German Interview With H.B. Pattskyn: Paranormal and BDSM Author

May 20, 2015

Ich bedanke mich herzlich bei H.B. Pattskyn, die sich bereit erklärt hat, an diesem Interview teilzunehmen und euch Lesern Frage und Antwort zu stehen. Auch ein großes Dankeschön an euch Leser, denn ohne euch wäre dieses wunderbare Interview nicht zustande gekommen.

 Zuallererst: Verrate etwas über dich, das deine Leser überraschen würde.

Vielen Dank für diese Gelegenheit! Hmmm … eine Sache, die Leute überraschen würde, wenn sie mich irgendwo treffen oder auf einer Convention sehen, wäre, dass ich extrem introvertiert bin. Aber ich bin nicht wirklich schüchtern. Das verwirrt die Leute. Eigentlich „mag“ ich es, mit Leuten zu reden. Aber nach einiger Zeit kann es ziemlich erschöpfend sein, auch wenn ich mit meinen Freunden oder meiner Familie zusammen bin. Ich muss dann irgendwann gehen und meine Batterien an einem stillen Ort wieder aufladen.

Was hat dich dazu gebracht, M/M Romanzen zu schreiben? Wie lange schreibst du schon und wie lange hat es gebraucht, bis du von einem Verlag publiziert wurdest?

Ich begann mit dem Schreiben in der zweiten Schulstufe. Wir hatten die Aufgabe, eine Geschichte zu schreiben, und dabei die bereits gelernten Wörter zu verwenden. Es machte so viel Spaß, dass ich weiterschrieb. Ich bin jetzt 46, ihr könnt euch also ausrechnen, wie lange das her ist. *grins

Ich begann Fanfiktions zu schreiben, als Reaktion auf die schreckliche-nein-das-haben-die-nicht-wirklich-getan dritte Staffel von Ron Koslows „Die Schöne und das Biest“ (Eine Menge Fans der Serie schrieben nach der dritten Staffel Fanfiktions). Nach ca. 20 Jahren fing ich mit Torchwood Fanfiktions an, weil ich neugierig war, was wohl zwischen den Episoden passieren könnte – und vor allem, weil ich mehr von Jack und Ianto, ein heißes M/M Pärchen der Serie, sehen wollte. Viele meiner Fans ermutigten mich dazu, Bücher zu schreiben und zu publizieren. Ich versuchte es und erhielt eine Menge Absagen (so läuft das nun mal), was mich dann etwas zögern ließ.

Dann hatte ich die Idee zu einer Story, die einfach nicht mehr verschwand. Als das Buch geschrieben war, musste ich einfach irgendwas damit tun, weshalb ich es bei Dreamspinner Press (mein absoluter Lieblingsverlag) einreichte. Ich erwartete natürlich eine Absage. Ich war gerade dabei, mir Gedanken darüber zu machen, wo ich es als Nächstes einreichen sollte, als ich eine E-Mail mit dem Betreff „Vertrag“ erhielt. Ich denke, ich starrte ca. 10 Minuten auf den Bildschirm, ehe ich die Mail öffnete, und hab mich wohl auch grün und blau gezwickt, weil ich es einfach nicht glauben konnte. *grins*

Ich hoffe, die Frage ist nicht zu privat, wenn ja, musst du natürlich nicht darauf antworten: Wie vereinst du deine Liebe zum Schreiben mit deinem Real Life (Familie, Freunden, dem Partner etc.), ohne dass einer dabei zu kurz kommt?

*kicher* Wenn ich die Lösung gefunden habe, lasse ich es euch wissen! Ständig kommt etwas zu kurz. Glücklicherweise habe ich einen wundervollen und unterstützenden Ehemann und richtig gute Freunde, die verständnisvoll sind, wenn ich sage, dass ich ein Treffen sausen lassen muss, weil die Musen in Höchstform sind. Aber es kann auch das Gegenteil der Fall sein. Letztes Jahr zogen wir in ein neues Haus (ein wunderschönes 100 Jahre altes Haus in Detroit), und deshalb konnte ich nur sehr wenig schreiben. All meine kreative Energie wurde gebraucht, um die alten Böden zu schleifen und neu zu lackieren (manche wurden mit Fliesen und Linoleum bedeckt), und Farbe von den wunderschönen Hartholzleisten abzukratzen.

Schreibst du an mehreren Büchern gleichzeitig oder konzentrierst du dich lieber nur auf eines?

Im Moment schreibe ich an mehreren Büchern gleichzeitig. Ich hoffe, das klappt weiterhin so gut, damit ich zwei Bücher in nächster Zeit beenden und einreichen kann!

Gibt es bestimmte Stärken und Schwächen, die du als Autor besitzt?

Unsicherheit ist meine größte Schwäche. Bei jeder Geschichte komme ich zu einem Punkt, wo ich davon überzeugt bin, dass alles schlecht ist und ich das Handtuch werfen sollte. Gerade dann hilft es, wenn man eine unterstützende Familie und ein helfendes Netzwerk von Schreibkollegen hat.

Eine meiner Stärken ist das Schreiben von Dialogen. Es ist eines der Dinge, wo ich am häufigsten positives Feedback erhalten habe, als ich noch Fanfiktions schrieb, und wo das Schreiben von Fanfiktions auch ziemlich geholfen hat. Ich schrieb über bereits bestehende Charaktere, deshalb war es wichtig, sie nicht zu verändern. Und gerade Dialoge sind ein großer Teil davon, eine Person in einer Geschichte einzigartig zu machen.

Hast du einen bestimmten Schreiballtag und wie lange schreibst du durchschnittlich an einer Geschichte?

