Monday, October 28, 2013

A chat with Qwillia Rain, author of the 'Diablo Blanco Club' Series about BDSM misconceptions

Author Qwillia Rain returns to Books to Light Your Fire for a little chat about the misconceptions about BDSM. Feel free to leave your own comments and questions below!

*Looks at the list of subjects. Heavy sigh. Peers over the page, blinks* You want me to talk about misconceptions in BDSM in *gulp* less than 750 words? *mutters under my breath* Oh my, you are a brave soul. *Takes a deep breath, grabs a Dr Pepper, plops down in a comfy chair, and motions for readers to take a seat* I’ll try to keep this short, but I make no promises.

Disclaimer: While I don’t practice BDSM, I have done research, interviewed people in the Lifestyle, and attended a conference with BDSM related demonstrations.

Since the publication of my first novel, Santa’s Elf, six years ago, I’ve encountered quite a few misconceptions about BDSM during conversations with writers, readers, and editors. The top three conversational nuggets that grate on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard are:

BDSM is all about sex

Doms (always men) control everything, and subs (always women) are spineless doormats

BDSM novels appeal to a niche audience and have no place in the mainstream market

*Sets down my soda, drags over a soapbox and steps onto it* BDSM is a lifestyle. A choice. A philosophy predicated upon honest, open communication between partners. Expectations and consequences are established up front—clearly stated, discussed, and agreed upon—which establishes a foundation for a healthy BDSM relationship and grounds it in mutual respect and trust between partners. It allows safe exploration and experimentation that supports and celebrates the expression of one’s true nature.

In a nutshell:
BDSM is about total acceptance of one’s self and partner.

*Putting away my soapbox and returning to my chair* Now, about those conversational nuggets:

“BDSM is all about sex”

Honey, sex has nothing to do with BDSM and BDSM has nothing to do with sex. *Raising a hand to stop the deluge of comments* Hold on. Let me clarify. Married people have sex, right? But sex isn’t the reason people get married. In that same vein, there can be sex in a BDSM relationship, yet it isn’t the purpose of the relationship.

Takeaway point here:
BDSM is more mental than physical. It’s about trust, respect, and power exchange between equal partners.

Doms (always men) control everything, and subs (always women) are spineless doormats.

*Hand up* Raise your hand if a picture of some domineering asshat in a leather thong, swinging a riding crop and yelling, “Call-me-Master” just flashed through your mind. *passes out the brain bleach* First off, not all Dominants are men and not all submissives are women. There are even some—called switches, like Ben Murphy and Vance Justiss, my characters in Under Control—who like taking on both roles—Dominant and submissive—depending on their partner or the situation.

As for Doms having all the power—not true.

In BDSM, Power ≠ Control; Submission ≠ Subjugation; Dominance ≠ Domineering. (I have to admit this is my biggest pet peeve.) A Dominant doesn’t force the submissive to cede control over to him; she chooses to give him control. She also establishes the terms of the transfer, and the Dominant respects her decisions. A Dom can propose what will happen in a scene, the sub is the one with veto power. She can say no to the scene outright or use her safe word to end it.

For the uninitiated, in BDSM a safe word is a word you don’t say on a daily basis. Mike and Lyssa in Rite of First Claim used “dragon”. *Looking at the suspicious expressions* Think about it. How many times have you been, ahem, in the moment and chanting “no, no…while in your head it’splease, don’t stop”. You definitely don’t want the fun to end.

With a safe word a sub can chant “no” or “stop” until the cows come home and her Dom won’t stop. She pops off with “Sacagawea” or “platypusit’s over. In short, a safe word = veto power.

Bottom line:
A submissive isn’t subjugated, and a Dom may be in control, but it’s conditional.

“BDSM novels only appeal to a niche audience and have no place in the mainstream market.”

This one is often delivered in an ‘I’m telling you this for your own good’ tone.

*Snort. Snicker. Cough* First—what the heck is a niche audience? I’m thinking they mean people who practice BDSM. Yeah, right. Wouldn’t all those readers of Fifty Shades like to know they’re a niche audience. Regardless of whether someone did or didn’t like the trilogy, I recognize that it tapped into readers’—male and female—primal and instinctive craving to relinquish control. Yet, in my humble opinion, what Fifty Shades missed is:

BDSM relationships are built on mutual trust and respect between partners.

Now that I’ve said my piece, I would love to hear from readers. What questions do you have about BDSM? What appeals to you? What don’t you like?

Qwillia Rain


Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage
Publisher: Downtime Press
ISBN: 978-1-939171-00-9
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Cover Artist: Lindsay Breen
Price: $4.99

Eight years of waiting hadn't effected Dominant Bryce Halsey the way the last seven days had tested his control. Matie Lawrence, his perfect submissive, stood before him unaware of her potential, ready to be tutored in the lifestyle.

