Author Spotlight

 

 

 

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Claire Thompson

 

Tell us a bit about your most recent release, Switch from MLR Press.  How is it different from your other books with a BDSM focus?
Switch was super fun to write, because I turned the usual idea of the black-leather-clad super sexy, super confident Dom on its head. Dane swaggers into a bar near the underground BDSM clubs where he reigns supreme, pegs a good looking guy he hopes is gay, and flips out when the guy asks him how long he’s been a sub. Nathan is not your typical Dom. He doesn’t go to the clubs, he doesn’t wear the uniform, he doesn’t even define himself as a Dom. He’s a dreamy artist in tattered jeans and sneakers, who routinely forgets to eat and has no idea what time it is. But his quiet confidence, devastatingly hot sexuality and natural dominance uniquely position him to lead Dane along a path of submission he never dreamed he’d want to take.

Another recent release that is extremely popular is Handyman from Samhain Publications.  Did you have fun writing this book?  Any fun stories you can share?
I always have fun writing my books! Though this one was especially enjoyable because again I tried to turn the traditional ideas on their heads. When you think of a handyman story, you think of the rich woman of a certain age permitting herself to be seduced by the younger sexy blue collar laborer. In this story, the widowed handyman Jack is considerably older than the young, sexy guy who hires him to renovate his kitchen. Jack, who never came to grips with his own homosexual yearnings, is confused and frightened when Will makes his interest known. Will, who is used to lovin’ and leavin’ ‘em, is thrown for a loop by the older man, whose quiet dignity and innocent honesty are outside of the realm of his shallow experience. I guess the most fun scene to write was when Jack’s grown son enters his father’s house unannounced and stumbles in on Jack kneeling in front of his new young lover with his cock in his mouth. The son is flabbergasted and horrified. I had fun imagining the outraged response of a twenty-something kid as repressed as his father once was, and also Jack’s carefully measured and ultimately compassionate response in defense of his choice to live his life honestly.

Several of your male/male stories involve a character who has never had a homosexual relationship before.  What is the allure to using “first time” characters?  What aspects does it add to a story?
These are such good questions! When something’s new and scary, there is so much room for exploration. There is so much leeway to take the character in many different directions. He isn’t hardened yet into any role. He doesn’t know yet who he is. Layers of self-deception have to be peeled away in the process of that exploration, and this leaves lots of room for a writer to explore the angst and full range of emotions he goes through.

You have a wonderful ability to express the power of BDSM relationships, from both dominant and submissive viewpoints.  How did you start writing within this genre?
As an exploration of my own submissive impulses, which at the time were little more than a secret fantasy, shared with no one. My first writings are somewhat stilted as a result, because I knew what excited me, what moved me, but I didn’t really understand certain basic tenets, like never leaving a bound sub alone for a long period of time, so unfortunately some of my heroes were less than proper Doms! It was a thrill to write for myself stories that tried to capture the sense of deep desire and wonder I felt when I was finally able to admit and embrace my own sexuality. And since then (I was first published in 1996) I’ve gained plenty of real life experience, as well as continued to research as the Internet has come into its own. But the really cool thing is the thrill has never gone. I’ve been writing in the genre for twelve years and I never plan to stop.

The Golden Boy and Golden Man stories are a captivating exploration of a man discovering his submissive side.  How did these stories come about?
My editor at Ellora’s Cave, Mary Moran, suggested I write an m/m story. I had never considered it until she brought up the idea. I liked the idea of taking a repressed, beaten down blue collar kind of guy who was raised by a man who hated “pansies” and “queers”, and push him, gently at first, along a journey of self-discovery. Because of his background and family, Johnny had a very hard time coming to grips with first his homosexuality and second his submissive nature. Enter Eric Mendez, a hot, sexy and very defended Puerto Rican Dom by night, successful psychologist by day. By defended, I mean he was very active in the BDSM scene, but until the innocent, beautiful “Golden Boy” fell into his life, he’d never been involved in a loving, romantic D/s relationship. So both of them, not only Johnny, took huge risks in the name of…you guessed it—love.

You are one of the few authors brave enough to explore the “rough stuff”, the darker side of submission.  Of these books, which has struck the strongest chord with both you and readers?
Two oldies but goodies, Toy and Frog, continue to sell well after all these years. They are both nonconsensual kidnap tales, which tapped into my own personal, dark dirty fantasies. The key word being fantasy. No one would really want to be subjected to that kind of abduction and sexual torture, but as a sexual fantasy, it can be pretty hot. More recently I wrote yet another nonconsensual story, titled Golden Angel-Unwilling Sex Slave and I had a lot of fun writing it. This one, however, does have a happily ever after ending, because I’ve become a sap in my old age, and I wanted the girl to get her guy and the bad guys to get their just desserts.

