Why did you begin writing BDSM novels?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young. After many false starts and delays, I finally began writing everyday while in grad school. This was in another genre and at a time when I was still finding my voice and place as a writer. With the proliferation of online and indie publishing, I started reading BDSM stories that never would have been found in brick and mortar bookstores or published through traditional venues. However, the BDSM presented in these works were often too mild for my tastes. So as is frequently done by new writers, I wrote the kind of stories I wanted to read but couldn’t find.
Where would you like to see the BDSM genre head? How will it get there?
I’d really like to see the BDSM genre expand into several directions. Most of it now is fantasy based, but there’s plenty of room for comedy and serious literary works. It would be fun to see a David Foster Wallace type enter the genre. It’s unfortunate that many readers expect and accept low-quality work. BDSM literature isn’t porn. While financial limits may drive pornography to use shallow storylines and cheap settings, there’s nothing holding back a writer from producing compelling, entertaining works.
What is the hardest part of writing your novel?
Time, time and time. I work fifty to sixty hours in my professional life with a newborn at home. I’m often sitting down to write at eleven o’clock at night. Beyond that, I always find the thirty-five to forty thousand word count to be a difficult leg of the novel. I’m a discovery writer so at the halfway point, I often have to pause and really ask myself who my characters are and question the direction I’m moving them in.
I try not to think about whether a certain scene will alienate readers. Otherwise, I’d go crazy. I write what I enjoy and trust there’s an audience for it.
Tell us a little about yourself and how your writing works.
I’ve been sexually wired for BDSM before I knew there was a term for it. I grew up in a small mid-western town where such sexual interests/orientations weren’t accepted and rarely discussed. I was very ashamed of these desires and I tried my best to suppress them. Writing provides a safe conduit to explore the psychology and origins of these desires. While I write what some would consider hardcore BDSM, I hope it lends a better understanding of total power exchange. Another aspect of writing about dominant women that’s really interesting to me is that the heroine and villain are often one in the same and their designation dependent upon the reader’s perspective. What might be a horror story for one person is another’s greatest fantasy. For literary geeks, such as myself, this blending of character types is fascinating.
Do you participate in D/s activities or merely write about them?
I do participate in power exchange activities, though not nearly as much as when I was in my early twenties. Ah, to be young again. I still have that secret, conspicuously plain-looking storage box in my closet filled with rude instruments, but with a child, work and chores, it’s difficult to find time to dust off the canes and floggers for an evening of indulgence. I have attended munches and BDSM parties in the past. For writers, there’s no better place to discover real-life characters. You can’t make up the stuff that goes on at those places and the people you find.