Saturday, June 13, 2015

Author Spotlight Saturday: Xanthe Walter #Interview #Giveaway

Xanthe Walter is a fairly new author to me. I read Ricochet and knew I adored her creativity and writing style. She has a very unique imagination and it only makes her writing that much more amazing. If she's new to you as well, you're in for a treat. If you've read any of her work, you obviously know what I'm talking about.

We have a wonderful interview with her, a look at Ricochet, and an outstanding giveaway for one reader! Let's get started.

When the right dom is all wrong!

Even in a BDSM universe, where everyone is bisexual and identifies as dom or sub, finding the right partner isn’t always easy.

Matt is a big star on the hit TV show, Collar Crime, and he’s looking for a dom who ticks all the right boxes, including being as tidy and organized as himself.

That definitely isn’t his chaotic co-star, Rick, with his spanking fetish and habit of tying a different sub to his bed every night.

When Matt meets the perfect dom he’s swept off his feet, but he soon discovers that being pursued by a handsome, controlling billionaire isn’t the erotic fantasy he’d imagined.

Maybe the right dom for him is the one he thought was all wrong...

Buy Link: Amazon


Thank you for being here today, Xanthe. I’m very excited to have you here. Ricochet is by far one of my top BDSM reads!

I have 10 easy peasy questions for you so have some fun with them.

      With so many misunderstood BDSM books out there, how or what have you done to make yours true to the scene?

My writing comes from a place of imagination, first and foremost. My aim is to write big, exciting stories with enough realism to provide authenticity without getting bogged down. I've done my research - I went to several London BDSM clubs when I was younger, met many diverse people and had several interesting experiences, and I've read widely. However, that's just the basis - I don't write 'how to' manuals, or transcripts of real life BDSM scenes with the names changed – my aim is to write BDSM stories that are full of intense emotions, imaginative plotlines, and some hot, kinky sex. Frankly, descriptions of hot, kinky sex mean little to me unless they’re contextualized – I want more than just descriptions of knots and what it feels like to be flogged. I want an emotional context, and that is at the core of all my BDSM stories.

      Do you have organization to your writing method? Strict schedule, outlines? How does the magic happen?

I often just sit down and start. I'll have a germ of an idea and start writing it, and then it will take form as it goes along. I don't plan chapters, themes or plots. In the past, I tried planning out chapters but it felt too restrictive and I never stuck to it. I want my stories to live, breathe and develop - I'm on a journey with them and that's part of the pleasure for me in writing them. I don't want to know each step of the way before I start. I usually know the beginning, middle and end and maybe some high points along the way, but everything else is part of the process of exploration and it’s all open to change. I explore a story first, and then go back and cut off the rough edges and polish it up. The downside of this method is that I have to do a lot of work after the first draft is completed, but the upside is that I am free to go where it takes me during the creative part of the process. I find that I can hold the big, overall picture in my head while homing in on the small detail of writing individual scenes. I think it's a slightly unusual process compared to other writers, but it seems to work for me. I always write chronologically - I never dot around or compete scenes that particularly interest me first. I have to build as I write - that's the only way I can have a feel for the pacing, development and direction of the story.

I hate writing to deadlines - nothing seems to kill my muse more than a deadline! I am a little better at editing to a deadline, but my creative process only works when it is free, happy and unfettered - if I impose any kind of structure on it, like writing 2000 words a day for instance, it baulks and refuses to co-operate. Which is odd, because I'm quite an organized person in my everyday life! But I've learned just to go with it or risk killing my creativity.

      Who, if anyone, would you love to collaborate with to write a book?

I'm afraid I'm not a good writing collaborator. Odd again, because in my working life my style is very collaborative, but it doesn’t seem to work for me with writing. I collaborated with two other authors early on in my fanfiction career, and I felt it was frustrating to both them and me, so I've never done it since. I think it's partly because of my creative process being so unstructured that I can't keep track of how to bounce off someone else's creative process.

      Growing up what sorts of books would you gravitate toward and do you have a favorite?

I adored Enid Blyton as a child - I shudder about that now, but I loved The Famous Five to the point of obsession and re-read them multiple times. I also loved Elinor M.Brent Dyer's Chalet School books. Then I found science fiction and fantasy, and tore through many of the classics - Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Earthsea books, Brave New World, Dune, The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy etc. At the same time, I also loved the classics of English literature, such as Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre. I later went through a feminist sci-fi phase and found one of my all-time favourite novels, Raising the Stones, by Sherri Tepper. I haven't read it in many years, so I wonder if I'd still like it as much now. I must try it again!

      How do you celebrate a book release?

By lying down in a darkened room to recover!  When I released Ricochet, it was nerve-wracking as it was my first self-published, original character novel, and I wasn't sure how to do it - the formatting, the getting it on Amazon, the marketing it etc. I learned a lot from that experience and I've written a proper marketing plan for my upcoming Slavecatcher trilogy so it shouldn't feel so overwhelming.

I was stunned by the response to Ricochet - people were downloading it before I'd even realized Amazon had put it up for sale, and it was number one in its UK categories for weeks. Unfortunately, I was so stressed out by the process that I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd have liked - I came down with severe laryngitis as a result of the stress and was in so much pain that I couldn't speak for a week after Ricochet came out! I'd like it to be more controlled and less frenetic next time, but I think it'll always be stressful, no matter how experienced you are. You worry about so many things - the formatting, the spelling/grammar, the continuity - no matter how many times you edit and get editors to help, it seems that something always gets through. And then, of course, you have all that nail-biting worry until the first review comes in, and someone says they like it! Agh! I’m getting nervous just thinking about it!