Meine Tage sind zur Zeit noch recht unbeständig. Mein Mann und ich teilen uns ein Auto (es ist der einzige Weg, dass es finanziell klappt, dass ich als Vollzeitautorin arbeiten kann), und meine Tochter hat einen Job, bei dem sie um Mitternacht anfängt zu arbeiten. Mein neuer Tag besteht als darin, sie um 23 Uhr zur Arbeit zu bringen, heimzukommen, ins Bett zu gehen, mit meinem Mann um 4 Uhr aufzustehen, ihn zur Arbeit zu fahren, meine Tochter um 7 Uhr abzuholen (versuchen, dazwischen ein wenig zu schreiben), mehr zu schreiben – oder dumme Computerspiele zu spielen, je nachdem wie müde ich bin! Irgendwann versuche ich ein Nickerchen zu machen und / oder ein wenig Hausarbeit oder Gartenarbeit zu erledigen. Dann hole ich meinen Mann um 14 Uhr ab. Zur Zeit bin ich am Morgen am kreativsten, aber ich versuche mich auf meinen neuen Zeitplan einzustellen und bin damit zufrieden, wenn ich mal 1000 Wörter hier und 1000 Wörter da schaffe. Mein Ziel ist es, 3000 Wörter an einem Tag zu schaffen, aber manchmal klappt das eben nicht.

Zwei Tage die Woche arbeite ich ehrenamtlich für die AIDS Partnership Michigan.

Was für eine Szene war die am schwersten zu schreibende?  

Eines meiner derzeitigen Projekte ist die Fortsetzung von „Das graue Halsband“. Es geht aber nicht um Jason und Henry, obwohl sie natürlich vorkommen werden, sondern um Derrik. Der Typ, mit dem er am Ende zusammenkommen wird, lebt am Anfang in einer missbrauchenden, gewalttätigen D/s Beziehung. Es ist ein sehr sensibles und berührendes Thema, und es fällt mir schwer, es zu schreiben, weil ich nicht daran denken möchte, dass D/s Beziehungen etwas anderes als liebevoll und einvernehmlich sein können. Obwohl ich in meiner vorherigen Ehe mit einem Mann verheiratet war, der das Konzept ganz und gar nicht verstanden hatte. Es wurde nie gewalttätig, missbrauchend (ich konnte mich sozusagen von ihm lösen, ehe es zu diesem Punkt kommen konnte) aber das Potenzial war da. Es fällt mir schwer, einen Dom zu schreiben, der so sehr meinem Exmann ähnelt. Es gab nämlich ein paar Situationen, wo er mich wirklich verängstigt hatte.

Du hast zeitgenössische und eine paranormale Geschichte geschrieben. Welchen Stil bevorzugst du und warum?

Ich denke, paranormale Geschichten, weil sie dir viel Spielraum und Freiheiten lassen, um kreativ zu sein und Spaß zu haben – aber in letzter Zeit waren meine Ideen eher den zeitgenössischen Geschichten zugehörig, deshalb schreibe ich mehr Bücher in diesem Genre. Genauer gesagt, ich schreibe all das, was meine Musen mir diktieren. *grins*

Gehörst du auch zu den Autoren, die von der Muse ständig Arschtritte bekommen, vor allem, wenn sie etwas will, das dir aktuell so gar nicht in den Zeitplan passt?

Auf jeden Fall!

Hast du schon einmal abfällige / beleidigende Bemerkungen zu deinen Büchern erhalten? Wenn ja, wie hast du darauf reagiert?

Möglicherweise war die abfälligste Bemerkung, der Satz: „Oh, du schreibst homoerotische Romanzen? Wo veröffentlichst du deine Geschichten online?“ Es war sehr frustrierend, dass er gleich dachte, dass ich mit Geschichten dieses Genres, bei keinem Verlag veröffentlichen kann oder für meine Arbeit bezahlt werde.

Als Antwort auf seine Frage sagte ich lächelnd, dass er meine Bücher ja gerne auf der Seite meines Verlages oder auf Amazon nachschlagen könnte.

Jemand anderes dachte, ich würde selbst veröffentlichen. Ich habe überhaupt nichts dagegen, wenn Autoren ihre Bücher selbst veröffentlichen – mich irritierte nur die Annahme, dass er dachte, dass wohl kein Verlag M/M Romanzen veröffentlichen würde. Ich habe ihn höflich korrigiert, und wieder auf Dreamspinner verwiesen – ebenso wie auf all die anderen tollen M/M Verlage.

Hast du vor, irgendwann die Länder zu besuchen, in deren Sprachen deine Bücher übersetzt wurden?

Ich möchte unbedingt mal nach Deutschland! Und auch einige andere europäische Länder besuchen.

Letzte Woche veröffentliche DSP die deutsche Übersetzung von deinem Buch Das graue Halsband (Bound: Forget Me Knot). Hat dir die Muse eines Tages die Idee (auch das Thema BDSM) zugeflüstert oder inspirierte dich etwas anderes?

*grins* Ich stand beim Tisch eines Händlers bei einer lokalen Science Fiction Convention (nicht die, wo sich Henry und Jason trafen, aber sie war der Convention sehr ähnlich) und gegenüber von mir erblickte ich diesen umwerfenden, jungen (19 oder 20 Jahre alt) Kerl, gekleidet in einem Netzshirt, seine Nippelpiercings waren deutlich zu sehen. Schräg gegenüber war ein Lederwaren Händler (mehr Steampunk als BDSM Zeug, aber es gab auch ein paar Halsbänder und Handschellen). Ich konnte nicht anders, als die beiden in meinen Gedanken zusammenzubringen.

Wird es eine Fortsetzung geben? Oder sind andere Bücher geplant, die das Thema BDSM beinhalten?

Neben Derriks Geschichte (die Fortsetzung von „Das graue Halsband“) arbeite ich an einer weiteren BDSM Geschichte, die Visceral heißt, und die ich sehr liebe. Mittlerweile habe ich ungefähr 70 000 Wörter geschrieben, also wird sie bald fertig sein.

