Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kathryn Blake, one of the classiest actors on the spanking fiction stage, answers Emily's Questions

Kathryn Blake exemplifies class, to me. Not only is there a distinct possibility that she is also Headmistress Blake, the stern yet loving authority behind the wonderful, wildly successful Saturday Spankings bloghop, but, from her thoughtful, insightful comments on other authors' blogs to her herculean efforts to help others involved in the many social media endeavors authors are these days duty-bound to attempt, I have seen her time and time again show us all what it means to be a good and helpful colleague.

Also, she writes in a classic style that reminds me of John Updike, I think, more than any other writer. And she's an actor, which, as you may know from the Caroline series, is a thing for me.

For all those reasons, I'm very grateful Kathryn came to answer my questions!

Why do you write?


Hmm. Well, you might as well ask me why do I breathe or eat or do anything else one needs to do to survive. Writing to me is as essential to my health as those things we consider life sustaining. Even if I'm not holding pen in hand, or fingers on keyboard, I'm plotting stories and have done so for as long as I remember. I majored in drama in college, and seriously considered a career in theatre, but found I identified too closely with my characters, so I had to back off from acting. A distance exists between the writer and his or her story that is lacking when an individual is physically assuming the traits of a character. Writing allowed me to delve into characters and their motivations without actually trying to be the person I was creating.

Do you think of BDSM and/or spankophilia as a practice or as an orientation, or as something else, and what does your answer mean to you?

I view BDSM and S/M as a practice versus a sexual orientation, like homosexuality. However, for some it is a lifestyle they participate in 24/7. I view spankophilia (and I detest the word 'spanko') as a fascination or interest. As a word, spankophilia encompasses a broad spectrum from voyeurism to participation. Some like to watch, some to do. On a personal note, I'm not attracted to pain. It tends to turn me off, not on. So, you may ask, why am I interested in reading and writing spanking romances? Good question and the answer probably has strong psychological roots. What turns me on is the threat, the possibility versus the actual event. Having hubby give me 'the look' and ask the question, "Do you want a spanking?" can turn my insides gooey. It is the control or dominance that one being possesses over another in a consensual relationship, which may appear non-consensual to others, that appeals to me.

Who's a favorite character from your own work, and why?

Usually, my favorite character is the hero I'm currently working on, and I do prefer my heroes to my heroines. I won't say my heroines are placeholders, but I have little in common with them. I'm much more like my heroes in personality. They tend to weigh their options thoroughly and make careful decisions while my heroines rush in with little forethought. My heroes think through their problems before they act, my heroines tend to act or react first, ask questions later. My heroines are far brasher and more outspoken than I am. They're braver, too. I admire my heroes' attempt at self-control and wish I possessed their willpower. I enjoy my heroines' gutsiness, but I'm not actually sure I'd wish to be like them. Though if it meant being with the hero, I'd definitely give it a shot.

In my current WIP, my hero is a veterinarian, something I wanted to be when I was younger, but remember that pain thing I mentioned earlier? I can't stand seeing anyone or anything in pain, so no vet for me. Like me, Jerry adopted stray feral animals as a kid to make them better, then release them. I did that, too, though not always with his success. He has a better tolerance for pain than I have and though he possesses a gentle nature, he's strong, and I admire that in him. He is also a Dominant, but uses spanking only as a negative reinforcement. So, I wouldn't say he's a spankophile per se. However, he doesn't hesitate to spank if he feels the occasion warrants it, and I admire that about him, too.

Bonus excerpt!

Since Jerry and Elly's book is still a work in progress, I'd like to share a bit from my hero in my most recent book, Acting Lessons, which is based on Kiss Me Kate.

Blurb:

