Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Morning Chat: #Interview with @KaylaLords

John Satisfy:  Before I start today's interview, I wanted to let everyone know of a few new changes to my blog.  I've added a new weekly feature, "Hump Day Radio".  Every Wednesday I will have a really short post with a link to a sexy/erotic/intellectually stimulating song.  Make sure you check out the first post and let me know what you think.  Also, if you're looking for older interviews, there's a new tab called "Sunday Morning Chats".  You'll find links to all of them arranged chronologically as of right now, along with a revel of who I'll be interviewing next week.  Make sure to check both of these new features out and let me know what you think..

Today I'd like to welcome Kayla Lords to Erotic Satisficition.  I was very excited when Kayla agreed to sitting down with me.  Not only is she an author of some incredibly hot stories, but she also is an avid blogger.  Kayla, can you please tell me a little bit about who you are and what you write.

Kayla Lords:  Hi, John.  I'm a single mom with two boys, 8 and 4. I work in marketing by day and I write erotica by night. My writing started as a blog to chronicle my adventures in masturbation and to finally have an outlet for the sexual fantasies that played in my head nearly every day. I started a Wordpress blog and began to seek out like-minded bloggers. In the process, I discovered BDSM and Dominance and submission (D/s), specifically. In June of 2012, I finally admitted to myself that I was submissive. That changed the direction of much of my writing. Oh, I still write about my sexual fantasies and adventures in masturbation, but as I've progressed in my knowledge and experience with D/s, that has become a central theme to all of my writing, especially the erotic fiction I write. In June 2013, I published my first short story - a shared BDSM fantasy I'd had with my former Dominant and lover. Writing and publishing had always been a dream of mine, and I feel comfortable writing erotica - it feels natural to me.

I'm in a relationship now and that affects a lot of my writing as well. I also have the desire to show my readers, especially those for whom D/s and BDSM is foreign or scary, that the lifestyle isn't scary at all. There are definite kinks, of course, and those vary from person to person, but at the end of the day, I'm in a solid, loving relationship. I just happen to call my boyfriend "Daddy" and beg to be spanked as often as possible.

If there's a bottom line to the who am I and what do I write question, I guess it's that I'm a submissive woman and I write about BDSM and sex.

JS:  Sounds like not only do you know who you are, but you're very comfortable with it.  That's fantastic.  Your writing is definitely very personal and your blog has a lot about you, much more then just a few stories.  Was it hard for you to be so open on your blog?

KL:  The hardest part about my blog is that I feel like I hide behind my pen name. The name "Kayla Lords" is a bastardization of my first and middle names. I did that so I would still feel like myself, but freer. The second hardest part was the day I decided to make my avatar on all my social stuff, website included, a picture of myself, hidden yes, but still me. The baring of my soul and writing what I really feel is easy - especially since no one from my "vanilla" life knows I do it. If I thought for a moment that anyone who knows the daytime me randomly stumbled upon me as Kayla Lords, I'd probably freak out. I worry, probably unnecessarily, about being judged harshly by friends, family, and especially colleagues. The person I am online is no less real than the person I am offline - but sometimes it feels like I live two lives.

All that being said, writing on my blog is almost effortless. I don't mean stringing the words together - there are days when I struggle with that part. But the need and willingness to open up is easy, and necessary, I think. I hold myself back a lot in my daytime life. This is the one place where I feel truly free. I hope one day that I'm brave enough to meld the two worlds in some way.

In the beginning, when I admitted I had never had an orgasm and I was fresh-faced about every masturbatory experience, I worried about ridicule and rejection from strangers. We all see examples every day of trolls and online bullying. I worried that opening up this side of myself might make me susceptible to it, but so far I've been very fortunate. I've made a lot of friends and gotten to know a lot of people who are very welcoming and supportive.

I know there are bullies, haters and posers everywhere, but I truly have never seen a more accepting group of people than my fellow kinksters. The vast majority of them are completely open to anyone else's sexuality, even if they don't understand it or like it for themselves. That, too, makes it easy to open up when I write.

JS:  I can certainly understand the reluctance to fully expose oneself.  It is kind of a unique situation we find ourselves in, being so completely open with strangers and at the same time creating a persona that we are essentially hiding behind.  As you mentioned, the strange thing is how not only accepting people seem to be, but also how helpful they are.  Was there any specific instance of someone surprising you with support that you can recall?

KL:  Support has come from a variety of people for a variety of reasons. My first Dominant and I ended our relationship at the end of 2012.  He had been a focal point of my blog for several months, so when it ended I emotionally bled all over my blog when it happened.  Surprisingly, readers whom I had long admired for their own writing came out of the woodwork to bolster my spirits while I recovered. I received numerous emails and comments. One friend chatted with me on Google for a couple of hours, reminding me of all the good in my life and within myself. That was my first glimpse at just how supportive a community can be. In this case, two communities - the blogging world and the kink community.

