Welcome Annabel Joseph to Delighted Reader! We are excited to be able to talk to you and share with our readers a little about your stories.
Annabel: Thanks for having me. I love doing interviews! But I usually talk too much.
Shari: How do you know when you have hit the right emotional setting in your writing when writing a BDSM scene?
Annabel: It can be difficult because scenes have different tones. Sometimes I want them to be light to give the reader a breather. Other times I want them to be scary or intense, or even sad. The hardest scenes are probably the ones where I want to show an emotional change happening in the hero or heroine. The only way I really know if I hit the mark is by putting it aside and re-reading it later when I have some distance. I usually leave about six weeks between the time I finish a book and the time I go back and start edits, so I can see if things really worked.
Shari: Has any BDSM scene left you feeling emotions hours later?
Annabel: I’ve written scenes where I couldn’t sleep at night…or even several nights in a row. Some powerful ones that stick out in my mind are the scene in Comfort Object when Jeremy destroys Nell’s books, and the scene in Fortune when Ryan makes Kat pick up the cranes. People write to me most often about my book Mercy, since that’s my most intense book BDSM-wise. I like to hear that a certain scene moved a reader, but there is a danger in getting too intense.
Shari: How do you keep the romance fresh and exciting?
Annabel: It’s not easy! Romance, and especially BDSM, has a certain structure to it and certain tropes that you can’t stray from without disappointing readers. At the same time, you don’t want stuff to start sounding repetitive. I try to play with settings, character quirks, and relationship tangles so that even if it’s a trope you know well, it seems new again.
Shari: Are there any BDSM topics you won’t write about? Hard limits?
Annabel: I stick to the types of kinks and relationships I’m into, so the hard limit thing doesn’t come up for me that much. I think I write “hotter” when it’s something that resonates with me. With that said, I occasionally include edgy or unfamiliar kinks in my writing if the story calls for it. In that case, I have to do research–and it’s funny because sometimes in the course of that research I end up getting into new stuff, like orgasm control or shibari.
Shari: What are some of the struggles in integrating a romance with a hard BDSM scene?
Annabel: A big problem I have is that I find sadism and masochism very romantic, and a lot of readers don’t. They’re looking for more of a traditional pleasure angle while my masochist-heroine wants the hero to go balls to the wall. I have to be careful when I’m writing a love scene with a sadistic hero to show that the pain or torment that’s going on is consensual, and that the masochistic partner is enjoying it very much! I have to be clear in each POV what inspires the person and turns them on, so the romance doesn’t get lost in translation.
Shari: What types of heroes and heroines do you like to write about the most?
Annabel: All my books have been about male dominants and female submissives, maybe because I’m a female submissive and most of the guys I know are doms! I also like to write about flawed people and people who feel really intensely about things. I love to script the redemption of a really lost character and help them find a better place. I also love writing about artists and creative people, both from the dom and sub side. It adds that extra bit of emotion and gives me a lot of themes to work with.
Shari: How much investigation goes into getting all the details correct when doing an intense scene? From emotions to toys, to the way a scene moves along.
Annabel: I’ve been in the lifestyle forever now, so I don’t have to do a lot of research on the nitty-gritty aspects of scening. With me it’s more a process of closing my eyes, drifting, putting myself in that character’s headspace and asking myself what else is going on above and beyond the physical motions of a BDSM scene. What is he worried about? How does she feel? How is this changing him? How is this changing her? And trying to get that across in their actions and thoughts while keeping everything hot and sexy. I also try to add occasional surprises and lots of sensory details.
Shari: Do you have a muse? What makes it the ultimate muse?
Annabel: I think the best muse for any writer is to carve out some quiet time when your brain is a little bit shut off from the world. It’s easier for the ideas to bust through. I get almost all my ideas while I’m falling asleep, while I’m exercising, or while I’m in the shower. And it’s darn hard to write down notes for a story when you’re in the shower! Someone needs to invent something for that.
Shari: Do authors need aftercare when writing intense emotional and physical scenes?
Annabel: I don’t. I only need aftercare when I read a bad review. Haha.
Shari: Is there an author you haven’t met that you would really like to meet?
Annabel: I would love to meet Laura Kinsale, my all time favorite romance author. BUT she followed me the other day on Twitter so that’s almost as wonderful. I took a screen shot of the notification and everything! Then I posted it on Instagram. Social media,lol!.
Shari: What is your latest release about and where can we get it?
Annabel: My latest is called Disciplining the Duchess. As the title suggests, it involves a very undisciplined duchess and a beleaguered duke who’s determined to bring her into line. It has strong domestic discipline themes as opposed to BDSM. I’ve always felt most at home in the spanking corner of the BDSM universe, but this is the first time I’ve gone all out with domestic discipline in a romance. It’s sexy but sweet, one of those books where the hero and heroine are so wrong for each other at the beginning, but so right for each other by the end. You can find Disciplining the Duchess at Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Allromanceebooks, the Apple store, Smashwords, just about anywhere ebooks are sold.
Shari: Thank you for joining us today! We had a wonderful time.
Disciplining the Duchess by Annabel Joseph
Over five seasons, Miss Harmony Barrett has managed to repel every gentleman of consequence and engineer a debacle at Almack’s so horrifying that her waltzing privileges are revoked. If she’s not in the library reading about Mongol hordes, she’s embarrassing her family or getting involved in impulsive scrapes.
Enter the Duke of Courtland, a man known for his love of duty and decorum. Through a vexing series of events, he finds himself shackled to Miss Barrett in matrimony.
But all is not lost. The duke harbors a not-so-secret affinity for spanking and discipline…and his new wife is ever in need of it. Will the mismatched couple find their way to marital happiness? Or will the duke be forever Disciplining the Duchess?
Fortune by Annabel Joseph
Kat doesn’t know whether or how to end her six-night-a-week party habit, not to mention her unhealthy addiction to meaningless sex. Then an accident lands her in the hospital. She wakes to find a menagerie of origami figures—and a gorgeous neurosurgeon—beside her bed. The complexity of the paper creations is nothing compared to the complexity of dark-eyed, authoritative Ryan, who seems determined to give her life some direction. Trouble is, Kat’s just as determined to resist his efforts to tame her wild side.
With persistence, Ryan draws Kat into his world of dominance and submission, where quiet commands and lengths of rope awaken needs and desires she never knew she possessed. But Ryan’s intimate, erotic shibari sessions frighten Kat as much as they excite her, for each simple knot requires infinite trust and inspires complicated emotions.
Then a family crisis tests their love and threatens to snap the fragile ties that bind them. Will fortune ever smile on this unlikely couple, or will fate tear them apart?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Annabel Joseph is a multi-published BDSM erotic romance author. She writes mainly contemporary romance, although she has been known to dabble in the medieval and Regency eras. She is recognized for writing emotionally intense BDSM storylines, and strives to create characters that seem real–even flawed–so readers are better able to relate to them.
Annabel publishes with Ellora’s Cave and Loose Id in addition to her own imprint, Scarlet Rose Press. She also writes non-BDSM erotic romance under the name Molly Joseph. Molly’s first novel, The Edge of the Earth, will be available in 2012.
Some of Annabel’s favorite authors are Laura Kinsale, Judith McNaught, Jo Beverley, Flannery O’Connor, Molly Weatherfield, and Anneke Jacob.
Annabel Joseph loves to hear from her readers at annabeljosephnovels(@)gmail.com.