Author Interview with Claire Thompson (@CThompsonAuthor)
Claire Thompson has been writing for nearly two decades, and has published over 70 novels. She writes BDSM romance and non-con abduction tales, spanning both m/f and m/m genres. She has received numerous awards for her bestselling work, including the 2010 NLA-Int’l Pauline Réage Award for best BDSM fiction. Her darker works press the envelope of what is erotic and what can be a sometimes dangerous slide into the world of sadomasochism. Ultimately her work deals with the human condition, and our constant search for love and intensity of experience.
Welcome, to get started, why don’t you tell us about yourself and the genre you write?
I write BDSM erotica and erotic romance, as well some non-con abduction tales with a healthy dose of dark n’ dirty BDSM. I’ve written quite a few m/m novels, but my focus over the past few years is m/f and the occasional ménage.
How long have you been writing, and what inspired you to write the genre you love?
I’ve been writing and publishing (I got lucky right out of the gate) since 1996. I began writing as an exploration of my own submissive and masochistic feelings. Writing was an outlet for a secret lover of BDSM trapped in a decidedly vanilla lifestyle.
How many books have you published? Also what kind of support do you receive with your passion?
I’ve published over seventy novels over the past twenty years. For the first ten or so, I wrote for big publishing houses. Since I’ve gone indie, I get tremendous support from two wonderful editors, a fine line editor, my cover artist and web designer, my PA, and great input from readers and fans of my work.
Which of your novels did you find to be most challenging?
Every single one is challenging in its own way. I find if I venture into an area outside my expertise, where I have to do a lot of research, I tend to get bogged down in the backstory, so I mainly stick with what I know (BDSM and the search for connection and intensity of experience).
I suppose my real challenge at this point in my career is to make each novel new and fresh. It’s a real challenge to write a sex/love scene that is compelling to readers who have read a thousand scenes just like it before (ho hum). I need to somehow elevate the scene to something that matters, that reaches into someone’s heart, that makes them say, “Yes, that’s it. That’s what I was searching for.”
Describe the kind of audience you want to aim for? How do you define your style unique from others?
I aim for an audience of both experienced and curious BDSM lovers. I love it when I get an email from someone who said they never read BDSM before, and didn’t really get it, but now they do. I don’t know that my style is especially unique, but I do try to bring realism and depth into my novels. The romance is not the primary focus, necessarily. It’s more about the human experience as a whole, with all its messy, difficult and sometimes transcendent variables.
When you write, are you more character-driven or story-driven? Also, do you aim for realism or just fiction?
I would say both. You need a good story or who really cares, right? But I do place a heavy emphasis on character development. I really want my readers to know my characters; care for and relate to them. I strive to create real people who mess up and do dumb things, but are still worthy of love and redemption. Even if the reader might not like certain characters, they can see them as flawed human beings, not just evil villians.
I want these to be real stories about real people. I want people to read them and say, “Oh, yes, I can totally see that happening.” Of course, I do tend to populate the country with tons of really hot, fabulous BDSM clubs full of sophisticated, attractive and serious players in the scene. That part, alas, is mostly fiction.
Tell us about your current release, Secrets? When was it released?
Secrets, (Book 1 of BDSM Connections), is my latest BDSM romance, due for release on August 19, 2016. Here is the blurb:
Secrets protect…but they also destroy.
Allie Swift has a secret—one that has kept her from finding a Dom willing to take her where she longs to go, far beyond the slap-and-tickle approach of BDSM-lite, into the deep reaches of true sadomasochism.
When she meets Liam on a BDSM personals site, she senses he’s different from the Doms she has been with before. His darkly compelling nature speaks directly to her submissive heart.
Liam Byrne had it all—a great career, a hot body, and a submissive fiancée. That is, until a year ago when a head-on collision with a drunk driver shattered not only his leg, but also his life. Now Liam harbors an ominous secret, one that’s tearing him apart and causing him to hold the world, including Allie Swift, at arm’s length.
As the intensity of their D/s exploration increases, Liam and Allie must confront their fears. Together they must decide if the bond they share is strong enough to survive bringing their secrets to light.
Secrets is the first novel in Claire Thompson’s new edgy BDSM romance series: BDSM Connections. Prepare for a powerful, emotional experience.
Do you have a little excerpt teasers to share, so our readers could get an idea?
Here’s an excerpt from an intense breath play scene.
“You want to be fucked, don’t you?” Sir Liam said in a low voice, reading her mind.
“Yes,” Allie breathed. “God, yes.”
“In my dungeon, you have to earn your pleasure.”
All at once, he gripped her throat, his forefinger and thumb digging into the soft flesh just below her jaw. His face was close, his brilliant green eyes locked on hers as he pressed hard, and harder still.
Allie was unable to draw a breath. Unable to move. Her heart thumped and squeezed in her chest, the blood roaring in her ears. Liam moved closer, their faces nearly touching.
“I own you, sub Allie. Your very life is in my hands. You do understand that, don’t you?”
Allie was unable even to nod her head. The pressure was building behind her face, and she thought she might pass out. Her eyelids began to flutter shut.
