I am so excited to have one of my favorite authors here today for our first interview together. It has taken me a while to work up the courage to ask her for an interview, because I have been a huge fan girl ever since I learned about my spanko nature. 🙂 But I finally worked up the courage to ask her, and she graciously agreed! We are splitting our talk today between my new favorite Corbin’s Bend book (Last Dance for Cadence), and another favorite series from her, Masters of the Castle in order to compare and contrast my favorite series. Hope you enjoy!
(quick update: I just read her new Corbin’s Bend Book, Last Dance for Cadence, and loved it! It was amazing!!! Definitely pick up your copy today. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂 ) (Here is my review of the book. 🙂 )
Katherine Deane: I have probably mentioned this a few times already, but I love your work, and am super stoked about the release of your latest book, #8 in the Corbin’s Bend series, Last Dance for Cadence. How is this different than your Masters of the Castle books? How is it similar?
Maren Smith: Apart from the obvious (that Corbin’s Bend is a series tackled by eight different authors), I really don’t think it is different. In Masters of the Castle, it’s a vacation spot; in Corbin’s Bend, it’s a neighborhood and a way of life. In both places, BDSM and all related activities are viewed as perfectly normal and acceptable. You don’t have to worry about your neighbor calling the cops, or your friends (or spouse) finding out and thinking you’re weird. It feeds that desire everybody has to be accepted for who and what they are, wherever they are. It’s fictional, but you don’t want it to be. By the end of a MotC book, you want to pack your bags and go on vacation. By the end of a Corbin’s Bend book, you want to pack up your house and go live there.
Katherine Deane: Would you say that Corbin’s Bend is more DD, and MoC is more BDSM, D/s?
Maren Smith: Yes, I would, but only by necessity. Some of my Masters do practice DD in their everyday lives. Sam, Marshall and Jackson absolutely do. They are the bosses of their households. Kade is more apt to keep his dominance and her submission in the fun zones. While he won’t hesitate to give Chelsea what she needs when she needs it, he’s more into saving the spankings for sex and good times and talking out the rest. Parker would like to have a DD relationship, but since Sinclair is still freshly plucked from the vanilla world, he hasn’t done more than threatened her with a “real” spanking. In one of the next few books though, he’s going to hit that point where he’s all done issuing threats and their kinky relationship goes all the way into DD. But this isn’t really what the Castle is about. By necessity, the Castle encompasses all parts of BDSM because it is a public vacation resort.
Corbin’s Bend is a neighborhood. It’s all about family and that by it’s very intimacy makes it all about DD.
Katherine Deane: What other sub genres do you write in?
Maren Smith: I write in all kinds of genres. Under erotica, I have ageplay/petplay books, non-con and harder core BDSM stories that I wrote when I was a teenager and so keep it under a separate pen name. I even write mainstream fantasy/sci fi romances. And in the next year, I’ve got a new steampunk series coming out under my spanking pen name. 🙂 I’m excited about that one.
Katherine Deane: Steam punk? That is going to be awesome! Keep us posted, please. So, what’s your favorite?
Maren Smith: DD. Hands down. It was my first love. It’s how I met my husband and how I live in real life. I like the intimacy of hands, hair brushes, wooden spoons and OTK; a belt being whipped from belt loops and doubled over or having to go outside to cut your own switch; standing in the corner, bending over the bed that under any other circumstance you might be making love in but over which your spouse is now going to discipline you…these are my favorite fantasy scenarios.
Katherine Deane: Mmmm, you are speaking my language so perfectly.I love the intimacy of DD also. Let’s talk about flawed characters for a moment. I love that your characters are imperfect. It makes them seem realistic, which as odd as it sounds with my escapism attempts in these books, I really look forward to that fine line of realism.
Maren Smith: I love flawed characters too. I love them because they feel more real to me. Nobody is perfect and they shouldn’t be in books either. Cadence is flawed…She used to be a dancer until she was involved in a car accident that shattered both her knees. Now that part of her life is over and it’s everything she can do just to get through a day without falling. Kade was flawed, but in different ways. He was self-medicating his increasing dissatisfaction with Castle life by embarking on one one-night-stand after another after another after…ad nauseum.
Katherine Deane: Do you really try out everything you write about?
Maren Smith: Yes, I do. If I’m going to put my character through it, I want to know what it feels like. It’s not until you actually do it that you realize the process by which it happens and how it really feels. I’m scared to death of electricity. Electricity is magical, it lives in walls, and it will kill you. My mother told me that, and an error in childhood judgment and a bobbypin forever cemented in my brain that she was right. I’ve never gotten over that fear, but when I thought about doing a violet wand scene in Kaylee’s Keeper, I approached a dominant at my local munch, told him I was scared to death and asked him to show me how it works. That first time, he just had me touch the different nodes to see how each one felt and get used to the idea. I’ve since had three violent wand scenes. It’s not for me, but I’ve still done it.
The same with flogging, although with completely different results. I love spanking. The idea of being hit anywhere but the butt, however, was my biggest turn off for years. Then I decided to do a flogging scene in Saving Sara. I absolutely knew I was going to hate it, but I got on the cross over the course of a few months I did it three times with three different doms so I could get a range of experiences. And I found out, that flogging is actually very erotic, cathartic and a lot of fun. I still love spanking, but I’ll hop up on the cross any time.
