Kali Meister, Erotica Writing Workshop Instructor, Knoxville Writers Guild

Is it hard to make eye contact with the students in such a class?

Not for me, and if they are willing to enroll in my class I imagine they will not have a hard time making eye contact either. After about five minutes I break down a lot of inhibitions in people—I'm good like that.

Is there a good market for erotic writing, or are people mainly interested for their own amusement?

Most the erotica written is for an audience of two; sometimes just one. The problem with teaching or talking about erotica is that when people think about erotica they think of smut. This is not necessarily true. Most writing today has on some level erotic content. Some would consider the Twilight series erotica while others are more the Penthouse Forum types. The key is finding sometime in the middle that still titillates you as a writer and a reader, and there is definitely a market for that.

What determines whether someone will have the nerve to write erotica?

All it takes to write erotica is discipline and ego. Once you believe your writing is worthwhile you can write anything.

Do you need to have had the experiences yourself?

You can, but it is not necessary. Everyone is sexual and even virgins and bad lovers can write good erotica—they'll just never admit to being either.

It's for fiction, right? Or could it be non-fiction?

Some people go both ways.

Have you published any erotica?

Yes, and I had no idea it was erotica until someone told me. I'd say nearly everything I have ever written has been on some level sensually and sexually stimulating—and I'm okay with that.

What's the first lesson you'll impart?

The thing about writing sex as opposed to having sex is that once you get started writing sex, it's always good.

The Erotica Writing workshop will be held 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 15. For more information: knoxvillewritersguild.org