Sunday, April 20, 2014

An idol comes to answer my questions: Maren Smith!

When I began to think about trying to publish my mix of spanking and rather dark BDSM fantasy fiction, I looked around to see whether anyone had achieved success with that kind of thing. I ran across a book called Judgment, by an author named Denise Hall. Wow--question answered, though I knew I couldn't hope to match the achievement! It was quite a while before I realized (as is stated clearly on Amazon's Denise Hall page--so silly me) that Denise Hall is also known as Maren Smith, whom by that time I had met, virtually. This hot writer of capture fiction was also an incredibly supportive colleague in the magical spanking fiction community, where golden pieces of sage advice from writers like Maren are doled out freely, like breadcrumbs to lead us towards the spankophile promised land, and had written an incredible range of other stuff, too!

Why do you write?

I write because I can’t help it. I always have.

Actually, that’s not true. I started writing my stories down when I was in my teenage years, before that, my sister and I (who shared a room) would tell each other our “books” as bedtime stories. We would spin these epic yarns that went on for weeks, a single story from beginning to inevitable end, and then when we were done it would be the other person’s turn. When we started writing them down, it became an addiction. We had a notebook and pen with us everywhere we were. We wrote while waiting for the movie to start, the waitress to bring our food, the ticket taker to give us our toll change back. If, God forbid, we made it out somewhere without a notebook, we wrote on other things: napkins, the backs of receipts, pizza boxes (full or empty, didn’t matter) and WOE to he or she who threw away that napkin, receipt or box before the note could be transcribed!

These days I write because the scenes play over and over in my mind until I get them down on paper. I think some would drive me crazy if I didn’t get them onto paper so I could move on to something new. Preferably a sex scene. :)

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?)
Give me a desert island with one of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld (any one, don’t particularly care) and just don’t come back. I’m good.

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?
To me, it’s an orientation. I know I’ve been this way since I was very, very young and it’s not something I can help any more than I can help being attracted to older men. Not grandfatherly older, although I have met more than a few who were still strong enough, robust enough, and threatening enough to deliver a good Look to hit all of my “squeeeee!” buttons. But to me, there is nothing sexier than a man in his forties and fifties. I know a lot of women go for younger guys, in their sexual prime and with that extra backbone that gives them that rolling hip motion guaranteed to hit all the right places, but give me a man with the age and experience to know if you want a good woman, sometimes you have to deliver a good old-fashioned spanking first.

Who's a favorite character from your own work, and why?
From my spanking books, it’s Kade, from my latest Masters of the Castle. I liked him because he responded to everything with a smile and humor. When he was happy, when he was aroused, and even when he was mad. But Jackson did the same thing, you say, and he bench-pressed small automobiles every morning before indulging his seafood alfredo fetish. No, Jackson pasted on a smile when he had to deal with other people so his size would be less threatening. When he was with Sara or friends, he relaxed and let himself be himself. And while it could be said that Kade also hides behind his smile, it’s more ready and genuine, a permanent part of his personality. And to me it’s a serious turn-on when you’re dealing with a dominant man who is giving you that “You are in a whole world of trouble, little girl” Look and he’s doing it with a smile. He’s also a leather-worker, enjoys making his own straps, paddles and restraints, and has a preference for delivering bad girl spankings with his belt.

From my non-spanking books, it’s Scar from Incubus Moon. He was a bad boy through and through and, although he didn’t spank, he did deliver the occasional swat that said in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t above it.

Who's a favorite character from someone else's work (erotic or non-erotic) and why?
Pick any Lord of the Underworld from Gena Showalter or just about any character at all from Kresley Cole’s books, and I am so there. Those are alpha males. They are powerful and strong, not just physically but in attitude as well, and I find that so damned sexy. The occasional spanking references definitely don’t hurt, either. :)

What's your next book all about?

