Monday, November 5, 2012

Interview with D.L King, Queen of Dangerously Kinky Erotic Stories

As I was doing my research to learn more about D.L King for my interview with her, I started with her website. She has this on her Home Page:
"What’s here and what makes this site worth my valuable time?" I was knocked on my ass by the answer… Hot, kinky, dangerous, smutty, erotic stories—stories that will give you ideas... make you wet... make you hard... make you hard and wet.
I’d say that pretty much sums up what D.L King’s writing is all about in a nut shell. She writes Erotica, not to be confused with Erotic Romance. While some of her stories center on romances with happy endings, the majority of what she writes don’t always come with rose colored glasses. But come they do, one way or another…

How does she know about all this stuff? Who cares!

Hi D. L., I’m so happy to have you join us. Thank you!

Hi Barbara, thanks so much for having me!

Shall we begin?

Q. Can you explain to those who may not understand the difference between writing Erotica vs. Erotica Romance?

Sure.  There’s a basic, fundamental difference between erotica and erotic romance.  All erotic romance is about a love story.  Regardless how much sex is on the page, the story really has to be about the two (or more) people involved.  It’s about boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, they experience insurmountable problems, boy loses girl, they find each other again and overcome their problems and then wind up living happily every after.  Oh, and if it’s an erotic romance, you’ll find explicit sex in the story.

Erotica is more about the sex than the underlying love.  I’m not saying boy and girl (and I use the terms loosely – they could just as easily be boy and boy or girl and girl or boy and girl and girl, etc – and that goes for romance, as well as erotica) can’t be in love.  They absolutely can be.  But the story is more about the sex than the love story.

In romance, the relationship is the reason for the story’s existence.  In Erotica, the sex is the reason for the story’s existence.  In an erotic romance, you could take out all the sex and the story would still hold up.  But if you took all the sex out of a piece of erotica, you’d be left with nothing.  That’s the real difference. 

A lot of people were calling E L James’ 50 Shades books erotica because there was so much sex.  They’re not erotica; they’re erotic romance.  You can take the sex out and you’ll be left with the story (it’ll be short and boring, but it’ll be there).  If you were to take all the sex out of The Melinoe Project, you’d be left with a bunch of characters in search of a plot, but no real story.  In my Melinoe books, the sex is the story.

But, let me just warn you now, if you’re interested in finding out more about them, they’re definitely not erotic romances (even though there’s a love story) and they’re definitely not for the ‘faint of heart’.  Now you’ve been warned!


Q. When you sit down to write, what do you draw on as your muse to create those vivid scenes you put together? (Let me make it clear I’m not asking how you know about what you write, just how you bring it to life).
Actually, I don’t have a muse.  Not the way a lot of writers talk about them.  It’s not very romantic, but really I’m all business when it comes to writing.  I usually write to specific calls for submission.  Calls for submission are when an editor tells the writing community what kind of story he or she is looking for.  It might be a call for anal sex stories, like in Alison Tyler’s anthology, Luscious (I have a story in that book) or for steampunk erotica, like in my Carnal Machines anthology, but it’s fairly specific, at least in theme.  If it sounds like something I might be interested in, I think about it until I get an idea.  I can get ideas while on the subway, coming home from work or when I’m in that half-awake, half-asleep state in the morning, or maybe I see something on TV or somebody walking down the street that gives me an idea.  I don’t ascribe those ideas to a muse, but to serendipity.
Then, I get to work.  I sit down and start to write.  I have to work out the characters and the plot.  There has to be some exposition before the sex.  The idea I got from out of the blue is usually about the characters and the kind of sex they have, but I have to flesh that out, so to speak. 
Interestingly, and it’s always the same for me, when I get to the sex…I stand up and walk away from the computer.  Yep, I always take a break before beginning to write the sex.  I don’t know why that is, but it’s always the same.  I might have been writing for three hours, or I might have been writing for twenty minutes.  Still, I have to stop.  It’s not like I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can’t continue on without a break.  And no, it’s not that I’m reticent to write a bunch of steaming, hot sex.  Maybe it’s a neurotic need to come at the main reason for the story with a clear mind.  I’ve no idea; I’m a geek, not a psychologist.

Q. What influenced you to focus your writing on Erotica?

I don’t really know, to be honest.  I’ve never written anything else.  The day after Thanksgiving, about ten or twelve years ago, I sat down at the computer to try my hand at writing a novel and erotica is what came out; my first novel, The Melinoe Project, to be precise.  Now that I’ve been writing it for so long, not only do I have a difficult time fitting into polite society, but I can’t seem to write anything else.  I have a very hard time keeping sex out of more mainstream stories.  If I ever write the Great America Novel, you can bet there’ll be explicit sex in it.

