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THE SANDMAN INTERVIEW

Q: You were last interviewed back in July 2005. Can you catch us up on what you have been doing since then? Tell us about any favorite new stories, anything else you have published, anything else you'd like to talk about.

I am in fact published, wrote my first novel "Dragons Breath". My wife calls it "Lord of the Rings" on oysters. In other words, my Elves, Dwarves, humans...have sex lives. And have just finished the 2nd book in the series recently as well. And to plug myself, it can be purchased on line through Barnes & Nobles, as well as Amazon.com. If anyone would like an autographed copy, just contact me and I'll be glad to do that for you. In addition to having done that of course, I still enjoy writing erotica in a modern sense too.

Q: You answered a lot of these questions in your last interview, but for people who've not read it... or in case any of your thoughts on the subject have changed, I'd like to ask a few of them again. Beginning with, who is The Sandman?

I actually wrote a story about that. How Thesandman came into being. A true story called "I remain." I used to use that as part of my signature, I remain...Thesandman. You'd have to read the story to better understand the meaning behind that. But to give the short version, I corresponded for a time with an older woman who enjoyed reading my erotic works, long before I began actually posting them. She loved reading them just before bedtime (for obvious reasons) as that and the stories helped her to sleep. In time, she named me "Her sandman" because it did. Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly. I never met her, or even saw her. Just in my minds eye as to how she described herself to me. After that, I ended my stories as "I remain...Thesandman"

Q: Do you write other kinds of stories... ie - non-erotic? If "yes", please tell us about them; if "no" please explain why not.

Again, yes and no. Dragon's Breath for example really is an adventure fantasy story. There are some obvious sexual situations, but not nearly as explicit in detail as my erotica. I don't know that I could write, or enjoy writing anything without something spicy in it.

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

I like the challenge of doing it perhaps the most. I mean lets face it, sex is sex. But it's how you wrap the story around that, which keeps it entertaining and fresh for the readers. I guess my "tag" is... I like to put twists in my story, lead one way, and end up someplace else. And though the sex itself at times, is basically the same thing everyone else is writing about, I like to think I take you there a little differently than most.

Q: Do you write from experience or fantasy? Or maybe a combination of the two?

Definitely both. Always have had an active imagination. But also now have to admit, since my marriage to an "amazing" woman some three years ago now, those fantasies are now reality in many, many ways. I actually just turned 59 on the 12th of March. My wife says I'm still going on 17. (Though maybe I should say 18 under the circumstances?) LOL

What I now enjoy and very often experience in real life, has helped me to put some depth I believe, emotionally as well as creatively in the characters I enjoy creating. Many of them are based on real people or experiences I've actually enjoyed. Sure... there is still a bit of the imaginative properties sprinkled in amidst all that. But, like any great recipe, you keep some of the ingredients a secret. So, I never make claim to what is fact... or fiction. I let the readers decide for themselves.

Q: Is there anything you have written into a story that you would really like to try in "real life", but haven't yet been able to?

Five years ago, I'd have said yes. Now, I'd have to say I've pretty much experienced everything I've ever wanted to experience, or even imagined. I've always been open-minded, uninhibited anyway. But it's been an interesting journey for me to test that, to confront those thoughts about myself, see if I can put my money where my mouth is. So now I can honestly say, if there is something I'd still like to try, or haven't experienced or done. I can't think of it. Not saying "everything" I've allowed myself to experience or try would I might go back and do again. But it's been interesting to know and learn that about myself.

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

Oh yes, my wife is also a very talented writer in her own right. We've in fact collaborated on a few stories together. And oddly enough, it's how we met several years ago. Me writing, her writing me to tell me she'd enjoyed reading something I wrote. And the rest as they say, is history. What was a long distance relationship (She from Holland, me from the States) ended up with us finally meeting. We've been together ever since. And yes...friends and family all know I write erotica. Nothing to hide there, why should I? I am...what I am. And enjoy being myself.

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

That's an interesting question. Once again, five years ago I don't think that as many people were as tolerant (in society as a whole) as I am seeing now. Now...I think more people than ever are trying their hand at writing erotica. Not always good mind you, but they're trying. Hell, when I started myself (and have gone back to read those first pieces I tried doing) like anyone else, it was like writing a fantasy to some magazine and trying to make it sound like it happened. Which most of the time... they don't. Now, it's a bit harder to tell these days. But I think people are looking for ways to improve their own sex-lives, are branching out, trying new things, or at least thinking about them more than they ever have. That's a start. Thinking eventually leads to doing. And to take myself back a few years, to better times in some ways, we had a saying. Make love...not war.

Q: That's quite a picture you have posted in your ES profile. Tell us about it.

Actually, there really is a story behind that. I am part Shoshone Indian, another thing that I've just begun embracing over the past five years. Anyway, I had an old photo, similar pose that an ex-girlfriend had candidly taken of me. We had just finished making love, and I was actually trying to recover. LOL. So...years later, I'm single my future wife having seen that old photo, and liking it, wants me to repose it...but now with my long hair, and feather. So, that's how that particular photo came about. And BTW, my Shoshone name is "Many Feathers". Or in Shoshone, pronounced: Soonde Pessi I also write for another web site under that particular name. And that, too, has caused some funny unusual situations. I very often have one side or the other, writing to tell me that someone calling themselves Thesandman... or Many Feathers is copying my stories. Kind of flattering really that people have written to warn me of that. Makes me laugh.

