Friday, 6 August 2010

Author Kitty Thomas Interview

Peeps! what a treat i have for you today on Bear's Talk Corner. Author of the FANTASTIC Dark Erotica book 'Comfort Food' Kitty Thomas is here to talk to us about BDSM, Pushing the boundries of Erotica and MASTER! If you haven't read my REVIEW or saw my Twitter and Goodreads stream while i was reading you wont know i'm currently obsessed with this book, and what does a girl want more when she is obsessed with something? yes! COMPANY! in that comes the awesome Mar! (you should be following her on Twitter!) We exchanged many many emails whilst she was reading CF, and now daily emails contain reference to 'Master' in some form or other. yes, we are deeply disturbed borderline stalkerish and freaky weird awesome thank you for thinking it ;) SO! Mar is here today also to interview Kitty with me. 

Mar: Now Bear, just because I emailed you every other word while reading Comfort Food by no way means that I was obsessed with this story. Then again, that would probably be a big fat lie and since this is my *ahem* very first blog appearance, I don’t want to taint it by ruining my reputation…I must maintain my shiny, reputable image of lover of all things smutty. It is so very  important to me. With that said, thank you so much for having me Bear, it was a lot of fun obsessing (WHAT!) over this story as well as getting to know a little bit more about the brains behind Comfort Food, Kitty Thomas.

Anyhoo! to the interview!

Hi Kitty! thank you so much for stopping by Sparkly's today to talk to Mar and I *sneaky glances to see if Master joined her too* 
Thanks for having me! 

We recently read your book 'Comfort Food' and was blown away with its awesomeness, for anyone who hasn't read it yet (we call these people crazy!) can you tell us what it is about? 

Comfort Food is about a woman who has been kidnapped by someone who she would have been wildly attracted to, had he not kidnapped her. He's not some ugly smelly fat guy keeping her locked in mommy's basement. He's this very attractive, very intelligent, very rich man. And she's very drawn to him despite the circumstances. He slowly molds and shapes her into basically his sex toy. But he demands her consent at every level. Of course the consent is a joke, since to not consent means she'll be put back in the "bad cell" as she calls it, which is a very plain gray cell where she's in total isolation.

The interesting thing about the book is, most kink-wired people find CF very hot. Most non kink-wired people find it disturbing and not-at-all hot, but because it's not written as just cheap spank material, or for the sole purpose of being controversial, there is a level of psychology in it. Basically you don't have to be kinky to like or get something out of this book. It goes a little bit deeper than that. And while there are spelled-out sexual scenes, it's not overly gratuitous. 

How did the characters Emily and Master come to you? 
It really started out with a sexual fantasy of the "slave fantasy" variety. And the idea of this captor who was larger-than-life and became even larger because he wouldn't speak to her. The characters themselves just evolved, but it's really not something I can put into words. That's not a cop out. I really just have no idea. Most writers have a pretty organic process that is hard to describe to... basically anyone. We just end up looking like drooling idiots when we try.

Your book is described as 'Dark Erotica' ( I love that btw, sounds like a delicious bar of chocolate lol ) was that a conscious decision to take your writing to that genre or did the story unfold that way and you ran with it? 
I've always had a thing for the non-con story. Actually I have an attraction/repulsion thing going on. When I read Story of O it pissed me off so much I think I threw it across the room. I couldn't finish it. I just found the whole thing appalling. It wasn't the sexual slavery. I'm kink-wired, so that wasn't the problem. The problem was how impersonal it was and how I hated that Rene told her he loved her, when his behavior was so outside of "love". I wanted Rene to be more honest about what he'd done to O. The master of Comfort Food probably reflects that a bit. Because he doesn't act like he's less of a monster than he is. He doesn't pretend to justify his actions as moral or loving or etc.

But despite pissing me off, Story of O moved me, and I ended up reading it several more times over the years. I wanted to write something like that. Something that was dark, erotic, noncon. 

**Gorgeous New Cover**
Do you have a favourite part of  'Comfort Food'?  
I like when he first whips her and she feels herself utterly surrender to him. And the way he takes care of her and bandages her. He may be highly evil by society's standards, and the book may be disturbing, but he has a lot of mercy inside him that we see in tiny ways as he interacts with her. I think it's easy to forget he can do ANYTHING he wants with her. He doesn't have to have an internal moral code that guides him. And yet he does. He's not a true sociopath, even though Emily classes him that way early on (her psychology training), and he behaves in many ways similar to a sociopath. He does have feelings and a heart. He's just been pushed to the edge. You don't really understand that or why until the chapter where we get inside his head later in the book. And I'm definitely not going to give it away here.

Did you base Emily and Master on anyone looks wise? 
Nope. They are their own wholly-unique people.