Sometime this month, my latest Masters of the Castle, Book 5: Chasing Chelsea is going to be released. Here’s the skinny:

Chelsea is out of work, between homes and nearly out of money when, while filling out job applications at a busy bus depot, she find the opportunity of a lifetime simply lying in the trash. It’s a prepaid vacation voucher—room, meals and clothing all included. All she has to do is get on a bus and for the next ten days she’d be sleeping in a bed instead of her car. 
Unfortunately, the voucher is for a place called The Castle and no one lives in Granger for long without hearing one or two things about that very adult resort. Still, prepaid is prepaid, and just because she goes to the resort doesn’t mean she has to participate, right? 
Then she meets Selena, and suddenly Chelsea’s a slavegirl in a BDSM wedding, an unwilling confidant in a secret Sara can’t bear to tell Jackson, the enigma Master Marshall just can’t figure out…and then there’s Kade. The big bad wolf, Selena calls him. The biggest and baddest the Castle has ever known. Everyone warns her to steer clear of the playboy Master, but right from the very start steering clear is the one thing Chelsea can’t bring herself to do. From the moment he smiles at her—the moment his experienced touch burns into her skin—she’s drawn. 
Poor Little Red, she never had a chance.
[In the following scene, Chelsea and the other ladies of the Castle went skinny dipping in a quiet pond. It’s night and they’ve just been caught. An ever-attentive host, Master Marshall brought along a few extra doms so Chelsea could get caught too. She’s running, but that old phrase “Out of the frying pan and into the fire” has never burned more true.]

She’d never run harder or faster in her life. Without looking back, she raced for the alcove with her heart pounding so fiercely it made her chest and her head both hurt, and hovered breathlessly on the verge of laughing the entire way. She heard one of the twins shouting behind her, calling to his brother, the cry of a hunter in pursuit, but he was far behind her. Far enough, anyway. If she could reach the alcove…if she could find a place to hide…

The alcove was blocked by a fence, but when she hit the gate it flew open and she dashed inside. Only two garden lamps lit the darkness here and both were up near the Castle entrance. The entire back half of the garden was blanketed in darkness, but not so much that she couldn’t tell the path from the grass or the bushes from the trees and bricks of the Castle.

It wasn’t empty, either. Three men surrounded a mostly—if not completely, it was too dark to tell—naked woman bent into waist-high stocks. With her head and hands immobilized, it didn’t take much imagination to figure out what the men were doing. Now and then, she thought she saw camera flashes. The only door to the Castle was located at the top of the second-floor stairs and was blocked by the shadow of a man who was sitting on the topmost step, enjoying leisurely puffs on his e-cigarette while he watched the scene below unfold.

She was never going to reach that door before the brothers reached the courtyard, and without the maze to slow them down, they were going to catch her.

Abruptly, Chelsea switched destinations, practically diving headfirst to get into the perimeter bushes. She crouched in the shadows with the cold bricks of the Castle at her back, and wondered what in the world she was going to do now. If she was lucky, maybe the brothers would head straight for that door, giving her a chance to dash back out of the alcove and into the garden without being seen. If she wasn’t lucky, however…if they chose instead to search the area…

The captive woman in the stocks was moaning now, those faint noises of intensifying pleasure accompanied by the wet, slick slapping sounds of sex. Of the skinny-dipping party, Chelsea could hear nothing more at all. But, of her pursuers…

Chelsea cupped both hands across her mouth when the leafy branches to her left suddenly jerked and jostled and a black-clad shadow ducked into the space beside her. She recognized his scent first—the spice of that godly cologne mingling with the fresh scent of cinnamon from his vapor cigarette; it made that stab of lust deep inside her flutter wildly.

“Hello, Red.” Kade grinned, little more than a flash of white teeth in the dark.

“Go away!” she hissed, and even slapped at him but missed by a mile. Her attempt jostled the bushes, making the branches and leaves rustle loudly.

“Ah-ah,” he cautioned, his voice barely above a whisper. “You’re going to bring them right to you and then what will you do?”

She had absolutely no idea. Give in was the first wild urge to bounce around inside her, but that was just too wild. Too frivolous and exciting and…and naughty; the kind of thing that fit in beautifully with a place like this and yet which was completely unlike her. She’d never been “wild” before. She’d never been naughty. Her heart was a thundering storm in her chest. She’d never done anything like this. The exhilaration warring inside her began to feel perilously close to panic.

“Here they come,” Kade whispered, nodding for her to look behind her. Far down the wall, maybe twenty yards away, the bushes rustled as the vegetation was carefully searched. 

