Interview (The Examiner, Jan 2010)

interview from http://blog.vintageerotica.com/?p=522, also the Examiner, January 2010

MISS AMERICA – THE MOVIE

CHRISSIE BENTLEY HAS BEEN FEATURED IN THESE PAGES SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE, BUT THE NEWS THAT VINTAGE EROTICA’S FAVORITE AUTHOR IS ABOUT TO TURN HER TALENT TO SCREENWRITING CERTAINLY MAKES HER WORTHY OF ANOTHER MENTION.

The Philadelphia writer is currently in talks about bringing her 2009 XXX tour de force Miss America to the screen, in a deal that will not only see her script the story, but should also place her in line to bring some of her other visions to life.

“It’s still very early, so I can’t say too much,” Bentley admits.“But it is exciting.”

For anybody who hasn’t yet read it (and if that includes you, why not?),Miss America is one of the most dramatic erotic reads of the past few years, the story of an American woman who is kidnapped from her Spanish hotel room, to find herself trapped inside an establishment that, as Bentley puts it, falls halfway between a medieval torture chamber and a health farm for sex addicts. Twisting and turning through myriad convolutions, the labyrinthine story is a natural for the movies, not only in terms of dialogue and plotting, but also in its potential for sex scenes.

“I honestly never considered it as a movie while I was writing,” Bentley admits. “The sex scenes were basically things that I found interesting, at the same time as knowing that I wouldn’t be interested in actually trying most of them myself.” Laughing, she refuses to outline which scenes they may be, but faced with scenarios that range from an outsized dildo to a bukkake scene involving a gang of amputees and dwarves, oodles of oral, anal and orgies, and onto a few moments that border on rape and worse, a better question might be, how many actresses out there would want to go through it all?

“A few names have already been discussed,” Bentley says. “The key, however, is making sure that it’s not just the one actress who has to go through each of the scenes. We’re looking for a very varied cast, and that should open things up considerably.”

Bentley originally wrote Miss America in early 2007, and admits that finding a publisher was difficult. “Several websites that I was already writing for turned it down outright, simply because it was so violent.I finally found one that would take it; we ran it in I think twelve installments, one every few days, and it was interesting reading the reactions from readers as they got to the end of each part.

“The first responses were overwhelmingly negative, I don’t think I’ve ever been called the names, or accused of the things, that I was then. But people kept reading, and after three or four chapters, the mood of the comments began to shift and, by the end, people were loving it – not because of the sex, but because there is an underlying storyline that runs at a completely different angle; what happens to the story’s heroine physically is not at all the same as what is happening to her emotionally, and as she begins to understand that, and work with it, the readers ‘got it’ as well.”

Those first hate-filled diatribes did serve a purpose, however. “They showed me areas where the storyline was a little weak, so I was able to tighten it up. They also pointed out, although I don’t think they intended to, places where the sex could actually become even more extreme. For instance, the bukkake scene was quite tame compared with what I changed it to.”

In this form, Miss America made it onto the much-loved, and sadly-missed Ruthies Club website a couple of years ago, accompanied by some dramatic illustrations provided by the site’s stable of artists. There it became a serious cult hit and, following the site’s closure last year, Bentley had no difficulty in placing the story, as a full-length e-book, with Erotic Excursions. “It still hasn’t reached the market that I want it to,” she admits, “which would be a paperback that you could just pick up at the airport… I’m still not convinced that e-books are what the majority of readers are looking for, especially in the erotic field. Among my own books, paper is still outselling digital by a considerable margin.”

Format wars notwithstanding, Bentley currently has five books available –  Miss America is joined by Naughty MirandaWhat I Did On My Summer Vacation, the supernatural thrillerBelow Blue London and the excellently titled Three Nuns and a Motorcycle, which she describes as “a cross between an anthology and a greatest hits album, I took the stories of mine that have had the best reaction on various on-line sites, mixed in some excerpts from the other books, and then added one new story.”

Available as a paperback, she calls it her “surprise best seller,” adding that it was one of the stories in Three Nuns, a tale of dark and dangerous frat boy misdoings called “Revenge,” that first placed her in the moviemakers’ line of sight. “Somebody at the studio read ‘Revenge’ after I posted it on my website, and got in touch to ask whether I had anything else like that. So I pointed him towards Miss America, not expecting to hear anything else, and got an e-mail back a week or two later demanding I let them film it.

Now in her late thirties, and a veteran of both the conventional and erotic publishing industry, Bentley knows that the first steps towards a finished movie are fraught with far more pitfalls than not… “so many people I know, writers who I’ve dealt with at work, or who I’ve met elsewhere, have been through this process, and very few of them have ever come out the other side with a DVD in their pocket. But Miss America is very dear to my heart, and it seems to strike a chord with everybody else who reads it as well, so I’m hopeful that something may come out of this. And if it doesn’t… well, I’ve got enough other projects to keep me busy; I’ll survive.”

These include completing a new anthology, based around the sexual misadventures of a pair of small-town Colorado college kids, Cousin Tom and Cousin Rosie… “although they’re not actually cousins,” Bentley confides; and another full-length novel, set in New York in the late 1960s, with the fires of both sexual and political revolution lighting up the campus dormitories. “Right now it’s called Love In A Time of Riot, although that’s just so I know what file to open when I start work every morning,” Bentley laughs. “I’ll let you know what it winds up being called, once I’ve finished it.”

We’ll be waiting!

Visit Chrissie Bentley at https://chrissiebentley.wordpress.com

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