BDSM interviews: Joey W. Hill

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Joey W. Hill writes about vampires, mermaids, boardroom executives, cops, witches, angels, simple housemaids…and they all fit pretty well into BDSM stories 😉

What is most appealing to you in BDSM books? Why do you write them?

Well, first and foremost, I want to write intense love stories with happily-ever-afters. Because the books are character and relationship driven, I explore how we overcome personal inhibitions or past baggage while learning to love another. I particularly like to do that through erotic expression. When we trust someone, we open up deeper parts of ourselves. The deeper that trust, the more we dig into who we are. So every healthy relationship can become a soul-deep journey, both as a couple and as individuals. Dominant/submissive relationships are all about an intense level of trust and communication, and that structure can create incredibly interesting love stories.

Which of your novels would you recommend us to read first (and why)?

That question (and the why) really depends on the reader. I write all types of Dom/sub relationships – M/f, F/m, M/m, M/F, IR, ménage. Some of my characters introduce uncommon variables, like handicapped Dom heroes, or a vanilla heroine who partners up with a committed male submissive. I have characters from all age groups, including those who are 40+ years old.

My offerings include both contemporary and paranormal titles, so it also would depend on whether the reader is looking for vampires, mermaids, angels and witches, or board room executives, house maids, blue collar workers, cops, SEALs, etc. I have a little of everything! How about I say what my “current” favorite recommendation for each series is? And yes, these recommendations can stand alone in their series:

Vampire Queen Series: Beloved Vampire if you’re a M/f reader; Vampire Queen’s Servant if you love F/m. And if you love threesomes, Vampire Mistress/Vampire Trinity is the two-part story of Daegan, Anwyn and Gideon, and a reader favorite. Gideon is a former vampire hunter who gets bound to TWO vampires.

Nature of Desire: Many of my readers came to the series through Book 2, Natural Law, a F/m that inspired them to see a male submissive as a sexy hero (Mac was a homicide cop). But if you like M/m, Rough Canvas remains one of my favorites in the series. And if F/m or M/m isn’t your thing, I’d recommend Worth the Wait – a 40-year-old heroine running an erotica theater falls for a blue-collar Dom hero with health issues (M/f).

Knights of the Board Room: This is my most popular contemporary series, all M/f except for one book. I’d start with Afterlife, the first full length in the series. The heroine is a 43-year-old yoga instructor who’s never been able to embrace her submissive tendencies, and the hero is a 30-year-old Dom. If you prefer F/m, I’d go with Willing Sacrifice. The hero is a former SEAL. And if you love IR, Soul Rest is my personal favorite in the series, with a Baton Rouge police sergeant hero and a news reporter heroine – BM/wf.

I also have a couple other series, one with mermaid heroines/angel heroes (Daughters of Arianne) and witch heroine/sorcerer heroes (Arcane Shot series).

Do you have a different approach to writing contemporary and paranormal BDSM?

Paranormal usually requires a certain level of world building and a layered plot that incorporates the paranormal factors. I love writing both, but contemporary is a lot less difficult! On the flip side, the BDSM and Dom/sub relationships in paranormal have a much wider play area, since the D/s scenes can exceed the limits of mere mortals.

Writing D/s paranormal also allows an edgier exploration of love and consent in a power exchange, without pulling readers out of the story the way it would in a contemporary setting. It can introduce pretty fascinating conflict points. For instance, my Vampire Queen series focuses on the relationship between vampire and servant, and in that world a human servant gets one choice – whether or not to belong to a vampire. After that, all choices belong to the vampire. So the question becomes how to develop an unforgettable love story under those circumstances. I love rising to meet those kinds of challenges.

And is there much difference in writing M/F, M/M and M/M/F BDSM books?

When I wrote my first F/m, and then an M/m (after only writing M/f up to that point) I thought there would be. But every book is a different set of individuals, drawn to Domination or submission for a variety of reasons. Those reasons might have similar foundations, but how they are manifested reflects the needs of that particular character or relationship. So no, not as much difference as I thought there would be.

Now on the craft side, I will say that writing threesomes is WAY more challenging, because basically there are six possible POV directions and three different people’s emotions to juggle as their relationship develops. Every time I write one, I swear I’ll never write another. But then I love the results and, before I know it, the muse gives me another trio to write.