Kannst du ein bisschen über dein Buch Hanging by the Moment erzählen? War der Plot geplant oder entwickelte es sich während des Schreibens?

Ich hatte nicht geplant, ein Buch über HIV zu schreiben, als ich mit der Geschichte von Daniel und Pasha begann. Ich hatte gerade erst „Das graue Halsband“ beendet, und wollte daher etwas leichtes und schmerzloses schreiben. Aber leicht und schmerzlos ist in meinem Wortschatz wohl nicht vorhanden. Ich hatte ungefähr 10 000 Wörter geschrieben und wollte mich gerade etwas hinlegen, um eine Pause zu machen, als mich Daniel darüber informierte (und zwar in der Art und Weise wie Charaktere manchmal die Autoren vor vollendete Tatsachen stellen), dass er HIV-positiv sei.

Nein.

Niemals. Das war nicht das Buch, das ich schreiben wollte.

Aber es war das Buch, das geschrieben werden musste.

Wegen der Recherche zu dem Thema endete ich als ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiterin bei der AIDS Partnership Michigan. Es bricht mir mein Herz, dass noch immer so viele falsche Informationen im Internet über HIV und AIDS zu finden sind. Es ist kein Todesurteil. Es ist keine Krankheit, die jemand haben möchte, aber man kann sich damit arrangieren und leben.

Ich weiß, eine Menge Leser mieden „Hanging by the Moment“, wegen dieses Themas, aber es ist keine depressive, traurige Geschichte. Es ist eine Geschichte über einen Mann, der sich in einen anderen Mann verliebt, der HIV-positiv ist.

Zu guter Letzt. Woran arbeitest du zur Zeit?

Neben Derriks Geschichte und Visceral, arbeite ich an dem Buch A Place to Belong, das mich ziemlich mitgenommen hat. Es ist eine weitere Geschichte mit einem schwierigen Plot, der Selbstverletzung, Straßenprostitution und eine Beziehung mit einem erheblichen Altersunterschied beinhaltet. Es ist einer der Fälle, wo ich, egal was ich schreibe, denke, dass es Mist ist (obwohl mir vier Beta Leser gesagt haben, dass sie es lieben, und das sind Leute, die ich sehr respektiere). Ich denke, wenn ich Visceral beendet habe, werde ich mich wieder auf diese Story stürzen (Ich begann mit Visceral, weil ich eine Pause brauchte – und weil ich an der Reihe war, etwas in einer Kritikergruppe zu schreiben, und ich wollte nichts von A Place to Belong posten, weil die Geschichte gerade bei einem Beta Reader war, und ich zu der Zeit nur deren Meinungen hören wollte).

Interview With H.B. Pattskyn: Paranormal and BDSM Author

May 20, 2015

A big thank you to H.B. Pattskyn, who agreed to do this interview and answer the questions of her readers. I also want to thank you, the readers, who came up with the questions and thus made this interview possible.

First of all, name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

Thank you so much for the opportunity!  Hmmm….one thing that surprises most people when they meet me somewhere like a conference or a convention is that I’m an extreme introvert, I just happen to not be a very shy one. That confuses people. I actually *like* talking to people, it’s just that after a while, it can be very draining, even when I’m around friends and family. I need to go and recharge my batteries some place quiet after a long day of interacting with people.

What made you start writing M/M novels? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?

I started writing in the second grade. We had an assignment to write a story using our spelling words and it was so much fun, I started writing more stories. I’m 46 now, so you can do the math on how long ago that was  *grin* !

I started writing fanficiton in response to the horrible-it-didn’t-really-happen third season of Ron Koslow’s Beauty and the Beast. (A lot of fans of the show wrote fanfiction after the third season aired, in the late 1980’s.) Fast forward about twenty years and I found myself writing Torchwood fanfiction, because I wanted to see what happened in between episodes—and mostly because I wanted more Jack and Ianto, a cannon M/M couple. A bunch of my fans encouraged me to write and publish original fiction. I’d tried that previously and collected a stack of rejection letters (that’s just the nature of the business) so I was reluctant.

Then I had an idea for a story that wouldn’t go away. Once the novel was written, I had to do something with it, so I submitted it to Dreamspinner Press (my absolute favorite publisher, from a customer-perspective) , fully expecting to get another rejection letter. I’d even settled on where I was going to submit it next when the inevitable happened. But instead of the anticipated rejection letter, I got an email with  Contract in the subject line. I think I stared at it for ten minutes before opening it and probably pinched my arm black and blue to make sure I wasn’t dreaming *grin* !

I hope this question is not too personal; if yes you of course don’t have to answer it. How do you unite your writing with your private life (family, friends, partner, etc.) without neglecting anyone or anything?

*snicker* When I figure that one out, I’ll let you know!  Invariably, something gets neglected along the way. Fortunately, I have a wonderful and supportive husband and really awesome friends who understand it when I say I have to bail on a social engagement because the Muses are dancing and I’m working hard. Sometimes it works the opposite way, too. Last year, we were very busy moving to a new house (a lovely 100 year old home in Detroit) and as a consequence, I got very  little writing done. All my creative energy went to sanding and refinishing old floors (some of which were covered by layes of tile and linoleum), and scraping peeling paint off of the most beautiful hardwood crown molding.

Do you work at several books at the same time or do you rather focus on one? 

Lately, I’ve been working on multiple books at once.  I’m hoping that works out to see two books finished and submitted very soon!

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as an author?

Insecurity is my biggest weakness. There comes a point in every story where I’m convinced it totally sucks and I should just throw in the towel. Those moments are where having a supportive family and network of writer-friends really helps.

