Welcome back to Author Share! Today’s discussion is a very fun one about the awesome differences in fantasy and reality in the books we read. I have two of my favorite authors here today to talk about the different components of each. Korey Mae Johnson and Natasha Knight. So let’s get started!
Katherine Deane: First let’s talk about the pro’s and con’s of pure fantasy. Korey Mae Johnson’s Otherworldly Discipline is one of my favorite books in this category. I love the idea of just escaping into a fantasy world filled with magick. Korey, what’s easy about writing fantasy?
Korey Mae Johnson: Oh, well… it’s not easy. For me, it’s the hardest to write. On the other hand, it’s one of the most fun genres to write as well. I’m very superstitious in reality so I tend to always have some craziness floating around in my head that’s sort of devoid of real world laws, so I feel like the fantasy helps me sort of manifest my fears and my dreams and brings both those things down to the dirt to play ball and sort of is my own type of therapy.
Katherine Deane: LOL, that’s how my brain works too, Korey! I love fantasy!
What’s one of the harder things about writing fantasy?
Korey Mae Johnson:The hardest part with fantasy is that you essentially have carte blanche with your universe. You have to create the boundaries, you have to really play God in that universe that you have created. The regular rules don’t apply. So, it’s time consuming because you have to create your universe from the ground-up; it’s not preset with truths and laws. Boundaries sometimes help the creative processes, as well. With fantasy, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with too many possibilities, too many places to go. Too many ideas to put together.
That being said, building the universe from scratch has its upsides, especially in spanking fiction.
Katherine Deane: Less boundaries? Non consensual spankings more allowable?
Korey Mae Johnson: Yup! Exactly right. You’re making creatures, cultures, a whole history, so you can really make the argument of why your character has to accept a spanking… Because that’s how it works in the Otherworld. They’re very old-fashioned that way! What’s the heroine gonna do? Call the cops because they disagree with the hero’s discipline? No! There are no cops there, no phones, no one to call to get you or get on your side. And you can make it so the hero’s not being bad, sadistic, machismo, or going against the grain. It’s just his culture that depicts that when a naughty young lady is asking for a spanking, you give her one! In real life, you have to explain why the heroine just takes it—especially if you don’t want her to enjoy the spanking.
Also, with fantasy you can really create some interesting dynamics and a huge difference in the male / female gap that make it sort of hot to read about. You can make the man more animalistic, for example, because he’s an animal shifter, or he’s really wise because he’s thousands of years old, while the heroine’s only twenty. Or he’s really strong and able to physically dominate her because he’s unnaturally strong or powerful. She’s really mischievous because that’s actually in her nature, just like it’s in a cat’s nature to sit do whatever it wants. You can also make them all the more interesting because most fantasy worlds I’ve read are actually more violent and caustic, creating really interesting character defects—like insanity, mistrust, or guilt to epic proportions. Makes things intriguing and in some ways, less predictable to the reader since the reader knows that anything could happen.
Katherine Deane: I also love contemporary stories. The idea of a woman just like me, being taken in hand by her handsome husband, is very appealing to me. I also remember the fear and vulnerability I felt when I first asked my husband to spank me. Natasha Knight’s Aching to Submit, was a wonderful example of (the heroine getting what she wants in an everyday setting).
What goes into writing a contemporary like this?
Natasha Knight: I like to be very dramatic about this book. I believe I’ve used the term “it bled me…” Honestly, it was very difficult to write at the time and it’s probably the heaviest book I’ve written. Even the title is just heavy: to ache.
Contemporary in this particular case probably was the reason the book carried all that weight. If it were a fantasy setting, or any other setting, it might be easier to take some of that weight out of it and sort of let yourself off the hook, if that makes any sense, but this book was real, it is real for many women and it needed weight or I wouldn’t have done it justice.
Katherine Deane: I really enjoyed the emotions in the story. It made it more real for me.
Katherine Deane: What are some of the difficulties of writing contemporary?
Natasha Knight:I think the fact that it is contemporary and, especially in the case of DD, an adult woman being spanked as discipline by her husband, or whoever the man in her life is, doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. I used to not understand what the big deal was with that when other authors would say that it was difficult to do this in a contemporary setting, but I understand it now and for me, I just keep in mind that this is fiction and I’m going to make it as hot as possible ;)
Katherine Deane: Cops showing up on door steps, like Korey mentioned? It is interesting when we remember that even the most realistic of contemporary stories, are still in fact fiction.