      Where did the plot bunny for the BDSM Universe Series come from?

Oddly, it just popped into my head as a mental image when I was writing in the Stargate: Atlantis fandom. I saw the characters of John and Rodney all dressed up in a sexy, BDSM way, and married to each other in a universe where nobody thought that was strange, arriving in OUR universe, where we did think it was strange, and the culture clash that might ensue. Once I'd had the idea, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before. It seemed so obvious! I loved writing and exploring the universe, first in my fanfiction and then in my original character novel, Ricochet. I know I'll return to it over and over again throughout my writing career - it's such a fantastic place to write about! I'm not sure I'd want to live there, but I'd definitely love to visit!

     Are you attending any meet ups or conferences this year and if so where?

I'm going to the UK GLBTQ fiction meet in September in Bristol.

      What would you say is your biggest pet peeve in this genre?

I don't like cruelty in the BDSM genre. In a consensual BDSM relationship both participants enjoy their roles, nobody is exploiting anyone, and they are respectful of each other, even if one of them gets soundly spanked every morning! I don't like feeling worried or uncomfortable about the safety or mental health of one or both of the participants. I think people have different mileage where this is concerned - if you don't enjoy BDSM erotica then the scenario of someone being sexually aroused through pain play might well be so abhorrent to you that just the thought of nipple clamps is a turnoff - whereas some who loves it might want it to go further and be more extreme. My issue is relationships - if the relationship is supposed to be one of love, then I find it off-putting if the author writes it as abusive. If the intention is to write about an abusive BDSM relationship then fine - as long as it's recognized, presented and dealt with as such and not dressed up as romance. BDSM isn’t abuse.

      Can you tell us about your future projects?

I've spent the past two and a half years writing a trilogy called Slavecatcher. It isn't BDSM, but it deals with a dystopian future where people can be bought and sold in a system tantamount to slavery. Although the system was created to deal with the terrible aftermath of extreme climate change, it has since degenerated into something much darker. The trilogy is a gay romance but also a thriller, a murder-mystery and a sci-fi novel. It's one of those stories that I hope people will re-read as soon as they've finished, because everything they think they know about the characters has changed. I think it’s one of the best things I've written, and certainly one of the most ambitious! It's a definite change in tone to Ricochet - Slavecatcher is a darker, more angsty story, but it has a redemptive love affair running through it. I've completed books one and two, but still have book three to write. It's a massive project, but I love the complexity of the world-building, storytelling and characterization - it's been a huge challenge, but I'm very proud of it. I can't wait to share it, but I still have a lot of hard work to do on it first!

Where can your readers follow your work? Twitter, Facebook, other?


Xanthe is giving away one signed hardcover copy of her book Ricochet! Yes, you heard that right... A HARDCOVER COPY OF RICOCHET TO A READER... SIGNED! It's an international contest so anyone can enter to win. This will run until Friday, June 19th. Winner will be notified via email so make sure to check your spam.  Good luck to you all and I want to thank Xanthe for being here today and letting us get to know her better. I look forward to her future work.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. For me a good BDSM story is all about the relationship and bond between the participants. If I don't believe they actually want to be where they are, that what give to and take from each other comes from a place of love, the story won't work for me. While the usually hot sex is definitely a bonus, it is not enough on its own - it has to come from the love between the characters and further their romance/story.

  2. Xanthe is a Star at world building.
    The details she describes just blow you away.
    I would really really love it if I won this signed copy of Ricochet.
    Fingers crossed!

  3. I look for realism, the BDSM has to ring true, it needs to be a necessary part of the characters lives, not just an add on for the sake of it. It also needs to be balanced and consensual.
    IMO Xanthe has the balance right, its hot, loving and consensual.

  4. i love the actual story of how the couple gets together and how the bdsm get involved

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  6. I like to see the love and trust the couple have for each other. While you can have a great BDSM relationship without love, you can't even have a good one without trust.

    Xanthe shows how much the couple trusts each other and lets us watch them fall in love. It's what I love about her writing.

  7. In a BDSM story, I look for the connection between the MCs. I look for them both to get what they need out of their relationship both in terms of the BDSM aspect and while they are not in a scene. I look for them to learn and grow in those aspects of their relationship as well. Hot sex is always a great bonus. I'm new to Xanthe, so I thank you for introducing me to her books. I have already added Ricochet to my wishlist it sounds so good.

  8. I look for great characterization, and realism such as scenes dealing with aftercare, and when an author shows the emotional side not just the physical side. But mostly it's all about the characters, because if I don't care about the characters then i don't care what they are doing in or out of the bedroom.

  9. A good BDSM story for me is the relationship. Where you read and you see the MC's are committed and the trust comes off the page. New to me author. I look forward to reading Ricochet

  10. realism is a big deal for me, as is the connection between Dom and sub

  11. Chemistry and a strong bond/connection. Thanks for the chance--- this book has been on my wish list for a long time!

  12. Love this book; romantic but mainly great fun.

  13. A good BDSM story involves so much trust and amazing characters that have a journey to get to that place through comunication (and negotation and sex)