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Domestic discipline, lots of loving from Starla Kaye

November 10, 2010

 

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce erotic romance author Starla Kaye. One of the co-authors of Black Velvet Seductions’ Spanked!, she’s been published more than 39 times, including 17 novels 19 novellas and 3 anthologies.  Her Cowboy’s Way, a short story anthology featuring “domestic discipline and lots of loving,” debuted on Monday.

 Although most of Starla’s books involve spanking and/or domestic discipline, the focus of her many stories is on the love relationship between the hero and the heroine. Domestic discipline, when it occurs, is an extension of the love the characters have for each other. But I’ll let Starla speak for herself…

CARA: I understand you’ve been writing for 20 years. At what point did you decide that writing romance was what you wanted to do? How many books have you had published?

STARLA: When I first decided to write books, I wanted to write mysteries. I didn’t grow up reading romances and only began reading them when I joined a local romance writers group about twenty years ago. But I’ve always been a huge happily-ever-after fan, especially in the Disney films. As odd as it may be, my two favorite movies are Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. And, in a lot of ways, many of my stories are loosely based on their basic themes. It didn’t take long in my early writing career to decide that writing romance was going to “my thing.” In my career to date I’ve had published: 16 novels, 16 novellas and 2 anthologies with Blushing Books; 1 novella, 1 short story, and 1 anthology with Black Velvet Seductions; 2 novellas with Red Rose Publishing, and 1 novel with iUniverse.

CARA: You’re very prolific. Holly’s Big Bad Santa came out last year, this year you have “Trusting Her” in Spanked! and Her Cowboy’s Way. What is your writing schedule like?

STARLA. Actually, this year I have also written and had published three novels: Bet Your Boots, Great Scottish Devil, and Maggie Mine plus two novellas: Cupid’s Mistake and His By Valentine’s Day. And I have written another novel, Their Lady Gloriana, and a short story, One More Happily Ever After, both to be published possibly this year or early next year by Black Velvet Seductions. My writing schedule varies from several hours daily to all day for a week at a time. My best writing time is first thing in the morning until around noon, since I’m one of those “ridiculous morning people” (or so my daughter teases me about).

CARA: Which is more important to you as a writer…inspiration or discipline? Why?

STARLA: I believe, if you’re going to be a prolific writer, you need both. You have to have a ton of ideas and draw them from many places. And you have to be able to plant yourself somewhere and pound away on a keyboard on a fairly regular basis. I’m fortunate enough to be one of those people who never lacks for story ideas or characters who demand that I tell their stories. Plus I work at a job that I can control my hours and what I do there, including working on my writing projects.

CARA: The books I’ve read of yours have all had a western/cowboy theme. Can you speak to that?

STARLA: I’ll admit that many of my books involve cowboys or cowgirls. I grew up watching Westerns with my dad and I am very familiar with the ranching world. There is just something about a cowboy in a low-tipped Stetson, butt-hugging jeans, work-worn boots, and… Well, I love a good cowboy, maybe a slightly “bad” cowboy even more. But I have also written a pirate book, three medievals, a sci-fi, and a number of just contemporary romances.

CARA: Many of your books involve spanking or have spanking scenes. What is it about spanking that draws you to write about it? What purpose does it serve in your stories?

STARLA: I don’t write about spanking for spanking’s sake. The same as I don’t write flat-out erotica, with the focus being solely on sex. That doesn’t means I don’t read stories with only those focuses and enjoy them. And it doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t write fairly heavy discipline scenes, for example my sci-fi, Royal Directive, is pretty heavy that way. When I first started reading spanking short stories, I got intrigued, especially by the stories about couples in relationships. I like the strong Alpha male who wants to be in charge, but I like him to also respect his partner and definitely love her with all of his heart. I want him to stay within the bounds of whatever agreements the two of them have made. But I also like a woman who is submissive to the man she loves and respects because she chooses to be. Not everyone who reads a good spanking romance sees beyond the fact that a man is physically disciplining his partner. They see only an abusive relationship. That isn’t what I write. I write about two people who have discussed the issue of domestic discipline, decided they are both okay with it for their personal reasons, would not truly abuse their agreement, and who—above all else—love and trust each other. At least that is what I try to write.

