Tell us a little bit about your book.
IT STINGS SO SWEET is about three women from very different social classes who each experience a sexual awakening in a time when there wasn’t really a ready vocabulary for kink.
What first sparked the series idea?
The smart answer is that I was inspired to write about this after listening to countless arguments about what was and wasn’t real BDSM. It’s always hard for me to watch, in silence, as people try to judge and rip apart the sexuality of others, much less force them to question an identity that wasn’t easy for them to arrive at in the first place. I wanted to say that when it comes to your bedroom, you get to have your own rules.
The more mundane answer is that I had a dream about Jonathan Rhys Meyers all dressed up in 1920s garb and he was very angry. I woke up out of a sound sleep, fascinated by the story behind his anger, and that was the spark behind the book. Then I stumbled over a piece of vintage pornography that had been digitized from the era, and no one could stop me from writing about it!
Who is the character that in your opinion everyone is going to fall in love with?
There is no question in my mind that readers are going to fall in love with Leo Vanderburg, World War II Flying Ace, American aviator, and cynic extraordinaire. When he first sets out to seduce famous silent screen star Clara Cartwright, he makes a battle plan to win her jaded heart, and he never lets up on the throttle. Clara falls in love with Leo because he knows exactly who and what she is and loves her anyway. I fell in love with him because he always surprised me while I was writing him. It’s not often that a character surprises me with a line of dialog, but when he asked Clara how many lovers she’d had and she was too shy to tell him, he said, “I’m hoping your list numbers in the hundreds, so that when you tell me I’m the best you ever had, it’ll really mean something.”
I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write?
The hardest scene in the book is the one when my society girl heroine wants her husband to slap her. It’s very clear that she is not only consenting, but desperate for him to do it. Yet, I feared that for some readers, it would seem like domestic abuse--and go over the line for even masochistic readers. In the end, I couldn’t take it out, because it’s an essential incident to the story, so I kept softening the scene. Even so, I’m already taking flack for it, so I kind of wish I’d left it as dark and dirty as it originally was.
How would you rate the sex scenes throughout the series?
Scorching hot. I did not hold anything back in terms of language or activity. This novel is not for the faint of heart!
Are there any of these in your books? (Hands one of the toy boxes on the right which is filled with sex toys, whips, body creams, lotions, lubs…and whatever else you can imagine J)
Yes! I don’t break out the whips, but one of our heroes uses a belt on his wife. During a notorious menage scene, lubricant and French letters are produced. And there’s a reference to a certain vibrating machine popularized by Dr. Freud for the treatment of hysteria.
Do you see yourself writing any more stories in this series or a spin-off?
I would love to write more erotic romance set in the 1920s. It’s a beautiful era filled with fun slang!
Are any of your characters reflective of you?
All of my characters are, in some sense, reflective of me, but not in expected ways. Unlike Nora Richardson, for example, I do not feel pain as pleasure. My first instinct to anybody hitting me is to hit back. I wasn’t raised wealthy, like she was. I grew up with very loving parents. But what I do share with her is a strong sense of self-identity and certainty about what I want, in defiance of convention.
Tell us about some up and coming books.
Not quite sure what I’ll be writing next, but whatever it is, it’ll be a very smart book for very bad girls...
Where can we find you for future updates? (add all your social links here)
I’m so happy you have made this a stop. Would you like a tour of the…err…levels? I can introduce you to the “guests”, if you just hand me that box back.
Let’s get you suited up:
Wine, mixed drink, or straight up?
I get drunk easy, but I’ll go for a Prohibition Era Cocktail.
Leather straps or chains?
Given the options, I’ll take leather.
Cat-o-nine, braided leather, or chain length whip? Collar and Leash or Adornment?
I plead the Fifth.
Leather studded bodysuit or corset top?
Fishnets or garter-belt?
You can’t wear both?
Leather pants, mini, or a long skirt slitted up both sides?
I’m more of a sequined dress and burlesque feather boa kind of girl.
Lace up boots (with or without heels) or come F*** me high heels?
Ball gag, manacles, or blindfold?
Blindfolds always beg for a story, so that’s my vote.
The rack or the whipping post?
As much as I admire Spanish Inquisition Chic, I’d like a third option!
Candle wax or clamps.
Blonde, red-head, Brunette, or Supernatural J?
One of each, please.
MY Kind of Girl!! I always have one of each. Here is a little bit more about Stephanie:
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.
She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!
A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves.
They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. The Twenties were roaring and the women–young, open, rebellious, and willing–set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…
In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.
Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.
Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.
Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.
One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…