You write both male/male and male/female BDSM stories.  Do you approach the genres differently?  Do you find that there is a different underlying dynamic when working with male versus female submissives?
Another excellent question. I have to be very careful when I write m/m, because I tend to feminize the sub without meaning to. I have a male reader who points this out to me, and I try to remember, just because a guy is gay, that doesn’t make him a woman. So yes, in that regard there is a different underlying dynamic. Men, even gay men, tend to be less effusive in their praise, less forthcoming about their real feelings and tougher on each other, in the scene, than a man might be with a woman. I try to be mindful of all that when I’m creating the characters. On another level, though, I believe subs are hardwired a certain way, male or female. They crave the release and heightened intensity of experiencing the exchange of power a D/s relationship can offer. Masochists yearn for the sting of the whip or smack of the hard palm, whether male or female. So in that regard, the dynamic is the same.

What is your favorite published story?
I’ve been thinking and thinking and I can’t decide. They’re like my babies. How can I choose one sibling over the others? Golden Boy does have a special place in my heart, because it was my first m/m and it was so much fun to write. I’m very fond of Obsession, one of the “rough stuff” stories, as you call it, because I got into the head of the Dom, who is really an unstable, dangerous stalker and sociopath, posing as a Dom. I really got into his evolving relationship with the woman he abducted, and the flowering of his realization that what he had done was terribly wrong. I wrote the whole first section of the book from his point of view, the mid section from hers and the last section a mutual discovery of their feelings and reactions to one another. It was a complex book, in that regard, and I liked that I didn’t tie everything neatly up. There were consequences for behaviors that had huge impact on both their lives.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
Nathan, from Switch, or maybe Eric from Golden Boy. Of course in real life they would be straight and we would marry.

When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I have the basic storyline outlined in my head (and on paper) but invariably at some point the characters take over, sometimes pulling me in directions I hadn't even considered. It is a peculiar sensation, when a character starts dictating the scene. For example, in the manuscript I just finished, I had no idea Elizabeth was going to break down in tears at one point. Of course, I understood why she did, but until my fingers typed it, I honestly didn’t know it was going to happen. Scary stuff when the subconscious takes over, but also thrilling. I call it, “being in the groove.”

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life?
Absolutely. Most especially from myself, when I’m trying to pinpoint and capture the illusive magic of D/s. But also I’ll put people I know into my stories, especially people I don’t like, who get cast with their real names and all their irritating faults, though of course the character is usually up to things the real guys would never get into. But that’s the power of the pen and creative license!

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
By day I’m a boring, quiet clerk in the administrative office of a small town school district.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Me? No way! I’ll never tell…wink

What are you currently working on?
I just today finished the rough draft of a new m/f BDSM entitled Accidental Slave, about a driven advertising executive who finds herself embroiled in a BDSM sex slave auction through no fault of her own. The man who makes the winning bid turns out to be the sexiest, most compelling man she’s ever laid eyes on. He takes her on a sensual journey that turns her world inside out.

My next project is going to be the promised m/m/m ménage – three scientists stranded in a science lab in Antarctica during a violent snowstorm turn to each other in their fight for survival…stay tuned!

Where can readers find Claire Thompson?
Website - www.clairethompson.net 

And please join my yahoo chat group – lots of fun conversations, excerpts and contests! - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clairethompson/

And sign up for my newsletter by dropping me an email at Claire@clairethompson.net. I put it out once every couple of months or so, to let readers know what I’m working on, what’s in the pipeline and what’s new. Contests there too, plus one of my personal favorites – a Reader Spotlight where I get to interview a reader!

Any other tidbits you would like to share?
I absolutely love hearing from readers. There is nothing more thrilling than feedback from someone who was affected (hopefully in a positive way!) by something I’ve written. I will answer all emails, so let me hear from you!

In case you want the links to some of the novels referred to above, here they are:

Golden Angel (paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Angel-Unwilling-Sex-Slave/dp/1419688308/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202900286&sr=8-7

Golden Boy/Golden Man (paperback) http://www.jasminejade.com/p-3770-golden-boy-golden-man.aspx?skinid=11

Golden Boy (ebook) http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=1-4199-0503-1

Golden Man (ebook) http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419907449

Obsession (paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Obsession-Abducted-Formerly-Stalker-Expanded/dp/1419695088/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211023658&sr=8-1


 

     

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