Cecilia Tan: How did you get started writing about BDSM?
Kestra Gravier: Storytelling has always been an integral part of my seductions. Stroking a lover and whispering, “Imagine you are…” This is a highly successful and oft requested technique. As my stories became more intricate, the natural progression was to commit them to paper (or computer). That’s when I started to become an author.
Further growth occurred with rejections from publishers. Actually, the first rejection was kind of exciting– I felt like a real writer, someone professional had read what I had written and passed judgment. Then came the first acceptance, Dark River: Lady Elinor at Hampton Court. And I was on my way.
Cecilia Tan: Is there something you hope people learn or come away from your book(s) knowing or feeling? What is it?
Kestra Gravier: I hope readers can ‘slip the surly bonds of earth’ for the time they are immersed in my stories and enjoy themselves. If they close the cover (or click the e-reader off), sigh and smile–I’ve achieved my goal. If the reader is inspired to jump their lover’s bones, even better!
Cecilia Tan: Have any advice you’d like to share for those interested in learning more about BDSM, whether to write it or to do it in real life?
Kestra Gravier: For those looking to learn more about BDSM in real life—common sense goes a long way. Remember, most of the lifestyle participants do not travel in billionaire circles or look like book cover models. You are responsible for your own mental, emotional and physical comfort and safety.
With those caveats in mind and realistic expectations, you can approach the lifestyle with an open mind and have fun!
Cecilia Tan: What’s the most fun you ever had researching a book or story?
Kestra Gravier: That’s a tough choice. With the exception of a short story set on a spaceship en route to Mars, I’ve researched, in person, the settings for all my stories, notably Hampton Court Palace outside of London; a university campus in Charleston, SC; Billy Goat Strut Alley in Louisville KY; and the Oceanfront in Virginia.
I’ve taken a burlesque lesson from author Elizabeth SaFleur, developed recipes for meals in books, and sampled chocolates, wines and perfumes. I’ve done the research to prove to myself that duct tape will not hold raw chicken breasts together.
But the most fun has to be figuring out the answer to “Is this even possible?” A question generally asked about a BDSM scene. Working out the answer can involve positioning bodies like a demented game of Twister to understand if an imagined scene is physically possible, trying out an implement to appreciate the sensations it can evoke; or, even working with a physicist to model the consequences of actions in very low gravity.
Yes, researching the BDSM scenes is the most fun–did you expect anything else? (smiles)
Cecilia Tan: What are you hoping will be the most awesome thing about BDSM Writers Con?
Kestra Gravier: That’s the easiest question–besides your sessions–I hope the workshop I’m presenting with Dr. Charley is the most awesome activity at the Con.
Reality Strikes: When Scenes Go Sideways is designed to get writers, readers and lifestylers thinking about how a scene can go wrong. An activity going off track can be comedic or tragic in literature or in real life, and this workshop will provide guidance on how to think ahead to avoid bad outcomes. And provide some basic approaches if disaster strikes. The workshop will be interactive with questions and ideas from the audience driving several of the segments.
About the author:
Kestra Gravier lives on the water’s edge at various times on the Eastern Seaboard, Ohio River Valley and Lac Léman. She excels at writing characters with life experiences that drive their romances and adventures, and allows her characters to live in interesting settings. Several career changes and way too much education provide a vast array of plot drivers for Kestra’s stories. Passion in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace? Flirtation with a Louisville iron sculptor? Zero-gravity flogging? Kestra lets you experience the sensations, the settings and the romance yourself.
Winner of the BDSM Writer Con inaugural Book Contest, receiving the highest praise from numerous reviewers for her short stories and novellas, Kestra continues to dramatize the stories welling in her imagination.
You can find out more about Kestra and her writing at http://www.kestragravier.com/ and on Facebook.