Today, I’m excited to welcome Mina Vaughn to Lit, etc! Mina has a new book out, How to Reprimand Your Rock Star and it’s the second book in her DommeNation series. I liked the first book, How to Discipline Your Vampire and am looking forward to spending some time with Reprimand.
Also, one copy of Reprimand is up for grabs! Good luck!
Q. Tell me something about Mina Vaughn other than the standard bio on your website.
I’m a really silly person and I am almost always laughing. I’m incredibly loud, too. I was hanging out with my friends at RT in New Orleans a month ago and E. L. James herself had to clamp her hand over my mouth at times because I was so freaking loud. It was kind of kinky and awesome.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a plotter to a ridiculous degree and I use the Blake Snyder “Save the Cat” method, which is really a fantastic way to outline a novel. By being stupidly organized, I rarely have writer’s block because I can reference what’s “supposed” to be in the next scene and if I don’t like what I originally had, I improvise at a low level. If you’re an aspiring writer, you have to read Save the Cat.
Q. What characteristic do you think all heroes should have?
Realism hidden among the fantasy. All girls want the fantasy, but if you can’t picture him being a person in real life, the fantasy’s lost. At heart, what you need are good characters that have quirks and faults just like regular people. Plus, this makes the fantasy aspect all the more grounded and substantial.
Q. Rockstars and basketball players in romance novels are nothing new. What attracted you to write about them? In your opinion, what sets Reprimand apart from the rest in the genre?
Well, I think it’s the combination! I don’t think there’s a rockstar AND basketball player book out there right now. I took two powerful tropes in romance and put them together and watched the sparks fly, which was interesting. I think female athletes are awesome—rock stars in their own right—so putting thea in the position of dominance made me super happy.
Q. Let’s talk about BDSM! Your characters in both How to Discipline Your Vampire and How to Reprimand Your Rock Star feature a dominant female/submissive male. Why this reversal and when writing, what challenges did you encounter?
My series in the DommeNation series because I want to see more alpha females. Feminism is hitting a fever pitch these days, so why not take it to romance? I want strong women who get what they want in the bedroom and in other aspects of their lives. It’s empowering. It doesn’t have to be BDSM, per se, either. In my books, I enjoy writing “light BDSM” because it’s what is a starter for most people. Few people jump right into the S and M part, but bondage and dominance are easy to get into for anyone. If a woman likes reading my books, that may empower her to take the reins in the bedroom, and I think that’s awesome. I’ve had many fans tell me this and it makes me very satisfied.
Q. Do you write your characters’ backgrounds before writing or do you already know it? How far back do you go? How does a character’s past affect the story?
That’s a fantastic question. I start with quirks and ticks, I call them. Basically, the things that make character creation both high level and real at the same time. Ticks are basically what makes your character tick, and how did the person get that way? This helps form motivations that are consistent and a personality that is realistic, which leads me to quirks. All human beings are the sum of their quirks, otherwise we’d all be the same. What’s quirky or different about a character? I do these things and the answers lead me to creating a backstory. Some are deeper than others, so there’s no definite time line for that.
Q. What drew to you to erotica, more specifically that of bondage and submission? Was it a particular book or film?
I started reading erotica in the form of fan fiction, so that was the gateway to reading it. As for bondage and submission, I was already familiar. Ahem.
Q. Romance novels have always been gold for publishers in terms of sales and yet, when Fifty Shades was published, it was as if women discovered romance books for the first time. In fact, Fifty was the first romance novel many women read. What was your first?
Flowers in the Attic. When I was a tween, I found it at a yard sale and picked it up on a whim. It was so dirty! I found myself sneaking it and marveling at the things it was describing. I read the whole series secretly!
Q. Let’s talk a bit about your debut novel, How to Discipline Your Vampire. What was your journey like from reader to aspiring author to published writer?
Well, it was kind of mind-blowing when my agent told me that the book had sold to Simon and Schuster, a big six (five?) publisher. I nearly died! Then, I realized I had to really turn myself from a writer into an author. Two very different things. I had to learn to brand myself, to market, to network. I had so much fun in the process, but nobody ever warns you about how hard that will be!
Q. How to Discipline Your Vampire along with Fifty Shades and several others were originally fan fiction. Some people believe that it’s unethical to pull fan fiction and publish it because you used an established fan base and another author’s characters for profit even if you change items to make your work different from the original. What would you say to the critics?
I say that the path from inspiration to creation isn’t always a straight line. While my story may have started as fan fiction, the amount the story changed in the end was tremendous. I wrote a story about a role-playing substitute teacher and a pain-hungry vampire, not awkward and broody high school kids running from an enemy. My story, and my compatriots’ stories, were very different to begin with. I am friends with many of these successful authors and we support each other. It’s a fantastic community to be in and I support writers of all sorts.
Q. We have How to Punish Your Playboy to look forward to next Spring. Any spoilers you’d like to share? 😉
Prepare for some food porn and some porn porn. 😉
Q. Finally, and on an entirely unrelated note, who would play you in a film of your life?
Hopefully Scarlet Johannson!
01. Late night or early morning?
02. Favorite TV show?
03. Favorite Superhero?
LOKI (he’s not really a villain…right?)
04. Book or movie?
Books would be too hard, so movie is Office Space
05. Favorite drink (alcohol counts)?
Gin and tonic
06. Favorite season and why?
Fall because BOOTS!
07. Superpower you wish you had?
That I wouldn’t need to sleep, or that I could freeze time and use it alone to get things done!
Kink with a wink! Mina Vaughn is an international woman of mystery and a shoe whore with a heart of gold. When she’s not writing her unique brand of fun smut, she’s plundering Sephora for any pin up girl makeup she can find. Mina’s debut novel, an erotic comedy entitled How to Discipline Your Vampire is about a punishment-seeking vampire who meets a quirky Domme with a serious role play fetish, available now from Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Star. How to Reprimand Your Rock Star, a sexy New Adult contemporary romance about a basketball phenom and a world-famous rocker, arrives Summer 2014. How to Punish Your Playboy arrives Spring 2015.
Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…
Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?