The other half of the interview!

Update: And now it is live on both Blushing and Amazon! Yay! And you can get it in boxed sets with either my first two books or with Ana’s Desire in Any Language, which features the first story involving Mira and Hana. 🙂

As promised, on my last post, here is the other half of our shared interview with Anastasia Vitsky to celebrate the release of her new book: Masters of the Castle: Mira’s Miracle!


Anastasia Vitsky: One particularly fruitful development resulted when I asked you about the schoolroom. When you told me Bill Emerson would teach the class, a part of me rebelled. A male teacher? For my Mira? No way! However, because this was your world rather than mine, I had to respect your established structure. Had it been my story, it would have been Mrs. Emerson in the classroom.

Maren Smith: You know, this was my fault. I failed to explain that there were three classrooms. Mr. Emerson only taught one. There was still the detention hall and a third unnamed class (probably gym) that you could have put a female teacher into and made your own. I didn’t even think of that until just now.

Anastasia Vitsky: But look what happened! If I had had my way, Mira would have gotten a female teacher and perhaps some nice, calm, boring interactions. Instead, I placed Mira in the classroom with your male teacher…and all kinds of dramatic tension ensued. Because Mira had already faced a dangerous situation with a male figure in Desire in Any Language, her meeting with Bill Emerson became explosive.

Maren Smith: Boy, was it ever. It was Brilliant!!! You didn’t just flesh out your character, you fleshed out mine! I loved that interaction!

Anastasia Vitsky: I loved what you said after you read it, that the scene wasn’t consistent with Bill’s character but the scene needed to be in the story. Then later, when Bill reappeared, you said this was absolutely in line with how he would react. How was it for you to see your characters doing things in my story that didn’t seem to make sense at first?

Maren Smith: I kept in mind that it wasn’t me writing this. I wanted to keep my characters true to my vision because I want my readers not to get that shock of transitioning from one book to the next and the characters they’ve grown familiar with to suddenly not be themselves. That wasn’t an option, but when you’ve got two different authors playing with the same people, some changes are to be expected. Still, you were very receptive to making some changes (Mrs. Hardwick, for instance) that it made it easy for me to put the influences I needed in your story so the characters would read true.

Anastasia Vitsky: Do you think faithful Castle readers will be shocked at reading Bill in Mira’s Miracle?

Maren Smith: No, I don’t. Bill Emerson wasn’t a big enough presence in the Kaylee’s Keeper for anyone to get a real read on his personality. However, he is a much bigger one in Book 5, Chasing Chelsea, which won’t be released for some time. So I have the chance to round out what you did with his character and incorporate that into who he is. Besides, the scenes that involved Bill in Mira’s Miracles were so important to rounding out Mira that it just didn’t make sense to change them. Those were important, emotionally impactful scenes. They needed to stay just as they were.

Anastasia Vitsky: For me, I saw Bill interacting with Mira with the understanding she was at the Castle to play. That’s one of the themes of Mira’s Miracle, that Mira doesn’t understand the aspect of roleplay or scening within the kink lifestyle. One of my favorite lines from Mira is when she thinks to herself that no one could possibly find school uniforms sexy. 🙂

Maren Smith: LOL! Yes, I liked that one too.

Anastasia Vitsky: I pictured experienced kinksters chuckling to themselves at her naivete. Speaking of other characters that I used from your series, I became particularly fond of Miranda Hardwick and her lifelong friendship with Atsuko Takahashi, Hana’s aunt and Domme extraordinaire. Were you surprised at this new addition to Miranda’s past? By the way, she is “Mrs. Hardwick” but is searching for her own submissive. I always did wonder about the particulars of her situation.

Maren Smith: No, I was thrilled with it. I have a story in mind for her and I loved that you would help me, however inadvertently, fill out her character. Miranda Hardwick’s story is going to be my first attempt at branching out of my comfort zone. I haven’t done F/f before, but the story needs to be told. Miranda has been building an online relationship with Ana (no relation), a young woman who is still trying to define herself. I’m not going to go too far into this, except to say, I’m hoping to be able to convince a certain fellow author to join me in another collaboration. This one perhaps more of a joint effort than what I offered with this story. Hint, hint. Ana?