I think one of my strongest suits as a writer is writing dialogue. It’s one the things I got the most positive feedback on when I was writing fanfiction, and one of the places where fanfiction really helped. I was writing pre-made characters, so keeping them in character was really super important. It became engrained me that dialogue is a huge part of what makes a person seem unique on the page.

Do you have a writing routine and how long does it take you on average to write a story?

My days are in flux right now; my husband and I share a car (pretty much the only way we can make it work financially for me to be a fulltime writer), and my daughter just got a job working midnights. So my new day is to take her to work at 11pm, come home, go to bed, get up with my husband at 4am, drive him to work, pick my daughter up at 7am (trying to get some writing done in between), do some more writing—or play stupid computer games, depending on how tired I am! Somewhere in there I catch a nap and/or attempt to do some housework or work in the garden. Then I pick my husband up at 2. My best creative times are in the morning, but I’m adapting to the new schedule and trying to be content to get in a thousand words here and a thousand words there. My goal is 3000 words a day, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

Two days a week, I volunteer for AIDS Partnership Michigan.

What is the hardest scene you ever had to write?

One of my current projects is the followup to Bound:Forget Me Knot.  It’s not a sequel, although Jason and Henry will be in it—but really the new book is Derrik’s story. The guy he ends up with starts out the story in an abusive D/s relationship. It’s a really touchy subject all the way around and hard to write because I don’t want to think of D/s as being anything but loving and consensual, even though my previous marriage was to a man who totally didn’t get the concept of that at all. It never got abusive (I got out before it could go there) but the potential existed. It’s hard for me to write a Dom who is so much like my ex; there were a few times he really scared me.

You’ve written contemporaries and you’ve written a paranormal novel. Which do you prefer and why?

I think paranormal, because paranormal gives a lot of leeway and freedom to really explore and be creative and have fun—but lately my ideas have mostly been contemporary, so that’s what I’m writing more of. Pretty much I write whatever the Muses dictate  *smile*

Are you one of the authors that get kicked by their muse all of the time, especially when she wants something that doesn’t really fit into your writing timetable in that situation?

Completely!

Have you ever got insulted because of your books? Or have your books ever got insulted? If yes, how did you react to it?

Probably the most insulting thing anyone has ever said was along the lines, „Oh, you write gay male romance? Where do you post your stories online?“  It was really frustrating that he thought that because of what I write, I couldn’t possibly have a publisher or get paid for my work.

In response to that question, I smiled and said that if he wanted to look me up, he could try my publisher’s website or track me down on Amazon.

I had someone else who assumed I was self published. I have nothing against self publishing—it was just the assumption that irritated me, like somehow no one publishes M/M romance. I politely corrected the misconception and once again suggested the other person check out Dreampsinner—and all of the other wonderful M/M publishers out there.

Do you want to travel to the countries where the languages your books were translated into are spoken?

 I would love to come to Germany some day! And most of Europe, for that matter.

Last week DSP published the German translation of Bound: Forget Me Knot. It’s the first book of you which was translated into another language. What inspired you to write this novel?

*grin*  I was sitting at a dealer’s table at a local science fiction convention (not the one where Jason and Henry meet, but they’re fairly similar) and across the room, I spoted this adorable little (19 or 20 years old) guy in a fishnet shirt, his nipple rings clearly visible. Just kitty corner to my table was a leather dealer (more Steampunk stuff than BDSM gear, but there were a few collars and cuffs discretely on display as well.) I couldn’t help putting those two things together.

Are you planning to write a sequel or more books dealing with BDSM?

In addition to Derrik’s story (the follow up for Bound), I’m hard at work on a BDSM story called Visceral that I’m really in love with. It’s at about the 70,000 word mark, so it’s almost done.

Can you tell us a little about Hanging by the Moment? Did you plan the plot before you start writing or did you let things just develop themselves?

I so did not set out to write a book about HIV when I stared Daniel and Pasha’s story! I’d just finished Bound and I wanted to write something light and easy. Light and easy is apparently not in my vocabulary. I was about 10,000 words in and laying down to take a little break when Daniel informes me (in that way that characters sometimes inform authors of things the poor author had no prior knowledge of) that he’s HIV positive.

No.

No way. That was not the book I wanted to write.

But it was the book that needed to be written.

Because of the research I did, I ended up as a volunteer at AIDS Partnership Michigan—it completely breaks my heart that there is still so much misinformation circulating around the Internet about HIV and AIDS. It’s not a death sentence. It’s not a disease anyone wants, but it can be managed and lived with.

I know a lot of people have steered clear of Hanging by the Moment because of the subject matter, but it’s not a depressing story. It’s a story about a guy who falls in love with a guy who happens to be living with HIV.

Last but not least: What are you currently working?

In addition to Derrik’s story and Visceral, I’m working on book called A Place to Belong that’s been causing me great consternation for the better part of a year. It’s another story with a difficult plot line that involves self-injury, street level sex work, and a relationship with a significant age gap.  It’s been one of those cases where no matter what I write, I think it sucks (even though I’ve had no less than 4 beta readers tell me they love and they’re all people I respect tremendously!)  I think once I finish Visceral, I’ll get back to it (I started Visceral because I needed a break—and because it was my turn to submit something to my critique group and I didn’t want to submit any of A Place to Belong; it was in the hands of a beta reader and his were the only other opinions I wanted on it.)

Wrapped Up in Chains Release Party – Excerpt and giveaway.

March 14, 2014

I’d like to thank you all for coming by and hanging out with me today. I’ve loved sharing with you and hope you’ll enjoy the story. Andrea M you’re the winner of the free copy and I will will have the lovely people at Dreamspinner add it to your bookshelf by tomorrow.

And here’s the excerpt that will hopefully whet your appetite:

DEVON WALKED into Mystique looking every inch the Master of the world. The truth wasn’t too far off. Inside his club there were many who called themselves Master, but here in this place, they all answered to him.

