Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Morning Chat: #Interview with @FelicityBrandon

John Satisfy: May has arrived and with it the first Sunday Morning Chat!  This week I've got Felicity Brandon here to tell you all about her religious background and amazing erotica.  But before we start with our conversation, I want to remind everyone, that if you've missed an earlier chat, you can easily find all of them listed with links under the "Sunday Morning Chat" tab.  And while you're click around my blog, make sure to check out some of the hot erotica and Hump Day Radio posts.  And of course, make sure you follow and comment.  One thing I've noticed is that authors seem to like answering questions.  Want proof?

Felicity, can you please tell me a little about yourself and what you write?

Felicity Brandon: I am a writer in my thirties, but also a wife, mother, daughter and friend. My childhood was a bit of a contradiction in many ways. Raised as a Catholic, I went to church every week for 14 years and learned religious scripture from the Old Testament. Yet at the same time my parents encouraged me to be an independent thinker, pursue my creativity and express myself via my writing and music. So for as long as I could write, I have written stories. As a child I used to make small books which I’d written and illustrated myself. I still have many of them hidden away!

There was a period in my life when I stopped writing for pleasure. I was so busy completing essays and assignments for school and work, that I somehow lost sight of how powerful and fun the process of creative writing can be. After having children the desire to write returned and was stronger than it had ever been. It was around this time that Felicity was conceived… Eighteen months on and Felicity writes unadulterated, scorching stories soaked with BDSM, spanking, humiliation and ménage. I don’t consider myself to be a romance writer. My aim is to write unapologetic and intense sex with enough chemistry, brutality and tenderness to make the characters come to life. I hope the devil himself would blush at the scenes I write…

JS: Well there's nothing quite like being unapologetically intense! And I certainly want to hear all about your stories, however, you mentioned music. Are you multi-talented; an author and musician?

FB: 'Unapologetically intense' might make a good epitaph for me actually! Music is one of my other great loves. I would be lost without it. However I am not as gifted in this area! I learned to play the oboe to a good standard when I was younger, but haven't had the time to pick it up for some years. It's definitely on my 'to do' list!

JS: Yes, that would be a great epitaph! So the Oboe, were you ever the duck in Peter and the Wolf? What kind of music do you find yourself listening to lately?

FB: I did play orchestral pieces, but never that one... It would have been fun though! I have time for most music really, but I'm a rock girl at heart and like anything with a good beat and an electric guitar!

JS: Who are you favorite bands?

FB: Now there's a tough question for me... My top three are probably Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Guns n Roses, but I love lots of fabulous artists and bands.

JS: Does their music ever influence your work? Does any music influence your stories?

FB: It's hard to say. I think it's true that music shapes part of who I am. It's a huge part of me. So on some level it must influence my writing. It's certainly true that I always have to write to music, so on some subliminal level the music might be filtering into the text. I have written most of my most recent stories to movie soundtracks like 'The Dark Knight'. I found the emotive power of those pieces really drives me on when I'm creating... That said, I don't consciously inject rock chick into my erotica, but you never know, it could be a muse for a new story!

JS: Soundtracks can be great for writing. Personally, I have found that 'The Lone Ranger' by Hans Zimmer well suited for background music. What do you consider a signature mark of your writing? Something that you think either you excel at or are very proud of?

FB: The idea of a signature mark is a little bit terrifying in some ways! I haven't given much consideration to what the Brandon USP is, and honestly I just write the scenes I envisage in my mind and what the characters in my head tell me to write! I hope (and have been told) that there is something specific about my writing style which draws the reader into the story. My aim is to capture the sexual dynamic between my characters and make the desire they feel not just believable, but palpable. I want you to be able to feel it radiating from the page at you! I think this is particularly important in BDSM erotica. I write about consensual encounters, but my characters are often in scenes and predicaments which push their own/and other people's boundaries. Understanding the sexual chemistry and the connection between the characters can turn a potentially bizarre or disturbing scenario into a truly hot and erotic one. That's what I feel when I write, and that's what I hope comes across when you read it...