Anastasia Vitsky: Pick me, pick me! 😀 Gosh, has it already been nearly a year since I read Kaylee’s Keeper for you and we discussed Ana Adored? How thrilled I was when you proposed a F/F story, and how eagerly I read your first scene that you premiered for Spankee Doodle last June. Poor Ana received one terrific walloping! Again, no relation to yours truly. 🙂 One of my favorites from our conversation was you saying, “I find few things hotter than a F/F hairbrush spanking.” Please excuse me while I melt into a small puddle of desire imagining it…

Maren Smith: It’s still true, too. There is nothing more erotic to me than the image of a strong, authoritative woman and her wood-backed hairbrush enforcing the rules.

Anastasia Vitsky: Oh my goodness…for some reason I’m finding it difficult to focus on our conversation right now. I can’t imagine why. 😀

Maren Smith: LOL, I know. My husband would be so surprised. And then I’m sure he’d go for his camera to take pictures.

Anastasia Vitsky: What surprised me, and pleased me enormously, was that some of the characters and traits I invented for Mira’s Miracle will appear in later Castle books. I loved when you wrote to me, “Now I want a Trinity, too!”

Maren Smith: She was marvelous. Everything I would have imagined for myself if I was in Mira’s place at the Castle. That combination of authority and comfort. She had a real “grandmotherly” air around her that I found so reassuring. It was all attitude, and it called to the “Little” side of me.

Anastasia Vitsky: And yet she is quite young, not much older than Mira. An old soul, perhaps. Though I’m not sure if I would want everything Mira received from Trinity. Some of that discipline was pretty stern!

As a matter of clarification, is there a difference between “Nanny” and “Nurse” within the Castle? I used the terms interchangeably, but I left the intricacies of detail up to the Castle creator.

Maren Smith: No, none at all. I use them interchangeably as well.

Anastasia Vitsky: Do you foresee any future story action for Louise, the Nanny in Charge? Although we didn’t get to see much of her, she was also a favorite character for me. I can’t wait to see what might happen to future little girls and boys who run afoul of the playroom discipline.

Maren Smith: I hope to see more of them and the dynamics of the Nursery in Ana Adored. I also wouldn’t mind if other authors, perhaps in an F/m or even M/m aspect, wanted to play in the Castleverse.

Anastasia Vitsky: I must say that any author is extremely lucky to become part of the world you have created. Thank you so much for letting me play in your sandbox, for letting me bring Mira and Hana for a visit, and for being generous in your welcome. This has been one of my favorite writing experiences so far, and it’s largely because of your influence. Best wishes to you in turning your Castle series into the smashing success of the kink universe.

Maren Smith: Thank you! 🙂 And thank you for getting this ball started in the first place. Mira’s Miracle has been a hugely enjoyable experience for me, and I can’t wait to do it again!

Anastasia Vitsky: Um…maybe you could put that enormous hairbrush down first?

Maren Smith: Nope. Hairbrush stays right where it is.

Anastasia Vitsky: Ahem. As the Castle mistress wishes.

* * * * *

Don’t forget to leave your comment here and on Anastasia’s site in order to be entered to win a vial of faux punishment inducing Cinnamon oil. And please, whoever wins, don’t forget to read the warnings here and here. If you don’t laugh your ass off, you have no soul. Just sayin’.

43 thoughts on “The other half of the interview!

  1. What a wonderful collaboration you two had and it made for a fantastic story! I think one of my favorite scenes from this book was when Mira ripped the paper and then ripped it some more in Mr. Emerson’s class. I was cheering her on even though I knew Mr. Emerson was not the bad guy.

    Just love your castle series and so wish it really existed as I would have made multiple trips by now.

    Oh and btw, I am perfectly ok with having my name conveniently left off the list for the chance to win the cinnamon oil 🙂 Just sayin….

    • LOL SH, nope. I’m thinking you could benefit from some cinnamon oil. 😀

      I’m so glad you cheered for Mira but also knew Mr. Emerson was not the bad guy.

      Don’t we all wish we could visit the Castle, Maren included? Sigh.

    • Ha! Oh Ana! I think we have the cinnamon oil winner right here! (Just kidding.) We’ll leave your name off the list and draw the winner from a random number generator.

      I wish the Castle were real too. I’m doing Master Parker’s story right now, and even knowing I created the cussed thing, every now and then I just wish I could go there. I keep thinking I could get a lot of creative writing done in an atmosphere like that. (*whistles innocently) No, no. That definitely would not be me, whooping it up cowgirl-style with at least two good Masters doing their best to keep me…um, occupied and behaving myself.