Tonight he wore black jeans and a dark red silk shirt, unbuttoned at the neck. His black jacket and boots completed the look. Devon didn’t favor the leather and chains look so many in his community seemed to be stuck on unless he was in a scene.

He radiated power as he walked down the hall and into the main room of the club. He was used to most eyes turning his way as he entered the room. The fact that they didn’t tonight was Devon’s first indication that something was wrong. When he looked to see what had captured people’s attention, his green eyes flashed with anger.

There was a crowd of people gathered around the raised stage in the middle of the club, watching one of the young men who worked there as a Dom beat a young man who was tied to the St. Andrew’s cross that sat on the platform.

Most of the people watching looked horrified but made no move to stop the torture.

The unfortunate sub had been beaten so badly that his back was bleeding in half a dozen places, and it was obvious this was some kind of punishment instead of a scene. He was limp in his bindings, and the pain in his shoulders must have been excruciating as the muscles were stretched to the limit when his legs failed to support him.

Devon spotted his manager standing uncertainly to the side. This was the man who should have been putting a stop to the chaos in front of him, but Devon could see that he was intimidated and trying to decide whether or not to stop it. He took the choice out of the manager’s hands.

Striding quickly to the stage, he caught the eye of the DJ as he went, and the music died. All eyes were finally on Devon as he shouted.

“Stop!”

The Dom had just pulled his arm back to administer another blow and was startled when Devon yanked the flogger out of his hand.

The man spun to confront whoever had dared to interfere and visibly paled when he saw it was his boss. Devon smiled coldly at the man.

“Matt, I’d like you to explain to me what this poor sub has done to merit being beaten half to death.” He moved around so he could see the bleeding man’s face. Devon’s fury grew. The man wasn’t much more than a boy.

“He struck a Dom, sir.” Matt’s voice shook.

Devon gently pushed the hair back off the young man’s face and was gratified when he opened his eyes. However, the pure terror in the hazel depths made Devon even more furious. He ran his fingers through the man’s hair, trying to calm him down a little.

“Why? He obviously didn’t hit him for no reason.”

Matt just shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t see what happened. One minute the Dom was talking to him, the next he was flat on the floor with a broken nose. Don’t worry, sir, Jason took him to the hospital.” He made it sound like Devon should be proud of him for taking care of the Dom.

“And you didn’t ask why the kid hit him? Did it occur to you that he might have had a reason?”

Matt scowled. “Subs don’t hit Doms, sir. It’s the rule.”

Devon pulled himself to his full height. “In case you’ve forgotten, Matt, I make the fucking rules here! And rule number one is consent from all parties for everything! Are you telling me this man consented to this?”

Matt flinched even though Devon hadn’t raised his voice. When Devon lifted the flogger to look at it, his anger almost overwhelmed him.

The whip was actually a cat-o’-nine-tails that was about two-and-a-half-feet long. It was one of the nastier versions Devon had seen, with knots tied at intervals along the tails and the ends cut at an angle, all designed to cause the maximum amount of pain and damage.

“You used this weapon of torture on someone in my club? Are you out of your fucking mind?” Devon’s voice was starting to get louder, and as it did he could feel the sub shake harder. He knew he had to calm down and get the injured man taken care of.

Taking a deep breath, he threw the flogger across the stage to land at the feet of his manager. “You are not a Dom. You’re just a fucking bully. Now get the hell out of my club. You’re done here.”

Matt opened his mouth to speak but stopped when two of the bouncers who had been with the club since it began stepped forward at a gesture from Devon. With a giant man on either side of him, Matt had no option but to move in the direction they wanted him to go. He went quietly.

Devon turned back to the sub. He’d started moaning in pain, although Devon could see that the man was trying hard to be quiet.

“If the rest of you wouldn’t mind, could you please step back and give us some room to work?” He looked over his shoulder and saw Andy and Joe walking toward the stage. They must have just arrived or this wouldn’t have been happening.

“Could you two give me a hand here?”

“What in the hell’s going on, Dev?” Andy’s eyes widened when he saw the sub’s back. “Who did that? I’ll fucking kill ’em!”

“Someone who is no longer employed here. We’ll talk about it later.” Dev leaned in to talk quietly in the sub’s ear.

“What’s your name, sweetheart?” He couldn’t resist tucking a lock of hair behind the other man’s ear. His face was so innocent he couldn’t imagine him lashing out at anyone in anger.

“Chase, Sir.” His voice was wrecked, hoarse and raw from screaming.

“Chase, we’re going to get you down from here and figure out what’s going on, okay?”

Chase nodded. “I’m sorry, Sir.”

Devon rubbed the back of his knuckles gently over Chase’s cheek. “Shhh, just be quiet for now, sweetheart. We’re gonna take care of you.”

Looking back at Andy, he motioned for him to start untying Chase while Joe ran off to grab the gurney they kept to help move patrons who were sometimes overwhelmed in intense scenes.

Devon stood beside Chase, moving in front of him and holding his weight when Andy finally got both the limbs on one side untied.

Chase was trying hard to hold himself up, but Devon knew he was seconds away from collapsing. “It’s okay, Chase. You can lean on me. I won’t let you fall.”

Chase put his forehead on Devon’s shoulder, both arms hanging down by his sides, apparently too weak and in too much pain to grab on to anything.

“Who’s your Master, Chase?”

Chase trembled at the question, and for a moment, Devon didn’t think he was going to answer.

“James, Sir, James Kingston.”

Devon sighed. “Why am I not surprised?”

Joe came with the gurney then, and they managed to manhandle Chase onto it, laying him carefully on his front. Once he was settled, Devon looked at the crowd.

“Did any of you see what happened?” He needed to get to the bottom of this. If Chase was seriously hurt, this little shit show could cause him real problems.

