AB: What do you look for when you read BDSM?
JD: A solid, loving connection between the characters and something different. I've read so many that I want something fresh, not the same old, same old.
AB: What do you try to convey when you write BDSM?
JD: That what's happening is based on deep trust and understanding, needs being met on both sides.
AB: Why do you think "Fifty Shades of Grey" appeals to readers who aren't in the scene and have no wish to get into the scene?
JD: Ack, I loathe that series so much that when I try to discuss it, I end up ranting incoherently. Not that I've read it beyond snippets but the betrayal of fandom cuts too deeply for me to be fair. To be honest, I think it's mildly naughty for most of the readers but sanctioned and made safe by its popularity. They’re titillated without really getting what it's about and without wanting it for themselves except in a watered-down way.
JD: I suppose it's good that it's opened eyes and legitimized the genre somewhat but couldn't it have been a better book that did it? And one that didn't have such a skewed portrayal of BDSM? Sheesh.
AB: BDSM usually gets classified as erotica or porn regardless of the amount of sex present. Do you think this is fair?
JD: No, but it's a fact that there aren't many BDSM books out there that are sex-free. I'd love to write one about an everyday BDSM couple with no actual sex, just the framework of their relationship coloring their day-to-day life subtly.
JD: Online for the most part. It's a treasure trove with many people sharing their experiences with incredible frankness and courage.
AB: Is there something you feel is taboo for BDSM books? Anything you wish wasn't as taboo?
JD: Umm, I'd like to see Doms who didn't care about their subs as much. Okay, that came out all wrong. Strong Doms. Ones who were matched with subs who genuinely felt that what their Dom wanted and needed came first and they got fulfillment through making that happen. Selfless submission.
Yes, I'm contradicting myself from earlier, I know. I don't mean arrogant assholes and doormats, just a whole different dynamic. I dipped my toes in it once with a short story that fizzled on me. Maybe one day I'll get back to it.
JD: Next one to be published comes out on Dec 18, the sequel to Room at the Top. It's from Loose Id, co-written with Alexa Snow, and it's called "Room at the Edge". She's the best co-writer I could imagine working with. Such an inspiration. We’re working on the sequel to “The Square Peg” now and I have a solo project or two that I'm noodling with.
AB: What do you think of the proliferation of abuse fiction doing the rounds (ie Flesh Cartel) that gets perceived to be BDSM? Do you see that as a problem?
JD: I've read that series and I don't think it's BDSM yet, though it might turn into it down the road. The authors don't consider it to be; I think they describe it as a psycho-sexual thriller. Labels can be tricky. It’s dark and intense but to someone who cut her teeth on fanfic that goes way further than most published works can, it didn't disturb me. I was really annoyed when Amazon banned it. Totally ridiculous decision.
JD: I write many stories that don't feature BDSM so that's hard to say. I just write the plot that comes with the characters and it's who they are that dictates things. Karl in "Truthful Change" wouldn't think of himself as a Dom, Ben in "The Square Peg" wouldn't either, whereas Owen in "Bound and Determined" would.
AB: Thanks for participating, Jane. Now tell us some more about “Room at the Edge” your latest collaboration with Alexa.
JD: My pleasure and thanks for the interesting questions!
Three sexy men, one hot relationship. In "Room at the Top", devoted sub couple Jay and Austin went looking for a no-strings attached Dom and ended up falling for Liam, who, much to his surprise, turned out to be the Dom of their dreams. But their happy ending was only the beginning of their story.
Now Jay is begging Liam to turn up the heat with fire play and Austin wants them all under one roof, no matter what people might think. Caught up in the difficulties and pleasures of their new relationship, it's easy to miss the way they're moving dangerously close to the edge of falling apart, not deeper in love.
Down the track, I hope to get the same set of questions answered by another great BDSM writer, Kim Dare. Stay tuned!