How were you introduced into the world of BDSM?
It's hard to really put an entry point on it. I didn't hit adulthood and have some awakening where I discovered I was kinky. I always knew. Though I didn't class it that way. I thought everybody fantasized in the ways I did. I've never had a non-kinky sexual fantasy and I have a hard time imagining anyone else does either. But apparently they do. It's still about like the existence of unicorns to me. I just don't get it.

I saw dom/sub subtext in literally everything, and I'm still amazed by the sexual undercurrents most people don't seem to see in most power dynamics. I see it everywhere. Which is why it took me well into my teens before I even realized "vanilla" (as in non-kinky, not meant as a derogatory term), even existed.

I Loved 'Comfort Food' I was skeptical at first, it being my first dive into dark erotica (I guess I’d only liked the vanilla kind of erotica until now. he!) but I LOVED it, it left a lasting impression on me for days, were you tempted to give Emily and Master a more romantic ending?  And/or If you had to re-write some of the story line for Comfort Food, what would you have done differently?
It cracks me up that you say this. Because I'm thinking... where IS this vanilla erotica? I told you, I see the subtext in everything. I can't even fathom what happens in vanilla erotica. What do you DO without kink? Again, not judging, just completely confused, here.

As for the ending, I thought it "was" romantic. (Again, showing my freak flag, here.) They are together in the end and they both want to be there. It's not acceptable to society, but screw society. They're like the only two people on the planet at his big mansion. Why do they care what society thinks?

There was another scene I wanted to add into Comfort Food, but me and my critique readers thought it would mess up a good thing by inserting something as an afterthought. I would tell you what it was, but I'm considering writing a sequel. And if I write a sequel I'll use it probably. So I can't give anything away.

What makes a good compelling dark erotica book ? 
I think we have to have emotions. Not just from one character, either. The hero/villain of the book remains somewhat mysterious for a good 2/3rds of the book, but there are answers, and we see in his actions clues that he has some layers. I think one of the things that is most problematic in dark erotic books is that we can't get into the character's heads enough to feel any sympathy for them. 

On the one hand, I feel like a lot of dark kinky erotica is written for a closed group of other kink-minded individuals. And it may be that the author doesn't want other readers in that "club". At the same time though, without giving us that level of emotion where we can connect, it can turn off the kinky people too.

Although most of the feedback I’ve seen aims towards the positive, have you received any backlash from your novel?
Not really. I've been surprised by that. I honestly expected some hate mail. And I'm sure as Comfort Food expands out to reach a wider audience (assuming they make it past the disclaimer), there will be some anger about it. I do know many have been disturbed by the book. They don't hate it and haven't written me hate mail, but I definitely made them uncomfortable.

Unsurprisingly they don't think the ending is as happy as I see it. LOL.

I do think the disclaimer helps a lot though, to warn off those who CF most definitely is not for.  The book isn't overly physically brutal. If anyone is expecting violent, horrific rape, it just doesn't happen here. So more people who think they can handle this book, can handle it. At the same time, not everybody can.

 What do you like best about writing dark erotica?
I like the ability to explore our darkest fantasies in the safe context of fiction. I'm basically playing off the "rape fantasy" but more specifically the "slave fantasy". Rape fantasy from the most simple 'throw her down and have your way with her' to kidnap, to slavery, to pirates... it's a very common sexual fantasy in the female psyche. And the ignorant assumption that such people somehow want these things to happen to them, or want to be victims, has long been disproved in psychology circles. 

I've gotten some emails from people who have felt guilty for being turned on by Comfort Food. It's fiction. You can be turned on by it. You don't have to, but you can. Thoughts are not crimes. Fantasies aren't crimes. As long as your morality button for real life scenarios, actually works, you shouldn't worry about what fictional scenarios turn you on.

 What challenged you most about writing such compelling characters as Emily Vargas and Master?
The whole thing drained the fuck out of me, honestly. Every time I sat down to write. Every time I reread it. Just every second of it. It was probably the most draining writing experience of my life. I've heard people say they "opened a vein" for their art before, but I always thought they were being melodramatic. Now I understand.

Will we be seeing more of Master and his tools in the near future? I might prefer the cane. Just sayin.
I'm considering writing a sequel. But it will be a few books from now. I've got other things in the works and don't have a full plot for a sequel set up yet. Part of me is afraid to even touch a sequel because I'm afraid it might ruin the first book for people who imagine the story playing out a different way.

Will you continue in the dark erotica genre and can you tell us what you're working on now? 
 Yes. Right now I'm working on a book called Guilty Pleasures. It's noncon (of course). It's a different set-up than Comfort Food. People disturbed by CF might be okay with Guilty Pleasures. Though at the same time people who loved CF might find Guilty Pleasures horrific. I guess it just depends on what pushes people's hot buttons. I will say that the new book is a mind-fuck. The basic premise that started the idea going was: "Which is worse: Awful sex you consented to, or amazing sex that you didn't?" So yeah, I'm all about freaking people out. :P

Comfort Food puts the reader in such an amazing position of confused inner turmoil with what is socially right vs. what is acceptable. What is your take on this?
That is how I intended them to feel. I want Comfort Food to shake up people's world.  I think I might be mildly sadistic that way.