Everyone shook their heads, but Devon knew some were lying. He watched as a pretty little dark-haired sub he recognized leaned in to whisper in her Dom’s ear. Her Dom looked at her in surprise before nodding at her.

She walked up and stood in front of the stage, head bowed and hands clasped in front of her until he spoke.

“Yes, Katie?”

“Pardon me, Sir, but I saw Chase’s Dom walk him in and sit him at the bar. He whispered in his ear and then walked to the booth in the corner, leaving Chase alone.” The poor girl was shaking, but she bravely kept talking.

“The Dom and his friends watched as people came up to Chase and talked to him. Chase always said no to offers of company, and they walked away. But then one of the men from his Dom’s table came up and wouldn’t leave him alone. I don’t think Chase knew the man was with his Master, Sir. He couldn’t see the booth from the bar.

Devon was pretty sure he knew what had happened next, but he nodded for her to continue. She was nervous, and he was happy when her Dom came up behind her and wrapped his arm around her waist, offering her comfort.

“The man pulled Chase off his stool and tried to push him to his knees, and that’s when Chase hit him.” She looked up at Devon, begging him to understand. “Sir, I don’t think Chase meant to hit him, he just… panicked. He’s shy, and his Master doesn’t take him out much. Please don’t be too angry at Chase, Master Devon.”

Devon walked to the front of the stage and crouched down to smile at her. “I’m not mad at Chase, Katie. He’s not the one in the wrong here. Thank you for telling me. Do you know where his Dom went?”

She shook her head. “No, Sir. When everyone started freaking out, he just left as fast as he could, leaving Chase behind.” The look on her face told Devon exactly what she thought of the cowardly asshole who’d abandoned his sub.

Devon leaned in and kissed her on the forehead and nodded gratefully at her Dom. They were a couple who came in often, and Devon knew they were a devoted pair.

“Don’t worry, Katie, we’re going to take care of Chase, I promise.”

She smiled at him, tears causing her eyes to shine a little brighter. She turned in her Dom’s arms, and he held her and soothed her as they walked away.

Devon looked over to where Andy and Joe were trying to tend to Chase’s injuries. He stood and walked off the stage to join them.

“Does he need to go to the hospital?”

Andy shrugged. “I don’t know. He won’t let us get close enough to look and keeps insisting he isn’t going to see any doctors.” Dev could see the frustration on his friend’s face.

Dev crouched down so he could look Chase in the eyes and started stroking Chase’s dark, sweaty hair. “Hey, sweetheart, what’s going on?”

“Master said no one touches what’s his and no doctors. They ask too many questions.”

Devon continued petting him, running his fingers down the back of Chase’s neck to try and ease the tension there. “I’m touching you.”

“You’re the Master here. This is your place. It makes it okay, I think.” His voice was so quiet it was hard to hear, and Dev could tell he was struggling to make sense of things.

Dev smiled encouragingly at him. He knew he had to help Chase feel comfortable so that he’d let them help him. “Let’s get you to my office and get you checked over. If I decide you need to go to the hospital, you’re going, no arguments, all right?”

Chase nodded, and Devon stood up. He could see the other man making an aborted move toward Devon’s hand, and his heart twisted in sympathy. Chase was terrified and had apparently attached himself to Devon without his Dom to turn to. He laid his hand over Chase’s, smiling when the injured man turned his hand palm up and curled his fingers around Dev’s almost painfully.

Devon looked toward the crowd. “Please feel free to continue to enjoy yourselves, but keep this in mind. I won’t tolerate this kind of brutality in my place. Remember, these amazing people put themselves in your care, and it’s your duty as their Doms to make sure they’re safe while they’re with you. Don’t abuse the gift they’ve given you if you want to keep it.”

The last was said as a warning, and the Doms in the room knew James Kingston was going to be sorry for ever trying this kind of brutal game in Devon’s world.

WrappedUpInChainsFS

Wrapped Up in Chains – The BDSM part

March 14, 2014

The setting for this book is kind of unique I think. The background is a BDSM club and main characters who live the BDSM lifestyle, but the story isn’t too hardcore about it because one of the characters isn’t ready for it until the very end of the book. Chase is a man who was basically taken as a boy and abused for a very long time before being rescued and he needed most of the book to heal enough to make his own choices about what he wanted without being influenced by outside opinions.

On top of that, Devon, the Dom in this story, he had to have time to come to the realization that Chase was capable of deciding for himself that he really did want what he was asking for.

And of course, there was the bad guy they both had to deal with who was pretty much everything that the BDSM community isn’t!

And speaking of that…….

I researched as much as I could through books and the internet but what I know about BDSM and the people who live it is very little and certainly not enough to even pretend to be any kind of an expert. I’m smart enough to know that with some things, there is only so much you can learn from books and that some things need to be experienced to truly be understood.

But what I do know is that this is something amazing and wonderful for the people who are immersed into the community and it was something I wanted to learn about and understand better. As I said in the acknowledgments, I have absolutely the utmost respect and admiration for everyone who lives this lifestyle and hope they will take this story as it was intended, as a work of fiction written by someone who was curious and motivated to investigate but has very little knowledge, lol.

I can totally understand the appeal of both sides of the sub/Dom equation. Giving yourself over to someone else’s care, being their sub and letting them make all the decisions? That would be very freeing. The only things you would think about or be required to do would be what your Dom asked of you and their approval or disapproval would be the only thing that mattered.

And of course, being the one in charge has it’s benefits as well. It’s a big responsibility being a Dom. You have someone in your care who is totally dependent on you for whatever length of time you agree on but you also know that in that time, you are their whole world. It’s heady stuff.

Safe – sane –  and consensual were words I found a lot in my research. Everyone involved had to be aware of what was going on and agree to it. For some there are contracts that are written up in advance and safeguards for everyone involved.

