Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Kallypso Masters

Welcome back to another edition of Thursday Word-Slingers. I’ve got the good fortune today to be hosting Kallypso Masters, author of the Rescue Me BDSM erotic romance series that debuted in August last year. The first three books are out now with plenty more to come. You’ll get a chance to get to know her AND get a look at an excerpt from Nobody’s Hero (book 3). There will be a giveaway so don’t miss out (rumor has it she may make the first book, Masters at Arms available for all commenters PLUS her giveaway – read on to find out). Take it away, Kally!

1) How long have you been writing?

Probably since I learned to write cursive, but the first romance short story I remember writing (and selling, actually), I wrote as a sophomore in high school. (My younger sister bought it for $2.50 to submit for her 8th-grade writing assignment. Yeah, smack us on the wrists. We were bad. But when her teacher wanted to submit it for publishing in an anthology, I was both ecstatic and terrified. We opted out, for fear of continuing further down that slippery slope—but I was validated and happy.) I still have one of my “high-school” romances—in that box high on the shelf where every romance novel I started from about 1974 to May 2009 are kept. They remind me how long it took me to learn the craft and how long it took me to get brave enough to publish anything. Every one of them helped get me to where I am now, making a very nice living as a full-time published author. I published my first novel, Masters at Arms, in August 2011, followed by Nobody’s Angel in September and Nobody’s Hero in December. That was an insane writing schedule and I since needed to have some “down” time to help care for my sister following cancer surgery, so this year’s publishing schedule will be May, August, and November (I hope).

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I’m blessed to have a husband who is retired and takes care of the household chores and two adult children who take care of themselves (for the most part). So, when I’m writing, that’s all I have to do. Occasionally I have to remember to get up from my chair if I’ve been at it 8 or 9 hours. (My goal is to get up every two hours when I hit my stride with the current book.) I do have to remember to schedule time with hubby and family so they don’t feel neglected when I get within a month of a deadline and spend about 15 hours a day working. That time is approaching—so I just came back from a week-long vacation alone with hubby in Georgia and parts south. Am hoping that will tide him over until our month-long road trip this coming June/July.

 
3) When is your next release due out and can you tell the audience about it?

The book I’m working on now is Nobody’s Perfect, which will be available in May 2012. Originally, this would have been the end of the Rescue Me series. Of course, with a series, an author NEVER says it’s the last book, so I still populated the books with secondary characters who might one day get a story of their own, if readers wanted the series to continue. (They seem to want that—a lot. Music to my ears, because I have no interest in writing anything else at the moment.) But then Marc and Luke in Nobody’s Angel (book 2) derailed my attempts at plotting and at writing a ménage. (I am a wise enough writer after 35 years to know that when characters start telling you the way it should be in THEIR story, you listen—especially when they go all Dominant male on you. I also learned a valuable lesson, though—don’t write to the market. Write the story of your heart. And Angel as it was published last September is definitely that.)
 The upcoming Nobody’s Perfect is the story of wounded warrior Damián Orlando and incest-survivor Savi Baker (Savannah Gentry in Section Two of Masters at Arms, the introduction to the series). These two characters are battling inner demons and PTSD, so I knew this would be the hardest of all to write. I was right. I’ve bought lots of research books (Invisible Heroes, The Control Book, Consensual Sadomasochism, to name a few) to help me get these characters right. This book also delves much deeper into BDSM than my earlier ones have. Damián uses sadism and BDSM to help control his demons; Savi is a masochist, having been trained to associate pain with sex since an early age. With so many readers who are new to the BDSM genre, but just fell in love with my characters and want to see them get their happy endings, I am walking a thin line. I don’t enjoy “hardcore” BDSM stories, so I will continue to tell their stories with romance and gentleness—and always in a safe, sane, and consensual manner. But I pride myself in attempting to write about “real” people in the BDSM lifestyle and have many experts who live the lifestyle and have helped me get it right. So, I will also make their exploration into a SM (sadomasochistic) relationship healing and cathartic—as I’ve learned from many in the lifestyle it can be—but far less bloody than some of these relationships can be in real life.

4) What is it about the BDSM/romance genre that you like so much?

