Saturday, 14 June 2014

KINKY LOWDOWN with Kallypso Masters

You can take 5 items/men/women to a fully catered desert island – what/who would you take? J

My husband
My personal assistant (Charlotte, my best survival tool!)
My grandson (if his parents will let me)
My iPhone
My awesome new pair of 14-inch buffalo hide floggers custom made for me by Toymaker.

What’s the weirdest thing a fan (or stalker!) has ever asked you?
I got a private message on Facebook from a new fan that read: “I'm tired so going to bed. Wanna come join me?” Then she posted a follow-up to say she had sent the message to the wrong person. Phew! I was a little worried there for a minute about what type of friendship she was looking for!
Actually, though, when I first read the question I couldn’t think of anything that has been too weird for me to be asked. I’m very open and forthcoming with readers, so I tell them they can ask me anything. There may have been a few questions I didn’t answer if they involved the privacy of others (such as family members), but I’m drawing a blank here about anything memorable that I thought weird.

Most inappropriate thing you’ve done in public? If it was illegal, did you get caught? J
Flipping the bird to a sheriff in an unmarked car. He passed me when I was speeding along Route 79 toward Ithaca, N.Y., on my way to work in the 1980s. Then he slowed way down. I got pissed and passed him and flipped him off as I did so. Well, his blue lights started flashing and he pulled me over. He said, “I was trying to get you to slow down and I don’t appreciate that gesture you made. If I had my siren with me, I’d give you a ticket, but I can’t legally do so.” Phew. 

Do you have a favourite author(s)? Who is it/are they?
Many! But I’m going to give a mention to one of my long-time favorites—Rachel Lee (aka Sue Civil Brown). She was the first one I fangirled over when I met her (about 1996, I think). Her Conard County series for Harlequin had the best damned characters—Gabe, Micah, Nate—I’ve ever read in Romance novels and I love how she has kept that series going for decades with updates on old favorites as well as new characters and a next generation. This is what I one day hope to have as my body of work in my Rescue Me Saga—only I’ll probably never write with the discipline she has!

How did you start your writing career?
I’ve been writing as a hobby for decades (since high school), but it wasn’t until I got fed up with my day job in April 2011 and quit cold turkey without a new job to go to that I started thinking about trying to make a living writing. I lucked out and author Donna McDonald just happened to be speaking at my RWA chapter meeting in May and when she described how well she was doing with only a couple of books as a self-published author, I decided that was what I would have to do because I couldn’t wait years to be discovered and get my books out there to readers. Best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve known struggling Romance authors for decades, too, and to be able to write what I love without the filters or arbitrary deadlines publishers put authors through has been pure joy. This career will be the one I will enjoy the rest of my life.

Which character was the hardest to write and why? 
Marc D’Alessio. He actually came to be first—in Nobody’s Angel, originally an erotica novella I wrote in May 2009 (while still writing as a hobby). At the time, it was erotica and didn’t really need a story, but in May 2011 when I was trying to decide which books to focus on to launch my writing career, I pulled that one out to see if I could salvage it. It took major rewriting (three rewrites and two edits) before I published it Sept. 30, 2011, but I was never happy that I couldn’t get him to happily ever after. I knew there was something buried deep inside that was keeping him blocked off from me, Angelina, and readers, but figured I would just have to wait until he was ready to explore it.

That time came the summer of 2012 when I was trying to finish up Nobody’s Perfect. I had given him a subplot in that book, hoping to lure him into sharing his deepest secrets, but when it became apparent what the main problem was, I knew it would be a distraction from Damian and Savannah’s story to try and keep going back and forth in that book to Marc and Angelina, so a month before I published Perfect, I announced in my newsletter that the series would have a new book in the line-up and it would be Somebody’s Angel. (Not everyone got that newsletter or saw the announcements and I had actively promoted that Luke’s book would be next, so there have been some very disgruntled readers as a result.)

