At Paranormal Unbound, we are all about books that hop outside the genre box and flip up their skirts to show us their cool bare vampire asses, and so I am thrilled to welcome Mina Vaughn to our blog today. A mutual friend introduced me to Mina online and then I was delighted to literally bump into her at the RWA conference in Atlanta. Mina, thanks so much for being with us today!
I love the premise of your debut novel How to Discipline Your Vampire. You’ve got an amazing mashup going on with a comedic paranormal BDSM erotic novel. Will you tell us how you ended up putting all those things together to write this novel?
It sounds like a crazy genre, but it made sense to me. I wanted to write something with equal parts heat and humor, but for me I have to write paranormal. I really can’t write all human stuff. So, yes, it’s weird on paper, but it’s just the kind of story I write. 🙂 I think writers need to be bold and write things that are different.
I totally agree, and as we hear so much about the downswing of the genre, I think bold and different are key! Certainly, that’s what it takes to hook me, as a reader. What do you love about the paranormal genre? Where do you think it’s headed?
I love the fantasy, plain and simple. Why write about the norm? Why constrain yourself to what’s possible? I think there will always be paranormal lovers out there. I don’t care how hot contemporary is right now, people need an escape. I think it’s headed up, for sure.
Do you think there is a special alchemy between paranormal and erotica?
I do! Because they are both about fantasy. I think it’s very fulfilling to write both, and I think it’s satisfying for readers too.
I suppose I asked the question because I do too–I like what you say about fantasy, and I would add to that when you add fantastical elements to sexual fantasy, you get exponentially exciting results!
So now I have to ask, what paranormal authors do you love to read? And what erotic authors do you love to read?
For paranormal, Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is something I really love. Erotica would be Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinner series.
Excellent. As followers of this blog know, I love steampunk. And I love the way Tiffany isn’t afraid to play around with religion and sex–that’s an interest she and I share.
Who, in your opinion, is the sexiest vampire in books or on TV?
Spike from Buffy or Eric Northman from True Blood. It’s a toss up. They’re both bad boys I’d love to tame.
I was SO hoping you would so Eric, just so I could use this picture. And yes, those two would be my
choice. I think Spike was my formative bad-boy crush outside of the bodice rippers I grew up reading 🙂
So speaking of taming, with the (possibly diminishing) popularity of the alpha male, did it feel risky to write a FemDomme novel with a submissive vampire?
Holy smokes did it ever! I still think it’s a risk, but one I wanted to take. I think a shift is coming and I think I want people to open their minds. It’s not for everyone and I know that, I just hope people will give it a try even if it doesn’t sound like their thing.
That’s really interesting. I am fascinated by the way the rise in erotica sales does seem to be shifting our cultural sensibilities about sexuality. Now, shifting gears–do you have any wisdom or advice about how to write humor?
Well, Shakespeare said “Brevity is the soul of wit”, so I have to say once you make a joke, move on. Keep it snappy and move ahead, leave the reader snickering but don’t dwell on it. Unless you bring back the joke later and sort of have it be like an extended joke. Also, the key to good humor is surprise– don’t do what the reader expects, even if you’re leading them there. Tease them and then switch the situation.
Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Mina. Can you tell us what’s next for you?
I can’t say much, but I am working on more paranormal erotic comedies. Keep your eyes open!
Anything else you want to tell us?
As writers AND readers, mix things up. Take risks! You’ll never know what you’ll like until you try it.
Excellent advice! Thanks! And of course you’ve tempted us about your book! Here is a summary and the pre-order link:
How To Discipline Your Vampire, By Mina Vaughn
Cerise Norrel, Type A substitute teacher by day, is ready to quit being a domme. Despite her best intentions, none of her partners can keep up with her scene fetish and attention to detail—let alone her demand that they have a costume and set waiting every afternoon by the time she’s home from school.
