Kinky Chat with R.E. Hargrave

hargrave

R.E Hargrave
Golden Flogger Award Nominee
Speaks out

 

Why did you begin writing BDSM novels?
I first consciously started reading BDSM themed fanfictions back in 2009. Later, it would dawn on me that some of my favorite books, A. N. Roquelaure’s Beauty Trilogy, had in fact been BDSM stories—I just hadn’t been aware of the ‘term’ when I read it, or that a whole Lifestyle existed around it. After getting my hands on a few of these fanfics, I noticed there were similarities, but there more differences in the information being provided which left me wondering what was right and what was wrong in what I was reading. So I began to research, and in so doing found a whole new world which absolutely fascinated me in its diversity and beauty. It also inspired me to pick up a pen and take a shot at creating my own account, with accurate information.

Do you participate in D/s activities or merely write about them?
For me, the best stories always have an air of truth to them. Something that the reader can relate to, which pulls them into the story even if, in the end, it is just a fictional tale. In order to ensnare readers on my own projects, I felt it necessary to know what I was describing in my writing: a spanking, a flogging, being on my knees and seeing Him look down upon me with awe and admiration just to name a few.

As mentioned in the above question, my initial researching also led to the discovery of the inherent beauty of a D/s relationship, whether romantic or not. I shared my enthusiasm to explore further with my husband, and to my surprise, he wasn’t shocked. Again, part of my past had gone unnoticed by me until he reminded me of our kinkier moments in our early dating days (we are high school sweethearts still going strong after nearly a quarter of a century). To be fair, he was a bit surprised when I requested that first spanking as ‘hitting’ a woman was not something he would ever do, but with time and plenty of open communication, we worked through that. So the short answer is yes, I participate. However, at this time in our lives it is contained to our private moments in the bedroom, not out and about in a community setting. Perhaps with time it’ll become more of who we are, but for now W/we are content in our arrangement. The added bonus that I can write a scene with the confidence that I’m accurately portraying both the emotional and physical sides involved doesn’t hurt.

What does being nominated for the Golden Flogger Award mean to you?
Simply put, I am humbled beyond belief. I have no idea who nominated me, but the gesture shows me that I’m doing something right. So many BDSM stories out there are pulled from the writer’s head with no firsthand knowledge or true understanding which lets things slip through the cracks. The end result is readers being misinformed, and potentially ending up in a dangerous situation because they go in pursuit of their own Dom/me without knowing what is okay and what isn’t. This nomination is like a seal of approval, and I’ll be eternally grateful.

Do you conduct any advocacy work in this lifestyle or is it strictly fiction base for you? If so, what?
With my social media presence, I invite readers to ask me questions. I don’t shy away from being honest and truthful in answering, to the extent of my knowledge. I’ve befriended several people who do live the Lifestyle and support them whenever I can. For example, one friend’s Master has recently been elected president of their local community group and to help them, I’ve donated signed sets of my Divine Trilogy to their auction to raise funds for their annual bash.

What is the hardest part of writing your novel?
The final book in my trilogy, Surreal, is the one that was nominated for this award. It took me two years to write because not only did I need to move forward and conclude the story of my main characters, but I wanted to tackle the difference between abuse and informed consent. The whole trilogy, in fact, has been an exercise in showing the different aspects of the Lifestyle through the assorted minor characters. My ultimate goal was to have readers walk away with a broadened horizon and hopefully acceptance, realizing it’s not all whips and chains and that every D/s relationship is different. What matters in the end is that the parties involved have negotiated their terms and are happy, whether their thing is leather and wax or feathers and lace. No judgment should be placed on them for what they choose to do as consenting adults.

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing works.
First and foremost I am a mother to three beautiful and scary-smart children, closely followed by being a wife. My author hat is donned around my domestic life, and when I can work it in, I also do preliminary editing for fellow Indie authors. I initially signed with a publishing house, but that didn’t work out, and I ended up requesting my rights back so that I could pursue writing in the self-publishing market. So far, I’ve been very happy with the decision. Yes, sales could be better, but what author doesn’t think that? I’m willing to put in my time and wait for my writing to be discovered.

Just like my reading habits are diverse, so is my writing. The Divine Trilogy is near and dear to me because of my personal involvement in creating it, but BDSM will not be the only genre I write in. Erotica seems to be a good fit for me, but I’ve also done YA/NA short stories, and have plans to tackle some paranormal and horror in the future. Diversity is the spice of life after all.

My current portfolio includes four short stories and three novels, all available on Amazon. Sugar & Spice, Haunted Raine, Unchained Melody, and The Food Critic are the shorts. The Divine Trilogy consists of To Serve is Divine, A Divine Life, and Surreal. Upcoming projects include some companion novellas for the trilogy to explore the stories of the side characters, an erotic series which will be told from the viewpoint of a voyeur, and a paranormal shifter story—just to name a few.

Will you be attending BDSM Writers Con or other events we can meet you at?
I would love to be able to attend, however time and money are issues considering the event will be taking place at the beginning of the school year and W/we have three children. It’s probably safe to say that until all of them are at least college age, I won’t be getting to any events that aren’t within driving distance of Dallas. But I do invite people to reach out to me through my blog (www.rehargrave.com) or Facebook at any time!

R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter, and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of music. A native ‘mutt,’ Hargrave has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories~which range from the sweet to the paranormal to the erotic~on location in South Carolina and Texas, but its anybody’s guess as to what the genre will be!


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