So yes, if there is a scene in my book, I’ve done it. Three times, in fact. Because three times is what it takes to get a good range of experiences and sensations. If it’s just mentioned in passing, I probably haven’t done it. Yet.
Katherine Deane: That is so awesome! You are really are dedicated to your craft! I have so many other questions for you, but will need to hold them for another day. 🙂
Thanks for chatting with me so openly about your writing and your different books. I loved Last Dance For Cadence, and am looking forward to your next one!!
Maren Smith: Thanks so much for doing this, Katherine. 🙂 Yay! I got interviewed!
This is a great excerpt! Cadence is about to receive her first chastisement from Marcus.
Coming into the room behind her, Marcus closed and then locked the door. Without a word, he took the cane away from her, laying it down upon his desk before clamping his warm hand onto the back of her neck. Careful not to propel any faster than she could move, he marched her into the nearest corner. Or rather, because the actual corner was taken up by a coat rack, he parked her next to it with her nose positioned not two inches from the anatomy poster hanging on the wall. She was so startled, all she could do was stare in shock at the musculature of the human body, while behind her, in soft and serious tones, Marcus said, “You are their nanny, but I am their father. Don’t ever countermand my authority in front of them again, is that clear?”
“I wasn’t—” She stopped with a start when he shifted his grip from her neck to her shoulder.
“Do you want to get your bag and return to Venia’s?” he asked, his question every bit as firm as a demand.
Although he didn’t actually say it, Cadence knew what he was really asking. An explosion of phantom sensations shot up the backs of her thighs and spread out like a wave across her bottom.
Was he going to spank her? Right now? She was a grown woman. This could not be happening! And why did this feel like excitement rather than anger or dread? She wasn’t excited by this, the prospect of his hand clapping hard down across her bottom. Surely not!
“No,” she said, her throat so tight that it came out raspy and hoarse.
He swatted her, sending an entirely different and anything but phantom explosion of sensation biting into the round curve of her right buttock. The impact jolted out her hips and buckled her knees. She caught the wall at the same time Marcus caught her.
“Steady,” he said, soft and calm, a tone that was at complete odds with the force that had been behind that breath-taking swat.
Cadence hugged the wall, holding herself as steady as she could, her legs shaking under her in a way that had absolutely nothing—nothing at all—to do with her messed up knees. And it wasn’t over yet. How could it not be over? Her brain scrambled to make sense of it when he shifted his hold on her, wrapping one strong arm around her waist to help hold her, positioning his body to bolster her own before continuing. His hand clapped hard across her left bottom cheek, not once now but twice. She lost her composure to a yelp, more startlement than pain, when the fourth and last spank bounced back off her right side, and suddenly everything fell very silent and very still.
Her heart was a thundering storm inside her chest.
His heart was steady and calm. She knew because she could feel its heady beat where her shoulder pressed against his chest. It was like being hugged by a furnace. Everywhere he touched her burned.
His spanking hand came to rest at the small of her back. She had never been so intensely aware of how close a man was to touching her bottom, not ever before in her life.
In that calm, no-nonsense voice of his, Marcus said, “Don’t ever countermand my authority in front of my children again, is that clear?”
“Yes, sir.” The response was as instantaneous as it was startling to hear. Those servile words simply fell right out of her mouth, as if she said them all the time. Up until this exact moment, she hadn’t thought once about giving Marcus that kind of deference. But it came out so naturally and filled up the situation between them with such earth-shaking significance that she didn’t know if it were even possible to take them back again.
“Can you hold yourself up?”
She nodded, but she honestly didn’t know what would happen when he let her go. “I’m fine,” she whispered. “I’m fine.”
His fingers trailed right up her spine, and a long, slow shiver followed with it. When he reached her shoulder, he gave it a comforting squeeze. She didn’t know how to reconcile that kind of comfort with what he’d just done. There were a lot of things she didn’t know just then.
Marcus let her go. Assuming he was going to leave her there, she didn’t turn around. But a half second later, she startled all over again when she heard the soft thump and felt the slight bump of a wooden chair tucking right up behind her.
“Hold still,” he said, as he reached around her waist. And Cadence did. She held perfectly still, even as the incredible shock of what he was doing bounced through her mind all over again.
She felt the button at her pants release, heard the metal teeth of her zipper clicking down its track and still she couldn’t believe he was stripping her out of her jeans even when he tugged, shucking them straight down her thighs. Her underwear followed, leaving her entire backend chilling in the very sudden, breezy absence of cover.
“Sit,” he told her.
Her knees buckled when she tried, and Cadence more collapsed onto the chair he’d positioned behind her.
“Naughty bottom on the seat,” he said, before tapping an invisible spot on the wall directly in front of her. “Nose right here.”
Did he mean that figuratively or…?
Cadence bent uncertainly, but he didn’t correct her, not even when she touched the tip of her nose to the off-white paint of the wall.
“You have five minutes of timeout. I’ll come and get you when you’re done. If you come out of this corner before then, I will put you over my knee and I will spank you for real.”
That hadn’t been real? “Did you hear me?”
“Yes, sir,” she said again.