Elia Winters joins BDSM Writers Con
Check out what she has to say…
What differences or difficulties, if any, do you see in writing D/s stories as opposed to your typical romance?
I think the way a couple handles BDSM between themselves is as much a developmental step in a relationship as the decision to have a relationship in the first place. There are so many ways to “do” BDSM, from full-time total power exchange to light switching during some sexual play, and just being into BDSM doesn’t mean the two are going to be compatible partners. I think two people figuring out their particular dynamic is a relationship arc all its own, and it’s unique to D/s stories. All romances consist of people figuring out how to be together, but D/s stories are figuring out how to be together as a D/s couple as well.
Right now, for example, I’m writing a sequel to Purely Professional, which was my first novel. The first novel was all about this couple realizing they want to have a romantic relationship and a D/s relationship, but this sequel is about figuring out what kind of D/s relationship they want to have. That’s a dynamic that isn’t present in other types of romance.
Why have you chosen to attend BDSM Writers Con?
I usually attend a couple of conventions each year, some geeky, some book-focused, some for kink, but this is my first time attending BWC. What interests me most about it is the combination of writing and kink, since I write kink and am interested in connecting with similar authors and with readers of the genre. Often, I feel like I’m at the fringes of other writing conferences, as an author who writes BDSM, and the attendees aren’t often interested in my genre. Now and then, I’ll be seated alphabetically next to Inspirational Romance authors at book signings, which is hilarious but not very helpful! I know that at BDSM Writers Con, I’ll be able to network and socialize in a focused way with people who are already into my genre, rather than trying to figure out which small percentage of attendees at a different con might want to read what I write.
What’s the biggest challenge for you as a BDSM writer?
My biggest challenge is probably finding the appropriate intersection and separation of my personal and professional lives. I’m sex-positive and kink-positive, open about what I write whenever possible, but I’m also a high school teacher and thus can’t be as open as I’d like to be. I can’t reveal my real name or hold events in my hometown for fear of being “outed” and possibly losing my job. Although I live in a liberal part of the country, people are strange when it comes to school teachers: we’re expected to be asexual and to model outdated standards of modesty even in our personal lives. I am a consummate professional with my students and would never discuss the details of my work or my personal life with them, of course, but I can’t even be open about writing erotic romance – and certainly not BDSM – because parents might consider me a poor role model for their children. It’s a frustrating situation in which to live, one which limits me professionally.
What differentiates your writing from other BDSM books?
I think there are an increasing number of magnificent BDSM books on the market, and I enjoy discovering new ones. For me personally, my brand is geeky, kinky romance, so I think that intersection of geek and kink is one thing that sets me apart. Another aspect of my writing is its lightheartedness: I like to write characters having fun with kink, even as it challenges them, and show that not all BDSM has to be concrete floors and darkened basements. Those have their place, of course, and I love reading some darker stories, but I personally write happy BDSM: characters discovering their kinkiness with joy rather than with fear.
What awards have you received?
My first book, Purely Professional, was a 2015 RITA finalist for Best Erotic Romance and Best First Book. Tiffany Reisz took home the RITA for Best Erotic Romance with The Siren, so I’m honored to have been among a small group of finalists with such high caliber books.
A little about Elia:
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Now, she combines her kinkster identity with her nerdiness to write geeky, kinky romance. Her first novel, Purely Professional, was a 2015 RITA finalist for Best Erotic Romance and Best First Book. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband, their cat, and a tame mourning dove. Visit her Website or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org