“Open your eyes,” Sir Liam commanded, his voice hard. Allie forced her eyes to open.
She saw the power and the lust in Sir Liam’s face and real fear shot through her blood. She jerked hard in her bonds, trying desperately to pull away from his iron grip.
All at once, he let her go. Allie drew in a deep, ragged breath, and then another. “Oh my
God,” she gasped when she could finally speak. “You nearly choked me to death!”
Sir Liam only smiled. “Nowhere near to death, sub Allie. You panicked because you don’t yet trust me. This is an exercise in trust. We will try it again.” Without giving her a chance to reply, once again he reached for her throat, pinning her in place with his strong hand. “Keep your eyes locked on mine.”
Allie struggled to do as he said, blinking rapidly to keep from closing her eyes. The vibrating plug and glass phallus inside her, along with the heightened awareness that her life truly was in this man’s hands, had combined to create a fierce, persistent pulsing at her clit. Shit, was she going to come?
As if she’d spoken aloud, Sir Liam, tightening his grip on her throat, growled, “Don’t even think about it.”
A wave of dizziness assailed her, and Allie’s head would have fallen back if Sir Liam’s strong grip hadn’t held her in place. “Keep your eyes on me,” he reminded her. “I’m going to count to five. Then I will let you go.” He began to count.
Allie could barely hear him over the pounding of her heart. “Three, four, five.”
She sagged in her bonds as she sucked in a bushel full of air. She hung limply in her cuffs, as if the bones had dissolved in her body. Sweat was drying on her skin, though at the same time she was shivery, not with cold, but with desire. She wasn’t crying, yet tears were streaming down her cheeks.
Sir Liam brushed them away with his thumbs. “You’re doing really well, sub Allie. You’re almost there. You’ve got a lot of walls erected between you and the complete submission you crave. I will help you break down those walls. I want to continue with this exercise.”
He stepped back, regarding her. “If you can’t speak at any point, you will hold up your index finger like this.” He demonstrated the gesture. “Unless you use your safeword or make that signal, we will continue.”
Allie lifted her head and met Sir Liam’s gaze. She was both afraid and exhilarated, as if she were perched on the edge of the cliff, spreading wings for the first time, ready to soar.
“Yes, Sir Liam. I understand,” she said, her voice hoarse.
“You please me.”
His words moved through her like warm, powerful liquor. She found the strength to stand upright, the bones of her skeleton reforming inside her, even as the resolve stiffened in her soul. She drew in a deep breath, and then his hand was on her throat once more, immediately cutting off her ability to breathe.
“Keep your eyes on mine,” Sir Liam reminded her once more as he held her captive in his viselike grip. “This time, I will count to twenty. You will focus on surrender. You will not think about the fact that you cannot breathe. You will give yourself completely to me, not considering the consequences but focusing only on trust in your Master.”
Once again, he began to count. Allie tried to do as he said, but by the count of ten she could feel the panic rising in her gut, a spurt of adrenaline heating her blood.
“Focus,” Sir Liam interrupted himself to say. “Trust me. Trust yourself.”
A strange thought floated into Allie’s mind, barely perceived amidst the roil of panic. The thought was persistent enough that it did eventually penetrate her understanding.
You belong to Sir Liam. Sir Liam will take you where you need to go. Sir Liam will keep you safe.
He was still holding her just as tightly as before, his counting slow and steady. But something changed inside Allie. Her muscles, bunched and tensed a moment before, began to loosen. The panic that had balled into a fist in her gut dissolved. She became aware, once more, of the intense, vibrating pleasure in her ass and sex, but her primary focus was on Sir Liam’s deep, emerald green eyes, which gripped her as surely as his hand.
Allie was vaguely aware he had reached the magic number, but he didn’t release his hold on her throat. Instead, he breathed, “Yes. Yes, that’s it. Surrender to me.”
Allie didn’t panic as a blanket of warm, black velvet draped itself over her senses. She wrapped herself in its serenity and drifted peacefully away.
How long did it take you to complete your project, and is there anything trivial you’d like to share about your book; something people weren’t aware of at the time you wrote the story?
It generally takes me about three months to complete a manuscript. Then another few weeks of edits to get it ready for release.
Before I retired from the day job last year (then I only had time to write early in the morning before work and on weekends. Who needs sleep, it’s overrated!), it used to amuse me to go into my administrative job for a school district in a small, conservative village in upstate New York, all prim and proper, where no one had any idea what I did in my spare time.
What other projects are you currently working on, and what do you expect readers to hear about you in the near future?
I’m hard at work already on Leather Master, Book 2 of BDSM Connections. This one is something of a departure for me, at least with my m/f books, in that neither protagonist is really looking for love.
Taggart Fitzgerald, a whip and leather crafter, likes his BDSM very rough, and doesn’t believe there’s a woman out there who really gets it. He thinks love is a crock of shit, or at least that’s what he tells himself, and anyone foolish enough to try to get close to him.