My next surprise came when I was working on The Adventures of Sir and Babygirl. I knew I needed some beta readers but I hesitated to reach out (I think I feared being turned down) so I sent a random tweet out. I had three or four people respond. They weren't all writers but they all gave great insight. One of them is an author I admire greatly and she's an amazing editor. She's become my go-to person when I have a new story. And of course, I return the favor whenever possible.

The biggest surprise for me isn't the type of support, it's that there is support at all. In return, I try to pay it back and pay it forward as often as I can.

JS:  From your blog we know that you have a Daddy and he calls you Babygirl.  How true are the stories in your book?

KL:  I can't help smiling at that question. I admit that I based Katie (Babygirl) on myself and Johnathan (Sir) on my Daddy. But a lot of the situations and physical details aren't us at all - they're pulled from people I know and my own imagination. The emotions? Oh, the emotions, at least from Katie's perspective, are very real to me. In different ways, at different times, I have felt every single emotion Katie feels throughout the book. That's why the book was so easy and yet so hard to write. I knew Katie intimately, but writing the story and then putting it out there for the world to read and critique was a lot like putting my soul out on public display.

I will admit, though, I've had variations of the hot sex that I write about, but (so far) never word for word what you read.

Oh, and for the record, yes, I'm an avid blogger who drinks chai tea instead of coffee - just like Katie.

JS:  I've always been more partial to tea than coffee so I can easily relate with that. Do you find that all your stories are semi-autobiographical?

KL: On my blog, 95% is autobiographical. Every once in a while I come across a writing prompt, and I stop writing about myself long to make something up. In my published work, the answer is both yes and no. My first two short stories were pure fantasy, but I drew upon my own thoughts and fears to flesh out (no pun intended) the main characters. I'm seeing more and more writers openly reject the idea of "write what you know" but that's all I know to do. In my current writing, even if I've never experienced the exact situation, the smallest details will be true - the way her breath catches, the feel of his hand on her skin, the sarcastic comment. The small stuff must be real (in my mind) in order for the imaginary situations to seem realistic.

JS:  That makes sense.  I think the write what you know, doesn't have to be literal advice.  Otherwise we wouldn't get fantasy and murder mysteries.  Unless there's a lot of blood thirsty authors out there.

Getting back to your blog, I think it's fantastic.  It's partly how I first noticed you.  We had tweeted each other, but then I took a moment to actually check out your page and was surprised.  There's almost something new everyday.  How do you keep it up?

KL:  Aww, thanks! My blog is my baby. My followers are my family and community. Keeping up with my blog is something I love to do. But, with a full-time day job and two kids, there's not a lot of time. I'm a weekend writer, so I schedule all my blog posts on Saturday and Sunday for the week ahead. For consistency and my own sanity, each day has it's own theme. I don't always know exactly what I'll write about when I finally get the chance, but I at least have a starting point because of the theme.

I check comments throughout the day from email and then respond every night - even in the midst of craziness like sick kids, sick me, travel for work, I'm interacting with my blog in some way. And I use EverNote (as an app on my phone) to keep up with blog ideas as they come to me so that if I'm stuck on what to write, I can refer back and remember the "brilliance" that hit me while I was at a red light.

I just wrote a post for this week that talks about "how I do it" - which might not be accurate, more like "what I do" and I mentioned something I've learned over the years - you find time for the things you value. I adore my blog so I make time for it - even if that means working from my phone at 5am because I want to share a post or connect with a reader. It's just that important to me.

JS:  I'm just learning the power of scheduling myself.  I love that each day is themed, how did you come up with them?

KL:  I wish I could say I had some grand plan or a bit of brilliance, but I came up with my themes out of sheer necessity and a bit of luck. I tried each night to write a blog for the next morning, while I was also trying to write erotica, and keep up with social media, and a million other things. Blogging started to stress me out, and I hated that. The themes came at about the same time the idea of scheduling did. I needed help staying organized so themes made sense to me.

The first one was easiest: Monday's are Masturbation Monday because I saw a meme on Tumblr that mentioned "Masturbation Monday." Since I started my blog to write about masturbation, that one was a no-brainer. I created and use the hashtag #MasturbationMonday so people can find them easily on Twitter.
Then I found out about Wicked Wednesday at through a blogging friend, and I thought it would be fun - and help me find new blogs to read and new readers. Some of my more creative erotic writing comes from this, and I've had a few ideas of new books to write from it. My friend Hyacinth at A Dissolute Life Means started a theme for Friday's called Boobday - a way to help women celebrate their bodies, specifically their boobs.

That was only three days of blogging, and I wanted to blog more often, so I started making a conscientious push to decide what I wanted the rest of my themes to be...over time, I came up with Erotic Haikus on Tuesdays - I pair them with pictures from Tumblr that I've shared or sometimes pictures I've taken of myself (but that's rare). I'm not completely comfortable with poetry but haikus have definite structure and I really like structure.

