The other day I came across a beautiful short story entitled The Rope and I knew that I had to ask the author her thought process. So, when the author, Ellen Dominick, asked to interview me I just knew I had to interview her. She has a new book out:
Mind Control 101: Hypnotizing My Big Brother's Best Friend
College students Trevor and Lindsey are taking an introductory psychology class when they are assigned a group project together. Lindsey has always had feelings for her big brother's best friend, and hypnosis might be just the way for her to get more than just a good grade. She convinces him to drop his clothes, show off his muscles, and fill her to the brim with something a little sexier than his school smarts. Can she keep herself from pushing him over the edge, and will their hot after school activities be enough to get them an "A?"
Ellen has lived all over the world, but she loves to visit Tokyo and buy hand braided bondage ropes whenever she can.
Veronica Hardy: Thank you for your presence here on this blog. Your work The Rope is fantastic and free for the viewers. Can you tell us what your inspiration was for a piece like that?
Ellen Dominick: I guess I was exposed to the concept of bondage ropes at a very young age. I was an anime geek with not a lot of parental supervision, so I stumbled across kinbaku (Japanese rope bondage) pretty early on. Since I’ve gotten older it’s always been one of my favorite kinks, so it makes sense that I’d have to write about it, right?
I was actually worried that no one would be interested, since I don’t see a lot of fiction featuring Japanese style bondage. But the piece has had a pretty good reception. Also, I think a lot of beginner bondage lovers could relate to messing up, but still wanting to try again.
VH: What inspired you to write in this genre? Do you hope to branch out into any other areas?
ED: I’ve written in all sorts of genres, and erotica is just the latest. I just love writing regardless of genre, fiction, or non-fiction. It’s what I’ve always known I was supposed to do, and what I’ve always done.
I was also a pretty precocious kid, and the first thing I ever wrote was a kind of erotic fairy tale. So I guess it was always a genre I wanted to explore. Plus it’s fun!
VH: You have two very exciting series out, Training Kate and She’s The Billionaire. One features female submission, the other female domination. Which do you prefer to write? What provides a challenge in writing these different perspectives?`
ED: I don’t know if I could pick one as my favorite!
I get an added satisfaction from writing femdom because there are so many depictions of submissive and weak women in our society that it feels good to push another strong lady out there. At the same time, that’s what makes it harder to write. There are fewer examples to draw from since it’s not really something you encounter unless you go looking for it.
At the same time, I love certain kinds of female submission. In Training Kate there are a lot of different interactions going on. It’s not just a weak woman giving in to some strong alpha male. Kate is taken in and dominated by an older woman and man, their maids, and nearly everyone else. But she even turns the tables sometimes. The challenge for me in writing female submission is how to write it and not fall into the same old tropes.
VH: You have several works in the BDSM genre and I have noticed that you have written works that have physical but also psychological domination. What would you say fuels your desire to write in these areas?
ED: The main thing about BDSM for me is power. I’ve spent a lot of years studying power relationships between nations, races, and people, so I guess it’s a subject I’m interested in all areas of my life.
Writing about BDSM lets you ask a lot of interesting questions. Who has the power? How do they wield it? What is it like to be the person without the power? Does one person ever really have all the power? I could go on. So writing these stories is a fun and sexy way to explore all of these questions, even if I can’t answer them.
VH: Have there been any moments in which your characters have done something too intense for you? You know, those collar popping moments.
ED: Well, even though I've fantasized about it, I don’t think I could sell myself to strangers as a sexual slave! Also, I’m not sure how I would actually feel about being attacked by a tentacle monster. But actually, I’m pretty open to a lot of things!
VH: What have you learned about your writing style, as you write and publish? Is there anything that has changed radically in the process?
ED: I am actually really thankful to have started this whole journey into erotica. I used to have a debilitating perfectionism that just stopped me from getting anything out. So when I began, I told myself just to write to have fun and not worry if I’m as lyrical as Nabokov.
In the process, I’ve learned that I can put out something that I’m not ashamed of and that people can enjoy without rewriting each line 100 times. I think I’m also learning a lot more about how to tell a story and get people interested in characters, rather than just loving delicate prose.
VH: What do you enjoy the most about the writing process?
ED: I love being surprised! I never used to plot, ever, and that’s why a lot of my stories would fail. I've finally figured out how to have the structure of plotting along with the surprise of flying by my pants. Characters will do the most unexpected things if you let them!
VH: What is your latest project? What was the most difficult aspect about writing it? The most rewarding aspect?
ED: My latest project was the second part of my Mind Control 101 books. It’s not exactly a series, since each of the books can be read on their own. The first is from the point of view of a young man who hypnotizes his classmate. The latest one is from her point of view when she hypnotizes him.
It was difficult to go over the same situation and not make it boring for the reader who may have read the male side of the story. It also was important to me for her personality to shine through. But I was happy to make her a participant in the whole event, and not just a victim. Turnabout is fair play, right?
Ellen is right, turnabout is fair play and Lindsey is certainly taking advantage in Mind Control 101: Hypnotizing My Big Brother's Best Friend.