Q. I see a lot of subject matter in your work where men are submissive; however, one would never accuse these men as weak, as more so “unaware”. How do you bring a strong man to his knees when writing a story like that?

You’re right, I’m not much for weak men.  My personal preference is for sensitive, masculine men who find their true value and happiness in submitting to a woman.  And if that man also loves a little bit of pain (or maybe more than a little bit), even better.  Obviously, not all men are submissive, just as all women are not submissive (yeah, I can attest to that…).  The men in my stories find joy in submission, but not in groveling.  They aren’t all unaware; many of them found their kink and embraced it long ago.  But the ones just discovering what makes them the happiest and most complete might be called unaware, at least in the beginning. 
The thing is that men are brought to their knees the same way women are brought to their knees.  It’s all in the realization of who they are and what they need.  By the way, the best subs in real life are strong, confident people, regardless of gender.  You can usually tell a story that rings true from one that is total fantasy.  I try hard to get their feelings, emotions and experiences right and I’ve been told I do a pretty good job.  I pay attention to men; I watch their responses and I ask lots of questions.  Good communication and attention to detail makes for good writing as well as good relationships.

Q. We all know how much men enjoy the fantasy of F/F interaction. What has been some of the responses from your fans that are straight women, in regards to your work with F/F interaction?

I’m pretty pleased to find that both straight and queer women seem to enjoy my lesbian erotica.  Like with my latest anthology, The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica.  I think a lot of it has to do with the universality of power play, as well as the shared experience of being female-gendered.  Plus, the stuff is just hot! I don’t think it’s the kind of thing most straight women share with their husbands or boyfriends, though.

Unlike M/M fiction, which is mainly written by women, for women, my lesbian erotica isn’t written for men.  I’m not saying there aren’t straight men who enjoy it, but those stories are written specifically for women, whether straight, bi, gender queer or lesbian.  But, make no mistake; most of my stuff is tailored to power exchange and BDSM.  Women who aren’t into that sort of thing, lesbian or not, won’t be into most of my work. 

Q. What do you think is more acceptable to readers, emotional domination or physical pain?

I think that depends on the reader.  Personally, I enjoy writing about physicality, in terms of domination, more than emotional domination.  I think that’s because I prefer people to be strong and in charge of themselves and their emotions.  I don’t like milquetoasts or weak-willed partners.  There’s a difference between being submissive and being a doormat.  The submissives and bottoms in my stories are never doormats.  They know what they want (or find out what they want) and they actively seek it.

That doesn’t mean that a little humiliation can’t be fun but I’m not one for seeing submissives as inferior or writing about shrewish dominants.  Others might find that sexy, but I don’t.

Q. Can you tell us some of the pleasures and pitfalls of writing serious Erotica?

Hmm, let me see.  Well, it’s fun to think very deep thoughts about sex and pleasure, but then, I’m kind of geeky and analytical.  And, that said, I love the research.  I do a lot of research when I’m writing about something I don’t have first-hand knowledge of.  Sometimes, even if I am familiar with something, I do research to check that I got the name of the toy right, or the type of rope correct, etc.

Research can be a great way to waste time (although, it’s not a waste of time if it makes your story better) and writers are notorious for wasting time.  OK, well, I don’t suppose I should generalize; I’m sure there are some of us who never waste time…  Anyway, research is fun, especially when it requires spending lots of time on various porn sites or sex toy sites.  Hey, I’ve found some of my best toys that way…

I also find pleasure in a story well-told and well-written.  If, after it’s been finally edited and it still gets me hot, I can be fairly certain it will get someone else hot, as well, and that’s what it’s all about for me.

As for pitfalls, well, here’s one: I spend all day at my day job, in front of a computer, and then I come home to spend the rest of the evening and night at another computer.  Take this past Sunday: I sat down at the computer in the morning, with my Diet Coke.  I got up to take the laundry to the Laundromat, again to go back to put the laundry in the dryer and again to pick it up and bring it home.  Somewhere along the way, I ate something and then, I looked up and it was after midnight.  Friends call and ask me to go out and I say I have a deadline.  I go on vacation, but it’s not really a vacation because it’s a writer’s conference or a book tour.  Not that those things aren’t fun, but sometimes I’d love to not be working. 


People ask me what I’d do if I had time to do whatever I wanted.  I tell them, truthfully, I’d like to lie around on the couch and watch TV.  Yeah.