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. Without naming names, do you have any favorite topics that have surfaced in these "conversations"?

Oh yes. And perhaps you can tell. I do love to write. Not just stories, but I really do love to correspond. And I have gotten numerous ideas for stories from fans. Not just from my own wicked imagination or fantasies. What I love is when someone is willing to share with me something about themselves, some sort of personal experience they had, or enjoyed.

Very often when they do, I can find something in that I'd like to use, or expand upon. Now, I don't usually write "their story" it just doesn't come out right when you do. But again, taking the idea, the experience, and then making it my own does. So for that... I do appreciate when readers will write and share something with me. But, I also just simply enjoy erotic discussions. I don't find arousal in say having cyber sex (especially now... lol) but you want to talk about masturbation, or having sex outside, or watching someone. Have a discussion about it, what's fun about it, what you've done and why. I love that. Someone who enjoys sharing, talking about it? Well...you'll find me corresponding with them as much as they'd like. :)

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

It used to drive me crazy. (In some ways it still does). Not so much the negative comments any more. I've learned (hopefully) from true honest constructive criticism, and have hopefully improved my writing because of it. So I've never really looked at negative comments as being that so much, as just pointing out my weaknesses and areas needing improvement. And still do.

And the other thing is, not everything I write is going to appeal to everyone. I've written stories that I don't personally have real experience with, but have done so for the challenge of doing it. Sometimes fans don't care to read about that, or funny enough, get upset with me because I did, especially when they're expecting a more normal expected piece from me. But I hate being the same kind of writer. So I switch up, write about something unusual or different, which is fun for me.

As far as the votes go, unfortunately some use them as a tool to not just fairly rate you, or the story as a writer. But because there are petty jealousies at times that a usually anon reader will end up giving you a low mark for. It happens... to everyone I think. But I've gotten past all that for the most part. I now have enough of a base that I think even mixing those in here and there, the base average as long as it continues to show its doing well, proves out my writing. And that means people are reading. And as long as they're reading, I'll keep writing. And sure, like most, some stories do really well. Some stories... not so much. But even those that don't, I still enjoyed writing because I usually did it more for myself than for anyone else.

Q: What categories do most of your stories appear in - and is there a particular reason for this?

Maybe once upon a time there was. Not so much any more. Again, I like to try my hand at just about any category. Sometimes just for fun. It doesn't mean it always works. But I enjoy testing and challenging myself. Writing in a female POV has been interesting at times. Trying to imagine myself in a woman's role, telling the story as a woman might. I've done better with that recently than I did early on. Maybe having a wife who also enjoys writing erotica, and who's pointed out a few things to me has helped with that.

Q: Do you read, and respond to, other writers on the site? Who are your favorites?

I do, though not as often as I should. I generally follow the top twenty or so for sure, read when I can... when I have time to read (when I am not myself writing, which is usually constantly).

Q: Have you ever been filmed or photographed having sex?

LOL. Oh hell yes. That's another thing. I'll freely admit I'm a bit of an exhibitionist, and voyeur as well. I love watching people having fun, enjoying one another, the erotic sensual expressions on their faces. Including my own. I've even enjoyed watching myself jerk off in front of a mirror, or watching one another in a mirror, that sort of thing.

You can make that sensual and erotic if you think about it. Doing movies, or taking pictures that you may... or may not share with someone you know or trust, can be likewise stimulating to do. I enjoy (and prefer) seeing "real" people so to speak. We all have flaws, we're imperfect, but that's what I find the most alluring, sensual, is that the average every day man or woman, can and very often is far more sensual when they allow themselves to be. It comes through. And that... far beyond a person's looks... is what I find intriguing and exciting.

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

Oh wow. Believe it or not... I stumbled across some old black and white photographs of my own parents doing it. And then some others of a couple of naughty parties they'd been at. Mostly tit flashes, a few stiff prick pics... that sort of thing. But it was interesting to realize even at an early age. Good old mom and dad were "cool" that they actually had sex, obviously enjoyed it, and didn't try to hide or pretend they didn't. Always did appreciate that about them. They could go off, close the door to their room in the middle of a day and you knew what was going on. I thought it was cool they did. Discovering they enjoyed taking pictures of one another, had fun doing that...even back then? I thought it was healthy, which is maybe why I enjoy doing it myself now.

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

Well... recently, we just purchased a sex-swing. And let me tell you, next to my "no clothes" hot tub rule, it's the second best investment I've ever made. We recently had some friends over for a party, turned out to be one of the best...wildest most erotic experiences I've (we've) ever had. Amazing what you can do in those things, what it can feel like when you're in the swing yourself, and have seven or eight other people hands on... doing things to you (maybe while blindfolded) ok... and I was.

