a real person as the basis for a character. All of my other characters in all of my stories are pure fabrics of my imagination. The main female character in RTC is based on a real live person. Oh, she didn't do all those things in real life - that's my fantasy getting carried away. But I was so struck by her mannerisms, her sense of control, and her beauty, that I just had to write about her. In reality, it was a very brief encounter - nothing sexual except in my head. I have not seen or heard from her in over a decade now.

The best received and most widely read story of mine is easily, "The Weekend Guest." I had a lot of fun writing that one and it just seemed to flow. Based solely on the response, I'd have to say that it represents my best work. That doesn't count the epic novel, soon to be released, of course. I think it's even better in characterizations and story line, with a plethora of sensual sex scenes throughout, but it remains for the readers to ultimately judge its merit. I've started a sequel to "The Weekend Guest" and am about a third of the way finished. I hope to publish it on ES later this year.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of this interview and your fans? Now is your chance...

Oh, there are lots more things I would like - emphasis on like - to say. I think of the John Belushi skit where he falls on his knees and begs, "Oh, please forgive me. It's not my fault. My car broke down. I had a flat. I ran outta gas. It was stolen. Honest, I love you, baby. Oh, please don't kill me. IT'S NOT MY FAULT."

I wish that more readers would take the time to read the stories. They might actually like them. A number who have read them certainly seem to think so. I'm impressed with the way Jillbaby cultivates her fans and wish that I had the body to do the same. But IT'S NOT MY FAULT.

Q. Finally, do you have a website or a blog, where your fans can visit and maybe learn more about you?

Regrettably, no website and no blog. What else is there to learn? I'm just an ordinary, garden-variety superhero type who is the role model for the most interesting man in the world. But please don't tell my kids. They think I'm just 'Dad.'

Please read Rhino's stories.

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