Rylee Miller, who barely missed qualifying for the US Olympic swim team and is working toward her purple belt in Jui Jitsu, doesn’t take any crap from any guy. She’s tough on the outside, while inside she feels unfeminine and unworthy of love. She, too, craves an intense BDSM experience, heavy on the erotic pain, but she is unwilling or unable to give of herself in the way true submission requires.
When these two meet, the sparks (and the whips) fly. It’s going to be gritty and intense, and a real power struggle as each of them fight their own demons and confront their biggest fear of all—love.
Is there any advice you could give to others that want to get into writing?
Write what you love. Follow your heart, not the market. Write everyday and don’t worry if it sucks. Get the words down on (virtual) paper, and then you can work on shaping it up into something coherent.
Then surround yourself with really good people who can cut through the crap and help you focus on what matters. Listen to them, and don’t get too attached to your own words. You can always write new ones.
Where can readers purchase your books?
I have my own indie site: http://romanceunbound.com where you can get all file extensions, including Kindle and ePub. Many of my books there are on sale at a lower price than you will find anywhere else online.
My books are also available on Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
Thank you so much for coming on here, and we hope to see you on here again. Before we go, where can readers find you (i.e blogs, websites, social network links)?
Thanks so much for this opportunity. I love to connect with new readers, and to spread the love and understanding of all things BDSM.
Here are more books written by Claire Thompson:
“My safeword,” she said hurriedly. “We forgot to discuss my safeword.”
“This isn’t some amateur scene at a BDSM club. There’s no negotiation. There is no safeword. You signed that away when you joined The Enclave.”
Jaime Shepard fantasizes about being bound in chains—her heart, body and soul the possession of a Master who won’t hesitate to take what he wants. Unfortunately, exploring dreams of sensual submission has taken a backseat to the daily grind of life, yet she never feels more alive, more vital, more herself than when engaging in a scene at one of the local BDSM clubs.
When the sexy, mysterious owner of Asheville’s premiere underground BDSM club makes Jaime the offer of a lifetime, she jumps at the chance to experience The Enclave, a secluded community dedicated to the passionate realization of a 24/7 BDSM lifestyle. Against the backdrop of a luxurious mountain resort, Jaime’s rigorous, full-immersion indoctrination begins. Erotic discipline and intensive slave training push Jaime to the very limits of her boundaries and force her to reach deep inside to discover the grace and inner strength necessary for true submission.
One thing she isn’t seeking is love—but it might find her just the same.
“Your former life is over. Your apartment will be emptied, your car disposed of, your life erased. You are now the property of Pirate Island, to be used and enjoyed as we see fit. Your life is quite literally in our hands.”
Mara Stevens jumps at the chance for a job at a new premier resort on the North Carolina coast. All she has to do is fly out to the private island and get through one more interview. Unfortunately, what should be a shiny new career opportunity turns into a living nightmare.
Upon landing, she learns the truth. She’s been taken to serve as a plaything to the owners and their chosen guests—high-powered, dangerous men who see her as nothing more than their sexual toy to use and abuse at their whim.
With no escape possible, Mara is forced to submit to the training and discipline of a sadistic taskmaster—or suffer the consequences. Good girls are rewarded; bad girls are punished—severely. Deep into her harrowing journey of forced sexual servitude and submission, Mara becomes prey for The Hunt. Naked and alone, Mara must summon all her courage and cunning, drawing on the indomitable spirit that still secretly burns inside her.
Abducted by an evil Master Keyholder – rescued by the Dom of her dreams…
Eva Sandler’s dream job as a house submissive at Hawthorne Dungeon becomes a seven-week nightmare of intense captivity at the hands of a dangerous Master Keyholder. Though forced to submit to the cruel taskmaster’s every erotic whim, Eva’s inner spark of survival burns hot. She will escape, whatever the cost.
Long-time Dom Jack McQuade aches for a loving D/s connection like that shared by his friends, Nora and Charles. When Nora finds desperate clues left by someone held prisoner in Hawthorne Dungeon, it leads them all to a harrowing discovery and introduces Jack to Eva’s stunning courage and determination.
Jack and Eva’s possible D/s relationship should be perfect, but when Jack holds back because of Eva’s previous experience—fearing he’s pushing her too far, too fast—it will take every bit of Eva’s spirit to show the Dom that his sub is much stronger than he ever realized.
A powerful story of passion, betrayal, erotic submission, but most of all—love.
Cassidy fights the lingering feelings for her ex, Ian. Still secretly, desperately in love with him, she settles for sharing a house and a business. Their lives are intertwined in every way–except the way she wants most.
Fear of commitment drove Ian to push their romance into the friendship zone. But things become decidedly uncomfortable when sexy Scotsman Kye McClellan enters the picture. Ian is faced with the sudden prospect of losing the thing most precious to him.
As both Cassidy and Ian succumb to Kye’s charms, Cassidy begins to wonder if she can have all she’s ever wanted…plus one. Then, just as things get white-hot, Kyes takes to his feet to avoid the burn. Ian and Cassidy are left with each other…and an even bigger missing piece than before. All they can do is trust that love will somehow bring their gypsy-hearted lover home again.
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