Over a dozen potential subs have left her in the past year, but just when Cerise thinks it’s impossible—that she’ll have to go back to vanilla relationships, or be alone forever–she meets William, who wants to make all her fantasies come true. He turns her home into a geisha’s dream apartment, a concert hall with a grand piano (which he uses to play an original composition while wearing a tuxedo), and even rents an abandoned loft for a zombie apocalypse scene—complete with
But there’s something strange about William. Well, a lot of strange things. He must be absurdly rich, since he can afford to provide extravagant costumes and props on a daily basis without having to leave work early. He must be insane, since he puts up with Cerise’s over-the-top demands. And most importantly, he doesn’t redden when he’s spanked, and his skin is as cool as satin sheets. When Cerise discovers she’s become domme to the infamous “Chilly Willy,” as he’s known throughout BDSM urban lore, she begins to find out there’s a whole lot more to her handsome submissive than a creative mind and a
And when it’s William, ironically, who starts pressing Cerise to give him the kind of commitment she’s never given anyone, it’ll take everything she has to work through her issues, confront her past, and learn to be vulnerable.
Then, I saw him.
An absolutely beautiful specimen was making his way towards my little table.
I sipped the soda again, careful to not smudge my lipstick. Typically, Dommes were easy to find at mixers—the redder the lipstick, the stricter the rules. Mine was crimson on the border of downright arterial. I had hoped that my selection would weed out the weaklings in the pack. I touched it up just in case it had faded and bent down to put the compact back into my bag. By the time I leaned back up, he was in front of me.
“Hello,” he said sheepishly, eyes downcast.
This was a good sign. Subs ought to act their place at events like this—unlike that last jackass. Please, please be up to my challenge.
“Sit,” I said to him, gesturing. His posture was erect, but guarded. This man was very stylish—a corduroy blazer over a graphic tee, paired with perfectly fitted dark jeans. Urban, hip. Thank God no leather—I didn’t care how long I’d been involved in this sort of thing, I would never get into leather. Unless it was required for a scene…then it would be acceptable. He folded his hands neatly in his lap, and began the conversation in a surprisingly self-deprecating manner.
“I have something,” he said, eyes still downcast, “I should tell you before we begin.”
I leaned forward, ready to berate him for speaking out of turn, and not letting me begin our conversation. The nerve of these guys.
Then again, this was speed dating and I didn’t want to waste time with a lecture, so I allowed him to begin.
“I’ve never been kept by a Domme. I have been advised to tell you in advance a few of my qualities that have been turn-offs. Firstly, I can tolerate any kind of pain.”
Odd, but not a deal-breaker. I did the “go on” gesture, rolling my pointer finger.
“I flinch at nothing, nor do I bruise or redden. Many women have found this off-putting, if you like that sort of thing.”
“Um, I’m a substitute teacher. I dish out pain all day. I’m not that kind of Domme,” I explained to him, trying to put him somewhat at ease. His posture relaxed somewhat.
I probably shouldn’t have disclosed my occupation to this guy, but what was he going to do? Show up at every secondary school in the Seacoast region wearing assless chaps?
“I also have very cold hands,” he said, trying to hold back his smirk. “It’s been problematic in nearly every encounter I have had. Here, feel.” I reached out my hands and touched his.
I recoiled slightly, but caught myself and steadied my hand. I said nothing. His eyes remained downcast.
He was stunningly handsome, I appraised, examining his face. Strong jaw, straight nose, blue-black tousled hair, and lips full enough to almost be considered feminine.
“I don’t mind cold hands. I’m from Nevada– I love to feel the cold compared to the heat I grew up in. It’s refreshing,” I said. Oh boy, here comes the hurt, I told myself as I handed him my list of needs and wants. “I do, however, have a very long list of requirements, and I’m afraid I’ve scared everyone off, too. I’m just as used to rejection as you seem to be,” I laughed. Half the local community thought it was great that I was a strong woman who won’t settle for anything less than what I want, and the other half thought I was an insane bitch. “In fact, they call me the deal breaker.” He smirked again, a small dimple forming in his chin.
