Today, I have Anastasia Vitsky visiting my blog, the first author to visit who writes F F domestic discipline. Ana is a very busy woman with four books out already this year, and I’m delighted she’s been able to take the time to join us. Welcome, Ana, and on to the questions :):
How did you get started writing?
I started telling stories as soon as I could talk, and my earliest writings were of the stories from my head. I spent most of my childhood either reading or arguing with adults that I should be allowed to read, so the writing came naturally from that.
What was the best piece of writing advice you received?
Read. Read. Read some more. Read the classics, read the backs of cereal boxes, read popular fiction. Whatever it is, read often and read a variety of material.
What do you think makes a good f/f spanking story, and what advice would you give anyone who wants to write in that genre?
It’s an important point that F/F spanking by itself does not hold charm for me. Plenty of F/F spanking stories are written from a male voyeuristic perspective (“girl-on-girl for male viewing pleasure”) or using the same superficial stereotypes of landlady, mother, aunt, or headmistress. We can have wonderful stories with these kinds of settings, but F/F spanking can be so much more.
My advice would be to approach F/F spanking stories as a genre in its own right, honoring the beauty of interaction between women for their own sake and not solely for the appreciation of men.
Oh, and a good wooden spoon makes a story better
There are many women who write m/m erotica. Do you think it’s possible for men to write good f/f erotica?
I have not found an example yet, but I’d love to meet someone who does. The difficulty in writing across gender for men is that the standard, default perspective for stories—whether that means books, film, or television shows—is male. We’ve had some wonderful progress in developing female-centric stories, but most women have experienced reading and thinking from a male point of view. Take iconic stories of popular culture such as Superman, for example. Superman has the interesting backstory and action; Lois Lane looks pretty and gets rescued.
For a man to write good F/F stories means overcoming this default male point of view that is ingrained in our culture of storytelling. I respect a male storyteller who is able to do so.
I know you write spanking which is not sexual. Given that some people see spanking as sexual and that they might also be expecting sex in a book that could be labelled as erotica, how hard was it to find publishers who understood what you were trying to do, and were willing to take a chance on stories which don’t fit neatly into standard categories?
I originally tried to publish The Way Home ten years ago as a short story. It was rejected because it was F/F. Even today, there are publishers that are less likely to accept F/F stories. Because I write F/F and specifically write non-sexual F/F (although my upcoming release Simple Gifts is an exception), this has meant selecting publishers extremely carefully. Too often, I find that publishers say that they are willing to consider F/F when they actually know almost nothing about the genre. They judge F/F by M/F standards, and because of this bias they find F/F less appealing.
I have been fortunate to find publishers who not only accept F/F books but also embrace my stories that resist categorization. I have also found, paradoxically, that this means my books are given extra care and attention because they don’t fit the mold.
For Editorial Board, I started with a simple premise: author is an unmanageable brat. Because I am an author myself, writing this story was a heyday of every bad behavior that I have ever seen or heard. It surprises me that people have responded so positively to this book because Spring, the author, is truly horrible! It was the first time I wrote a story without caring if my main character was likable or not.
Following on from that, where did you get the idea for Simple Gifts from?
I love non-consensual domestic discipline. The core of my spanking stories is the power dynamic between the two individuals. I wanted a situation where the protagonist had no choice but to accept discipline, but the reader could sympathize with both the protagonist and her disciplinarian. I went through many possible scenarios until I remembered a week in childhood when I sprained my wrist. Thinking about all of the everyday difficulties that injury presented in my life, I extrapolated to a situation in which a more severe version of a wrist injury threatens the protagonist’s livelihood. Who depends on their hands for a living? Surgeons and musicians. Because I know more about music than I do about surgery, Leila became a violinist suffering from tendonitis.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so, how do you get over it?
I rarely have actual writer’s block when it comes to writing fiction. Instead, I have writer’s “don’t wanna”. Lighting the Way, the upcoming sequel to The Way Home, has been the most difficult book I have ever written. I wrote the first draft in two weeks, feverishly staying up all night to write the stories pouring into my brain. I have since worked on the revisions for eight long, tedious, frustrating months. I hate writing it because it’s difficult, but I love the story because it tells us how Kat and Natalie find their way out of the darkness that threatened to overcome them in The Way Home.
