When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?
The first fiction I’d written since high school was kink, so yes! There was a Febreze commercial on TV back in 2008 or ’09, with a woman working very hard to prepare for a dinner party—cooking, cleaning. But being an air freshener commercial, the guests arrived (and I couldn’t help notice there were two men and two women, but she was the odd woman out) and they started sniffing and smelling the air, the fried fish, the pets. They all looked at her disapprovingly—and it was very clear, to me at least, that she was going to have to be punished. By her guests. So I wrote that up as a little scene, my first erotic fiction, my first fiction of any kind in twenty years.
It was awful; I had no idea what I was doing. There wasn’t any real motivation for what the characters did, it just sounded hot. So I rewrote it, and again, and again, took writing classes—and, after seven years, it became my novel Blue.
I do write in other genres under a different name, mainly literary fiction, but also some mystery and science fiction. I’m just starting to have a bit of luck with that.
Are you actively involved in BDSM? If so how do you identify yourself? Dom(me)/sub? Top/bottom? Switch?
Yes, but with one person only, for over twenty years now. We were lucky to find each other, back when there was no internet community, or any kind of kink community anywhere near us, for that matter.
As a testament to the power of erotica, I will say that on one of our very first dates, while talking about books, I was asked if I’d read any Ann Rice. I said, “Do you mean the vampire books, or those incredibly kinky Sleeping Beauty books?” and from both our reactions we knew we’d finally found someone who was a little different from everyone else we’d dated. We’ve been tying up and whipping each other ever since.
Oh – I Top, by the way. …Well, 99 percent of the time.
At what point did you decide you wanted to write BDSM/kinky-themed erotica?
Is there any other kind?
I thought about it for several years before I actually did anything. I guess I thought I was just too busy, and that I needed to take it very seriously once I began. I did write some tiny little vignettes that thought about printing on cards and publishing in a box, but looking at them now, they’re awful.
It never occurred to me to write any other kind of erotica. Vanilla porn has never done much for me. I was born kinky, I guess.
Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?
I’ve always been attracted to the big, crazy, pan-sexual, worldwide-network-of-slave-trading kind of books. Laura Antoniou, Molly Weatherfield; even Sleeping Beauty and Story of O are set in this kind of world, although on a smaller scale (and O is straight het, I guess). I call it “institutional porn,” where submissives surrender themselves not to one lover—although that’s often how the stories begin, how they enter the larger underground world—but to an entire organization. I’ve always wondered why I like that kind of thing, and while reading Romana Byrne’s Aesthetic Sexuality recently, I learned that it’s about being subsumed into a deeper, anonymous kind of lust, losing identity to something greater. And filthy.
My current work in progress, Villa, takes place in such a world, and while it’s sort of an homage to the writers I most love, I also offer my somewhat offbeat take on the subgenre. And the whole idea behind Blue was to take the tropes of this “chateau porn” and transplant them into the blandest American suburbs, which I thought was pretty funny.
Do you write BDSM/kink erotica based on what you find interesting or sexy, or do you write more for your audience?
Purely for what I find sexy, as well as intellectually interesting (but not to sacrifice hotness!). I have horrible business instincts. My goal is to write the six books that I’ve had in my mind for years now; if I write no more than them I could quit and be happy. If I have new ideas, and the desire to write them, even better. But none of the books really resemble each other; it will be more difficult to build and retain an audience. Each one is a take on something that I find fascinating in erotica—a fem-dom novel, a science fiction novel, chateau porn. If people find my work, they’ll follow because they like my voice, my ideas, not because I keep writing in a specific subgenre.
What’s the most surprising piece of feedback you’ve ever received from a fan of your writing?
I have been surprised that some reviewers have called Blue a comedy, a satire, while others are calling it Dark Erotica. It’s kind of both, I guess? I’ve just read such darker work; it didn’t occur to me that it would be seen that way.
If someone new to your work is going to start with a story, which one would you recommend they read first?
Well, there aren’t that many to choose from. I’ve had a frustrating start with short stories, as the anthology that one was accepted into was cancelled; another is taking a long time to come out, etc. My short story “Auction, In Quotation Marks,” in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Best Bondage Erotica 2015 is probably my best-written short. It’s fem-dom, which I write less of than M/f, but I’m very happy with it. My new novelette Birthday Boy is just up on Amazon; it’s the first of twelve closely-linked stories that will be released in their entirety early next year. Come to think of it, it’s pretty harsh fem-dom as well.
Who is your favorite BDSM/kinky author? Movie?
Author: I adore Molly Weatherfield’s two novels, Carrie’s Story and Safe Word; I sing their praises whenever I get the chance:
As in all things erotica, they’re not for everyone, but the intelligence behind the writing, the main character, combined with the over-the-top (in a good way) sexual situations has always blown my socks off.
Movie: Probably The Image, from 1975, directed by Randy Metzger. This was back when porn movies had plots. It is adapted from the classic novel L’Image by Jean de Berg (Catherine Robbe-Grillet, who anyone interested in kink should look up). It’s about a man who meets a woman with a female sex slave of her own, and while it’s quite rough—and explicit—there’s a fascinating mix of the psychological and the sexual, and the storytelling is good. It’s a beautiful thing.
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