Thursday became Shameless Promotion where I'm willing to promote another erotic authors books - if I don't have any takers, I talk about my own books or writing  Saturday, I focus on Dominance and Submission - I try to show what real life D/s looks like. Sometimes it's kinky and erotic, sometimes more practical.  Sunday's are open for a random post or nothing at all.

Overall, it takes me 2-3 hours, depending on how creative I feel, to schedule my posts over the weekend.

JS:  When you started blogging, we're there any blogs that you found particularly inspiring?  Any blog that you strive to match, at least as far as quality goes?

KL:  There weren't any blogs that I wanted to match in terms of quality or style per say, but there were several I wanted to emulate in terms of reach and engagement from followers.  Two blogs that inspired me are A Dissolute Life Means (as mentioned previously) and a now-defunct blog called The Dom Next Door - he was an excellent writer and he lived the D/s lifestyle. Many of his readers (myself included) wanted the type of relationship and marriage he portrayed through his blog.

I had blogged in the vanilla world under my real name prior to starting my erotic blog, so I had already learned that if you stay true to yourself, find your voice, and consistently post then the rest will follow. The more you write, the better you get. The longer you and more consistently you blog, the easier it is to find what works for you. I write for myself but I write for my readers, and when I saw what got the best responses from them, I knew that was what I should focus on. Because of the aforementioned themes, I can usually guess which posts will get the most views and responses in a week. I post things I know few will read or talk to me about - that's when I'm writing for me.

I let my readers tell me if the quality of my writing is good enough. Truly, I read other bloggers and authors and wish I could write like that, but I have those same people tell me they wish they wrote like me. I'm never going to be good enough, in my own mind, so the plan is to be the best I can be.

JS:  Has there ever been a time when you've written something you thought was only for you, and you found you were surprised with the response?

KL:  I had to think about this one for a bit, and then look through old posts to jog my memory. I was reminded of a post I wrote back in September where I outlined my writing goals and talked about being rejected from a writer's group - apparently, I'm a bit "too" erotic for them. I talked about the rejection and my writing goals. I was surprised by the supportive responses from my readers - I thought, when I posted it, that because there was little about the post that was sexy that it wouldn't rate a response - I was wrong. When things get rough with my writing, it's my readers that prop me up a bit.

JS:  It's always nice when your fans are so eager for your next story that they support you during your low points.  Sometimes it's that one fan who can push that writer's block out of your way.  Is there someone who you encourages you?

KL:  I am a very lucky writer. I have a few readers who encourage me - my Daddy which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, a fellow erotic writer whose writing I adore and who I wish would publish more of her work, and several other bloggers who also live the D/s lifestyle. Part of what I find most gratifying by their encouragement is not just that they enjoy my writing style and want to read more, but also their encouragement of my choice to write about the realistic side of D/s. Not all of us can find a brooding billionaire with a red dungeon, and it's not all kink rough sex. The people who encourage me the most implore me to continue shining a light on the people behind the kink. When I wonder if I'm doing the right thing and going in the right direction with my writing, they remind me that I am and that people enjoy what I write. We'd all like to be millionaire success stories as writers, but at the end of the day, knowing that even one person connected to my work is amazing and makes all the hard work worth it.

JS:  That is fantastic.  Support like that is like gold to a writer.  If any of my readers would like to explore your blog or follow you, what's the best way to do that?

KL:  My blog is a great place to get to know me.  Some of my followers are so prolific in commenting that new friendships have been forged at the bottom of a bit of kinky writing, so there's no need for anyone to be shy! They don't bite - well, they don't bite strangers.

I love to connect with people online - I'm a classic introvert who hates crowds, so the internet is my friend. Feel free to friend or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. And I welcome curious questions about Dominance and submission - please hit me up on my website or on social media. If I don't have the answer, I can probably point you to someone who does.

JS:  Well, Kayla, thank you so much for finding the time to sit down with me and have this conversation.  This has been quite enlightening and I hope that my readers check out The Adventures of Sir and Babygirl or one of your other books.  And I strongly urge them to explore your blog, there really is a lot of great things to find there.

KL:  Thank you so much for having me, John! I've had a blast!

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  1. I had so much fun doing this interview! Thank you, again, John for letting me share a little piece of your online world!

    1. It was a great interview. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk!

  2. I loved this interview John and Kayla. It's always fun and informative to learn what goes on behind the scenes of an erotic writer.
    What I admired most is that you have a day job and children, yet you still find the time to write, blog and be a part of the social networks.
    Chi-tea is also very yummy.

    I really enjoyed learning more about you Kayla. I'm going to make it a point to visit your blog more often. Keep up the outstanding work and thank you both for sharing.

    1. Thanks, LA! I'm looking forward to sharing your interview next week.