For author Melinda Barron, erotic fiction is best when it contains a dose of realism. In penning her popular novels, Barron seeks to make her characters – and their sexual desires – believable to the readers. This means that not all the women have super-model bodies or are reticent about their submissive desires. To the contrary, in Melinda Barron novel you’re quite likely to find a plus sized leading lady who’s active in the scene or who’s at peace with her spanking fantasies.
But there’s plenty of escapism in her work, too. Whether a reader wants to travel back to Victorian England in the company of some naughty protagonists, solve a missing person’s case with an unlikely stripper or slink through fantasy worlds as a shape shifter, they can find just what they want thanks to this very honest and prolific writer.
Blushing Books: You are a prolific writer, and a good writer. How did you get started writing? And how did you get started writing erotica?
Melinda Barron: Thanks so much! I started writing when I was a teen-ager, just jotting things down. I knew I wanted to write, but at first I did the journalistic thing. After I received a degree in journalism I worked at various newspapers for almost 20 years. After that I turned my thoughts to fiction. It had always been a dream, and I’m thrilled that it’s come true.
Blushing Books: With a lot of fetish erotica, the fetish is the action. For instance, the book may include spanking but no sex. But so many of your books include not just spanking, but deliciously graphic sex scenes as well. Where did you learn to write sex scenes so well? And do you think they are harder to write than a good spanking scene?
Melinda Barron: I’ve always been a reader. My mother encouraged it, taking my siblings and I to the library every weekend. I love to read many different things, not limiting myself to one genre. I read my first romance, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers, when I was fourteen years old. I was hooked. Over the years I’ve written sex scenes for my significant other, who encouraged me to write more than just one or two scenes. Sex scenes are not hard to write if your characters are into what they are doing, and you feel their emotions. Same with spanking. It has to be done for the right reasons, or it falls flat. I was taught that sex isn’t the bad thing lots of people make it out to be. You just don’t do it with everyone, there has to be attraction and strong feelings there. I hope I convey that in my writing.
Blushing Books: Many writers of books with a dominant/submissive element use a historical or fantasy backdrop since it is more believable for a woman to be spanked in, say, the 17th century or in some male-dominated fantasy realm. It’s harder to write a believable modern-day scenario in which one adult spanks another. How do you write these scenarios in a way that is believable to the reader?
Melinda Barron: I build characters that are into the scene. I believe more people have spanking fantasies than want to admit them. If a woman in one of my books meets a man who is into spanking, and she’s not, he explains things to her. You go by the number one rule in spanking or D/s. Things are safe, sane and consensual. Otherwise it’s a totally different book you’re writing.
Blushing Books: In the introduction of your Bound to Please blog you say you believe love is for everyone, and not just those who are a size two. Do you consider yourself an advocate for plus-sized women who perhaps lack the self-esteem to explore their sexual fantasies? Do you think plus sized women are under-represented in erotica?
Melinda Barron: I think they used to be, but I think more writers are exploring characters are that realistic. One of the things I like to do when I read is try and see myself as the heroine. I think a lot of readers are like that, so I try to write characters that are like the women I know: who want to explore new things and aren’t afraid to do so.
Blushing Books: Blushing Books recently promoted one of your titles, Searching for Pandora, with a book trailer. It’s a very well-written and sexy book. Do you consider characters like India your alter-ego?
Melinda Barron: I see a lot of myself in India, yes. I wrote that book quite a few years ago, and I admit it’s one of my favorites.
Blushing Books: You have written some historical books. Your Victorian Brats series is very popular. What is it about that time period that you like?
Melinda Barron: The Victorian time people fascinated me since I read detective stories from then. I also discovered erotic written during that period and I realized that some of the people were not quite as straight-laced as they seemed to be.
Blushing Books: Let’s switch it up a bit and talk about some of your other work – specifically titles featuring shape-shifters. I’m seeing more and more of these books being offered these days. I have a theory that the erotica market follows the popular fiction market and some of the same themes we’re seeing in mainstream books (shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, angels) are being followed by the erotica market. Or do I have it backwards. Do you think we find something erotic in the supernatural, which is why all these books sell so well?
Melinda Barron: I think a lot of people find something erotic in the supernatural, because it’s the unknown. The supernatural has always fascinated me, and I love ghost stories and tales about beings, such as shapeshifters and the like, that take you to another place.
Blushing Books: So when Melinda Barron is not weaving tales of Victorian brats, intrigue or shapeshifters, what does she like to do? Hobbies? Interestes?
Melinda Barron: I read…a lot. I also do cross-stitch, love watching movies and enjoy riding my bicycle. I love watching old movies, and spend way too much time watching TV.
Blushing Books: What is next for you? Are you planning to delve into some new area in your writing? What can readers expect in the near future?
Melinda Barron: I’m working on stories for all of my publishers. I enjoy weaving new tales, even if sometimes they take me longer than I expected. I’m working hard on new things, most of them with a BDSM or spanking idea to them, and some of them that delve into the supernatural. I try to have fun with all of it!