When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?
Nope. Up until three years ago, I didn’t even known the erotic romance genre existed, let alone the existence of BDSM/kinky books. In fact, the only way I searched for BDSM reading material was through www.adultfanfiction.net.
I’ve always devoured mainstream romances, and I still do. My first two (trunked) manuscripts, though on the explicit end of the romance spectrum, would not be considered erotic by my current publisher. But then I stumbled upon works by Angela Knight and Lisa Marie Rice, and my eyes were opened. I always toned down the sex scenes in my writing, and I wondered what it would be like to let my imagination run wild. I dipped my toe into writing light BDSM with my first published novella Tower in the Woods, and I was pleasantly surprised when it was accepted by Liquid Silver Books.
Now that I’ve found my place in the erotic romance genre, I’m sticking with it. I’m writing a contemporary romance right now where the characters don’t seem to want to do anything BDSM/kinky, and so it’ll probably turn out to be a straightforward contemporary erotic romance.
Do you use a pen name? If yes (or no), why?
Yes, I do. My real name isn’t a secret—I tweet under it and that twitter account is linked to my website. With a few clicks, any reader can find out what my actual name is.
So why the degree of separation? My husband’s work is one where I’m often introduced to his outside contacts. We are also sent overseas to work in conservative countries where wearing a dress is considered culturally insensitive, let alone writing kinky books. I thought it prudent not to have “writer of erotic BDSM romance” pop up if my husband’s work contacts Google his or my real names.
At what point did you decide you wanted to write BDSM/kinky-themed erotica?
It wasn’t a conscious decision. I always set out to write a story with a certain plot and a set of characters. The BDSM elements came naturally as part of the story progression. That’s why there’s a significant difference in kinkiness between my Undead Fairy Tales series (light BDSM, explicit erotic romance) and my Captive Fates series (light BDSM, ménage, anal play, dubious consent, intense edgy erotic romance). In the case of Warlock’s Pawn, the sex scenes turned out dark and kinky because that’s what my characters demanded.
That said, there’s a reason BDSM creeps into my writing. Romances with dubious consent and submissive heroines have always been my guilty pleasure. I only write books I would personally want to read (were they written by someone else), and BDSM books are a favorite of mine.
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?
As I said, submissive heroines are my guilty pleasure. Don’t get me wrong—all my heroines are spunky and kick-ass in real life. They just like being dominated in bed. Pair that with alpha-male heroes, and you have a recipe for domination & submission. It happens automatically when I get to the sex scene. I like to feature my heroine tied up and at the hero’s mercy, and, in some cases, I add a voyeuristic/sex in public element to that. And then there’s always other stuff they can do to spice things up, depending on the situation and character.
Why just these elements? The above are BDSM practices I find sexy. It’s as simple as that.
Is there an area that is BDSM/kink-related that you haven’t written about yet that you’re interested in?
Yes. I want to explore writing about the BDSM life-style (as opposed to just featuring BDSM in my sex scenes). This will be a long-term goal, as I honestly haven’t read enough books in the genre to feel comfortable writing my own. I also feel that I … ahem … would need to do a wee bit more hands-on research to do the genre justice.
At this point in your career, do you think you’ll write more BDSM/kinky erotica?
Definitely. My fledgling career as a writer has only just started. Romance and Erotic Romance are the only genres I read, and I’ve devoured the books with BDSM/kink. Trying to write in a different genre would be too much work. I’ve unwittingly done a ton of research already and I wouldn’t want to see it all go to waste.
If someone new to your work is going to start with a story, which one would you recommend they read first?
It helps that I only have two. Considering this site’s readership, I would definitely recommend Warlock’s Pawn. The romance in this book is woven into the erotic journey of all the main characters, and the emphasis, to be completely blunt, is on the sex. The book is as much about the heroine’s sexual awakening as it is about political intrigue and suspense.
What is your favorite flavor ice cream? And since this interview is for BDSM Book Reviews, vanilla is not an option!
It’s a tie between Dulce de Leche and Strawberry Cheesecake.
Website, links info:
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/laylatarar
Consolidated Buy Links for Warlock’s Pawn: http://taraquan.com/captive-fates/
Consolidated Buy Links for Tower in the Woods: http://taraquan.com/undead-fairy-tales/