He was a strict and demanding college professor turned professional director who excelled at giving acting lessons. She was his shy and uncertain former student who became a professional actress under his tutelage. They fell in love, married, and won two Tony Awards before tragedy struck and a simple kiss ripped them apart. 
Six months later, Peter Thorton decides to take matters into his own hands by making his famous wife, Kate, an offer he knew she wouldn't refuse. Plainly put, he wants her back and he intends to do whatever is necessary to achieve his goal, even if it means giving his stubborn, willful leading lady a daily reminder over his knee that she had promised to obey him.
In this scene, Kate and Peter have just left her Orthopedist's office so Peter can get Kate's prescription pain meds filled for her injured knee. She's sitting on his lap in the back of their limousine. This bit gives a little history, shows a glimpse into their playfulness with each other, yet still highlights Peter's dominant side. Peter loves his wife with all his heart, but he will apply hand to butt when she disobeys him.
When they arrived at one of the nearby drug stores Peter frequented, he lifted Kate, eased out from beneath her and gently put her down. "You stay here and keep out of trouble. I'll only be a minute." Standing, he turned to William. "I need to talk with the pharmacist, so I'd like you to remain with Kate. You can regale her with tales about your city girlfriend." 
"Sir, I--" 
Holding up his hand, Peter said, "It's fine, William. Kate loves that stuff. Me? Not so much. I'd rather she didn't create a scene, so do what you can to keep her occupied. All right?" 
At William's nod, Peter gave his shirt cuffs a brief tug and strode into the drug store. His face wasn't anywhere near as recognizable as Kate's was, so he could go where he liked without customers clamoring for his autograph. Kate caused havoc wherever she went. 
Walking up to the pharmacy window, he asked to speak with the pharmacist. When the man came over, Peter leaned in to explain how he'd like the prescription filled when a lady in one of those electric shopping carts beeped at him. 
Cross at being disturbed, he turned to give the woman a piece of his mind only to receive a jaunty wave from his wife as she scooted past in the motorized cart. 
Cursing under his breath, he turned back to the retail druggist, and that's when he heard the screams. He nodded to himself. Yup, this was why he never took his famous wife shopping.
"I'll have these for you right away, Mr. Thorton. Will there be anything else?" 
"Depends. Do you happen to carry collars and leashes?" 
"Um. No, sir. But--" 
"Never mind," Peter said, giving an offhand wave. "She probably wouldn't let me put them on her anyway. I'll come back in a few minutes to pick up the prescriptions." 
"We'll have them ready," the pharmacist promised, but Peter was already off to discover what sort of trouble Kate had gotten herself into this time. 
He found her in one of the Health and Beauty aisles signing autographs, as several women and young girls surrounded her. She appeared to be enjoying the attention, so he remained at the end of the aisle with his arms crossed. 
She wasn't a publicity hound, but she was always gracious to her fans when they recognized her, and talked to them as if she'd known them for years. Hard to reconcile this poised and self-confident woman with the mouse who came to him for help seven years ago. He'd seen the potential in her even then, and she'd been so shy he actually thought her cute. He couldn't pinpoint the exact moment he fell in love with her, but it was during their first few months together when he plunged so hard he had to alter his teaching style to keep from kissing her. 
His resulting coldness both hurt and confused Kate. He knew she carried a college-girl crush on him, and the way he avoided being near her made her start to question her sense of worth. Something he'd worked hard to build. However, if he gave her the reassuring touches and playful teasing she wanted, he feared he'd give in to his desire, and then…. 
Turning, Peter returned to the pharmacy. Kate was a completely different woman today, and he'd like to think he was responsible for her blooming. She became much more self-confident once they got married, but occasionally the old insecurities would raise their ugly heads. And whenever they did, he did his best to squash them with the flat of his palm, if other methods proved ineffectual. 
Peter handed the pharmacist his credit card. "Sorry about the ruckus. My wife was supposed to wait in the car." 
The man regarded Peter with an expression of hopeful admiration. "Kate Thorton is here? My wife adores her. I hate to ask, but would it be possible for her to come over for a second?" 
"Sure," Peter replied, placing the swiped card back in his wallet. "All I need is a broom to beat off the other women." 
The man chuckled weakly. "If it's too much trouble…." 
"Not at all. She'd kill me if she ever found out you wanted to meet her, and I neglected to bring her over. I'll be right back." 
Peter strode back to the cosmetics aisle and nudged his way through to his wife who was laughing and recounting a theater story to a young girl who looked about ten years old. 
"Darling," he said, interrupting when he could get a word in edgewise. "There's someone else who wants to meet you." 
"Aww," a chorus of disappointed voices called out. 
Kate smiled, finished up her tale to a round of laughter and applause, then grinned at Peter as she held up the small packet of tissue she'd picked up. "Where to now, 'Oh great leader mine?'" 
Once the other women had dispersed, he removed the tissues from her hand and tapped her nose. "You're in enough trouble as it is without adding sarcasm to the list. Clearly, I'm going to have to remind you what 'stay in the car' means." 
"Hey, I'm off my leg, as ordered, so it shouldn't make any difference whether I'm in the car or the store." 
"Think so?" he asked silkily. At her nod, he bent down. "So, tell me, how did you happen to get inside the store, my disobedient wife? Did William carry you?" 
She blushed at that. "No. Not exactly." 
"Uh, huh. So, what does 'not exactly' mean?" 
"He held my arm while I hopped in on one leg?" 
He nodded. "Since you phrased that as a question, darling, and not a statement, I suspect when I ask William about your venture, he will recount a slightly different tale." 
Swallowing with a trace of unease, as she always did when she'd been caught going against his wishes, she said, "Well, I suppose his perspective might differ a tiny bit from mine, but that doesn't mean--" 
"Come on," Peter commanded, cutting her off. "I need to pay for this and your other fan is waiting." 
"So, you weren't merely saying that as a ruse to get me away?" she asked turning her cart and following him. 
"Not this time," he answered as they approached the pharmacy. 
"Mrs. Thorton," the pharmacist gushed enthusiastically as he came out front to shake Kate's hand while Peter paid for her tissues with cash. "Both my wife and I loved you in "Rainbow Dreams. Might I be crass enough to ask for your autograph?" 
Kate laughed as she took the pad and pen from the man's hand. "If this is crass, Mr…." He pointed to his nametag. "Mr. Henry Vincent, I'm afraid this world is filled with a lot of crass people. Who should I make this out to?" 
The pharmacist told her and Peter watched as she charmed the other man as effortlessly as any bewitching sorceress. Gracious as always, she'd signed his paper and even had her picture taken with him as proof for his wife while the druggist thanked her profusely. After they offered their good-byes, Peter pointed to the area where they charged the motorized carts. "Over there, speed demon." 
Once she had the cart parked, he handed her the bag of medicine, syringes and now tissues, then lifted her into his arms. "You're still way too thin, so you'd better eat your fill at Smitty's or your husband is going to find more creative ways to encourage you to gain weight." 
Kate laughed, and Peter was as enchanted as Mr. Vincent by the sound. "Oh," she murmured with a trace of playful coyness, "and I shudder to think what devious plans he has to entice me." 
After giving her a quick kiss, Peter carried her out to the car. On the way, he murmured low into her ear, "I hear he's really big on aversion therapy, so I'm sure you're not going to enjoy whatever he comes up with." 
She pulled back a little to gaze at him and smiled. "Actually, since I enjoy being with him so much, I doubt he can do anything to make me not want to be in his arms." 
"Or over his knee?" he suggested. 
Her brows gathered in a frown as she considered his whispered taunt for a moment. "Well, I'm aware he could do something, which would have me momentarily regretting being placed in such a position, but--" 
"You'd best quit while you can, darling, or else I will feel compelled to ensure the experience is much more unpleasant for you." 
"Spoil sport," she murmured as he lowered her onto the seat. 
He nodded at William who stood holding the door open for them. 
"Smitty's next please, William. Miss Kate promised to try everything they've got on the menu."
"I did not!" she called back. 
"You'd better," Peter said, moving in beside her. "Or else you'd best find some other way to appease your devoted husband, unless you want another painful lesson in aversion therapy."
Some readers found Peter a little too strict, but I loved him because he was so devoted to Kate.

