The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:
1. You have been writing for 15 years, and you publish erotic fiction. Was this the genre you first became interested in writing?
Well, considering I started writing in High School, I definitely did not start with erotic fiction! Actually, I started with mystery. As a teen, it was a great way to channel my frustrations. There were often characters very similar to my classmates… Sometimes I look back at some of those works and chuckle at my naivete.
2. What's your second favorite literary genre, currently?
Mystery, for sure. It has had a place in my heart since my mom handed me a Mary Higgins Clark novel out of my grandmother’s closet shortly after my grandmother’s passing. I fell in love.
3. Your fiction focuses on BDSM lifestyle and relationships. What's the most important thing you'd want an outsider to know about BDSM?
That there isn’t one RIGHT way to do things. As long as everyone is safe, sane, and consensual, figure out what works for both of you or all of you and enjoy it.
4. From what I can tell, there are a lot of harmful stereotypes out there about BDSM, especially from people not involved in it at all. How do you (personally) differentiate between "good" and "bad" (poor quality) BDSM fiction?
I’ll read almost anything. I read a surprisingly small amount of BDSM fiction considering it’s about all I write anymore. I’m mostly looking for something that’s an easy read and entertaining. There are, of course, some egregious issues that I can’t handle. I recently started reading a book where the submissive’s safeword was basically treated as code for “I’m having an orgasm,” and…I don’t think I’m going to be finishing that novel.
5. Are there sub-subgenres (niches?) of BDSM fiction that are close to your heart?
That’s a tough question. There are so many things I like. I have a wide variety of kinks, I’m poly, bisexual, and a switch. So… there isn’t much I don’t like! I do really enjoy reading FemDom stories, which is something I’ve only started exploring in the last few years.
6. "Especially now, an ideal world sounds pretty damn good." - What would your ideal world look like?
Well now, if you have been reading my blog during this challenge, you’ll get a pretty good idea! But, in a nutshell: a world where everyone has equal access, there’s no prejudice, there’s lots of kindness, openness, and empathy.
7. One of the novels you published is a Choose Your Own Adventure book. What was it like, writing a narrative structure like that?
I LOVED IT! One of the things that’s difficult for me as a writer is making all the decisions for every character. Sometimes I worry that the reader will dislike my choices as an author. Writing a Choose Your Own Adventure alleviates all of that. The reader can make whatever choices they want! It’s very freeing, but also very difficult to manage details.
8. What is your favorite part of world building?
I am really enjoying the creative control. No need to worry about STDs or accidental pregnancy in my world!
9. The novel you are blogging about in this year's A to Z is a part of a series. Would you like to tell us more about what you plan for this series?
I started out building the world, then starting my main character’s story. I’ve written two books so far, and her story is nowhere near finished. I’m sure that there are some other characters we’ve met along the way who will have their own story to tell. The sky’s the limit!
10. You state on your blog that you are bi and poly. Are these identities reflected in your writing?
I am! Sometimes they do. I write a lot of bisexual fiction, whether I set out to or not. There are sometimes poly relationships, though often I don’t navigate the world of feelings in the poly relationships. I will probably do more of that as time goes on, but I certainly don’t consider myself an expert!
11. What is the best way you'd like to see these identities reflected in fiction? Or mainstream media? What are the stereotypes you want people to be done with?
I just hate that people have to judge other people’s lifestyles. Why does it matter who I go to sleep with? You aren’t seeing it. I’m not having sex in the streets, for goodness sake. But there are people who do judge, and that’s why I have to keep things somewhat anonymous. It’s frustrating. We are just normal people, living normal lives, we just happen to have other adults who help us out. It’s no different than a best friend who helps out with childcare, except we might have sex, too.
12. How do you think fiction can help with removing stigma from topics such as BDSM or polyamory?
I think a lot of stigma comes from a lack of knowledge. Maybe reading/seeing relationships people haven’t experienced will help them understand that they really aren’t that different, and certainly don’t deserve judgment.
13. If you could ask a big-name/famous/important/awesome writer (in your genre or outside) to mentor you, who would it be?
I would love to talk to Laurell K. Hamilton. In what I’ve seen of her social media, she seems like an awesome person, and I LOVE her work. I actually won’t read her novels unless I know I can devote some serious time to it because I can’t put it down!
14. What is your daily (weekly?) writing routine like?
I try to write daily. The challenge I set for myself of writing 1,000,000 words in 2020 requires about 2800 words per day. When I skip days, those words stack up quickly! My best writing times are early in the morning or when I’m out of the house. If I know I can’t set aside some time after work, I try to get up early and write. When all else fails, I make a date with my best writing friend to write together early on a weekend morning.
15. If one of your novels (current or future) would be turned into a movie, what would your dreams be for that movie?
I would love for something to go as mainstream as 50 Shades did. I know that’s not a great representation of BDSM (okay, maybe it’s a pretty terrible representation), but what was impressive to me was that many people outside the community saw it. I think that’s pretty cool. Plus, I could probably write full time off the money that made!
16. If you could write script for a TV show of your choice (existing or original), what would it be?
Gilmore Girls. It was always such a great show, very witty. Loved it.
17. Next to writing fiction, you also blog regularly. Does writing a blog post require a different mindset? Do you easily switch between the two?
It’s definitely very different. I write a lot more easily than I blog. I actually started my blog because of the A to Z Challenge. That makes it easier – having a focus and a goal. Otherwise, I get listless. What do people want to read about? I’m not comfortable talking about my kids on my otherwise kinky bdsm blog! So… what else is there?
18. What advice would you give to bloggers about blogging adult content?
Be honest. It’s so rare to find raw honestly in the world anymore. If you’re going to blog about adult content, don’t censor yourself.
19. What is your favorite part of the A to Z Challenge?
The people! I love reading new blogs, getting comments, responding to comments. It’s such an awesome community!
20. What is something you would have never learned if it wasn't for A to Z?
A to Z wasn’t just the inspiration to start my blog. It was also the inspiration to write my Choose Your Own Adventure. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it!
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