JS: Some times when I write, I find that a character behaves differently then I might have imagined. Have you ever been surprised with how two characters acted in one of your books?

FB: I am quite regularly surprised by my characters! I usually have a fair idea about how the submissive character is feeling, but I don't always anticipate their behaviour. Some are petulant when I expect obedience and others seem happy to unexpectedly submit to the desire of the other character(s). I have written about lots of first-time encounters as well, such as Polly's experiences with Rachel in Customer Service and Jenna's late night marital 'counseling' in Friday's Lesson. In Customer Service, Polly has no idea she's even attracted to women until Rachel comes along. Polly finds her domineering personality undeniably appealing and soon realizes how much she wants to submit to this alluring blonde! These types of scenario's build in an added dynamic of nervous arousal in the submissive character, but even for me as the writer there is genuine ambiguity about how characters will react to events as they pan out. As for the dominant character, I can never second-guess them! They do quite literally take the lead when I am creating a scene. In Friday's Lesson Oliver's sudden ability to take control in his marriage was my idea, but I had no notion of where it might lead Jenna!

JS: That's fascinating that your dominate characters dominate you. In real life are you a bit submissive then?

FB: I'm sexually submissive sure, but really not submissive in any other way (ask poor Mr. Brandon!) It makes for an interesting balance in life... I am not sure I could live the 24/7 lifestyle of my most recent characters in Hide & Seek. They have a constant Master/slave relationship, and we find out much more about this dynamic in the second installment of The Kink Between Us series Destination Anywhere (released tomorrow: 5/5/14!). I find the thought incredibly erotic, but I'm not sure how it would sit with the rest of my personality!

JS: Perhaps you can give us a preview that I post at the end of this interview. When you get ready to release a new book are you calm and collected, or is it a last minute mad rush to get everything done?

FB: I am quite an organized person and I make sure all of all the hard work is done well in advance. That said, I am not usually very calm when a new book is about to be released! I'm sure you know the feeling - you invest time, emotion and part of yourself in each story - so every time you publish a book, it's a bit like letting one of your children go out into the world. You know you've done your very best, but you can't help but worry when it's out there... Writing and releasing this new series has been a lot like this. It's a much darker and more intense ride than my previous stories, and I know I have given a piece of myself to it, so I feel more exposed as a writer.

JS: Is there a book that hasn't seemed to connect to your readers like you expected?

FB: Not really. I try not to anticipate how people will connect with my stories and just hope that they enjoy what they read - it is supposed to be erotica after all - you *should* enjoy it!

I have had negativity from some readers regarding aspects of the female denigration and punishment I write. Some people have told me that these sorts of ideas set back progress for gender equality. Now I appreciate all feedback and want to thank anyone who takes the time to write to me and/or leave me a review. However, to those people who think M/f BDSM sex is part of the patriarchal status quo, I would highlight the key elements of consent and respect in my books. The female submissive characters always participate in consensual and satisfying sexual adventures. What may be disturbing to one individual is somebody else's idea of sexual ecstasy! I realize that my brand of erotica is not for everybody, but I'm also pleased to know I'm making some people happy!

JS: Has there been a book that has been a little bit more controversial then the others? One that has reviews with a little more outrage?

FB: Not really. There has just always been an element of feedback which regards my (and other) consensual D/s erotica with suspicion; as though it erodes the cause of feminism if a woman chooses to surrender her will to a man. It is my belief that fiction - like sexuality - should be a matter of personal choice.

JS: Earlier on you said that you had a religious upbringing. Do you think that religion has colored your works in any way?

FB: I think religion has definitely coloured me, so in part I am sure it has shaped my writing... In my formative years religion taught me about the concept of 'sin' and tried to tell me what my emotional responses should be. It preached about guilt, shame and penance. Without a doubt these are all themes that are a muse in my work!