I generally work through the “don’t wanna”s with caffeine, sleep deprivation, and marathon writing sessions. It’s not the healthiest method, though, and not one I would recommend to others. Instead, I’d suggest Rachel’s writing block suggestions in Editorial Board. She helps Spring to center herself and focus on her inner writing voice.
You’ve released several books so far this year already. How do you manage to write so fast and how do you fit everything in?
Very little sleep, seven-day work weeks, and a lifetime of stories waiting to be told. I was told for many years that no one would publish my books, so getting to do this writing-and-publishing thing is a dream come true. No matter how fast or hard I work, I can’t keep up with the stories that beg to be put into writing. Also, the responses from readers and other authors have been so wonderful that it motivates me to keep producing. As long as I have readers who enjoy my stories and tell me that they are touched by the lives of my characters, I will continue to write.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
I offer a “Tuesdays with Ana” series that is written for writers of all levels. I’ve discussed creating an author identity, burn-out, and will talk about other questions that many writers face. If I had to boil everything down into one simple statement, however, I would offer this advice from an earlier interview: Be real, be honest, and be true.
Out of all your books, do you think you could pick a favourite and why?
My favorite book is usually the one I am currently working on. Because I just finished a revision of Lighting the Way (scheduled for publication on June 6th, Kat’s birthday), I’m partial to the Kat and Natalie books.
However, if you had asked me yesterday I would have said Simple Gifts because I have been posting snippets from that upcoming release (on April 24th) each weekend. The response has been amazing to Leila and Carene, and each conversation has made me appreciate this story more. Plus, a few beta readers have told me that this is their favorite story and/or that Leila and/or Carene are their favorite.
What’s next for you?
Right now, to catch up on sleep! After that, I’ll start working on my non-con F/F WIP, the third book in the Kat and Natalie series, and a follow-up short story of Carene and Leila for a F/F anthology that will come out on October 2nd.
After that, it will be time to conquer the world
Thanks so much for chatting today, Ana, :). Now, of course, we have details of both of Ana’s recent books, with details of where you can get them:
Music. Without the love of her life, how can Leila learn to live again?
Professional violinist Leila Feran is accustomed to fame as the youngest and first female concertmaster of the Philharmonic Symphony. Driven to achieve ever-increasing heights, she injures her wrist so badly that she may no longer be able to play. While she recovers, she moves in with her childhood best friend, a pianist and beloved orchestra teacher in a small town.
Carene welcomes Leila with open arms and only one condition: no divas allowed. And if Leila can’t follow the house rules, she might find herself over Carene’s knee…or worse. In between arguments over physical therapy and house rules, Carene’s zero-tolerance policy regarding divas results in some old-fashioned discipline that changes into something more.
Will Leila and Carene’s new feelings for each other blossom into something wonderful? Or will Leila lose not just a potential soul mate, but also her friend?
Published April 24th 2013 – see Ana’s Amazon Page on 24th
Award-winning author Spring Meadows and newspaper-turned-literary editor Rachel Templeton have one thing in common: they can’t stand each other. Spring is sure that her bestselling talents single-handedly keep her publishing company afloat, while Rachel would like nothing better than to take this smart-mouthed, button-pushing prima donna down a peg or two. When Spring makes the fatal mistake of accusing Rachel of sexual misconduct, Rachel decides to teach her a lesson.
“What is an author to an editor?” Spring asks herself. If only she had been prepared for Rachel’s answer…
I am an author of (mostly) F/F domestic discipline fiction, but I am exploring new sub-genres. My first book, The Way Home, was published by Lazy Day in March of 2013.
My second work,The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, was published December 8, 2012 by Blushing Books.
This April, Lazy Day will publish Simple Gifts, the story of a violinist and her DD relationship with her pianist childhood best friend.
I’m a forever student, writer of F/F DD fiction, and troublemaker extraordinaire. I didn’t mean to do it. Honestly. It just happened.