The next story I published was the one that made me nervous: Love My Way. That one. This was the first story that when I wrote the words "The End" I was a little nervous. The premise was that a white Dominant searched for his next submissive through a reality TV show. The 14 contestants were of different ages and races. Some African American, Asian, Latina and white. Since this was a TV show, and I had it set in a contemporary time setting, I had to make it real, which meant that people would comment on the fact that a white Dom looked for a submissive who may end up being African American. Once the book was released, I was relieved when the feedback I got from readers were positive. They understood that, just like with Corporate Seduction, this story was a romance. So why do I worry?
So what story made me feel guilty? Woman In Chains. This was a contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance about a former Navy SEAL Dom who saves abused submissives and slaves. He saves one slave and when he can't turn her over to a new trainer, he has to keep her in his house. When she fights the saving process, the only way he can keep her is in a makeshift jail cell in his house. The story was originally published three years ago through Loose Id. I asked for my rights back last year to tweak it and re-release it on my own. Then Ariel Castro situation happened.
As soon as I heard the story when it broke that this sick, twisted man kidnapped three women, kept them chained and locked up in his home for more than ten years, I immediately thought of the plot of my story. How could I release a romance that seemed ripped from the headlines despite the fact that I had written it three years before this story broke? Just like with my other stories, I had to remember one thing: it's a romance. As far as my story, there's a huge difference between Ariel Castro, may he suffer in Hell, and Dak Ricci, the hero from my novel. Dak actually likes women. It's the reason he saves them from bad relationships.
Strangely enough, the whole reason I wrote this story had to do with the movie "Black Snake Moan" with Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci (probably why my hero's last name is Ricci also). I liked the idea of a man who tries saving a woman who does not want to be saved, but you, as the audience member or reader knows that she needs him and he needs her. As I was writing the story, there seemed to be a lot of kidnapping cases going on. First was the African-American woman who was kidnapped and tortured by a white family and their friends in West Virginia. In my novel, I referenced that incident. Then within a few weeks of that story coming out, another story in Belgium (I believe) broke about a man the media dubbed as Horror Dad. This sicko kept one of his daughters in the basement of his house and created a whole separate family with her. I believe he fathered at least four children with his daughter while his wife (yes, the mother of this girl) lived upstairs in the main house. Still wasn't sure if she was aware of what was going on. Please Google if you hadn't heard that story. So at the time I wrote the story, I had a lot of things to reference, which is creepy and sad. But what I write, what I love, is romance. I may shock, but I will always bring you back around to something normal.
My guilty feeling quickly turned into a not guilty resolution. I have a good story. When I have it properly tweaked, it will be re-released again. Hopefully without the stigma of that case.
Now I need to get back to work on some more BDSM stories. No stigma. All love.