Katherine Deane: How do you blur that line between fantasy and reality?
Natasha Knight: I just have to remember that this is fiction and the readers know it is fiction. You have a little wiggle room – or at least I give myself some wiggle room. Lots of it even.
Katherine Deane: Ok, let’s be real for a moment. Sometimes, I have a tough time between the blurred lines of reality and fiction when I am reading. It’s pretty easy for me to read a blog post about a DD couple, and get resentful with my husband because he doesn’t do what so and so does. I have to push really hard to remind myself that every relationship is imperfect, even the ones that seem so perfect online and in book format.
Do you see any of this when you read or write contemporary stories?
Natasha Knight: I think this is a really important question, and one of the things I have learned, especially online, is to take things you read with a grain of salt. There’s a pretty big difference between a real life spanking and a fictional spanking (or a DD relationship or whatever). In fiction, everything is perfect, the hero, the heroine, her butt, everything. In reality, not so much.
We’re human beings and we all fall short in some way or another and there is no perfect wife or perfect husband. They just don’t exist. Even me! I know, shocking. I think the worst thing you can do for yourself or your marriage in this case is to compare yourself to others.
What you read in books is fiction and even if it’s based on some reality, it’s most likely embellished. Blogs are a great way to connect, but again, if you find yourself comparing and coming out on the short end of things, get off line. You don’t know what’s going on on the other side of the computer screen. This is kind of a big deal for me. That comparing only causes suffering and it’s so easily avoided. Don’t do it, don’t compare yourself or your husband to characters you read about or anyone you read about on a blog. Everyone’s situation is unique. Remember what’s important.
Korey Mae Johnson:Even DD relationships are all very different. Mine is not like someone else’s, and everyone has their own prefered way to do things. What works for one person wouldn’t work for another, and all disciplinarians are different and not every man is cut out to like or to be perfect at performing spanking. In fiction, resentment is easy to do because stories only show the glorious best, and we tend to self-impose ourselves in those characters places. That’s less like reality. Certainly, in real life I do a lot less envying of other’s relationships than I do for my book characters. I always think, “Eh, of course that works for them. They’re not me.” We rarely self-impose ourselves into relationships we can actually see with our own eyes rather than imagine in our heads.
Natasha Knight: Yep! That last part is so true. When you can see the reality of it, the grass isn’t that much greener!
Katherine Deane: We’ve had this discussion before, Natasha. You gave me some great advice earlier in my DD relationship, about comparing my spouse to others I read about. Thanks, to both of you!
Natasha Knight: I’m kind of bossy like that ;)
Katherine Deane: ;)
Katherine Deane:How real is too real? Obviously, no one wants to read about small male parts and flatulating during sex (yes, I did write a post about that once :) ). Most of us read so we can escape real life, yet we want certain components to still seem realistic. How do you blur the lines?
Natasha Knight:I think as a writer, when we (or I) create these heroes (not the heroines but the heroes), I’m creating someone unreal. I want that when I read – I don’t want to read about Joe down the street, you know? I do think you need to keep situations realistic as far as reactions or responses of the characters, but the sexy stuff, I like to keep sexy even if that means it’s a bit unrealistic.
Also, I have given bad guys in my books small penises. :)
Katherine Deane: And this is why I love you!
Katherine Deane: I have always loved men with six pack abs and strong, firm arms. :)
Natasha Knight: And good thighs to lay across…
Korey Mae Johnson: Broad shoulders and big hands…
Katherine Deane: Mmmmm! Okay, authors, you’re distracting me. Let’s see if I can get back on track.
Katherine Deane: Are there any boundaries you most definitely stop at? (e.g going to the bathroom, a realistic argument that turns ugly; a man sobbing, etc…)
Korey Mae Johnson: Well, I get grossed out by stuff like everyone else does. I still wrote about diaper play (not in Otherworldly Discipline, but another story) but I fuddled enough with the description to keep me from feeling icky when writing it and hopefully to keep the readers icky from reading it, but for the people who enjoy diaper play to be satisfied. But just like you cannot unknow something once you know it, you cannot unread something once you’ve read it. And that applies to the character’s backstory. I don’t think men crying are a big deal, when done in the right way. Everyone has their pressure points. I think it’s worse when the hero would spank the heroine at the wrong time or in the wrong way (or did something horrible in their past)—anything that would get the “abuse!” bell to ring in a reader’s mind. As a reader, I feel like I have to really want the couple to get and to stay together with no reservations.