I think what anyone who’s interested should do is research like I did. Read a lot, and if you can, talk to someone who’s involved in the community. There’s more than one opinion out there so make sure you get a bunch and keeping an open mind is the most important part. What appeals to others might not appeal to you and that’s okay. While I find a lot of aspects of BDSM fascinating, I’m not big on humiliation, probably because I only associate it with something really bad happening to me that I don’t want, but there are a lot of people for whom that is an essential part of their experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I found most of the people I talked to were more than willing to help me and were in fact eager to clear up misconceptions about their community.

So, in the end, what I do know would fill a thimble and what I don’t know would fill an ocean and I hope that if you are a part of the BDSM community that you can forgive me for any mistakes I’ve made while enjoying the story I’ve crafted.

You can get Wrapped Up in Chains here as an ebook and here as a paperback, the first 20 copies of which are autographed by me!!

Wrapped Up in Chains Release Party – the cover edition

March 14, 2014

WrappedUpInChainsFS

This is the cover that Paul Richmond and the fabulous art department at Dreamspinner came up with for Wrapped Up in Chains. It’s kind of funny because most people reading the blurb after seeing the cover will probably assume that the man on the cover is supposed to represent Chase, the sub in the story. In reality though, it’s really more representative of Devon, the Dom.

While Chase might have literally been kept in chains by his abuser, Devon is trapped in a different way. He loves the lifestyle he’s chosen to live but without someone to share it with, he’s lonely and feeling constrained. When he finally finds Chase and makes a real connection with him, the rules he’s chosen to live by make it hard for him to take what he wants and needs from the sub who’s so desperate to give it to him.

I think so many of us are like that. We get trapped by our way of thinking and even when the opportunity for change presents itself to us we find it hard to accept because we’re afraid. I think we all make our own chains and its up to us to find our way out of them.

When I saw this cover the first time, I knew it was the one I wanted. It jumped out at me and seemed to really embody what I saw in Chase and Devon. Of course, I still had to ask all my friends their opinion because I’m really terrible at making a decision of any kind without some kind of input and as my friends were the ones who helped me through writing it, it seemed only fair they help chose the cover!

You can get this at Dreamspinner here and in paperback here. And remember, only the first 20 copies of the paperback are autographed by yours truly. Btw, signing my first autographs was mind blowing!!!

Wrapped Up in Chains Release Party!

March 14, 2014

Hi! I’m Cindy Sutherland and I’m here with you today celebrating the release of my latest book and first full length novel, Wrapped Up in Chains. I’m so glad to be here, and I’m really excited because I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m going to be hanging out throughout the day, chatting and answering any questions you might have. I’m actually have the day off because the flu has been running rampant through my house and it’s finally my turn. At least it waited until everyone else was over it!

I’m going to be giving away a copy of the ebook version of the novel and you can win by commenting below and answering this question:

Would you rather spend an hour as a sub or as a Dom…no judgements, just for fun! I’ll tell you my answer at the end of the day.

I’m going to start by sharing the blurb with you.

Devon West is a professional Dom who runs his own club, doesn’t believe in romance, and had never been in a long-term relationship. All this changes when he rescues Chase Mackenzie.

Chase is a runaway who has been kept as a slave since he was sixteen. Now twenty-three, he’s still innocent and sweet despite being severely abused and left behind by his Dom.

When Devon finds out that the man who held Chase hostage is the same man who hurt him terribly when he started learning about the sub/Dom lifestyle, he knows he has to keep Chase safe.

Spoiled rich boy and sociopath James Kingston is obsessed with Devon. He’s convinced Devon would be his perfect sub and Devon only thinks he’s a Dom because he needs proper discipline. Losing Chase to Devon is like rubbing salt in the wound, and he’s determined to get them both under thumb. This time, Chase may need to rescue Devon.

You can get Wrapped Up in Chains here. It’s also available here in paperback and the first twenty copies of that are autographed by me!

I look forward to spending the day with you all and lets have a little fun! I’d love to answer any questions you might have.

 

New releases: August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Make Me Whole by Marguerite Labbe

Nick has a lifelong dream of finding the Dexios Collection, and it winds up in the hands of Galen, the man who broke his heart. Make Me Whole by Marguerite Labbe, available from Dreamspinner Press.

After a grueling battle in ancient Greece, lovers Dexios and Lykon committed their lives to each other in the name of Goddess Cythera. After the war, fearing the strength of his love for Dexios, Lykon abandoned his vow and returned home. Heartbroken, Dexios called on Cythera, who changed him into four unfinished statues. In that form he would wait for his fickle lover to return, break the curse, and make him whole.

Thousands of years have passed when Galen Kanellis finds the disassembled pieces in the storeroom of a Seattle museum and makes them the focus of his new exhibit. Needing information, he contacts his ex-lover Nick Charisteas. Nick has a lifelong dream of finding the Dexios Collection, and the last thing he expected was for it to wind up in the hands of the man who broke his heart. As both men search for answers about the statues, worries of abandonment and fear of loss test their renewed relationship, threatening to separate them again—this time permanently.

Length: Novel (294p.) | Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal, BDSM/Kink | Release Date: August 26, 2013 |Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-056-2) | Buy as Paperback ($16.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-055-5)

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No Angel by Daniel A. Kaine

Josh has horns and Sam has wings. Their relationship grows and they find a haven in each other’s arms until tragedy threatens them. No Angel by Daniel A. Kaine, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Born with a birth defect called Devil Syndrome, it is impossible for Josh Harper to hide the two small stumps of hornlike bone atop his head. If people also knew about his ability to create force fields with his mind, they’d lock him up for sure. Left to fend for himself on his eighteenth birthday, Josh tries to make it on the streets. When he’s attacked, he’s rescued by Sam Mitchell, who has an equally strange power—and a set of pure white wings.

