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Writer vs. Writer: C. E. Hoffman

In this post, we will get to know C. E. Hoffman, is a talented writer who transgresses norms and barriers and bravely explores the world of sex workers. Let's dive in!

Hello C. Thank you for joining us for this interview and thank you for the copy of your book ‘Sluts and Whores’. Let’s start with that. I’d like to hear from you as the author of this book, what is it about?

Sluts and Whores is an exploration of sexuality, sex work, and the trauma and beauty of both, via a dark magical landscape. The stories follow a variety of characters on various adventures in The Big City, a desolate urban environment with magic around every corner.

This book has a shock factor to it. Was there any intention for it?

As I wrote about sex work via an #OwnVoices perspective, I perceive little shock value in the work myself- same too for its depictions of mental illness. As for the title, I enjoy how it immediately challenges the readers’ preconceptions of femme sexuality, and the negative spotlight we often hold on it.

Interesting. Then, why did you focus on sex work as the main concept in this book?

I believe it’s important for writers to create from a place of self-knowledge. Given my personal experience with sex work, and many pre-existing stories featuring sex workers, the theme was easy to spot.

I agree with the connection between experience and any creative process. You’ve been writing since age 11. What was the first piece you finished by that age and how different do you think your mentality is comparing with that time? How much has your writing in sense of concept and meaning changed?

I wrote my first novel (around 140K) when I was eleven years old. It’s a YA high fantasy I’m currently rewriting, and has a special place in my heart. My literary devices have of course matured, and inspirations like Martin Millar, Irvine Welsh, Michelle Tea and the Beats have brought an edge to my fantastical universe. Punk music did the same!

You identify yourself as They if I’m not mistaken. How do you feel your writings are connected to your identity? Does gender make a different in writing as a process?

Any good writer knows writing is an extension of the psyche while not belonging to the psyche at all, but arriving from the much broader expanse of the collective unconscious. My identity as a bisexual genderfluid femme informs my writing, but does not define it. Like my experience in sex work, it is a perspective I can build certain stories around, but I hope my writing can hold space for readers of multiple identities.

Great answer. So, what are your writing routines and process? In writing, do you think it directly connects to your emotions?

I’m highly emotional and highly intellectual, and write from both. I’m both a pantser and a plotter; I let certain works stew for years, while others I pitch the day of completion. Every project demands its own rules, and as Ntozake Shange says, “a writer’s first commitment is to the piece itself.

Any good writer knows writing is an extension of the psyche while not belonging to the psyche at all.

How did you get your book published?

I queried two traditional publishers who accepted unagented submissions, as well as two different agents. Of these, Thurston Howl Publications expressed interest. This was extremely lucky; I’ve had short stories submitted to dozens of magazines that never found publication. As with anything worthwhile, writing demands resilience!

Absolute truth. Last question. Are you currently working on any books?

Sluts and Whores’ sister collection Losers and Freaks is ready for a publisher or agent! I have two completed novels ready for publication after that, with more on the way. I also released a short animated film based on a story in Sluts and Whores, animated by the amazing Winston Rowntree, which you can view on Youtube.

Fantastic. Thank you for sharing your story with us and looking for future collaborations. If you'd like to know more about C, please visit the following links:

Twitter: @CEHoffman2

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