Blushing in the Writer’s Spotlight

dark milk white chocolateRed knew something was up. She found celery stalks soaking in the fridge which had been cut into cat-o-nine-tails. The recipe card for pretzels was on the counter, and the double boiler was gently melting chocolate. She pulled a tray out of the oven and laughed because they were shaped like handcuffs.

RD: Do you want yours cuffs with or without chocolate?

LC: Duh.

RD: Pull up a stool, and I will make some Irish coffee. So, what do you want to know?

LC: Why Darkness? This is the second book you published with the launch of Redmund, and your sixth published book to date, do you think people were surprised at the genre of the book considering your other ones are self-help and poetry?

RD: While the genre may not be all that big a stretch considering my personality, the subgenre is likely a shocker. I have as much imagination as personality.

LC: You get fairly detailed about some of the practices of BDSM with your characters firmly immersed in it as a way of life. What kind of research was involved in order to present it as true to life as you have?

Red Dwyer

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RD: Actually interviewing and observing practices and lifestyles. While this book focuses on some of the more mundane practices, it also reveals the capacity for much more stringent rigors and opens the imagination to the trust necessary to engage in a lifestyle where one person can harm another.

LC: There is a general misconception of what BDSM is really about, dare I say stigma associated with it. What is it really about and why do you think people engage in behavior and lifestyle you have made the stage for your characters?

RD: The misconception is massive based on its name. Sade has been likened to Caligula, when in fact he was not. The glorified versions of BDSM (read in movies and porn) all depicted the pain and humiliation, but forego the genuine affection and trust necessary to sustain a long term BDSM relationship. This book also explores the realm of sexual addiction which can complicate both a vanilla relationship and a spicy one with the same level of dysfunction.

LC: Of the stories three main characters, and their distinctive roles in the BDSM lifestyle, which do you think is the most predominant role and strongest character?

RD: Spoiler! I know where the story is going, so I will just have to say this: Ashlyn is the most predominant character in this book because she exposes the most mindset which allows readers to become immersed in her emotions, predilections and psyche. She offers the most in terms of direct character development, although the aura around Daniel makes him immensely interesting. The strongest character is a complete surprise.

LC: There is a bit of a blush factor with DI with the frank language and explicit detail, was there a time or point where it caused a blush factor for you, or you ever thought it might be too much?

RD: (Laughs uproariously) Um, no. One of my favorite times during the writing was talking to a friend. I came out with a stock expletive, and she inquired. I told her I had been seven pages without a sex scene. Confused, she asked what I would do. “Develop some story line to expand so I could put in another sex scene.”

The language is coarse in the situation, as the situations are not gentle or traditionally romantic. The crass natural of the language is perfunctory in terms of typical dominance through humiliation. Not all BDSM is about physical pain. The psychological aspects of it are quite intriguing.

In case, you have not guessed your host, the incomparable Liz Campbell

In case, you have not guessed your host, the incomparable Liz Campbell

LC:  So, what are the basic necessary components of a good erotica book?

RD: Good characters, hot sex, strong plot line, hot sex, conflict with plausible resolution and a little extra hot sex. Even if you skip the sex scenes, you still have a good book to read. Otherwise, it would just be porn.

LC: What would your advice be to a writer interested in writing erotica?

RD: Have believable settings and characters. Do not make it up from what you have heard. Know something about the physical aspects of sex. Oh, and never use the words “love canal” or “throbbing manhood”.

LC: (Blushing and giggling) What do you think one of the biggest mistakes erotica writers make in their stories?

RD: Being one of the characters. The worst erotica I have read was voyeuristic memoir. While the emotional or physical nature of the relationship is apparent to the writer, the lack of character development on the part of the protagonist leaves readers wanting, pun intended. Without knowing why the sexual experiences are important to the character, the reader is left with the dirty feeling of being a peeping Tom for a sex scene which could have been anyone. Without some story line, all on the page is just memory.

LC: When you offered DI for beta reading were you surprised at the reaction? How did the story benefit from your beta readers input?

