Kinky Chat with M.Q. Barber

Join us for a Kinky Chat with M.Q. Barber one of our Golden Flogger Award nominees

Is there a particular aspect of BDSM you prefer to write about?
The characters and their needs drive the plot choices for me, so I tend to focus on the relationship aspects. The emotional growth, communication, and trust necessary for a healthy D/s relationship are at the forefront of my Neighborly Affection series. Alice is a newcomer to the lifestyle. Henry’s her first dominant, and he’s working hard to balance her needs with those of his long-term live-in submissive, Jay. The series touches on different types of play as Alice encounters them and Henry helps her define her boundaries.

Do you participate in D/s activities or merely write about them?
A bit of both. My characters don’t always have the same tastes as I do, but I think it’s helpful as a writer to experience or approximate situations when possible. The emotional realism and sensory detail in the writing feel stronger and more vivid to me when I have a baseline of my own responses versus how the character would respond. When I’m writing about an activity I haven’t experienced and don’t have the opportunity or the desire to, I call on friends who have or fall back on research and what I know of the characters.

Where would you like to see the BDSM genre head? How will it get there?
I’d like to see a broad spectrum of personalities represented. There’s no one true way to experience BDSM, so I don’t think there ought to be one true way to write about or read fiction exploring the lifestyle. I think the genre is already heading in that direction, because people who can’t find the books out there that they want to read are writing them themselves. I’d like to see more stories in which kinks are part of who a person is but aren’t fetishized as the whole person. People leading quiet D/s lives behind closed doors have to deal with traffic jams and emergency grocery runs and workplace drama the same as their vanilla counterparts do – they just might be doing it while wearing underwear their partner picked out for them or knowing they’ll be curling up at their master’s or mistress’s feet when they get home.

What is the hardest part of writing your novels?
Filling in the final few scenes when I’m nearly finished with a manuscript. I write in jigsaw-puzzle fashion, tackling the scenes in the order that I’m feeling most creative about them. The last few scenes I write are almost inevitably in the middle or the beginning of a book, and they’re the ones I’ve had the hardest time conceptualizing: Why does this scene need to be here? What purpose does it serve in the overall story?

I hate writing scenes that are just about moving characters from one point to the next, so I try to make each scene I include an emotionally meaningful one. Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what the characters want to show me, and those scenes take more thought and usually end up being written last, after I’ve had a chance to chew over the ideas.

Tell us about what you’re working on now.
I recently finished the manuscript for the fifth Neighborly Affection series book, so I’m in revision mode. Henry, Alice, and Jay are settling into their relationship roles after some early struggles. Alice is getting the chance to explore her desires as a switch, balancing the thoughtful dominance she needs from Henry with the loving submission she gets from Jay.

I’m also excited about the March release of Becoming His Master. It’s the fourth book in the Neighborly Affection series but can stand alone as the origin story for Henry and Jay’s relationship, which started when Henry intervened in a bad scene and Jay fell hard for his rescuer. Alice has heard bits and pieces of the story, but this is the first time Henry’s shared what those early days were like for him.

And I just wrapped up editing on my first non-BDSM novel, Her Shirtless Gentleman, which comes out in August. I’ll be writing another book in that series soon. After that, it’s wherever the characters take me.

About M.Q. Barber and the Neighborly Affection series:
The story of Henry, Alice, and Jay that began in PLAYING THE GAME (Neighborly Affection #1) continues in CROSSING THE LINES (Neighborly Affection #2) and HEALING THE WOUNDS (Neighborly Affection #3). Henry tells the origin story of his relationship with Jay in BECOMING HIS MASTER (Neighborly Affection #4).

M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.

Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.

She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.

MQBarber_avatarThe former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.

Keep up with the series via M.Q. Barber’s website (http://www.mqbarber.com), Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/mqbarber), Goodreads profile (http://www.goodreads.com/mqbarber) or Twitter feed (http://www.twitter.com/mqbarber).


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