He was wickedly handsome. If the room was less well-lit, I’d be tonguing his earlobe right now.
“Alright,” he said, glancing at the dossier. “Hit me.” He laughed at his choice of words for the situation. I did, too.
I shifted into uber-Domme mode and breathed in deep, ready for my long-winded explanation.
Last chance, Cerise.
“The requests I make of my subs are simple. Show up at my house Monday through Thursday at 2:00 pm sharp. On Monday through Wednesday, I will give you role play prompts. You must come up with the details, props, and costumes. You will email me details about the scenarios while I’m on my lunch break so I can arrive home in character. When I get home at three, you will be in costume and in character. Whatever outfit you may have for me will be hanging in my bathroom. We will perform the scene from three o’ clock until whenever I feel it’s over. You will then eat dinner with me and return home. On Thursdays, you will create an original scenario. You have free reign on those days, but please be creative. I may not be a Dominatrix in the traditional whips and chains sense, but I want your full subservience when you are with me. You will have three-day weekends to yourself.” My voice was strict like a smack on the wrist with a wooden ruler. I hoped he understood that just because he was creating one scene per week, he was not in charge of where it went. I knew my methods were unconventional, but hey, whatever gets you off, right?
He listened intently, head cocked to the side, eyes still not leaving the table.
“Is that all?” he asked.
I gasped to myself. A taker? Usually guys weren’t down with the hours AND the financial demands of coming up with new costumes and props four days a week. Then again, judging by this guy’s clothes, he could afford it. Don’t think I didn’t notice the curvy R’s on his Rock and Republic jeans. That cut retailed at $259 at Nordstrom.
And yes, in addition to being a Domme, I was a serious denim whore.
“No, that’s not all,” I said, worried that this will be the deal breaker. “You must come up with our first scenario right now. Don’t let me down.” I expected him to either tell me to fuck off, or to walk away in a daze after spending several minutes blathering his way through a half-assed attempt to come up with something that may excite me.
Of course, when hearing I was a teacher, nearly every potential sub told me the scenario where he was failing my class and wanted extra credit.
And would do “aaaanything” for it.
So, the men who usually made it to this round never made it out. Unoriginal pricks.
“I think I have one you’ll like, if I may,” he said politely.
I must be dreaming. “Proceed,” I said, both anticipating and dreading what was going to come out of his lips next. Please don’t be a student scene…
“I’m a vampire who has endured decades of loneliness. All I want is a woman who I can worship—who will look past all my flaws. I need a fearless Dominatrix who will punish me for all my past misdeeds.”
This guy was either insane, or a fucking genius.
And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t care.
Kink with a wink! Mina Vaughn is an international woman of mystery and a shoe whore with a heart of gold. When she’s not writing her unique brand of silly smut, she’s plundering Sephora for any pin up girl makeup she can find. Mina’s debut novel, an erotic comedy entitled How to Discipline Your Vampire is about a punishment-seeking vampire who meets a quirky Domme with a serious role play fetish, coming out August 19, 2013 from Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Star.
Or add it to your Goodreads TBR
Enjoyed the interview very much. The excerpt is great! I just downloaded my copy now.
What a fun excerpt. I’ve already downloaded my copy.
Sounds like a fun, sexy read. The excerpt sold me. I’ve placed it on my wish list for my next book order.
Well you and I are on the same wavelength for sexy vamps lol and of course paranormal characters are going to be totally sexy as well – it’s part of the fantasy. And these characters with non human powers can do and be sexy outside the “norm”
William is obviously not a traditional vamp. I love the concept
Fantastic interview, ladies! Mina, thanks for hanging out on Paranormal Unbound. We love welcoming fellow out-of-the box paranormal scribes, and I love love LOVED that excerpt. I’m looking forward to checking out the book!
What A. J. said! Thanks for visiting us. Loved the interview and excerpt and look forward to reading the book! And also, Spike and Eric = the best!