RD: (Laughs) Yes. This one went through three editors before one would stick with the story. The beta readers were a mite shocked the story was so enthralling. It is a page-turner. While the shock of the sex is not likely to wear off quickly, the story line leaves you wondering what you would do in the situations. The beta readers were surprised to find themselves with questions for me.

Although this manuscript did not change significantly through beta, the sequels will answer some of the beta questions resultant from DI. They were not unresolved plot, but curiosity.

Darkness Introduced CoverLC: What about your cover art, which is stunning by the way (Haha! Take that out it’s a shameless plug.),  how do you feel it reflects and/or represents DI?

RD: When you and I were working on this, you had done some striking nudes with light. When you first sent her to me, the only thing I needed which did not come through in the draft was the collar. I believe you have captured the ethereal mystique of BDSM with it by not specifically representing one character while leaving the reader to insert the face of choice before waving away the fog to discover the darkness within the world beneath the cover.

LC: What are your thoughts on the reviews DI has received?

RD: The stars are amazing. I knew this book would not be everyone’s Earl Grey. True to my nature, I am the guide through a place others may be curious to see, but not necessarily brave enough to venture alone. On the heels of some popular, albeit watery, erotica recently, the resonance of DI’s characters with readers is encouraging.

LC: How important are book reviews to the first time author? Established authors?

RD: For both, they are crucial. For the first time author, they help potential readers to take a chance on someone without a large media campaign. For established authors, the constant stream of reviews are proof of the book’s enduring qualities.

LC: Is your marketing strategy any different for this book than the others considering the genre and explicit sexual nature of the story?

RD: Absolutely. This is not the kind of book I will be marketing to the children’s education league. On the other hand, it is not something I am going to hide either. DI has a place at the table with all other books. There is absolutely no shame in creating an erotic novel. Shame comes from repression the expression of curiosity, interest and excitement. There is no judgment in DI, and I will in no way judge it as lacking because it happens to use words the PC world would like to have outlawed.

Redmund ProductionsLC: How was the process of publishing this book different than MFM and T3?

RD: Technically not. Although I self-published the first two, they both went through rigorous beta, editing and covering. I did not scrimp on the others, so DI came through with the same treatment.

The biggest difference for me was a pool of otherwise willing beta readers. Before, I had to scour for them. Due to the nature of the RedmundPro cooperative, the beta readers were available even though the genre was off the mainstream of the other books in the launch.

LC: You have assuredly established yourself as a well-rounded author with all your books being popular and so well written. What genre do you want to get into next?

RD: I have a crime thriller which is about half-written. I have the sequel to DI more than half written, and due out in April. I will publish at least one more self-help, another poetry book on 01MAR13 and have left myself for the possibility for the third installment of the Darkness series before the end of the year. Although, considering the pitch I got recently, I may take a break from my current WIP to do something completely different.

LC: This book is the first in a series. How many more books are you planning to come after and anything you want to tease the readers with about what may happen to the characters in book two?

RD: My original plan was for seven books. Although three characters are pivotal in DI there are actually six who continue through the majority of the series. The psychological reveals of book two, Charitable Darkness, are enlightening and frightening. Some things are not as they appear, and an accidental crime features in CD. In the RedmundPro Forums, I welcome reader questions and suggestions for what they would like to see of the characters.

LC: Okay, so sum up Darkness Introduced in 15 words or less.

RD: Action, sex and drama blend seamlessly in Darkness. Escort or not, you will return.

LC: All I have to say is, Red, you just launched a publishing company with 13 books published, including two of your own, you now have 6 published books to your credit as well as a great blog, what are you gonna do next?

RD: Start laying the framework for the studio portion of Redmund Productions? (Puts note in Crackberry.)

LC: Can I be a casting director, IJS?

Darling M3 Readers,

You are already on The M3 Blog. If you have not subscribed, it is painless and only generates a maximum of one email per day. Take a few minutes to scroll though my books available in the RedmundPro book store. Darkness Introduced is available in paperback, ebook, Kindle and PDF. While you are there, be sure to check out my newest book as well.