  2. Hi Maren 🙂 my first visit here and I have to say I really enjoyed you’re discussion with Ana 🙂 I think it’s amazing how the two of you worked together to make this story 🙂

    I have read the funniest post ever over at Minelle’s lol I still would live to win that oil, but I seriously doubt ill be using it on myself haha

    Hugs x

    • Hello, Missy! It’s so nice to meet you! 🙂 Thank you for the compliment, but I really did very little on this book compared to Ana. I read that post too! I about died laughing. My husband and sister kept shooting me the strangest looks from across the room. lol

  3. Great interview, and fantastic book. I literally couldn’t put it down. Huge thank you to Ana and Maren for creating this fantasy and breathing such compelling life into it. I love ageplay and I loved Ana’s depiction of it. Oh, to have a Nanny who wasn’t shy about giving a little girl what she needs!

    And ‘Ana Adored’? O. M. G. Tell me this is a real thing.

  4. What a wonderful interview. I hope to see a book jointly written by the two of you. I read Mira’s Miracle and not only loved the book but can’t wait to read more about the castle!! I will start book one tomorrow. Mira distracted me the naughty girl that I had to read her Friday night. I’m still giggling about Ms.Ana melting into a small puddle of desire she is really letting her kinky side shine. I hope you gave her a few love pats.

    • Hey! 🙂 That hairbrush can stay on its side of the table, thank you very much. I’m not sure I want to see Maren in action.

      I am sure you did your best to corrupt poor, innocent Mira. I shall have to speak to you about it!

      • I’m totally reformed…sheesh…..and I won’t make Mira do anything she doesn’t want to do. Plus I have someone with better judgement than me going to see if I can convince him to take her to the Super Bowl. Poor man.

        Oh I think Maren would be wicked good with he brush. You can’t throw out threats of “you won’t be able to sit down” & not expect a little retribution. I inagine there quite a few people who think naughty Ana is in need of some brushing.

        Honestly the banter between you to is amazing and look forward to future collaborations.

    • The way it looks right now, Ana and I will be collaborating jointedly on Ana Adored. I can’t wait. I’m writing frantically right now to clear enough off my to-do list so I can concentrate on nothing else but that book with her. I have incredibly high hopes that she’ll bring her kinky side with her with a whole slew of fresh ideas for poor Ana (no relation lol) to experience.

      • How fantastic!!! Don’t forget your hairbrush I hear it helps Ms Ana write. I am so excited starting book one of the Castle Series tomorrow!!!

  5. Hi, Maren. I enjoyed both parts of this interview. It’s wonderful you were able to open your Castle and it’s many characters to Ana. That had to be a little difficult, artistically, as well as intriguing and fun to see where she would go with your story and people when she introduced characters and story lines of her own. It sounds as though Ana brought quite a few of her own toys as well, to play with in your sandbox! Lol!

    Cinnamon oil sure is getting a lot of play around the blogs. Cat and Ana still have some ‘splainin’ to do. 😉 Hmmm, ideas are forming… 😉

    Congratulations on your next book in the Castle series!

    • Yes, Ana certainly did bring some fun and interesting toys! She even shared them. She sent my cinnamon oil and now the hubby wants to test it out! I’ve already told him that’s why God gave him a butt too. Don’t worry, pay back will be forth coming!

  6. You guys have the greatest conversational writing style here! I love the banter and respect you have for each other. Fun and funny! I am so excited to read and read more of the Castle with you each!
    HOWEVER, NO…..NO……CINNAMON oil here…never never never!….At least until I figure out a better ratio of oils! LOL!!!!

  7. How intriguing. I want to see how bringing a different author onboard will change the dynamics of the Castle. I like that an author can flesh out another author’s characters and change how that character is used in the future by his/her creator.

  8. Wonderful conclusion to the interview, Maren and Ana. Loved hearing the inside baseball of the give and take between you both about the development of the characters and the dual stretching of not only the characters but of you both as authors leaving your comfort zones. Excellent, excellent stuff.

    I am so going to dive into the Castleverse.

  9. Hi Maren, this is my first visit here. I enjoyed reading this interview and the background to the collaboration between you on this story. I love the give and take between you and the impact of this story on the castle characters. Enjoyed the comments on both posts too! LoL

    Congratulations to you both!


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