When I was young, back in the 70s, I used to read what were known as the “bodice ripper” romances—Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Johanna Lindsey—until the New York publishers sent the PC (politically correct) police out and told writers they couldn’t write about those overpowering alpha males dominating their submissive heroines. (They didn’t call it BDSM back then, but there were spankings, bondage, and other elements of BDSM in them. Do the math.) Wanting to be published someday, I wrote the stories New York wanted—but despite seven or eight attempts at a novel, could never finish them. I lost interest. Then in March 2009, I went to a workshop of the Kentucky Romance Writers—after about a decade away from romance writing circles—and learned about erotic romances. I went home and started exploring the genre, and the first I purchased was Cherise Sinclair’s Club Shadowlands. Oh.Em.Gee. *That* is what *I* wanted to write about. In May 2009, I wrote Nobody’s Angel in its original form. Then my job and life intruded and I set it aside until I finally became so stressed at the Evil Day Job that I gave my three weeks’ notice and quit last April 15. (I continued to read Cherise’s books in the interim, though.) 

After a few weeks of sitting around and recovering from the stress, without a job prospect in sight, I pulled that story out and started editing. Then I learned about how successful some writing friends were at self-publishing (again, at a Kentucky Romance Writers meeting). So, in May of last year, I made the decision to expand Angelinto a series and to write a prequel to the first three romances. (I was told that “New York” says you can’t have a prequel until AFTER you write several books in the series. Huh? Well, now *I* was in control—I’m very Domme about my writing—so I said to heck with that. After a very sad day with my sister at her oncologists appointments, I came home feeling hopeless and sad for her and I plunked Adam in that bus station, two weeks after he lost his wife to cancer, and just let the story begin to unfold. (Writing is cathartic and I can put the worst things in the books and still know my characters will survive and have happy endings.) Mastersis told in vignettes–three separate prequels, one for each of the first romances for Marc, Adam, and Damián, plus an introduction to the series and how these three men formed the bond that would keep them together long after the war ended for them.

I’m not a plotter (even though I occasionally try to do that—to disastrous results, as mentioned above with Angel). I love to let the characters take over—and they always surprise me with things that make me wonder how the heck they’ll get out of the situation. But their solutions always are more compelling than anything I could make up.
 I started calling Mastersan “introduction” to the series and priced it at 99 cents—with lots of giveaways along the way because I find that people who read this usually go on to read the following books. It’s important to read my books in order, because they’re written more in serial form than series, so they do not stand alone. Angel might be enjoyable without Masters, mainly because Marc didn’t meet his lady love in the prequel (and Luke wasn’t in the prequel either). But I can’t imagine readers missing all that came before in Adam and Karla’s story, including the very dramatic event at the end of Nobody’s Angel that sets up the opening page of Nobody’s Hero. Similarly, Damián and Savi reunite after eight years apart—in the pages of Nobody’s Hero. I also don’t like to rehash the backstory too much, especially when it’s available to readers already. (My professional editor and my line editors sometimes make me include some backstory for those who don’t reread the series before each new addition, though. )

Then there’s that whole reality thing I am trying to portray. I’ve been married almost 29 years—and I know that Happily Ever After requires maintenance. There are bumps along the way and the couple has to keep working at making the relationship. So, my main characters from earlier romances will come back to work on unresolved issues in later books. Some of my reviews complained that in Nobody’s Angel, Marc and Angelina glossed over “the lie” and that “real” couples in BDSM would “never lie.” Well, one of the things I try to do that differs from other writers in the genre is to have characters who DO screw up. They aren’t perfect or fantasy, they’re as real as I can make them. I am assured by those who live in the lifestyle that people lie, people screw up, and they have to work on these issues, or move on. I choose to make them work on the issues. So, Marc and Angelina will face the repercussions of “the lie” again with an incident in Nobody’s Perfect which shows why they didn’t make it beyond a “Happy For Now” ending in Angel. I don’t know if they’ll get to “Happily Ever After” yet (to me, that means marriage), but they definitely will continue to deal with trust issues, among other things.

Adam and Karla might appear to be living in bliss at the end of Nobody’s Hero—but that stubborn Dom has still got to learn to deal with his abandonment issues, and to learn to communicate better. So, they’ll continue to work on those things in Nobody’s Dream (due out in late August, I hope), and Nobody’s Home(November).

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m not ready to leave BDSM yet, but am planning a genre shift within the Rescue Me series. For book 8 (due out in late 2013), I plan to write a Western historical erotic romance. It will still have BDSM themes, but will have characters who were “introduced” to readers in Nobody’s Hero—Adam’s great-great-grandparents. They will also have more revealed about them in book 7 with Patrick Gallagher’s story (due out in mid 2013).

