This week, I’m participating in The Next Big Thing blog hop, after being kindly invited to join in by Sarah Madison. You can find her contribution here. I’m supposed to have five other authors to link to, but as I’m very new to this, I don’t yet know many other authors who might want to join in, so if anyone wants to do the blog hop, let me know, and I’ll link to you. I think this blog hop is supposed to be about one’s work in progress, but I don’t have one at the moment as I’m still working on the paperback ofRicochet, so that’s the novel I’m going to talk about here, even if some of the questions don’t quite fit!
What is the working title of your book?
My book is called Ricochet. Interestingly, I never did have a working title for it. I always knew it’d be called Ricochet from the beginning. It’s partly a pun on the name of one of the main characters – Rick O’Shea – and partly it sums up the experiences that both main characters go through in the book, particularly Matt. He likes a nice, quiet ordered life, but then he gets swept up in various dramas and crises and ends up ricocheting all over the place, before finally coming to land just where he belongs :-). He likens his journey to being as if he’s the ball in a pinball machine, and he does get buffeted around by circumstances and his own sometimes poor decisions before it’s all resolved.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’d already written a few fanfiction stories in my BDSM Universe, and I had this idea about actors on a hit TV show. The earliest idea was simply that the dom was big and silly and got into a lot of trouble. He also loves gently and erotically spanking subs. When he is told he’ll lose his job if he keeps going out clubbing and getting into trouble, he frets because he misses handing out those spankings to willing subs. His cast mates, who are mostly submissives, decide to help him out by drawing straws for one of them offer their services to him as his ‘spank buddy’. It’s all completely bonkers, but one of the things I love about writing in the BDSM universe is that I can do things that are entirely outrageous in our own universe, but kind of make sense in theirs! So that was the earliest scene for the book – Rick misses spanking and Matt, being the cast mate who drew the short straw, goes and offers his services. Of course, when I came to actually write it, it turned out there was a whole lot more to both that scenario and the entire book! But that was the starting point.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a romance, first and foremost, like all my BDSM universe stories. I don’t see any reason why BDSM relationships can’t be as deeply romantic as any other kind of relationship. The BDSM in Ricochet is on the lighter side of what I usually write, but I always try and fit the BDSM to the particular relationship I’m writing about, and this was right for Rick and Matt. Their relationship is more focused on the dominant/submissive aspect and on spanking and a little bit on bondage than on any kind of heavy pain play or exploration of BDSM practices. I’m very happy to write those stories too, but it wasn’t right for this couple. The issue with Matt is that he’s a control freak who longs to submit to a dom, but can’t. Rick is precisely the kind of non-threatening goofball of a dom he can relax with. Yet Rick is also a very powerful dom in his own right – he’s just been too afraid of embracing that side of himself for various reasons to do with his past. Matt allows him to express that safely too, so they both do each other good, although it takes them a long time to wake up to that fact!
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I had this conversation with someone recently, and it’s so hard! I never really had any actors in mind as I was writing it. Physically, an older Tyler Hoechlin would work as Rick. And a younger Patrick J Adams as Matt. Georgie Smith came up with the great suggestion of Alex O’Laughlin as Rick, and I think he works perfectly! As for the other characters, I’d cast Taraji P Henson as Petra, Daniel Craig or Jason Isaacs as Daniel Mayfield, James McAvoy as Karl, and Tom Cruise, Jim Caviezel or Jason Isaacs as Sebastian. It’s a lot of fun to do the casting! But kind of sad too, because there is no way Hollywood would ever make a film about my crazy BDSM universe where everyone is bisexual! LOL!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a world where BDSM relationships are the norm, two actors on a hit TV show are oblivious to their clear chemistry and obvious attraction, and both make some horrendous mistakes before finally realizing they bring out the best in each other.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I self-published on Amazon and Smashwords and am now in the process of bringing out a paperback via the print on demand service with Create Space, which I hope to have ready within the next ten days. I’m just doing a final read-through now.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote some of it last year – the first 13,000 or so words. I then left it for a bit and came back to it in April this year and wrote solidly through to September, when I finished the first draft. Then I did a lot of polishing and editing before publishing it at the beginning of November. It’s 173,000 words long, so it’s been a massive undertaking, but I’m pleased with how it’s turned out and how well received it’s been.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not sure there are any.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I have no idea! The idea was just there in my head one day!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, it’s set in a BDSM universe where everyone is bisexual and identifies as dominant, submissive or switch. It’s about actors on a hit TV show called Collar Crime and the world building is a lot of fun! These people watch TV shows called Subs and the City and Desperate Houseslaves, and there’s a hit song called You Want to Spank Me, And You Know It. One of the things I loved most was creating all the little nuances about the world. For example, when a couple become serious they often start ‘sharing a plate’ – with the dom hand-feeding the submissive. At the same time, I tried to make them as much like us as possible, so their dilemmas and problems are things we can relate to. I definitely didn’t want to bang my readers over the head with the fact it’s a BDSM universe. I figure people are people at the end of the day, and you have to let them be people first and people living in a BDSM universe second. I deliberately didn’t make it rules based, or arcane, or have people talking in a weird way. Subs and doms are equals in this society – they just have complementary needs.
You can also follow the rest of The Next Big Thing bloggers on Twitter with the hashtag #NextBigThing.
Victoria Pond and Taylor Gibbs will be answering these questions next Wednesday. If you are a published author and want one of the remaining three places on my part of the blog hop then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.