“We’re going to find you, beautiful,” one of the twins sang.

“We’re also going to spank you raw,” the other added, and a different section of brush along the Castle wall parted now too. They’d split up, but they were both searching their way toward her. They were going to find her. She didn’t have a chance.

Dread and anticipation mingled, making her lightheaded. Chelsea rose slightly on her haunches, trying to see past Kade, through the branches and leaves and the dark obscuring night to where the light on the alcove steps haloed the only door.

“You’ll never make it.” Kade tsked.

She had already come to that conclusion.

Another searching rustle—not twenty yards behind her now, but eighteen and quickly closing the distance.

“I could call them to you.” Kade’s smile grew, turning the shadows of his lean face positively demonic. “Or would you like to, let’s say, come to other arrangements?”

Another rustle; fifteen yards now. She could hear the snap of branches as one brother, no longer content with parting the brush, stepped through them into the narrow line of space between the plants and the rough stone wall.

“Can you see her?”

“Not yet.”

Their voices drifted closer.

Oh, this was such a bad—terrible, delicious—idea. She looked to Kade.

“Tick tock, Red,” he mused. “Tick tock.”

She was going to regret this and she knew it, and yet reaching for Kade somehow added to her excitement and quelled the panic—backwards of what it ought to be.

“Help me,” she begged, clutching at his vest. The leather felt as warm as his skin, and it smelled so good. It brought that old adage about striking bargains with the devil right to the forefront of her mind. Then he touched her, his warm hands finding her thighs in the darkness and sending that thrill of excitement soaring. His fingers slid down to grip her knees and she actually closed her eyes at how right it felt for his hands to be on her, but she only had a second to enjoy that touch before he yanked, pulling her legs right out from under her.

Squatting, Chelsea only fell a few inches, landing with a bump on her bottom. “What—”

He pushed her flat on her back in the soft dirt, crawling on top of her. Her involuntary gasp became a yelp when he grabbed her miniscule slave dress and ripped it right off her. It tore as if that were its function, coming apart at every seam. What happened to it after that, she had no idea, because that was when Kade lay down heavy and hot on top of her, tucking himself like a lover between her startled legs, positioning his hips to hers and guiding her ankles to wrap back around him.

“Passion, Red,” he whispered, and then he kissed her.

As panicked as she had been just seconds before, Chelsea was now stunned. She couldn’t move. She lay in the cool dirt and leaves, burning in her belly, her breasts, everywhere his body touched hers, positively scalding where his naked flesh came into contact with her skin. She didn’t kiss him back, but she couldn’t bring herself to push him off either. She lay frozen with shock and indecision, and consumed by the most overwhelming need to open her mouth and see if she couldn’t tempt him in.

She heard the clink of his belt buckle and Kade rose slightly. She felt his impatient shoves and jerks and then he was lying on top of her again, only now it was his bare hips that she felt hugged between her thighs. And more, now she could feel…it—thick, hard, stretched already to its full length and scorchingly hot where it pressed across her pubis and nudged at her belly. Her tight, clenching belly, filled to overflowing with an eagerness that felt like living things rolling and tumbling inside her. She shivered with every breath she tried to take, but that only brought their bodies millimeters more into fully fleshed contact with one another.

“Trust me,” Kade murmured against her lips. She could feel his smile. She could taste his dark laughter, and then he was kissing her again. The big, bad wolf… She melted.


  1. Thanks for sharing you interview and Maren's snippet. Hope you have a Happy Easter

  2. It was really nice to get to know more about Maren. I love these Sunday posts.
    It was a long time before I realised Maren and Denise were one and the same person too, if that's any consolation, even though I had read works under both names.

  3. I LOVED Scar! Total bad boy! Everyone has to read Incubus Moon! ok, I can't say that enough. I loved it!

    It sounds like we have the same tastes in reading and men, Maren. :)

    I also love Kresley Cole. God, I can't remember which Immortals After Dark book , it was. Something about a demon Prince? He spanks the bitch who kidnapped him. OMG, re-read, read and re-read that part!
    LOL, I had never read even heard of spanking romance, but that one got me started!
    Love those guys!
    Great interview.

  4. Thank you so much, ladies! And a very special thank you to Emily, for hosting me today. :)