6) Silliness 1: Sweet or sour?

Sweet (unfortunately I have the waistline to show it).

 7) Silliness 2: Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Vanilla. (Well, isn’t that ironic, given that I write about sex that is anything BUT vanilla? Only, like Angelina in Nobody’s Angel, I know it’s all about the sprinkles.)

EXCERPT
 

In my modern (and erotic) tribute to those lovely virginal deflowering scenes in books like The Flame and the Flower that I loved as a teenager, here is a short excerpt from Nobody’s Hero with a physically and mentally compromised hero and an exhausted heroine who was tired of sleeping in the chair beside his bed and decided there was plenty or room in that king-sized bed for her to get a little rest while keeping vigil. She also knows she may never get another chance with Adam, who refuses to see her as a grown woman. (They first met when she was 16 and he 41 in Masters at Arms—and she’s been in love with him ever since. But he has been nothing but honorable, her protector and guardian. Until this night.) Enjoy:

 At last, the sleep that had eluded her since Adam was injured beckoned. She surrendered…
Adam’s hard body nestled against her backside, and his arm curled around her waist with his firm hand cupping her breast. She’d had erotic dreams of Adam before and gave in to this one, snuggling against him. His erection—larger than she’d dreamed it in the past—pressed against her ass. The hand on her breast stirred and his finger and thumb rolled her nipple, causing her hips to jerk back against his hard penis.
Karla gasped. Too real. Her eyes flew open to find herself in near darkness, but she came fully awake in an instant. This was no dream.
More like a dream come true.
Adam!
He continued to play with her nipple, teasing it to the point of pain, sending jolts of electricity to her girly bits. She held her breath, not wanting to wake him. Not wanting to stop him.
Touch me.
His hand left her breast and roamed across her abdomen. Oh, dear Lord, had he heard her silent plea? Or had she spoken the plaintive words aloud? She raised her leg, tenting the covers, giving him easier access. Usually she slept in the nude, but the thigh-length t-shirt had been her concession to decency while watching over Adam. She wore no panties and knew she was seconds away from having Adam’s fingers on her…
Touch me there, Adam.
His hand continued to glide down her body, over her hips, onto her bare thigh, then he stopped. No! Not yet! He stroked her inner thigh and pulled her legs even more open, and his hand moved upward. Her heart pounded in her ears.
Oh, yes, love. There.
If he stopped now, she’d surely die. She licked her lips, which had gone dry. When had she started panting like a dog in heat? Oh, dear Lord. She should wake him. This wasn’t right. He didn’t even know he was with her. He could be dreaming of Joni.
No. She wouldn’t think about his dead wife now. Joni was gone. Joni couldn’t give Adam what he needed anymore.
But would Karla stop him, even if she wanted to? She needed his hands on her so badly. Had craved this moment for so many years. When his finger slid over her clit, she gasped. So sensitive. The little nubbin went into spasms. She’d touched herself there before with her fingers and her vibrator, but no one else had ever done so. What a difference—not knowing how he would caress her, where, when, how much pressure.
His finger delved between her curly folds and pressed against her pussy’s very wet opening. He entered her, filling her tight hole, but didn’t go far before he pulled out again and returned to touching her clit. She’d dreamed of having Adam touch her like this for so long. Now he was doing just what she wanted. She’d always hoped one day he would make love to her.
But not like this.
She had to wake him. Whether he was in a deep sleep or under the influence of the pain killers, it was wrong to take advantage of him like this. She scooted onto her back to face him and he nuzzled her neck, his whiskers scratching against the tender skin there. Her clit throbbed against his finger.
“Oh, God, Karla. Now you’ve invaded my fucking dreams.”
Karla? He’d said her name! Adam was dreaming about her. Not Joni. A delicious euphoria spread through her that felt like when she hit a particularly high note with perfect pitch. She relaxed and smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck, then easing away again when she remembered his injuries. His finger continued to stroke her clit, and she rocked against his hand, moaning.
Don’t stop, Adam.
 
