Leona D. Reish

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Leona D. Reish, Golden Flogger Award nominee joins us from Britain to share her thoughts about BDSM and why she’s chosen to write in this genre.

 

Why did you begin writing BDSM novels?
The intimate nature of BDSM has always appealed to me for as long as I can remember. From the intimate fashion to broad function, its depths and the hint of intimidating taboo secrecy it lays behind has a real charm to it. It’s a desire to take those precious, fantastical and powerful things and celebrate them in all their dynamic range, showing them for as tenderly elevating and viscerally weakening as they can be.

Do you participate in D/s activities or merely write about them?
One of my first sexual experiences involved just an old school uniform tie – we were past the school age! – and suffice to say but things carried on down the slippery slope from there. The span of what I write may exceed what I have or can do in person, but that itself is a charm of fiction that gives you the power to enrich and embellish on experience.

Where did you get your information on this lifestyle?
This one’s kind of difficult to pin down, as I’ve been into it since long before things such as fetlife or even computers and the internet being as easily accessible as they are these days. It goes back to innocuous and seemingly innocent things, much like with any fetish. Princess Leia’s moment of slavery in Return of the Jedi really struck a chord in younger years, but then I also remember bogwings giving me nightmares.

So progressing from that seed of interest, I’d say primarily in adult literature from top-shelf sections of a local store, and if I can ever inspire another in that way, the circle of life is complete. It gradually progressed through scavenging of content and experimentation through the years. With the boom of easily accessible internet content, communities and online stores, getting deeper into BDSM and finding like-minded people to network with has never been easier.

What does being nominated for the Golden Flogger Award mean to you?
A lot. Beyond obviously being flattered and elated, it tells me that what I write is really reaching an audience of people who love what I do in this genre, that I’m on the right track and to redouble my efforts to provide that for such awesome readers. I’ve always worked to make a difference and enrich people’s lives through what I do, be it writing or any other profession, and this really stands out as an affirmation of that desire.

I can’t thank everyone involved in the nomination enough – the BDSM Writers Con especially. Thank you for hosting and promoting works of BDSM like this and celebrating such a wonderful genre and lifestyle with others.

Do you conduct any advocacy work in this lifestyle or is it strictly fiction base for you? If so, what?
It would be amazing to be able to do that, given that a big cornerstone of BDSM is understanding and acceptance – “safe, sane and consensual” – but unfortunately not. With that said, an ethic I’ve always held is that if you want to see something change, start making it happen yourself. While not true of every book – Dressmaker’s Doll is a darker tale of seduction to power alongside the twining of sensual restraint and practical fashion design, for instance – there are notes of advocacy in my writing.

Fiction and erotic literature exists to entertain, but that doesn’t exempt it from those stories and concepts bearing themes and morals that inspire people to feel better about things such as their bodies or interests. The best fiction is that which enriches the reader’s life and moves their hearts, so inspiring someone to take a greater interest in BDSM through fiction is a great thing.

Without making it a sort of political platform, erotic writers absolutely have an amazing platform to reach and show the world both fantastical highs and intimate lows they may never have imagined without these stories.

Where would you like to see the BDSM genre head? How will it get there?
I’d love to see the genre and lifestyle at large to head toward being accepted and understood more openly in all forms. There’s such a wealth of potential in it that could help so many with anything from stress relief to confidence and strengthening bonds if they just had the appropriate prompt and path to get into it.

How it gets to that place will only be through a broad range of acts, the BDSM Writers Con certainly being an excellent example. From a personal standpoint, how can I help it get there, the answer comes in creating it myself – by leading people into rich worlds and stories that include BDSM on accessible and enjoyable terms, from simple restraints and relationship dynamics to full-on dungeons and lifestyle couples.

What is the hardest part of writing your novel?
Hah, focusing! Well, focus and a want to get further down the line. Some of what feel like my best ideas and projects are still only paper notes and ideas in the back of my head, but everything has to wait its turn and come in sequence. There’s no shortage of passion and plans, but building everything from the ground up to fill my vision for it is the real challenge.

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing works.
I’m a British-born author that’s been writing fiction for at least half my life and recently celebrated my second anniversary of professional publishing at the start of March. I’ve traveled and enjoyed a wide range of climates throughout my life, which is more than can be said for the climate here in the North-East of England! It’s a peaceful place with kind people out in the countryside though, and writing can be done from anywhere, so I can’t complain.

As to my writing, I take on a range of genres and fetishes, including a growing high fantasy universe full of mythical and paranormal monsters, demons and fae creatures as prone to enjoying a taste of BDSM as my contemporary works. It stands to reason in archaic fantasy realms that everyone has pillory stocks and shackles in their dungeon-fitted basements! The BDSM in my works – both contemporary, fantasy and of any sexual orientation – can range from soft, tender dominance to harsher devices and methods in both male and female dominance.

Will you be attending BDSM Writers Con or other events we can meet you at?
Living in England makes traveling to New York alone somewhat difficult, but it’s certainly a tempting prospect. It’s really great to see that the BDSM Writers Con is going strong and will be there in August. If I was to attend an event like that, I’d surely make a big deal of publicizing the fact, so people would certainly know!

Sharing, celebrating and educating in the things we enjoy is a fantastic course, and for the time being I can only continue to share that passion through my writing. Just being able to talk and connect with such avid followers and enthusiasts through this interview and the amazing nomination has been absolutely fantastic. Thank you very much for the opportunity, and especially for reading!

LeonaDReish02Leona D. Reish is a British author of both high fantasy and contemporary erotic fiction, weaving tales of dominance and passion in rich settings with a wide variation of themes and people, including tales of straight, lesbian and gay fiction alongside monsters, demons and more.

Born in England, she has led a life of traveling, from several of the United States to the length of England and the dark reaches of the most northern Norway. Creating such diversity and color as exists in the world has been one of the few consistencies in her much-traveled life.

That passion rides strong to this day in a love for writing and enjoying wholly erotic stories with a penchant to the love of BDSM in all its forms that has been taken up as her livelihood to continue producing and sharing works of excellent erotic fiction and romance with an ever-growing audience.


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