I am so excited today to welcome my most A-list guest so far, my mother. She not only knows what I do, but she, um, reads my books. Which isn’t weird at all. Right? It’s not weird. Anyway, she’s stopped by to check out what’s going on here at the naughty blog, play dirty word games, and get real about having a daughter who writes smut.
Welcome, Mom! Do you like what I’ve done with the place?
Yes. My favorite part is the consent agreement I had to click to get in here. The one that says: “I UNDERSTAND AND I WISH TO CONTINUE.”
Safe sane and consensual is how I play.
Let’s get right to the hard-hitting questions. You didn’t particularly care for By His Rules. Are you aware that as my mother you are contractually obligated to love everything I do?
You are forgetting the clause that reads: “Every parent is entitled to one activity, gift, or creation (per child) they don’t love.” In your brother’s case, perhaps it was the “#1 Grandpa!” key chain he bought at Christmas Closet and gave to me the Christmas he was six. Regarding your sister, perhaps it was synchronized swimming. All I can say is, I’d rather read By His Rules twenty-five times than watch a single underwater performance of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”
You’ve always encouraged me to go after what I want. I wouldn’t be much of a writer now if you hadn’t read all my stories when I was growing up—and been honest about them. I guess this isn’t really a question. I just want to say thanks. Especially for being cool about the erotica thing. When you and Dad had your secret parent powwows where you tried to predict your kids’ futures, did you see this one coming?
If you’ll recall, you once said you wanted to be a sex therapist. You were nine. Yes, we saw this one--and all of your future characters--coming. And coming. And coming...
I can’t believe I have parents cool enough that I can say I’m publishing a BDSM novel and they’ll be proud. However, it makes me wonder: What would I have to do to besmirch the family name?
You would have to have an eating disorder. Remember how relieved I was that BDSM didn’t stand for body dysmorphic disorder and its attendant anorexia or bulimia?
Yes, I remember the look of horror on your face when I said, “I have something to tell you,” and asked if you knew what BDSM was. And the look of relief when you learned it was just people beating each other and pushing the limits of what can fit up the human rectum.
I didn’t tell anyone I was going to try to publish smut, which meant I had to pick my penname myself. Could I have done better? If so, please give an example.
It might have been just the teensiest bit better if your pen name was not my dead aunt’s name. Why not Fanny Aiken?
I didn’t know it was your aunt’s name, honest. But what better way to honor her memory than…Okay. Sorry.
I also picked my dog’s penname. Could I have done better for her?
When I told a friend I was embarrassed about my family reading By His Rules, she asked why, and I said because I didn’t want my parents wondering how I knew the details that went into the sex scenes. She said, “If you wrote a crime novel, would you worry about them wondering how you know all those details about serial killing?” I told her sex was different. Is it? Is it weird for you to see all the references to throbbing, thrusting, engorged body parts in my books and know your daughter wrote them?
No, it's not weird. Besides, I know you learned about throbbin' and thrustin' from the same place I learned it—your Nana's super dirty collection of romance novels. Anyway, even if you are writing from experience, it makes me happy you have such a hot sex life!
One of my favorite memories is you reading Dean Koontz aloud to my siblings and me when we were kids. Also Robert Cormier. Who is the less appropriate author for children?
Even heavily edited on the fly, Dean Koontz is more wholesome than Robert Cormier. The farmer in the dell...The farmer in the dell...
I came out to you a few years ago about my BDSM lifestyle. You were very supportive. If I had a kid and he/she came out to me, I’d be prepared, and I’d probably arrange some ceremonial handing down of my favorite flogger. But you didn’t know much about BDSM. I guess I’m curious as to how it feels as a parent to learn something like that about your kid if you don’t entirely understand it. Go:
Again, I refer you to my relief that you didn’t have an eating disorder. Seriously, though, when you love your kid as much as I love you, why would you want to start tampering with who she is? If you didn’t like butt plugs and flogging, that would change you in some infinitesimal way. And I already think you’re perfect. So. That said, regarding BDSM, the motto of your grade-school gym teacher Mr. Teagarden is as relevant today as it was in 1993: “Safety first.”
Awww. My mom just said “butt plugs.”
Get Your Child’s Mind Out of the Gutter
Because I spend hours every day writing about sex, it’s hard (tee-hee) to not hear everything as an innuendo. It’s like being in junior high all over again. Please fill in the following blanks to create a totally innocuous, nonsexual phrase or sentence.
A throbbing headache
His eight-inch trout
“Kneel down and echo my prayer.”
Stroking left until it was fully a mile from shore.
“That’s the biggest dictionary I’ve ever seen.”
“Where did you learn to quilt like this?”
He thrust his gift into her stocking.
She managed to win at Scrabble thirteen times in one night.
What makes a great romance?
Unbelievably naive and idealistic people who crush each other’s dreams, let each other down, then continue to love each other anyway.
That is literally the best answer I’ve heard to that question.
Hugh Jackman, Hugh Laurie, or Hugh Grant?
Hugh Laurie. House and I share a love of loosely regulated pharmaceuticals.
You’ve read all three of my books. What is the most appalling BDSM act you’ve read about so far?
The people stuff is fine, but I am lastingly disturbed about the trick Scott used on Aiden in By His Rules. The trick he stole from horse shows. I can’t even...talk about it...ALL THE PRETTY HORSES!!!
I’ll bet there are some horses who love it.
You are also a writer, albeit of the epic, sweeping, generation-spanning, sparklingly-metaphored, literary-historical novel variety. My brother once suggested your opus would benefit from some acid-spitting Egyptian statues. May I make a suggestion? And you can take it or leave it: nipple clamps.
Well, you certainly took to heart your brother’s point about spurting liquid livening up a plot. That’s all your crotch crockery seems to do. I will give nipple clamps due consideration.
I invited you here intent on making you uncomfortable, but wow.
What is the best part of writing?
Getting paid. I guess. I wouldn’t know. I thought you said you knew someone who knew someone...?
That isn’t the best part. It’s getting paid and finding subtle ways of working that into conversations with other writers who aren’t getting paid. Which reminds me, I have to go to the bank after this and cash the enormous paycheck I got from writing and then call the people who are installing my new swimming pool.
What’s the worst part?
Probably the writing part.
What is the hardest thing about raising kids?
Not being allowed to murder other children who are mean to them.
Go through the following list and select which of your children would be most likely to do these things. To protect identities, let’s call my siblings Kathy and Brett.
Be charged with manslaughter YOU
Live in their car KATHY
Win the Hunger Games BRETT
Appear on a billboard BRETT
Accidentally invent something important BRETT
Win a cruise on a game show BRETT
Run a successful business BRETT
Burn dinner YOU
Enjoy a movie called Ghostbusters v. The A-Team KATHY
Have a pet monkey KATHY
WHAT?? I would so beat Brett in the Hunger Games!! He can’t go ten minutes when he’s visiting without asking what’s for dinner. I’m like Katniss Everdeen on crack.
Okay, for the next question, I want you to answer with the first thing that pops into your head. To ensure you don’t peek, I’ve put this question on the next page. Scroll down slowly…then answer immediately.
Who’s your favorite child?
Brett. See above.
I KNEW IT.
One last question: What book do you wish you’d written?
Thanks so much for sitting in the hotseat today! And hey, good job raising me.
Thank you. I felt it went well. The raising, I mean. Safety first.