Persona Cracked is a series that explores the intersection of artists, their work, and social media. My first guest, Alexia Knight, is a married mother who works as a teacher by profession and enjoys writing about her sex life. Ms. Knight’s series, Tinderella Diary: A Trilogy of Erotic Memoirs, was published last year.
In your books, the events that prompted your sexual awakening as a 40-year-old woman, and the details of those adventures, are presented in a bare, candid style that reads like a diary. What inspired you to share these tales?
I always knew there was a wild child inside of me, but I met my husband when I was in high school and never really got to explore that side of myself within the confines of a loving but imperfect, monogamous relationship. Over the years, as ‘real life’ set in, and two decades passed, I was finding myself increasingly dissatisfied sexually. Sex had become mundane and rudimentary, and I realized that I had no idea what I really liked or how my body would react in different situations. I was acutely aware that I had missed out on some major rights of passage for a woman in her late teens and 20s.
One summer day, after an extended dry spell at home, I cracked (pun intended) and downloaded Tinder. There was an immediate need to be met. After my initial encounter (which I delineate in the first volume), I realized that I needed to continue this journey and see it through, to figure out what I was missing and figure out myself as a sexual human being in the process.
About a month into what was basically a string of one-night stands, I couldn’t believe the things that had happened to me, the things I did, the things I never thought could be possible. I thought, “this needs to be a book.” The people I met became characters. The encounters I experienced became chapters. Through each connection with another body, I learned more and more about myself, and a story began to develop organically. My initial desire was to write pure, smutty erotica. This was no love story. I am no fairy princess. But it became important to me to tell a real story, one with a real woman, a real body, a story that is raw, honest, and at times, funny.
Tinderella Diary: An Erotic Memoir documents the events over the course of a single summer. At that time, I thought I was going to write a single volume with a definitive ending. The story could have easily stood alone, but I wasn’t done exploring. So, I kept on exploring, and I kept on writing. The story kept on developing.
Tinderella Diary Volume 2: Going Deeper takes place in the 6-month period following the first volume and delves into a naughtier realm that the first book sets the stage for such as group sex, exhibitionism, and hedonism. There is no shortage of raunchy sex scenes, but there is also heart, and some frank discussion about many social-sexual topics.
The end of the second book ends on a major cliff-hanger: the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic. Tinderella Diary Volume 3: Hard Times takes place over an entire year in the midst of lock downs, racial strife, and economic uncertainty. There are plenty of recurring characters from the first book and a bevy of new ones, and the focus is less on one-time encounters and more about the interweaving of different stories’ characters and dynamics. As my character’s knowledge and appreciation for sex evolves, the way the sex scenes are approached and depicted adjusts to compensate. The result is a 3-volume tale of a woman completely transformed.
How does your husband feel about your exploits, and you sharing them with the world?
He doesn’t know. Next question.
To be successful, creators in the age of social media must do more than create. They must also promote. How does anonymity effect you, your writing, and your ability to be ‘discovered’ by readers?
It was difficult. Due to both the erotic content and the personal nature of the writing, I could not promote my books to the people most likely to support a budding independent author: my family, my friends, people in my industry. I started social media accounts from scratch dedicated solely to promoting the books and the brand, and I’ve been building steadily for a year. I felt a little bit like a local politician knocking on one door at a time because every vote matters. I am waiting for the right kind of exposure, so the work can go viral and reach more of its targeted audience.
No one tells a talented writer that you also have to be a talented publicist, a talented promoter, and talented social media manager. There are platforms where I have to be careful how I promote with fear of my content being removed or me being banned altogether.
Also, I cannot participate in public events, book launches, signings, etc. I have to be clever and creative and follow the market for erotic writers. I have done some podcasts and web series. In 2022, I might just bite the bullet and seek representation.
Do you plan to remain anonymous forever?
Yup! This is my story that I felt needed to be told. It is not my family’s burden to bear.
Now that your first series is complete, what’s next?
So, while the Tinderella Trilogy of Erotic Memoirs is complete, I still have much to write about under the umbrella of the Tinderella Diary brand. There are scenes that were not included from all three volumes, that may be released as stand-alone short stories. There are some stories I would like to re-tell from the perspective of a different character, such as Brooklyn, Jax, and even Phil. Also, my fascination and enthusiasm for sex urges me to write true non-fiction about sexual sociology and sexual anthropology, and also about dating/coupling dynamics, alternatives to monogamy, exploration of kinks and carnal predilections and their origins, and a generalized how-to manual for sexual satisfaction.
And, yes, the Tinderella Diary trilogies needs to be a small-screen series. It is so episodic in nature, so much character development, so many potential story directions and spin-off potential. I am excited to see where this goes.
Thank you for sharing your story!
Ryan Hyatt, January 1, 2022