Battles will be won and lost between them, but the war for a Dominant's heart is a war Mattie is determined to win.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal sex, bondage, domination/submission, toy play.

Excerpt :
A master controls no one if he cannot control himself. The saying floated through Bryce’s mind in the interval following Rick’s comment. He split his attention between Rick’s grumblings and the couple across the room while he consumed the delicious prime rib dinner before him. He was working on an after-dinner coffee the waiter had poured when he spotted the first touch. 
It had been subtle, just the slide of Victor’s hand over hers, but Lawrence’s body stiffened, and she eased away from the man the tiniest bit. Hackles rising, Bryce leaned back in the booth, his focus on the pair across the room. “Well, what have you heard about him?” 
“He’s the perfect gentleman until he feels it’s time he doesn’t have to be anymore.”  
Rick cursed beneath his breath as Victor tried to stroke his hand down his date’s arm. 
Again she stiffened and moved away, her chair lurching slightly as she nudged it farther right. 
“You’re not going to do anything about this?” Rick met his gaze. His gray eyes were disbelieving, almost accusatory. 
“Why should I?” 
“You’ve spent the last eight years waiting, Bryce. Are you going to let another man take what you’ve been preparing?” He shook his head and scraped his fingers through his neatly styled brown hair. “Hell, I haven’t been able to figure out why you just didn’t claim her when she first showed up.” 
“She wasn’t ready.” The tension in his neck eased as Bryce recalled the anger and defiance dancing in Lawrence’s brown gaze. In many ways, she’d been wise beyond her twenty-two years, but in the most important ones, she’d been far too young for what he wanted.

Diablo Blanco Club: Under Control
Publisher: Downtime Press
ISBN: 978-1-939171-01-6
Genre: BDSM LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novella
Cover Artist: Q. Williams
Price: $3.99

Vance was used to facing death and confronting terrorists in war, but when it comes to confessing his act of betrayal to the man he loves, Vance finds it impossible to keep his feelings Under Control.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal sex, bondage, domination/submission, toy play.

Diablo Blanco Club: Rite of First Claim
Publisher: Downtime Press
ISBN: 978-1-939171-02-3
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Cover Artist: Q. Williams
Price: $5.99

What's a Dom to do when the submissive he wants runs from the feelings between them?

From the moment he met Lyssa Lawrence, Mike Halsey knew what he felt was love -- not lust. Convincing her has been an uphill battle even after the two steamy hours they'd shared at the Diablo Blanco Club four years earlier.

Lyssa Lawrence wished the man who claimed to love her wasn't so damned appealing. Eight years of denying the pull of her submissive nature almost went up in smoke four years ago, but she'd gathered the nerve to tell him 'no' when he asked for more. She'd have stayed away for good if her biological clock hadn't hiccuped, threatening her dreams of motherhood.

In the same way she'd strategized her success in fashion design, Lyssa worked out a plan to get the baby she wanted. The Diablo Blanco Club's annual Midnight Masquerade would provide a number of potential donors to choose from. What she hadn't bargained on was Mike's interference through an arcane Club rule.

When Mike invoked Rite of First Claim, Lyssa finally became his. Now, he has one month to prove that the role of his submissive was one she was born to play.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements.

Diablo Blanco Club: Santa's Elf
Publisher: Downtime Press
ISBN: 978-1-939171-04-7
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Cover Artist: Lindsay Breen
Price: $4.99

After four years of unrequited love, and steamy fantasies, Elfina "Elf" Jeffries has just about given up on gaining her boss's attention. How was any self-respecting woman supposed to seduce a man who was oblivious to her cues? Then the first gift arrived...

Every Santa needs an Elf, and Dayton Kringle is no exception. His offer for a temporary affair, just long enough to get from Christmas Eve to New Year's, will satisfy a four-year craving.

His is a simple design:

One beautiful Elf
Twelve sexy gifts
A little spanking
Some light bondage

And ten days of no-strings sex

make one very satisfied Santa. But when the ten days are up, will he be able to give up the Elf of his wildest Dominant dreams?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal sex, bondage, domination/submission, toy play.


Born in California but raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Qwillia Rain embraces fully the independent spirit of the West she grew up in, even if she currently resides in North Carolina.

Qwillia has worked at a diverse mix of jobs including casino change person, bill collector, book store and video store clerk, and computer teacher to Kindergarten through 8th graders, but writing has always been part of her life.

In 2007 her first book (recently revised and self-published) Santa's Elf, was published, opening a whole new world where she can play with her characters and get paid for it.


Fan Page:
Twitter: @Qwillia

Qwillia will be awarding a grand prize of a messenger bag, pens, post-it notes, and a key-chain wallet (No geographical restrictions) as well as three Amazon gift cards: $20, $10 and $5 to randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!