But that was incredibly hot to be perfectly honest about it. I highly recommend getting one if you've ever thought about it,

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

As I think of them... I am. Once again, thanks to my incredibly sexy, uninhibited naughty wife. But I DO have one. Sounds silly perhaps, but its one that for some reason hasn't quite worked out or happened yet. What I'd love, is to come home one night, have the wife blindfold me, (don't need to be bound... though that's fun too) but without knowing... have another woman, or even couple perhaps join us. And then have fun... but never know who the woman, or who the other couple was perhaps, until afterwards (maybe) and just trust in my wife to do that for me having prearranged it with someone I might not actually know, or expect. That I would at least once love to experience.

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

Bottom line, bringing pleasure to my partner however she most wants and needs it at the time. Seeing her pleasured, doing something she enjoys doing, or wants to experience herself. And that has meant for me a few times, going places I'd have never thought I'd ever go before. But maybe at my age, I'm not as hung up on certain things as I might have been a few years ago now. But if she finds pleasure in that, or if I can do something that will bring her pleasure, I'm all for it. I love seeing her come. Love seeing the joy and excitement in her face. That's what turns me on... and same thing for her as well.

Q: How about a major turn off?

Not much now I can say would turn me off. Things that might, or would... I wouldn't be doing or allowing anyway. So beyond that? Hell... I'll usually try anything at least once.

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

I have yes. I think a lot of writers do. It's an extension of ourselves that we most often create within the characters we develop. I think like anyone, we very often let personalities, emotions, even moral convictions or beliefs play a part of any story.

Q: You've published over 150 stories on the site. How do you keep yourself interested and inspired?

I look at porn. (Kidding... yeah, I do) but it's not that really. I think for me, because I've always had (and still do have) a high sex-drive, enjoy sex... love experiencing true pleasure, and giving it, that I enjoy writing about it. I love the fact that my wife and I can openly discuss "anything" any subject. That we can go out, sit in the tub together, or with friends, have fun...come in, share fantasies, or allow them to happen is what keeps this old boy inspired. We do... (no kidding here either) have sex at least four times a week, we do anything and everything for one another, which also keeps it interesting, and keeps me constantly aroused. And being constantly aroused... I write. And then writing, arouses me. Kind of a vicious circle perhaps, but hey, I'm not complaining!

Q: Right now, your most popular story is Maggie, with an average vote of 9.85. Do you agree that this is your best? Why do you think it struck such a chord?

This was actually one of my earlier pieces. It has some grammatical mistakes which I now wish I'd had someone do some decent proof-reading to get rid of. So as far as that goes... no. But, the story idea, the concept itself yes. What's interesting about that piece is that it's a prequel to another story that also did fairly well, "The Ya Ya Dildohood", but Maggie was a story based entirely around the character in that story. Maggie for me came to life as a real person, though part of that character was in fact based on a real person. So it made it interesting and fun to write. I was proud of that piece, and pleased that the real "Maggie" though that wasn't her real name, though I did justice to her... and to the story. So for that, I have to say I was fairly proud of it yes.

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

I can usually write a twenty page story in about three hours. Once I get going... LOL. But if I get an idea in mind, and begin writing it down, after that, my stories usually take on a life of their own. To be honest... MOST of the time, I have NO idea where I'm going to end up. The endings usually don't come to me until I'm at least halfway through the story. Then they just do. And after that, I then take off towards that. And usually... somewhere along the way, the title for the story emerges, and then that's when I name it. Usually not until then.

Q: You are #6 on the "Top 100 favourite authors" list. How does it feel to know that 548 people have marked you as one of their favorite authors?

Honestly? Humbled, and pleased. I've always said, and never laid claim to being a "writer". I do think I'm a pretty good storyteller. I think a good editor, makes the writer/author. But, that people seem to enjoy my writing style, which in some ways is unique and different to a lot I've read, I like to think they list me as that, because they do enjoy my work, and want to read, and enjoy more of it. When the day comes they don't, or when I'm no longer challenged, or excited by doing it, then I'll stop. But as long as people enjoy what I write, and how I write, then I'll be pleased to just get the occasional "thank you, I enjoyed that."

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

That I am always open to constructive criticism, as I said I tell a story, more than I worry about how it's always written. (My bad). I'd love someone who'd enjoy editing my work rather than just posting it once its written. Something I'm not so good at doing myself. LOL. But... as I've also said, I love hearing from you, good or bad. I love sharing, discussing any topics. So feel free... drop me a line, ask a question, or just share your thoughts. I'd love that.

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

Not so much that, but "Dragon's Breath" by Rick Lee (yeah my real name) can be found at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

As far as contacting me personally or direct, if you'd like to, I hope some of you will. I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts, experiences, or even your desires and fantasies. Let's talk!

And ES? And Naughty Miranda? Thank you both for giving writers like myself a place to share and post their stories. For allowing us to entertain, and be entertained. And for giving us a chance to be acknowledge by our peers, friends, and ES family. I truly do appreciate it.

Please check out TheSandman's stories!

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