Take my recent short Room Service (released in the "Erotic Fantasies" anthology) as an example. Sara is 'punished' for her infidelity and experiences a type of catharsis in the spanking. The same is true in Hide & Seek. The submissive character wants to be punished. She needs the release and enjoys her penance knowing that it satisfies both her and her master.

JS: Sara needs the punishment to let go and live. What do you think the motivating factor of the Dominant is?

FB: That's an interesting question and not easily answered at this stage! We (the reader) don't find out too much about Blake in Room Service. What you think you know is unexpectedly turned upside down at the end of the story... I think there's a follow-up already formulating in my head!

JS: It's always exciting when the book organically lends itself into a continuing story. Can you give us any hints of what might be in the new story without ruining the older one?

FB: I have some ideas, but at this stage I am channelling my energy into my new release Destination Anywhere, which is the second in my series The Kink Between Us. A follow-up to Room Service will be something to muse on further down the line!

JS: Do you find a lot of your books are series based? Do you find it hard to let go of the characters you've created?
FB: The 'Kink' series is the first I've ever penned, but I have lots of ideas for more.
Some characters are so strong it's almost as though they demand more attention! Rachel from Customer Service is just like that... I have the feeling I will come back to her one day. Often it's the dynamic between the two lead characters which captures me though. I felt that about Oliver and Jenna in Friday's Lesson and lots of people have asked what happens to them next! It's this exact dynamic which inspired the 'Kink' series between Alisa and her Dominant.

JS: I can certainly see how it would be nice to revisit some of your characters. Do you feel the same way about certain settings for your stories? Are there particular places your characters haunt?

FB: There are no specific locations that my characters frequent. You can find them anywhere - and that's the beauty of them for me - that's what makes them real. Whether it be at home like Jenna and Oliver (Friday's Lesson) or wandering in the woods like Vicky and Mike (The Abduction), the fact that each scenario is plausible is key.

JS: Well, perhaps you can give my readers a few specific places that they can find you on the web?

FB: If you're interested in finding out more about my kinky written creations then please follow me at Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. You can also check out my website and my author page at Amazon - both of which have news about my new releases and reviews of my current stories.

JS: Great! Is there anything else you want to mention before we say goodbye?

FB:  As mentioned, the second in The Kink Between Us series Destination Anywhere is being released tomorrow! I am really excited about this one... The chemistry between the two main characters is undeniable and I think we learn more about them and their brand of loving in this story. Of course the setting makes the whole thing even filthier!  I can't wait to hear what readers think about it.

JS: Excellent.  I'll update this with a link when it goes live tomorrow.  Felicity, this has been a wonderfully insightful interview. I hope a few of my readers take the time to get to know your engaging characters and follow you to keep up with all your latest happenings. Thank you so much for your time, this has been delightful way to start a Sunday.

FB: Thank you so much John, for taking the time to find out about my characters and I. There will be much, much more to come from me in the near future! Enjoy the rest of 'sinful Sunday'!

From Destination Anywhere by Felicity Brandon: 

 “Put your hands up against the wall as well,” you snarl and your voice is so close now – I can feel your hot breath against my neck. The proximity makes me feel even hornier. 

I comply immediately, feeling instantly more vulnerable this way and loving the increased jeopardy. I know you want me as much as I want you, but to prove the point, you push your frame up against me. Your body is hard and I feel your cock straining against my ass through your trousers. Automatically I arch my hips and grind myself against you. It’s a gamble I am likely to be punished for, but the sensation is so good I am willing to take the risk.

A succession of fast, sharp swats to my right cheek soon remind me of my place and reluctantly I move away from you, pressing myself back against the toilet wall. Then suddenly you’re right there behind me, pushing me hard against the tiles. Every inch of me is pinioned by your body; your arms stretching up to meet mine, your fingers knitting possessively between my own. Your face is so close that we finally make eye contact. Your eyes look sublime as they burn into mine. I fear that mine will be giving away not only the knot of anxiety within me, but also just how much I want you. For a few seconds we simply stare at one another; our bodies pressed together, both our breathing now eager and ragged.

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