It’s a pleasure to introduce you to Lydia Hill also writing as Lise Horton. I first met Lise during last year’s BDSM for Writers 3-Day Intensive Workshop (the precursor of BDSM Writers Con.) With her fun playful nature, she was a pleasure to be around. She brings that same playful nature and wickedly devious mind to her novels.
Below are a few questions we have for Lise. You’re welcome to ask her a few of your own.
How did you get started writing erotica and erotic romance with BDSM and why do you enjoy this niche sub-genre so much?
I love this question because the genres were such a discovery for me as a reader and a writer! I love complex, dramatic stories and the heightened nature of ménage, BDSM and kink makes for great conflict and intense characters. The more I read of the kinkier romances, the more I found myself pushing the envelope of sex in my stories. Now I’m pretty much at the outer limits of heat and graphic and gritty – but I never lose sight of the fact that I want a happy ending (which just happens to sometimes include a paddling)! Under my pseudonym, Lydia Hill I write erotica, an equally enticing genre because it allows me to really explore human sexuality outside of the vanilla world. Sex is a powerful part of human life and kink has always been around. Taboo, but always there. Without the constraints of a happy ending, you can write stories of how far we’ll go to satisfy our darkest desires and cravings. Writing erotica allows me to fantasize on paper. So what could be bad?
What do you feel is the most important aspect of writing BDSM erotica and Erotic romance?
Super important to me is portraying the lifestyle as realistically as possible (it’s not fiction, after all!), Equipment. Terminology, etc. Whether it is an erotic short story, or an erotic romance novel, I want my characters in romance to be real people with honest hungers and desires. I want my readers to understand them and empathize with those carnal needs, even if the act in question is something a reader never considered. (For example, I’d never considered a breath play scene until I read a super hot one by Laurell K. Hamilton in Affliction).
I do everything I can to remind readers about the BDSM community creed of “safe, sane and consensual”. I also try to convey the subtly of power exchange, the levels of trust involved and that these activities are mutually enjoyable and desired by both (or all) parties. There’s no abuse, and it’s definitely a matter of “whatever blows your skirt up”. Erotica permits writers a bit more leeway as romance publishers have some hard and fast lines about acts they won’t permit. For example, Daddy/little girl role play, golden showers and other water sports and serious humiliation play are not accepted by romance publishers (I’d love to hear of exceptions!). Lucky for me erotica embraces all flavors of kink because I am still pushing that particular envelope and having a spanking good time at it.
How do you research such kinky activities?
All romance writers get asked this question sooner or later, and BDSM erotica authors probably more than most. This is where opportunities like BDSM WRITERS CON comes in. Hands on research isn’t just invaluable – it’s a heck of a lot of fun. The community members who participate are awesome at sharing inside knowledge. But there is also a wonderful canon of non-fiction written about this lifestyle. I’ve read a number of books, including Dr. Charley’s “BDSM for Writers”, and they give great insight. There are also on-line organizations like FetLife, and in NYC we have The Eulenspiegel Society and Dom/sub Friends and our local BDSM club, Paddles. And I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have experimented myself (both with a willing partner, and on my own!). I have a lovely kinky toy box and there’s a lot a curious gal can do to find out what nipple clamps feel like, or a cane or flogger, since there are always pervertables to play with! I’m sure my local grocer wonders why I buy so many wooden clothespins…. and trust me, I don’t look at a zucchini quite the same way anymore.
Are there any “hard limits” that you, as an author, feel strongly about not putting in a book?
In erotic romance, I’m pretty much at the outer extremes these days. I use the raunchy words some might find off-putting, and I include D/s play in even my non-BDSM writing (Dominating Alpha males just make me want to bend over and drop my frilly panties!). But as mentioned, romance houses have hard and fast limits they won’t touch. In erotica I don’t believe I’ll ever get into knife or blood play or some other edgy practices, and I’m sure every erotica writer out there has come across some act that just made them scratch their heads and say “What’s sexy about that?” Nothing I feel strongly about from an ethical perspective, just stuff that doesn’t get me all hot and bothered. On the other hand, I’m a gal who’ll never say never.
Do you get turned on by your own writing?
Hell Yes! And I hope that all my readers do too! Whether it’s a couple experimenting with a hot Dominance and submission scene such as I wrote in my debut, Words of Lust, or the darker, edgier and more serious play that you can read in my Ravenous Romance anthologies, or my recently released Cleis Press anthology short story, “My Master’s Mark” in Slave Girls, this genre most definitely lights my fire. I’ve written a ton of short fiction for my blog, Lust in the Afternoon, and over time was drawn more and more to the dark and intense appeal of BDSM. I often see a submission call and my mind immediately conjures up all manner of nasty perversions to visit upon my characters. And fortunately for me they’re all exhibitionists and they let me watch! Feel free to drop on by and join in the naughty fun!
Lise Horton’s debut erotic (with a touch of kink) romance, Words of Lust, was released in September 2013 by Carina Press. Writing under her erotica pseudonym, Lydia Hill, her short story, “My Master’s Mark” was included in the May 2014 Cleis Press anthology “Slave Girls” edited by D. L. King. Prior to embarking on a career writing erotica and erotic romance, she was a theatrical performer and award winning cabaret vocalist. She is a past president of the NYC Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and frequent workshop presenter. She firmly believes that kinky love and romance can happily co-exist.
Lydia Hill, Featured Author at BDSM Writers Con 2014