We’re All Bad in Bed by Shelby Simpson

We’re All Bad in Bed by Shelby Simpson - photo by Dennis Spielman
In We’re All Bad in Bed, award-winning author and unrepentant ragamuffin Shelby Simpson mines her past (and the past of her most trusted friends) for the ultimate bedroom debacles. From hitting puberty in small-town Oklahoma to letting loose overseas, Shelby’s unique perspective on sexual education, intimacy, and doin’ the nasty is sure to please anyone who has ever been caught with their pants around their knees.

In this Tuesday Treat Q&A session, Shelby shares what sparked her interest in writing, what people can expect from her book, different nicknames she used for dick or vagina, and more.

How did you get into writing?
I was sick a lot in grade school. I spend most of 2nd grade at home, and that’s when I started writing little short stories. I was obsessed with twisted tales—anything that would make my skin crawl. I read The Shining in 3rd grade, and in many ways, that was a mistake. It totally freaked me out—changed my brain—but it was also the beginning of a long relationship with writing. All I ever wanted to do from then on was write books that made people react.

What can people expect from We’re All Bad In Bed?
To laugh out loud while on the train, plane, couch, or wherever you’re reading. That’s the number one reaction I want out of my books, and so far, my evil plan is working. I’ve had two people who don’t know each other both text me selfies of them crying and holding my book. They said they were laughing so hard it brought tears to their eyes. One girl said she snotted on her dog accidently.

What was the greatest challenge you had when writing this book?
One big challenge was not overlapping the different nicknames I used for dick or vagina. There are only so many options you can use before shit gets ridiculous, so I had to dig deep to find names I felt were suiting to each story. Don’t ever check my browser history. We may never talk again.

What were some surprising things you learned when working on your book?
I learned that I’m sensitive to the way people view me. I wanted to write this book, because I wanted to make people laugh. That’s all. Then with all the recent gender debates and female oppression shouts, there seemed to be more to this book—to voicing my raunchiest self. People told me, and I agreed, that it was important to let it all hang out. Be a shameless “nasty girl,” and I am, but it’s not all I am.

I’m also an academic, a cultured environmentalist, a person who pays attention to human emotion and cares to not cause pain. This book just doesn’t cover any of that, so it frightened me that people would read We’re All Bad in Bed (WABIB) then pin one label to me–“dirty bitch.”

But that was me giving people less credit than they deserve. Everyone is complicated and layered. No doubt they’ll assume I am too, but probably in the end, they’ll never spend one minute contemplating what I’m like behind the pages anyway, so it doesn’t matter. No need for analysis paralysis. This is a sugary beach reach. Philosophy not included.

What message would you like for people to take away after reading We’re All Bad in Bed?
“Don’t take yourself so seriously, and embrace your flaws. Admitting your icky bits is what makes you strong and whole, not weak and unworthy.”Don’t take yourself so seriously, and embrace your flaws. Admitting your icky bits is what makes you strong and whole, not weak and unworthy.

Today more than ever, sexy is everywhere. Words like “fierce” and “sassy warrior” seem to be connected to images featuring perky tits, tight clothes, juicy asses, sculpted eyebrows, and trout-pouting selfies.

But being sexy and being powerful aren’t the same thing. They can be connected, and sometimes are, but not always. And what’s sexy anyway? It’s subjective, but I think that truth is being shadowed by social media. Personally, I’d take a confident chick with a beautiful smile, no makeup, baggy sweatshirt and jeans, bustin’ loose with her best dance moves at a tailgate party over the Barbie doll in 3-inch fuck-me heels standin’ on the wall any day.

I’m rambling. Takeaway message = don’t be embarrassed to be imperfect.

What’s your favorite local pizza place in Oklahoma?
I’d have to say Hideaway. Yummmmm.

Talk about your first book, Good Globe, and how writing the two were different and similar for you.
Good Globe is a book about world exploration. It’s separated into 6 PARTS, each PART representing a different reason you should live overseas or travel long-term. But the reasons aren’t shoved down your throat. They’re given through story, weird and fantastic stories that hopefully prod your backpacking gene into motion.

Writing Good Globe and writing WABIB was very different. I interviewed a lot of people for WABIB, so there is a lot more dialogue in it. I think that’s good for the reader, but for me, it interrupted my flow a bit. But both books spilled out of me without much resistance. To compare the two: Good Globe was me flipping through maps and going outside for sunshine hits. WABIB was me in my pajamas digging through the fridge for leftovers.

Anything else to share?
Just that I’ll be writing about travel again for my next two books. Good Globe is the first in a 3-part series. I’m looking forward to getting back in the travel saddle. Nature is my happy place.

We’re All Bad in Bed by Shelby Simpson - photo by Dennis Spielman

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    For more question and answer sessions with creative people in Oklahoma from the Tuesday Treat series, click here.

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  • Dennis Spielman

    I'm Dennis Spielman, the Owner and Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma. In short, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories for books, movies, and shows. More about my projects are at DennisSpielman.com

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