But I wouldn’t change a thing because I can see after the scenes (right to the very end) in Somebody’s Angel that there is hope for Marc and Angelina and that they are going to have the courage to help each other through some dark days ahead. I wasn’t as hopeful for them before that. And, in fairness to him, he wasn’t being stubborn and keeping things from me—he truly had no clue what issues from his past had done to him to make him the man behind a mask.

Who’s your favourite character? And what would let him/her do to you in the Dungeon?
Adam Montague. Yes, like 63% of my readers polled recently, I’ll admit he’s my favorite. Even though he is younger than I am at his 50-51 years of age, because I put myself into each of my characters as I write, I am Karla with him at age 25-26 and love his protective guardian role and nurturing way of taking care of her needs just makes me melt.

He’s not very active in the dungeon part of the club, but in the great room, I’d love for him to suspend me the way he did Karla in Nobody’s Hero.  That is one of the most sensual scenes I’ve ever written, from the moment he begins massaging her scalp to when he takes her to subspace. *sigh*

If you write under an alias/Nom de plume, how do you deal with being addressed by that name?
Kallypso Masters is a nom de plume and I find it hard to relate as Kallypso, so I came up with the nickname Kally. I’m much more a Kally than even my own real name, and my friends in my writers group helped me get used to it by calling me that in meetings since 2009.  So when Kallypso Masters became an overnight success in August 2011 with my first book, I’d already become used to the name. I almost always sign my e-mails and FB private messages as Kally—even when I’m supposed to sign my real name. And I tell people that as far as being the real deal, my Kallypso page is my “FACE” book and my real-life one is my “FAÇADE” book. I am totally honest with readers here and feel much more free to be myself without worrying about what might offend family, friends, or neighbors. But I do still talk to myself using my real first name.

What made you decide to pick an alias?
Safety reasons. I planned to write about BDSM and erotica and knew it might attract people who think erotic romance writers are fair game for being hit on or stalked. Fortunately, I haven’t had any of those issues, but my husband also preferred that I keep my name secret. Kallypso means “one who hides,” so it was the perfect name—even though I find myself to not be hiding as much as I thought I would. And, of course, my books are much more mainstream than erotica, so I do want everyone to know who I write as, rather than only share it with those I think might be open-minded enough to try something on the kinky side. But people continually surprise me!

What was it about kink that made you choose the genre?
I’ve been a fan of “bodice rippers” since the 1970s and while those often had non-consensual rape scenes between the heroes and heroines, I find elements of those types of stories interesting and incorporate them into my books. (Chapter Two of Nobody’s Hero would be an example of such a scene.) I’ve always been fascinated by bondage and how freeing that can be for someone with a history of sexual abuse, too. In the Rescue Me Saga, I wanted to show how (in some of the stories) BDSM could be used to heal from abuse, trauma, loss of control, and in other ways. I knew Nobody’s Perfect would be the book in which that would be the most obvious, but you’ll see it in lesser degrees in Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel and Nobody’s Hero, too, the first two books in the saga. I touched on it a bit in Somebody’s Angel again, although there wasn’t as much of an emphasis on BDSM in that one or in Nobody’s Dream, my work in progress. I like showing how people who live the lifestyle don’t necessarily treat it like a religion they follow 24/7 (although I know some do live the lifestyle 24/7). They have periods where they might not be interested in “scening” or playing, but they might be interested in other sexual practices outside the norm (like the anal sex scene in Somebody’s Angel). I like providing readers with that glimpse of what BDSM can look like in their lives, even if they aren’t going to dungeons (which most in the lifestyle don’t do). 

What extent do you go to, to research for what you write?
I mostly talk with people who are experts at what I’m trying to write. Because getting the emotion right is more important thing to me, I ask lots of questions about “how does this feel?” and go from there. But then I’ll ask these experts to either read the chapters or scenes that I want their expertise used on, or I’ll make them beta readers so they can watch for things throughout a book if there is something in particular I want to get right. (Often it is more than a technique, but how would a person with a psychology background behave, or what would a Marine do or say in this situation, so they really need to read the entire book to get that “local” flavor across to me.) 

