“It all started when I ate my prom date.”
Like much of what the southern Indiana author writes, this opening The phrase is a curious hook, designed to carry the reader forward page after page.
It’s also one of the most PG lines she’s written and is actually quite family-friendly for this slightly sassy Courier Journal column.
Valentine’s Day and the season of romance are upon us, and in honor of this greeting card holiday, I caught up with Cinders, 46, to learn how she turns everyday moments into something special. hot thing for the enjoyment of his audience.
From writer to writer, we spent a about an hour talking about both the mechanics of storytelling and how a mother from southern Indiana – who once worked in an elementary school – became an internet sensation and a master of describing modes of seductive and voluptuous lives that are not usually talked about in “polite society”.
Looking through her work before our interview, it became very clear to me that Cinders has a unique talent for imagery and a powerful ability to make even the most mundane situations appear (very) sexy.
So I put her on the spot and gave her a seemingly bland scenario based on Louisville to see if she could add some warmth to it.
Mild printable heat, of course.
The person: A teacher
The object: A stack of papers
She paused very briefly, then I watched her close her eyes and sketch the scene in her mind.
You can like: Here are 20+ places to dine or grab a Valentine’s Day takeout around Louisville
“I think she’s nervous,” she said seriously.
“You think she’s nervous?” I repeated, curious and excited.
“Her knee is bouncing, she’s trying to do something,” she continued.
Another moment passed, and suddenly I could see this character and his knee in my mind too.
“There’s a businessman, who came to town, and he just found out his flight was delayed,” Cinders told me. “So he’s gonna hang around and have some Kentucky bourbon because that’s what we do.”
I imagined an indescribable figure settling down next to this woman.
“His sleeves are rolled up, so he has sexy forearms,” she told me.
Now he was no longer just a figure in my mind. He was fully armed.
“He runs his thumb over the glass and it catches her eye,” she said thoughtfully.
As she spoke, I thought about the words “thumb running” and wondered why it sounded so sensual when it was so innocent.
Later, I realized she could plug that same harmless description into a bedroom or onto someone’s body part, and it would take on a whole new meaning.
I was hooked on that glass, but still, Cinders carried on.
“He looks at his papers and they start talking,” Cinders imagined. “At first, she is distant. At first she is nervous, she has something to do. And he says something that catches her off guard.
I wondered what it was, but gave Cinders thanks for the blur. She had imagined all of this in about 60 seconds.
“It’s something about her smile or something about her,” she finishes. “Something that, maybe, seems like he saw her when she didn’t feel seen, and we go from there.”
And where exactly is he, I wondered.
You can like: Here’s Why Science Says Sentimental Gifts Are Better Than “Wow” Holiday Gifts
Well, at this exact location at our airport, they are positioned at a dynamic crossroads. Their “final destination”, as the flight crew indicates just before landing, could be just about anywhere.
This could go through security, to the gate and onto the planes they are supposed to be on.
Or – it could be down the escalators, out the door, and on the first random hotel shuttle that these two strangers see.
People want to read about things that scare them, Cinders explained. They like to imagine doing things that might not be possible in real life or that they would not necessarily feel comfortable doing.
By the time we finished this little game, I felt like I was just standing at the escalator with this pair at the airport.
And she was right.
I would never feel comfortable giving up a plane ticket to follow a complete stranger up those escalators, but I really wanted to know what she had in mind for these two travelers.
Arousing sexual curiosity isn’t hard, according to Cinders. Often someone will brush up against someone in the store or notice someone in a restaurant, and they never act on those primal instincts.
“I just keep those types of situations and lean into them,” Cinders explained of her creative writing process.
“So this uncharted stranger, you explore them,” I asked.
“Yes, absolutely, under the circumstances, it could be like ‘oh, I would never do that,'” she told me, pausing.
“Well, what if you did?”
So that’s how it goes, I marveled, but I was also curious why she writes proactive stories like this.
You can like: 12 must-try dessert shops in Louisville owned by women
Cinders has always been a writer in one way or another. When she was in school, she spent more time writing spinoffs from the “Sweet Valley High” books she wasn’t really studying, she told me. She remembers constantly filling notebooks and inventing stories to read for her friends.