Kally here again—anyone need a fan? Again, to fully understand the nine-year journey of these two characters, you must begin in the beginning, page one of Masters at Arms. To introduce new readers to my series, I’d like to offer a free copy of Masters to Tory’s followers and everyone reading this blog. (Those who downloaded their copies before early February, though, might want to download the updated version here! I am always fine-tuning my books, or will until they go into print later this year, so if I find a typo, I want it fixed. Now!) Please use Coupon Code FK98M at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80282to get the latest version of my 58,000-word intro.
And, FOR EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS BELOW WITH AN E-MAIL ADDRESS, I’d like to offer a chance to win one of the full romances in the series (Nobody’s Angel, Nobody’s Hero, Nobody’s Perfect, or Nobody’s Dream—reader’s choice).
Those who have read the books in my Rescue Me series could tell us what you think (of the stories, the Masters, the heroines, the writing style, or whatever). Those who haven’t read the books in my series yet can tell us what you like to see in BDSM genre romances and who your favorite authors are in the genre. Or just say “Hi!” for your chance to win.
I love to engage with readers (as you’ll see if you’ve ever been to either of my Facebook pages). I can be reached by e-mail at kallypsomasters@gmail.com or on Facebook at my personal page (https://www.facebook.com/kallypsomasters) or my author page (https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage). While I have an account on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5130089.Kallypso_Masters), I have yet to find my news feed there, but I do respond to direct e-mails and friend requests. I also go there occasionally to read what readers are saying about their experience with reading my books. I use Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/kallypsomasters) occasionally, but much prefer Facebook. I’m too wordy to Tweet!
I’m looking forward to seeing readers at the upcoming Romantic Times Booklovers Convention (April 11-15 in Chicago), Lori Foster’s Readers and Authors Get-Together (June 1-3, Cincinnati), and Authors After Dark (Aug. 7-12, New Orleans). I’m too new to have any official appearances, so get in touch with me if you’d like to find out what activities I’ll be involved in at each of the events.
My newly hired personal assistant has been working on a long overdue Web site for me, which will available by April at http://kallypsomasters.com (now under construction). In the meantime, I use my blog at http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.comto share glimpses of my writing world and also have a page tab (http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/p/books-by-kallypso-masters.html) there with descriptions and buy links for the books in my series, as well as projected publication dates for upcoming books.
Thanks for having me, Tory! I look forward to interacting with your followers! 
Thank you so much for coming by, Kally! And there you have it, ladies and gents. She’s soooo cool.

Don’t forget, we still have the Carrie Ann Ryan giveaway going and today is the last day to comment for a chance to win one of two prizes from Raven McAllan (winner announced tomorrow).
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14 Comments

  1. Great interview, ladies. Thanks for hosting, Tory. Kally, I'm intrigued that you take such a long look at romance and don't tie everything up (lol) at the ends, making the characters so realistic. Nicely done. I'm looking forward to the others in the series (I've read 2 so far).Siobhannevadafox AT gmail DOT com

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  2. Anyone who has not read Kally's books need to do so NOW!!! They are amazing! I can not wait (even though I have to) for the next books. Run and get the introduction book (MASTERS AT ARMS) and then NOBODY'S ANGEL and NOBODY's HERO. If you enjoy a good romance with some sexy BDSM, these are the books for you! June

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  3. Wonderful interview. Anyone who has not read Kally's books are missing out as they are AMAZING!!! I have read all three of her books and I cannot wait til her next one is available. It takes a great author to bring tears to my eyes while reading a story, and that is what Kally has done in her books. Love to receive "Nobody's Perfect" should I be lucky enough to win.Gaylegaylelatreille@yahoo.ca

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  4. Tory, thank you for hosting Kally. If anyone has not begun her series, you really must take her up on her offer for a free copy of Masters At Arms. It is a great introduction to the main characters in her first few books. These characters are as real as you and I; Kally's story telling,and listening to the characters speak to her, have brought them to life. There is romance, eroticism, conflict, and some great relationships starting with the bond between Master Adam, Master Damian, and Master Marc. When some people see BDSM in the description, they turn away but Kally truly writes romances with a bit of eroticism in the form of BDSM in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.~RoseDrosalinddickinson1@gmail.com

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  5. Awesome interview ladies! I seem to have a slight crush on Master Adam (it's ok Karla, just looking), I think it's the age thing, theirs is my favorite also. I've just finished re-reading it for maybe the 5th time or so 😉 Anyone who has not yet started on this series, needs to do so now, you will not be disappointed!Evaevitap67(at)gmail(dot)com

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