I'm overjoyed to welcome my friend Joelle Casteel today. I look up to her, I have to say, as a kind of guide to how to be out, as a sub, and I would love to think that one day I could live my real life the way she lives hers. Here's her bio:
Joelle Casteel has been writing for as long as she can remember. Explicit, graphic, her writing isn't for minors or the easily offended. Once upon a time, she preferred to write on a PC, sitting on a stool- there were those who told her she looked like Tori Amos playing the piano. She's still trying to get the hang of writing in an arm chair instead, normally with a heavy dog's head resting on her feet, whether she wants that or not. With BDSM gaining a broader audience with various books- which she will not name because she can't stand them- she feels it's past time to put out her impression of what BDSM can look like in reality.
Joelle is the first of what I hope will be a long and marvelous series of my BDSM and spanking fic colleagues to come by on Sundays and answer what I guess I'll call "Emily's questions." You'll find the questions and her answers below.
Joelle has a free book of erotica, hilariously titled Joelle's Chaotic Collection of Screwing available at Smashwords. Check it out!
1. Why do you write?
Hm, looking at this question, all sorts of adages and quotes about writing come to mind- "because I need to write like I need to breath" for instance. Reading and writing were my escapes from a cold mother and being bullied at school. Then when I was raped and my mother somehow grew less emotionally supportive and the bullying got worse, it became ever more important. Especially once my first girlfriend introduced me to Anne Rice's BDSM fantasy, written under a pen name, oh did writing become ever so much more important. To explore worlds, relationships that are part of my daily life or my fantasies, but aren't part of the mainstream.
2. What's your desert-island fantasy? (If you were marooned on a desert-island with only a single fantasy to get off to for the rest of your life, what would you choose?)
Just my Master and I- child now an adult so we need to worry less about him- with not a single money worry and plenty of toys, lube, and nice bedding for us to enjoy. (Yeah, I know, it seems like an erotica writer should be able to come up with something better, but you did ask for my fantasy, not what I'd write :D)
3. 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?
Well obviously this is one of those questions that really varies for everyone. For me it is an orientation. It is an essential part of my being. This is one of those things I've argued about in my work with Leather & Grace UUs for BDSM Awareness. Sure, being kinky, being "other than mainstream" isn't always an orientation for all people. Some people enjoy a little BDSM activity in the bedroom some evenings; some however want it all the time. More often than not, as long as there's no "mundanes" that mean I can't, I end more sentences than not addressed to my Master calling Him "Master."
To me, BDSM is definitely "what you make it." I think too many people make a big deal about what BDSM is or isn't. My particular BDSM includes a Master/slave dynamic where I seek to do more of what my Master wants, although I have plenty of will and "I don't want to do that!" (whatever that is lol). I run His house, 'cause it pleases Him. Not that I do perfect and plenty of days, I feel horrible 'cause I'm just not the best at housekeeping. There isn't a lot of punishment, certainly not "discipline spankings" or anything because that's just not our dynamic. I don't feel the need to be punished to enjoy sexual activity; I don't have any of the guilt that so often seems to be in much of the spanking fiction. When things are going well, there's almost daily or every other day sexual or BDSM activity.
4. Who's a favorite character from your own work, and why?
The Queen, from my Vala's Story serial. He may have started off as based off my dom before my Master and no doubt some of my Master's characteristics have made their way into him, but there are ways in which he's his own person. In working with beta readers, sometimes I'll even ask "Do you think The Queen would xyz?" As I've come to know him as a character that I'm writing (and not as a birthday present for a dominant), I've seen to shaping him in ways that make him unlike the "alpha hero" that's a standard archetype in the romance and erotic romance genres. As I'm fond of saying, I don't want a cookie-cutter dominant; I want a full person who sometimes has problems.
5. Who's a favorite character from someone else's work (erotic or non-erotic) and why?
Zachary Teak from Patricia Logan's books. He's all over in several of her series/serials. In fact, when I get around to writing for the blog hops (maybe for Vala's second book), I'd like for Zack and The Queen to have a conversation- in many ways, I see them as taking care of their submissives in ways that are sadly not common enough (for my liking) in BDSM erotica that I've read.