Q. Besides children and bestiality, where in the sand is the line drawn to how risqué you will allow your characters to go?

There is nothing too risqué, as far as I’m concerned.  My characters can do whatever they want.  I like to think I can write about anything and make it hot.  That said, there are things that I’m not personally interested in or don’t think are particularly sexy, so they don’t usually end up in my stories, but it isn’t because I find them too risqué.  (And yes, I don’t really fit in polite society anymore.)

Q. How do you cope emotionally with reviewers who seemed to have missed the point of your story completely?

You know, that’s a thoughtful question.  It happens from time to time.  I used to get upset and want to correct them, but that’s always a bad idea.  Now, I just shake my head and say “OK.”  Bad reviews seldom upset me.  My thoughts are usually that the reviewer, as you say, missed the point of the story or that the story just wasn’t for them. 


If I were having a conversation with someone who had recently read something of mine, and it was obvious they missed the point or were confused about what happened, I’d be able to discuss it with them.  Those kinds of discussions are a lot of fun and usually end up being more about philosophy and sexual mores in the long run.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for published reviews.

Q. Is your fan base primary women?

Q. How about men? Are you experiencing men coming “out of closet”, to coin a phrase, in regards to reading Erotica?

I’m going to put these two questions together.  Yes, my fan base is primarily female, but men read me too.  I write and edit in a few different genres of erotica.  My lesbian erotica is about women, for women, and women are definitely the main audience, though I’m sure a small percentage are men.  My lesbian erotica isn’t written to be titillation for straight men.

Fem dom is my main genre and I know that quite a few submissive and switch men read my work and love it.  Granted, the percentage of female readers heavily outweighs the male but, in that particular genre, I know there are a lot of men reading me.

Fem dom is sort of the stepchild of BDSM erotica.  There’s a much larger audience for stories about female submissives and male dominants. There’s a lot less fem dom available.  I’m a dominant woman and I write, first, for myself.  I think people involved in the female-dominant side of BDSM like what I write because they see themselves.  No matter how crazy a scene might get, there’s always a bit of truth to both the physicality and emotionality so it tends to speak to the dominants and submissives, the masochists and sadists.  The audience is both male and female because submissive men seldom get a chance to read about themselves and their kinks, and neither do dominant women.  We might be a minority of the minority, but everyone likes to see themselves in the erotica they read.  Of course, not all of my readers have first-hand knowledge of BDSM, but they’re curious, they like the spice; it’s hot and that’s great! And by the way, speaking of fem dom, I’m really excited to finally have edited my very own anthology of fem dom erotica: Under Her Thumb!  It won’t be out until this spring but I predict my readers will have a good time.

I always like to end my interviews with a question "Just For Fun". This is the one I chose for you, D.L.

Q. What was your first sex toy? And how old were you?

Regardless of what you might think, I was a bit of a late bloomer, at least when it comes to sex toys.  My first sex toy was a vibrator.  I must have been in my mid-twenties.  My boyfriend, at the time, gave it to me.  He was a very sexy Canadian (you know how those Canadians are…) who was studying in America.  He gave it to me because he was going home for a few months.  Thoughtful.  It was a plain, ivory-colored hard-plastic, no frills vibrator with one speed.  I absolutely loved it.  In fact, about a year ago, I bought myself a reasonable facsimile of it in the Iconic Smoothy.  The original vibrator was actually ribbed, but you can’t have everything.

And that brings us to the end of my interview with Author, D.L King. Thank you again, D. L. for allowing me this chance to get to know you. I hope you had fun.

D. L. and I would love to hear if you enjoyed this interview. So please don’t be shy, leave a comment and say Hi!!

You can visit D.L King at:

Signing Off,



























D. L. King said...

Thanks so much Barbara, the interview was a lot of fun!

D. L. King

Sacchi Green said...

Very interesting discussion, for erotica writers as well as readers. No big surprises for me, since I know D.L., but damn, she does a fine job of explaining both the process and the spark.

Barbara Mazzuca said...

D.L thank YOU for a wonderful interview...;)

Sacchi thanks for stopping by. And D.L does do a damn fine job I agree!!

Elizabeth Knightbridge said...

Loved this interview, it was straightforward and interesting.

I love how daring your answers are and how fearlessly you give them. As for polite is truly overrated most of the time.


Barbara Mazzuca said...

Hi Elizabeth thanks for stopping by! I try to make it interesting for the authors and those, like yourself, that stop by. Glad you enjoy it! ;)