Is it more interesting for you to write about Doms and subs who know exactly what they want – or those who are not sure about their desires?

Not necessarily more interesting, but I do gravitate toward the former. I’ve written several books where the Dom/me was learning, or new to it. I loved watching those characters evolve and embrace their Dom/me side, but I think for both readers and authors, we like the Dom/me who’s in charge and knows what’s going on. I suspect that’s because many readers step into the sub’s shoes to enjoy that feeling of a loving authority taking over things. While I like the occasional novelty of writing a Dom/me that stumbles around a bit at first, the storylines that grab me are usually weighted fairly heavily in the experienced Dom/me category.

That’s not to say the experienced Dom/me doesn’t make mistakes. He or she is trying to understand and develop a relationship with another human being, and vanilla or kink, there are going to be missteps. It keeps things interesting (grin).

Do you have a favorite Dom/sub couple in your books?

That’s the old “who’s your favorite child” question, lol. Truthfully, if I do it right, my favorite Dom/sub couple (or trio) is whoever I’m working on right now. That’s because if I’m writing it correctly, they’ll capture my heart and interest entirely. But I do usually have an ongoing nostalgia favorite and a current favorite.

“Nostalgia” favorite is my term for books I’ll go back and re-read because I love spending more time with those characters. That can change over time, because my writing and my age progresses with each book. The older book I loved to re-read five years ago might be different from the older one I like to re-read now. I also might want to re-read an older title because it reminds me of the kind of writer I want to continue to be.

My “current” favorite is a book that I wrote recently, but there’s been just enough passage of time for me to read it “fresh.” Because right after I finish a book, I generally want nothing to do with it awhile, because we’re like roommates who have been shut up in the same apartment for weeks, lol.

So all those caveats in place, my favorite “current favorites” are Soul Rest in the Knights of the Board Room series and Worth the Wait in the Nature of Desire series. For my paranormal, it’s Taken by a Vampire, a M/f/M menage in my Vampire Queen series.

My nostalgia favorites are Beloved Vampire in the Vampire Queen series (M/f), and Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul, the two-part story of Tyler and Marguerite (M/F) in the Nature of Desire series.

I guess it’s a common belief that Doms should be tall and strong – and subs are supposed to be frail. But what if a person doesn’t fit into this stereotype, like the main character in Natural Law, an alpha cop who finds he craves submission? How can one overcome it?

Way back when we learn the building blocks, one of the ways we’re taught to avoid formulaic and mediocre writing is to take a tired storyline and turn it upside down or inside out. Dom/sub relationships are already wired for that, because in the real world, big strong men CAN crave submission, while a woman might embrace compelling that submission.

Another way to do it is to simply trust the creative process. I mentioned earlier that when I wrote my first F/m, I hadn’t been expecting to write a Female Dominant/male submissive story. I thought I’d always write M/f. But when I wrote Holding the Cards, trying to cast Josh as the Dominant and Lauren as the submissive was not working. The story was struggling, and I couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. Until I got exasperated and said, “Screw it, let’s flip it and just see what happens.” The very second I cast Lauren as the Dom and Josh as the sub, the story took off.

As far as I understand, you are in the lifestyle yourself. What misconceptions about BDSM (in books of other authors or in real life) do you find most common? And how is writing BDSM different than living it?

The idea there’s only one way to practice or define Dominance and submission is probably the most common misconception. Like saying a Domme is always “this” set of character traits, or a sub is ALWAYS “this set.” Or that protocols and mechanics are set in stone, like “All Dommes prefer to be called Mistress and wear black leather.” That kind of thing.

On one hand, I get it. An author doing a lot of research on D/s might want to show they have a command of the information by presenting something in an authoritative voice. Or a person in the lifestyle may have only experienced one community, and so feel those rules are “the rules” for all. Yet the truth is, in real life, D/s relationships and Dominants and submissives themselves are as individual in their needs and desires as they are as people.

The good news about that is there is more than enough story material to keep all of us writing and reading this genre for a very long time. Thank God/dess!

Find out more about Joey:
Website: https://storywitch.com/
Twitter: @JoeyWHill Pinterest: jwhill23
Facebook: JoeyWHillAuthor
Facebook Fan site: JWHMembersOnly
BookbubAmazonYouTubeGoodReadsFree novellas revisiting Joey’s characters

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