Sam ran away from home a year ago, and the new life he’s built for himself includes living in an abandoned house and looking after three younger kids, all with Devil Syndrome. Then along comes Josh. After a rough start their relationship grows and the two young men find a haven in each other’s arms. But when tragedy strikes their newfound family, Sam’s hatred of regular humans spirals out of control, and Josh will have to make Sam see sense before everything he’s worked so hard to build is destroyed.

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal, Coming of Age | Release Date: August 26, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-124-8) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-123-1)

New releases: June 19, 2013

June 19, 2013

Mountain Prey by Lyn Gala

Stunt doesn’t have a problem in his home in the Appalachian Mountains. Then one day he runs into Alex Soto, a man out for revenge.  Mountain Prey by Lyn Gala, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Stewart Folger lives in the Appalachian Mountains, where people take care of their family and follow the Bible. He feels that Appalachian pull in his blood, but that hasn’t tamed his wild side. A youth full of pranks left him with the nickname Stunt and a preference for danger in and out of bed. Other than a few contrary moonshiners who hate him for philosophical reasons since he’s a forestry technician and federal employee, he doesn’t have a problem in the world. Then one day he runs into Alex Soto, a man out for revenge.

Just out of prison, Alex knows firsthand that the justice system doesn’t treat poor and rich equally, so he’ll have to go outside the law to avenge his brother’s death. When an innocent man lands in the middle of his plans, he doesn’t know what to do… other than take him hostage. Unfortunately, he never planned on having to deal with Stunt or with the twisted logic that passes for reasonable in Stunt’s mountain home.

Length: Novel (210p.) | Genre: Contemporary, BDSM | Release Date: June 19, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-584-5) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-583-8)

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Born This Way by Poppy Dennison

When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him as part of his liger heritage. Born This Way by Poppy Dennison, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Dayton Whitmore injures his arm playing basketball with his lion-shifter friends, and his best friend asks Dayton to check on her estranged brother Hart while he’s in Atlanta visiting a specialist. Though Dayton and Hart were never close, he grudgingly agrees.

Banishment from his pride meant Hart Sherman could never see his family again. His liger heritage—a tiger mother and lion father—was a thorn in his alpha father’s side. He always planned to go back for Dayton, the man he knows is his mate, but he uses his career as an entertainment attorney as an excuse to avoid risking Dayton’s rejection. When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him.

Knowing what it means to be a lion’s mate, Dayton isn’t in any hurry to make a lifetime commitment. To convince Dayton he’s serious, Hart must come to terms with the circumstances of his birth—and find a place in the pride for them both.

Length: Novella (115p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shapeshifters | Release Date: June 19, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-755-9)

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Shadowcraft by Jean Woolf

In Tessera, the law can be as ruthless as those who break it. Li, hustler by night and drug runner by day, is caught in the crossfire. Shadowcraft by Jean Woolf, available from Dreamspinner Press.

In the city of Tessera in the twenty-third century, the law can be as ruthless as those who break it. Li, hustler by night and drug runner by day, is caught in the crossfire.

His best friend and occasional lover is a prostitute, like himself. His nemesis and occasional savior is a man with a secret identity. But then, everyone’s identity is a secret in Tessera. Everyone is a shadow. If he plans to survive, Li must blend in—he must remain quiet and unseen, passed from hand to carnivorous hand without getting captured by a single one.

But what happens when he is captured? Will the shadow, once trapped, manage to escape? Or will Li fade away into the endless night, a shadow among shadows, one death among many?

Length: Novella (135p.) | Genre: Science Fiction| Release Date: June 19, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-576-0)

Fettered by Lyn Gala

February 22, 2013

Until Dylan and Vin learn to trust each other, Dylan will have to face his fear and the growing threats alone. Fettered by Lyn Gala, available from Dreamspinner Press.


Dylan Carter has always played second fiddle to his perfect older brother, but now that brother is implicated in a terrible crime, and Dylan’s family is imploding. Dylan can’t hide anymore. Knowing he’s falling apart, he searches for something or someone to hold him together—and lands in a BDSM bar called the Stonewall.

Dylan doesn’t understand Miss Dolphinia, the hard-drinking queen who seems determined to play matchmaker. But more confusing is the way the powerful men in leather make him feel. In her wisdom, Miss Dolphinia sends Dylan off to a back room for his introduction to the world of erotic spankings and bondage.

Dylan’s teacher—for want of a better word—is the very dominant Vin Hauser. Vin likes to play hard, but he’s honest with himself—he knows all those men want is a strong hand, not a long-term relationship. Yet Vin can’t help but hope Dylan might be different.

With controversy over his brother’s sins stirring up danger around him, Dylan needs Vin’s support more than ever. But until he and Vin learn to trust each other, Dylan will have to face his fear and the growing threats alone.

Length: Novel | Genre: BDSM | Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback

Bound: Forget Me Knot by H.B. Pattskyn

September 24, 2012

All Jason wants is to be with Henry, but what if that means becoming his slave? Bound: Forget Me Knot by H.B. Pattskyn, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Jason Kennly needs to get a closer look when he spots a gray leather collar from across the dealers’ room at a science fiction convention, even if there’s no way he can afford it on his college student budget. After all, looking is free. But then he spots something he wants even more than the collar: leather booth owner Henry Durand, who insists Jason try it on. When Henry asks Jason to be his model at a bondage demo, Jason agrees despite his lack of experience as a sub and ends up spending a no-strings-attached weekend exploring his kinky side with a virtual stranger.

Then the con is over, Jason and Henry go their separate ways, and it’s back to real life. Coming to terms with his identity as a submissive and masochist isn’t easy for Jason. Suddenly he has to face fear, doubt, and a best friend who’ll do anything to get him away from “that creep” and back together with the ex-boyfriend who ignored him. All Jason wants is to be with Henry, but what if that means becoming his slave?

Length: Novel
Genre: BDSM/Kink

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