I also enjoy visiting places I write about and picking up on things I see or hear that I might not learn by reading research books on the place or topic. I’ve attended leather celebrations to learn more about the leather culture

Do you have a favourite item to write about? (or use? J)
Floggers are a favorite (to write about and to use). Remember my answer earlier where I said I’d take my new pair of floggers that Toymaker made me to that fully catered desert isle. Marc and Angelina enjoy the floggers the most in my series, although others have used them, I’m sure. I liked how Adam turned his rope into a flogger to warm up Karla’s skin in the Shibari scene in Nobody’s Hero. (That was a suggestion from Toymaker, as well.)

Dom or sub?
I’m submissive (bedroom only), although my husband isn’t a Dom, so we strictly do roleplay activities, not a power exchange. I wouldn’t be interested in submitting to anyone else, though. 

Leather or Lace?
Leather—love the smell of it!

Silk or hemp?
Hemp—silk is dangerous when wet and should be avoided (unless he has his EMT scissors handy to cut them if a problem arises—sorry, but that whole fantasy of silk ties and scarves can lead to serious nerve damage and so many people who read a certain trilogy have probably learned that the hard way if they didn’t do any real homework before starting to play).

If you weren’t an author, what would you have ended up doing?
I ended up being an author after decades of being an administrative assistant and then 9 years at an editorial assistant at a college. Wouldn’t want to be anything else than a writer (which was my dream since 7th or 8th grade).

Do you have any rituals/habits when you write?
Not really, although I’ve learned that my creativity is higher is I take the time first thing in the morning to write three pages in my notebook (my Morning Pages per The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron).

Is there anything on your current/upcoming release schedule?
No. I just sent about 90,000 words of the first (and incomplete) draft of Nobody’s Dream to five of my editors so we can brainstorm what’s working, what needs work, and where to go from here. I’ll spend the summer and fall (at least) finishing it and then it goes back to those editors (plus my timeline editor) so they can give it a major editing and then line edits. Still hoping for a late fall release, but it all depends on how productive the summer is (and I’m already behind schedule).

Where are your books available?
Amazon, Apple iBooks/iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, and Libiro. Coming soon to Google Play.

Stalker Links
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage

Facebook Timeline: https://www.facebook.com/kallypsomasters (I’m at my friends limit, but you can follow me—99.99 percent of my posts are public)

I also have a secret discussion group for the Rescue Me Saga on Facebook. To join, send a friend request on Facebook to Karla Montague [URL: https://www.facebook.com/karla.montague.1] and she will add you to the group. It’s best to be caught up on the current books available before going there, though, because there are spoilers galore.

Twitter: @kallypsomasters


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kallypsom



7 comments:

  1. I always enjoy reading your interviews Kally. This is an excellent one.

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  2. I'm one of those persons who approached Kally (virtually, though Facebook) after reading her first few books. She has become a kind of a mentor to me as I've started my new career as an author. Kally is approachable and open and WILL tell you when you're veering off into the weeds, so to speak. Without her, I wouldn't be about to publish my own book in the near future. Kallypso Masters is my favorite author and I count her as a friend, too.

    This is one habit Kally forgot to mention--when she writes, she has to have her laptop and her Diet Coke with Lime!

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  3. I loved the interview and im a huge Kally fan both for her books and her she a fantastic author and an even better person...im waiting on the day she gets to come down my way soi can meet her in person...

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  4. Love this interview, great questions and answers. I fell in love with this series and almost remember each book word for word. It takes someone with great writing skills to accomplish this. I am a huge fan & promoter of her books. As a New Yorker I can't wait for her to do a book signing here.

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  5. The interview is fantastic. I enjoyed it!!!! Thank you!!!!

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