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Anyone who knows me knows I write contemporary romance for a reason. I loathe research. While some writers go ga-ga over research, for me it’s in the same category as a tax audit and dental visit. Me no like.
But as an erotic romance author, it seemed a natural segue for me to progress into writing BDSM romances – which meant coming face-to-face with my archenemy, my nemesis, my Waterloo…research. (And no, I’m not talking about the kind of research that had me tied up in a dungeon with whips and chains and floggers – oh my! Really, I’m not…
For Shattered Trust I wanted to do some honest-to-goodness research versus flying by the seat of my pants. Why? Because there are real people who live this lifestyle and I did not want to offend them. (Just ask any Regency author the penalty for getting historical details about clothing or transportation wrong. It can be worse than death.)
So, how does a vanilla (aka, someone not in the kink/leather lifestyle) author go about doing research involving BDSM without having to – ahem – do the research? The first thing I did was read BDSM romances by other authors – and NOT 50 Shades. A few of my personal favorites are Delilah Devlin, Lavender Day and Lily Rede. But, as with historical writers, taking what you read in someone else’s fictional book doesn’t make it so. But reading non-fiction BDSM books does. My ‘go-to’ non-fiction books are BDSM, The Naked Truth, by Dr. Charley Ferrer and The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino.
Then there’s the research I did by Googling kink toys/equipment which gave me ideas of what various floggers, spanking benches and St. Andrews crosses actually look like. However, all the reading and Googling wasn’t helping me get into the emotion of what transpires during a scene. For that I needed a personal connection to the lifestyle.
Kim and I share a mutual friend who introduced us. Kim’s a “bottom” in the local leather community and was more than willing to help navigate me the uncharted kink waters. She answered my questions, showed me some of her Top’s favorite toys and agreed to be a beta reader for Shattered Trust. (She also turned out to be an amazing line editor!)
I took every scrap of her advice to heart. If Kim said something wasn’t right, I changed or at least modified it. One example was when Kate (heroine) scoffed at Liam’s (hero) compliment of her body. Originally, I had Liam “punish” Kate by spanking her. Kim pointed out a Top/Dominant wouldn’t set their bottom/submissive up to fail like that. She suggested turning the scene around so Kate got rewarded by being spanked. So instead of it being a punishment, it became a “fun”ishment.
Without question Kim helped to make Shattered Trust a deeper, richer, truer portrayal of a D/s relationship, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for her assistance. I’m also looking forward to working with Kim in the future, given that Shattered Trust is the first book in my Trustworthy Texas trilogy…
So what about you? If you’re a vanilla author like me, just how far would you go to get the kink right in your story? Inquiring minds want to know, don’tcha know… *wink* Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win a $10 gift card. Thanks again to Romancebooks4us for letting me hang out today!
Learning to love is the easy part...
As a young woman, Kate Landry trusted the wrong man, and she paid dearly for her naiveté. Alone, pregnant and destitute, she survived by the sheer force of her will. Now forty-two, Kate has made a good living for herself and her daughter as the owner of the Bluebird Saloon. But she’s forgotten how to live. That is until he comes into her bar…
Liam St. James loved a girl once. And only once. After an accident paralyzed her, she didn’t trust he would continue to love her. Brokenhearted, Liam left and soon discovered a world where women did trust him—to be their sexual Dominant. He plays out the scenes masterfully, but the unexpected request from the stoic bar owner will pose his greatest challenge yet…
Kate and Liam embark on a journey to uncover repressed urges and, in the process, they discover new desires. They also fall in love with one another. But when you’ve been shattered as badly as they have by mistrust, deceit and abuse, loving is easy. Trusting is harder, if not impossible, especially when the heart is involved…
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Lynda grew up loving stories, especially romances. For her the only thing better than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate.
Her romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! She’s proud to have been a 2010 finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart®. Please join her for laughter and love, and where the good guys always win in the end.
Lynda lives in Reno with my husband of thirty+ years and two pampered pooches. You can visit her at http://www.lyndabailey.net/. Or drop an email at Lynda@lyndabailey.net