And lastly...Where can we get our own Master? Kidding kidding! *coughsonotkiddingcough* 
second lastly.. can Master come over and show us his special tricks….huhsaywhat? 
You say that now, but you wouldn't be saying that if you were locked in the bad cell. LOL. As much as the hero/villain of Comfort Food attracts me, I would most definitely not want to live that book. eek. Some things should just remain a fantasy.

Thank you so much Kitty for coming by to talk to Mar and I, it's been FUN! && if you wanted to leave Master here when you leave we wouldn't mind a bit *grin*
He's taken. And Emily is quite attached to him. us!  

❤Showing love to MASTER! Feel free to grab and display it proudly!❤ 

 Ramblings of a Book Bitch

If you haven't read COMFORT FOOD yet and don't mind something a little more kink and dark with your erotica then you need to read it now! It will pick you up, shake you around, dump you on the floor gasping for air and stay with you days later. GAWDS i LOVE this book! 

Find Kitty: 


15 Speak to Me:

Leontine said...

I've devoured every word and loved the interview!! A sequel to Comfort Food *thud* returning to Master *thud* I would LURV that. I was never appalled by Master, intrigued, yes but never appalled. The whole story and emotions just make sense to me. I can't wait to read something next of you Kitty :) I don't know when CF is released in hardcover format but I want to give myself a birthday pressie ;) Sparklybearsy, I'm going to take Master with me *grin*

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

Hey, Kitty. I'm so glad you said that you would not want to live in Comfort Food! So many want to have Master take them, but I wonder if they really know what they're asking for!

Being locked in a cell (whether it be the good or bad one) with no contact with the outside world for months (or even years?) sounds dreadful! No internet (no blogging!), no friends, no shopping, no traveling, no nothing except, well, sex. Even something enjoyable would get old after awhile if that's all you were allowed to do! Is poor Emily going to be on her knees every morning in her good cell waiting for Master when she's 40? 50? (Have I thought about this too much? LOL!)

I did find Comfort Food disturbing, but it also made me want to expand my reading horizons. Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bearsy, Mar, and Kitty! Awesome review!! I am sooooooooooooo getting this book now!!

Kitty Thomas said...

Leontine, I was never appalled by him either. :P Comfort Food should be available for sale in hardcover in October. It's going to retail at $17.95. After the first of the year I'll probably release a trade paperback version as well.

Diana, Yeah I like him as a fantasy, but that particular Master/slave setup is a little extreme for me. I mean, I have to leave the house sometimes. That's just how I roll.

Hey Pamela, Yay! I hope you like it. :)

Kitty Thomas said...

Oh, also, to my interviewers... I can't believe you made fan art. That means I have superfans.

Sparklybearsy said...

@Leontine W00ts!! glad you liked it hun. display master proud he!

@Pamela YES!! you must hun, it is made entirely of awesome!

@Kitty HAHA the Superfanest!!!

thank you all for stopping by and to Kitty many thanks for the great interview and for intro'ing us to Master and Emily =)

jaymzangel said...

lovely interview bear n mar! I can't wait to start this book, I believe it will be myself, Emily & Master this weekend (scurred squee) I am very intrigued to see the contrast between this and the other non-con stories I've read. thanks for a great interview read, kitty!

Kitty Thomas said...

Thanks, Jaymzangel, I hope you like it!

Minx said...

Great interview, I have this book but it is still on my tbr pile, I am intrigued by this book and interested in how I will react to it. But then nothing ventured nothing gained, and as my mummy used to say, we all need to try everything once! She was talking about sprouts (which I like) but I knew what she really meant. =P

Sparklybearsy said...

@jay thankies Jay! i was excited to interview Kitty with Mar, it was fun =) cant wait to hear what you think of CF, we must discuss!!

@Minx Woots! you must read it babes!
ps. sprouts are NOM!!

Marq said...

Great interview! I loved CF. I can't wait to read Guilty Pleasure. I thought CF was a mind-fuck but it sounds like GP will totally mess your head up! Oh and I will be adding the Master button to my blog. hee hee!

Sparklybearsy said...

Hi Marq, glad you're spreading the master love =D

I cant wait for guilty pleasure either, my mind is ready to be messed with lol

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

YAY! Awesome interview! I love this book too and even though i would not want a master in real life for me LOL... he is HOT and I loved reading his and Emily's story =D

Sparklybearsy said...

HEHE!! me either Larissa, im too much of a control freak bossy bitch, but i love the fantasy, esp with master. NOM!!

thanks for stopping by =)

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

the fantasy IS the best LOL

my pleasure =D

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