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  1. Great interview, really enjoyed getting to know both of you better! I’d melt chocolate with you guys anytime. Cast me in a role, too! I wanna play…
    enchantedseashells recently posted..One Million Moms see bestiality in a Geico commercial.My Profile

    • ok…noted…Enchanted Seashells – chocolate.. role with melted chocolate.. got it! I am practicing for the job interview, tryout whatever it is 😉 ..
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Don’t Miss This!My Profile

      • Shell, she is taking you seriously… she did not say “Roll in melted chocolate”. 😛

    • I think we should start a traveling chocolate club so we can all visit and drink Green Fairy and eat truffles. 🙂

  2. Very compelling interview… I appreciate both of your forthrightness and intelligent discussion of what could be gutter talk.
    I hope DI puts the very dull Grey series way down in the ranks of good literature!!
    BuddhaKat recently posted..“Let’s Move…” like the FLOTUS!My Profile

    • I tried to talk dirty …
      ok sorry just kidding anyways… I agree with you about the other thing and it was a fun interview… 🙂
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Don’t Miss This!My Profile

    • From everything I heard, the Grey series was not ligature, I mean literature 😛 xxx And you know we are not getting in the gutter here…

  3. The interviewee is as great as the interviewer!
    Hope your book is read and loved far and wide, Red!
    (And I hope people get…bound up in it.)
    (God, I’m such a child…)
    El Guapo recently posted..Trifecta – But What Kind Of Doctor?!?My Profile

  4. Interesting interview, and well handled, given the “stigma” involved in the overall subject matter… I haven’t been by in a while, and hadn’t realized your publishing business had grown so quickly– good to hear… I’ll be in touch in a month or so, as I have a book in mind, that is in the stages of putting together a final draft for someone to look at…. and I would appreciate help in getting it out when it’s done…. Re: BDSM, I’ve always like the classic joke, that actually gives a good example of the psychological side of it that you pointed out… to wit:

    A masochist and sadist got married. On the wedding night, this was their conversation..

    Masochist: “Beat me! Beat Me!”
    Sadist: “No.”

    🙂 ‘Bout says it all for me!

    Nice job, Lizzie! I’ll be around….

    gigoid recently posted..Safely insane amid the noise and tedium…..My Profile

    • Aye, that is a classic which is true to form. Stop by RP for guidelines and help, Gig. Click the Red Lady in the spinner to find out where the fun is.

  5. Congratulations on the new book. Likely not my cup of Earl Grey as you say, but I enjoyed the interview. Nice job LC. Did not know you were so prolific and entrepreneurial. Will be bookmarking the store.
    John Phillips recently posted..Song Of The Day – Hey Rosetta! – “Red Heart”My Profile

    • I should hope you do find something to suit your cup, John. Thank you for stopping by to say hello!

  6. Liz, great interview, cool questions, BDSM is a difficult subject for some, but you handled it beautifully. Red, touchy subject, but you put together an excellent book—and well written. Great interview, you two !
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Issues: PennilessMy Profile

    • The toughest part was the initial character blend to ensure they were separate from my study subjects. After that, they took on a life and lifestyle all their own.

  7. Thanks for a great interview! Getting to hear about the trust and affection that goes along with a longterm BDSM relationship is refreshing for all of those who dismiss this lifestyle and genre. You shine, Red! There is of course, a lot of hot sex to be had, but what interests me as well is the complexities of the relationships.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Gail Thornton – Unique Artisan JewelryMy Profile

    • And they get just as complicated as any other relationships. In talking to ppl about this book, I am astounded by the ppl who say, “Oh, that’snot for me,” who have no concept what the real deal is.

  8. Love the interview folks! 🙂

    BDSM isn’t my cup of tea, but I wish you every success with the book Red! 🙂

    Love and hugs to ya both!

    prenin recently posted..Wednesday – My first paperback book arrives!!!My Profile

  9. Gray Dawster

     /  February 28, 2013

    I haven’t read this book but with your calibre of writing I am sure that it will be a great success 🙂

    Have a wonderful rest of evening Red 🙂

    Gray Dawster xxxx

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