My guest at the Naughty Corner today is C.J. Payne, whose new novel, Sting, is the story of a man’s search for a dominant mistress to give him the discipline he needs, and his adventures along the path to true love and submission.
Hi, C.J., and thanks for stopping by.
Thanks so much for having me!
First of all, tell me a little about how you got into writing erotic fiction?
I’ve always like the genre but I suppose it was getting a few short stories published by Forum which opened my eyes to the possibility of writing an erotic novel – from what I recall you were the editor! KISS was my first published novel although I have tried my hand at writing novels before in other genres and not had any success.
What’s your writing space like?
I’m quite lucky as there is only my wife and I living in a three bed house so the ‘second’ bedroom is my study – full of books and a work station. It’s quiet as well. My wife tends to use the iPad so the PC is kinda mine…
Are there any routines or rituals involved in your writing – for instance, any music you like to listen to, or any time of the day when you feel most creative?
I don’t like listening to music when I write – I like silence – I like listening to classical music and listen to Classic FM in the car but when I have tried this at home I find I start listening to the music. I work full time and have a fairly long commute so I try to be very disciplined in my writing as I don’t get a lot of time. I do some writing in the morning and a bit more at night. I set myself a target of 500 words a day with more at the weekend.
What is your favourite genre to write in, and to read?
My favourite genre to write in is definitely erotica as this has bought me the most success. I have read a lot of erotica over the years but my favourite books tend to be pulp fiction thrillers like those published by Hard Case Crime. I’m reading Psycho at the moment….
What particularly interests you in writing about relationships where the woman is the dominant partner?
It has always been something that has appealed to me and I like those relationships – they turn the ‘natural’ order on its head and personally I think they are more interesting than the usual female sub stuff!
There are lots of fem dom novels on the market, and in many of them the submissive male is a bit of a wimp and a victim. Lynton in Sting is a much more complex character who reacts to his various mistresses in different ways – was that a conscious decision when you were writing the book?
Yes it was. I’ve read quite a lot of fem dom books and found them hard to read because I can’t emphasise with the main character so I purposefully set out to give Lynton some balls! I do like well-rounded characters and think the fem dom genre lags behind the submissive female genre (which is mainly written by female writers) in its characterisation – maybe that’s because female readers like more plot and characterisation! When I read erotica, I tend to read submissive female literature for that reason.
You wrote about cross-dressing in your first novel, KISS, and had a central character who clearly enjoyed expressing the feminine side of his personality. This subject doesn’t turn up in erotic fiction very often – why do you think this is?
KISS wasn’t as successful as I had hoped it would be and I actually received a lot of negativity about it in some quarters. I think, in the cross-dresser/transvestite community, there is a resistance to equating dressing with sex. Frock e-magazine, in the States, wrote a good review of the book but apart from that, it was not well received. I think a lot of cross-dressers are a bit prudish!
What’s your next writing project?
I’m currently writing another fem dom novel which is called Swish – I’m about halfway through it. I hope to have that finished by the summer and, like Lynton, I hope the main character is a bit more complex!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write for pleasure not for money. I think if you think you are going to make money out of this game you will be disappointed. I look at my writing a hobby in the same way I enjoy horse racing and going to the theatre.
What was the best advice you’ve ever been given about writing?
Don’t do it! Seriously, I don’t know so much about a single piece of advice but I once paid a literary critic to read an early novel and she didn’t spare the rod when it came to telling me how bad it was and, although at the time, it was a bit discouraging, it taught me a lot in terms of thinking of the reader and ensuring the story moves along. Looking back now I can see it was really good advice.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us here at the Naughty Corner?
No, I think that’s about it – thanks for having me, Elizabeth.
Sting blurb: A submissive side is awoken in Lynton when he asks his ex-manager, Julianne, to help him get a job: she spanks him as a punishment for misbehaviour when she first managed him. She then trains his girlfriend, Chloe, in the art of female domination. With the aid of Julianne’s mysterious ‘friend’, Lydia, Lynton and Chloe move into a flat together. After a miss-adventure with Lynton’s friend, DW, he is gradually drawn into Julianne’s web: he is ‘rented’ out to other women before finding true happiness.
Extract: As time went on, I started searching my agitated, partially jealous brain for other incidences of infidelity, even though Chloe promised it had only happened the once. I’ve always believed you never really forget anything – you just can’t recall it. And I started to recall a time when I was blind drunk – Chloe, DW, and I had been out drinking – it was a hot summer’s day and we gone to a canal pub. Chloe had worn a denim miniskirt and DW, as always seemed to be the case, was between girlfriends. We’d sat outside drinking and looking at the canal. DW was always the bigger drinker and could hold his liquor far better than me. I’d tried to keep up with him and, as a result, was drunk when we got back to his house – so was Chloe. I remember he brought some more drinks in for us – shorts – just as he had done the night he had made love to Chloe officially. He brought the drinks in and we sat and drank and laughed and then Chloe said she was going up to bed – we often stayed at his house as it was only a short walk from the city centre. When Chloe had gone, DW and I carried on talking. I asked for a cup of black coffee and he made me one, then I remember falling into a deep, alcohol-induced sleep – still with the half-drunk cup of coffee in my hand. Alcohol fucks your brain and you don’t sleep well – however well you think you’ve slept, you still wake up tired in the morning. So I fell into a deep, dark, comatose sleep and I was still in the armchair when I awoke at about two or three in the morning – a cold cup of coffee in my hand.
I remember I staggered to the spare bedroom and got into bed with Chloe. I recollect slipping under the covers and I remember, or half remember – perhaps even a quarter or an eighth remember – her words, soft and gentle and hummed in the early morning air.
Of course, they meant nothing and I took no notice at the time, but after her confession about their liaison at the wedding, I started to really think things over. Recall the little details. When I was asleep, hadn’t I heard noises above my head in DW’s room? Or had I imagined them? Hadn’t I heard the bed squeaking and Chloe squealing? Or was I imagining I had because of Chloe’s confession? Or was it just a figment of my overactive imagination? She denied it, of course – there had only been the one infidelity and I was just being stupid and jealous. But how could I trust her?
And then, one night, she said, ‘Anyway, what does it matter? You get turned on by the thought of me and DW fucking, so why does it matter if we’ve fucked once or a dozen times?’
My heart pounded, my hands felt clammy – I knew it was the nearest I was going to get to a confession. Maybe she’d had sex with DW on more than one, more than two, more than three occasions behind my back.
One Saturday, when Chloe was at work behind the cosmetics counter, I went horse racing and bet and lost. I watched the horses in the parade ring and all I could think about was DW. DW and Chloe. How many times had they done it? It was different when I was in control of a scenario in which I was the willing cuckold, but despite that there was a small, annoying part of me that was turned on. I had no one to turn to – all my friends were part of DW and Chloe’s social circle and I didn’t want anyone else to know that DW and Chloe had had sex behind my back. All the same, I had to tell someone – talk to someone – and that’s why I went back to Julianne’s house.
I told her the whole story. From start to finish. And she listened – she listened intently.
‘It doesn’t surprise me,’ she said. ‘Lydia and I felt that girl had something of the minx about her. What do you want to happen, Lynton?’
It was a good question.
‘I don’t know,’ I said.