Katherine Deane: Great point tying in with the fantasy and reality blurred lines again, Korey! I feel the same way about my need to connect with and like the characters. I’m willing to go with a lot of non consensual if done for the right reason, and I like the characters.
Katherine Deane: What are some key components that are found in both the fantasy and contemporary stories? (besides the spankings :) )
Natasha Knight: Corny but the first word that pops into my mind is love! Love, love, love. A hero with a tender heart – always – while at the same time being a total Alpha. Intelligent men and women who are really both spankos even if one doesn’t know it just yet (I swear, give any man the opportunity to spank your booty and his inner spanko will come out…)!! Ok, sorry, back on topic, really, even though these are spanking romances, they are romances just the same as a non-spanking romance or non-erotic romance.
Korey Mae Johnson: I totally agree with Natasha—alpha males. Throughout all genres in fantasy, you rarely read about a submissive male. No matter what genre, you want the hero not to be weak, and particularly weak-minded (he doesn’t particularly need to be the strongest man, but definitely someone other men could respect). You want him to be strong enough to stand up to the storm you mean to throw at him in the course of a novel. Same with the heroine: the writer puts a couple through a trial built just for them, eating on their exact weaknesses, and the couple needs to pass the test or die trying. Also, there’s normally a passionate tension between the main couples regardless of the drama. If there’s no tension, there’s no interesting story. That’s why there’s a lot of “opposites attract” sort of things that go on in novels; everybody loves to watch a fight.
Katherine Deane: I LOVE Alpha males!! I also like strong females who submit, not because they have to, but because deep down, they truly yearn for that dominance. That makes for such a yummy story for me! And you two blend the dominance and submission, strength and weakness, fantasy and reality so well!
Thank you so much for joining me today! I really appreciate you both taking the time for such an honest chat!
Natasha Knight: Thanks for having us, Kate!
Korey Mae Johnson: Yes! Thank you very much for inviting us to chat!
I learned a lot from my fellow authors about reality and fantasy. We all fantasize. We all dream. And all of us are different. That is what makes reading so much fun! We can completely submerge ourselves in a wonderful land of magick and creatures. Or we can read a contemporary story, and plant ourselves into the main character’s role, because of our own desires. Some stories are realistic, some are fantastic, and some straddle the line; but all are fiction. Glorious, wonderful, ‘dare to close your eyes and dream’ – fiction.
Thanks for joining the Author Share today!
Our hostesses for today!
Korey Mae Johnson
Korey Mae Johnson got her start as an author at Bethany’s Woodshed back in 2007 when she was a senior at Western Oregon University as an English Writing major with a minor in business. Her first book was Pursuit of Glory, a spanking romance that she dreamed up during the years she spent obsessed with the Napoleonic Wars.
After working at the college library for four years, she finally got a job at a magazine company… for business magazines, but still, it was a start. A start which she immediately tossed away after less than a year to pursue James–a Texan graduate student that was everything she wanted–a man with an interest in spanking who was sweet as can be, a responsible, Christian head-of-household type, and gorgeous. For a year, she even wrote about it in her personal blog, SpankNotes.
They married in November of 2008. They’re still happily married.
The same month as they married, and after several months of baggering the owner of Bethany’s Woodshed, Korey was given a job creating monthly newsletters. Over time, Korey took on additional work with other sites associated with Bethany’s Woodshed, culminating with her serving as the webmaster, web-designer, eBook specialist, and cover artist for Blushing Books, a spanking eBook store affiliated with Bethany’s Woodshed.
In August of 2012, Korey and James parted amicably with Blushing Books and formed Stormy Night Publications.
Natasha Knight is the author of several BDSM and spanking erotic romances all of which explore the mind of the Dominant male and the submissive female, discovering just beneath the surface of each story that key element of love. Her characters are as human as she: powerful but vulnerable, flawed, perhaps damaged but with an incredible capacity to love.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natasha-Knight-Author-Page/386742471394951?ref=hl