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.
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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’.