If you'd like to read a little more of Acting Lessons, I've got the first three chapters up on my web site at: http://www.kathrynrblake.com/over18only/actinglessons.html

It's available for purchase at:

Blushing Books: http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2447

Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNFCTR6

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acting-Lessons-ebook/dp/B00DNFCTR6

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/acting-lessons-blushing-books/1118887964?ean=2940149306411

I’m all over the web, but if you’d like to visit one of the places I call home, check out my naughty blog at: http://krbnaughtythoughts.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment or send me a message. I always love to hear from readers.

5 comments:

  1. Headmistress Blake, so good to know a bit more about you! First, a huge thank you for all you do with Saturday Spankings. It's become a huge success and I for one love Saturdays!

    I love to read the small differences between us all as well as the similarities. I'm with you on liking my heroes better than my heroines but my reasons are other. That was an interesting piece. Good luck with the WIP.

    Emily, was there not a desert island question somewhere?? ;)

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    1. Ms. Knight, you know that I never make anyone answer a question they choose to decline. :) I'd very much like to know Kathryn's answer, but she's a woman of mystery!

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  2. Thanks, for popping by, Natasha. Yeah, I did pass on the desert island question since I'm more of a pool and sauna person than an ocean and sand person. Now if you asked me what my millionaire penthouse fantasy was, I could give you something. Thanks for having me, Emily. Great fun.

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  3. As Natasha so eloquently put it, A hearty Thank You also, Headmistress Blake for being the backbone of The Saturday Spankings Blog event. It always gives the weekend such a flavor and enjoyment for us.

    It is always nice to read these personal interviews and see what and where the eros and loving prose processes along with the inherit character care comes from in an author. Just loved getting to know a little more about one of my sisters in the Spankophilia genre. And I would add that I too do not really like or care for the term Spanko either. *smile*

    And Thank You Emily for graciously hosting here today. This was a very nice, well informed interview and a wonderful glimpse of the "Classy" Kathrine Blake."

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    1. Thanks so much, Joseph! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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