CARA: In “Trusting Her” in Spanked! you turned the tables and had the husband being the one who is spanked. How did you get that idea and what were you trying to accomplish?

STARLA: I’ve read a lot of wife-spanking-husband stories and in many of them the man is very weak, very submissive. That wasn’t the kind of man I wanted to write about. I wanted to show that a confident, strong, normally in-charge husband could love and respect his wife enough to humble himself when he knew he needed help with the way he’d started acting. It made him anxious to consider going to her with his request about being spanked, but he trusted her to not see him as crazy. And I wanted the wife to be surprised by the change from being the spankee to the spanker. Yet she understood how her husband was feeling, knew his frustration, and loved him enough to do as he’d requested.

CARA: Please tell us a little about Her Cowboy’s Way.

STARLA: Her Cowboy’s Way is an anthology of twelve short stories, what I see as snippets of one couple’s life over a year. They are both confident, independent people who are like any other married couple learning to live together. What makes them different is that he believes in domestic discipline and she accepts it, but struggles with it, too. He doesn’t spank her out of a need to show his dominance, or to stroke his ego. He does so because he really believes that he is helping calm her down sometimes, helping her focus on important matters (like not giving in to her weakness for chocolate when she is diabetic), reminding her that he fears her making an impulsive decision that could endanger her life, etc.  She isn’t thrilled with suffering a sore bottom occasionally, but she isn’t happy with herself when she causes her husband great worry or does something impulsively that she knows she shouldn’t have. Above all, they love each other. And there are plenty of sensually, sexually hot scenes, too, that show their mutual love.

CARA: Other than being a writer, what other jobs have you held?

STARLA: I’ve wandered through life doing this and then that, never really finding the one certain profession that I wanted to stick with for very long. Writing comes closest. But while I spend a lot of time weekly writing, I also do many other things. I work as a community coordinator for my husband’s accounting firm (marketing, being on community boards), act as a volunteer with a group at a senior center, actively participate in two local writers’ groups, and help with many other various community efforts.

CARA: Hobbies?

STARLA: I’m a creative person in a lot of ways besides in writing. I love travelling and taking a gazillion photos everywhere I go. I’ve gone through spells when I painted with oils, when I did needlepoint, when I did ceramics, and when I crocheted. Currently I do a lot of scrapbooking and making quilt-art projects with my sister. And I play around with gardening sometimes, but Miss Green Thumb I’m not. Still, most of my plants tolerate me annoying them from time to time.

CARA: What would you like readers to take away from your books?

STARLA: I want my readers to see that there are all kinds of heroes and heroines, all kinds of relationships, and all kinds of love. I don’t want them to see domestic discipline as pure abuse. I want them to learn that two people can agree to something like that out of love and respect for each other. They can also know that if either of them really wanted to stop it in their relationship that they could and would do so. I want a reader to look outside of the normal box, to see what really lies at the heart of my books and the unique kind of romances I write about. By the way, not all of my books involve spanking…but all do involve love.

  More info. about Starla Kaye:

You can find Starla today at Authorisland’s Cyber Launch Party. Drop in ask her a question!

 To celebrate her latest release, Starla is giving away a whimsical, hand-painted figurine of a bride roping her groom. For contest details, refer to Starla’s website.

 For more information or to purchase her latest releases, click here:

Her Cowboy’s Way

Spanked!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 3:22 pm

    Cara, thanks so much for interviewing me today! This is my luck day…being here and partying at Authorisland.

  2. November 10, 2010 4:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing so much Starla. I agree with you that there are so many ways couples show love, and sexuality is so tied into our relationships. Can’t wait to read Her Cowboy’s Way! After all, cowboys are pretty damn hot stuff!

  3. November 11, 2010 12:16 am

    Great interview, Starla! I’m in awe of all you do and how well you do it.

  4. November 11, 2010 1:32 am

    Kate and Penny, thanks for stopping by and making a comment.

    Penny, you’ve got one great book out, Sapphire and Gold, from The Wild Rose Press (blatant promotion here)…now you need to get another one done. I’m in awe of you, too, for tackling that time period.

  5. Nina permalink
    November 13, 2010 1:40 am

    Starla–Cara
    Very good interview. Good Questions. Great answers.

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