“I was very, very captivated by the idea of these worlds and these characters,” she told me. “Anything could happen to them, and you could live vicariously, through them.”
“It was something I was very passionate about, but I never really saw it as something I would do.”
That changed about eight years ago when Cinders was looking for something to read, and nothing quite satisfied her.
With every steamy story she read, she kept thinking about what she would do differently.
So she started sharing her own passionate fiction on the amateur writing site Wattpad. From there, he was offered the opportunity to earn money by submitting his stories to the Radish app. Now, dozens of steamy books later, she publishes mostly freelance.
His first foray into storytelling was historical fiction. “The Dirty Bird Serieshas three box sets that feature more than 17 interconnected stories of romance, friendship and scandal. Once weary of Lady Maddie and her social circle, she made an abrupt transition to writing a series about werewolves.
If that seems like a big leap from historical fiction to werewolves, you clearly haven’t seen his full portfolio.
One of his greatest hits, “A billionaire’s secret baby,” has over 8 million views on Radish. This story begins with a job applicant who unwittingly finds himself on a interview with an employer with whom she once had a one-night stand. To top it off the awkwardness? She’s carrying her baby, and he has no idea.
Cinders also has a completely inappropriate collection of “Adult Fractured Fairy Tales” where she takes popular children’s stories and twists them almost beyond recognition.
His version of the “Wizard of Oz”“, for example, turns the beloved and friendly Scarecrow we all know into a hitman. Dorothy has an affinity for murder and the Wicked Witch of the West is in a love entanglement with the Tin Man, who is called Steel.
You can like: ” What day is it ? »: Experts explain why time has stood still since 2020
But even with her propensity for impropriety, she knows that her job comes with a very significant responsibility.
For one thing, she never writes about characters under 18. Now that she has a son in his early 20s, she says writing about young adults even scares her a little.
Cinders wants the age of its characters to reflect the maturity of its audience. She could write about a reverse harem, where there’s a female protagonist and multiple male love interests, she said, but she’s in no way trying to influence a teenage girl to start a sexual relationship. with the captain of the football team and all his friends.
“I like that it’s older because I don’t want a kid picking things up and I think they should end up in those kinds of situations,” she explained.
She also emphasizes powerful female characters and precious female friendships in her books.
“I want to write about strong, smart women who make good decisions and don’t stay in an abusive relationship,” she continued. “I want these women to be role models.”
And while she’s perfectly comfortable dialing in the kind of situations that put your whole body under stress, from shoulders to toes, she acknowledges that not everyone is so comfortable with their books “without shameless rascals”.
That’s part of the reason she writes under the pen name S. Cinders, and why we’re not featuring her photo or legal name with this story.
Her very traditional mother knows she writes outrageous books for a living, she told me, but she’s never shared her pseudonym with her. Cinders has a husband, who supports her work, but she is also fiercely protective of her family. Her son and his friends don’t need to read the details his mother writes about how the Tin Man pleases the Wicked Witch of the West.
So just as Cinders keeps her werewolves, her billionaire, and her baby worlds apart, she also puts distance between her work and home life.
You can like: What’s next for Miss USA 2022? Here are 5 quick questions with Elle Smith
At the end of our interview, as I said goodbye to the erotic author, for a brief moment I spoke with the part of Cinders who is a wife and mother from southern Indiana.
Clearly, she has a mind for suggestive sexuality, and I wondered if her Valentine’s Day plans sounded like something out of one of her books.
Typically, her husband makes a dinner reservation in Louisville or downtown New Albany. He usually buys her flowers or perfume, but saying that, she gestured to a shelf in her bedroom. There was already a lot of perfume there, which meant that this year she was expecting flowers.
“I like that your answer is so traditional,” I told him, genuinely surprised.
“Any circumstance can get steamy,” she mused.
In a way, his plans for Valentine’s Day weren’t all that different from the game we played with the two strangers at the airport.
Just use your imagination and go from there.
Columnist Maggie Menderski writes about what makes Louisville, southern Indiana, and Kentucky unique, wonderful, and sometimes a little weird. If you have something in your family, your city, or even your closet that fits this description, she wants to hear from you. Say hello to [email protected] Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @MaggieMenderski.