Interview with R.A. Simone

Published 2013-09-15.
How did you write the Daddy's Day series?
I read the first book in the 50 Shades of Grey series, and decided to what it seemed to me to be doing for BDSM, for age play.

That is, Christian meets Ana. She falls for him. Why not? He's rich and "beautiful." He wants her to be his submissive. They spend much of the first book arguing about terms.

Yet, at the same time, Christian starts adapting to Ana. He sleeps with her in the same bed -- just sleeps -- as an example. He's never slept beside a woman before. Had some kind of sex with them in a bed, yes -- then left to actually be alone when asleep.

They have vanilla sex, another first for him.

There're lots of hints about how emotionally wounded he is, which causes him to work obsessively (Although, to be truthful, this has presented in the book is a lot of hooey. True billionaire corporate leaders could not squeeze in all the socializing Christian indulges in, whether with submissives, true girlfriends, or even wives. But it's also true, nobody cares about lack of credibility on this issue.), driving him to be the ultra success he is at such a young age.

I saw the character arcs of their relationships continuing in this direction. Perhaps with Christian giving up his BDSM kinkiness after they got married.

In other words, 50 Shades of Gray, as I saw after reading just the first book, was basically a romance, with Christian's BDSM part of the personal baggage he would eventually overcome to discover he really loves Ana, and needs her, as a real person and lover, not a fantasy submissive playing a role.

It wasn't until after I finished writing the series that I read the second and third books of the 50 Shades series and discovered they didn't go quite in the direction I predicted.

So, I thought about how a young woman might hook up with a guy who wants her to play as though she's his little girl daughter.

If people think BDSM is edgy, I thought, then let them deal with age play.

So far, the Daddy's Day series, while selling well, aren't competing with 50 Shades.

Maybe I should stick with BDSM.
What will you write next?
I'm not sure, though I hate to admit it.

While writing the Daddy's Day books, I fell in love with all Summer's family and friends. I couldn't wait to discover the secrets behind Grandma's powers -- which Spring is in on, though Summer isn't. And I know who Autumn's going to fall in love with, and wanted to learn what he's really been doing overseas for the past few years.

But now I worry that if somebody finds me through the Daddy's Day series because they enjoy age play, they won't enjoy the more ordinary contemporary new adult romances, paranormal romances, and other related stories.

And people who read and enjoy those books, and then try out the Daddy's Day series, may be offended by the age play content.

So it's a quandary I'm puzzling over.
Are you mourning the pending downfall of traditional publishing companies?
Ha! Like most people miss smallpox.

I tried hard, for many years, to satisfy the traditional publishers. I sold some short stories, but never a novel.

Now, to tell the truth, most of what I wrote back then did deserve rejection slips.

A lot of stuff now being self-published deserves rejection slips.

Yet, which stuff?

Frankly, some of the stuff selling like hotcakes on Kindle in the early days sucked. I thought.

Yet others obviously didn't.

And some traditionally published novels suck. Some of them by bestselling authors.

Some more recent Kindle bestsellers were better written than the ones I read years ago, but still weren't what I'd call "professional." More polished, but still a little too thin for my taste. Too straight forward.

Yet, many reviewers love them, cry over them.

And then there's the issue of undeserved rejections.

I've heard the first Harry Potter book got rejected twelve or more times. That, in fact, it only got accepted because one editor gave it to their eight year old daughter, and she loved it.

This would not be an issue, except massive blockbusters garnering large numbers of rejections is the norm, not the exception.

And it's not a modern phenomenon. I've read Gone With the Wind got rejected something like 36 times. It went on to win the Pulitzer prize for fiction and the National Book award. Today, the people running those would sooner slit their wrists than give them to a historical romance selling millions of copies.

And that was in the "good old days." When Maxwell Perkins worked with writers showing promise. Before publishers could blame their failures on the corporate bean counters.

And the stories of large numbers of rejections of famous novels and writers doesn't stop. In literary and genre fiction. Jack Kerouac. Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Richard Adams' Watership Down. William Faulkner. Stephen King. Dr. Seuss. Even the Diary of Anne Frank!

Rudyard Kipler. John Grisham. Lord of the Flies. Frank Herbert's Dune.

Judy Blume. Wind in the Willows. Joe Haldeman's The Forever War.

The author of A Confederacy of Dunces got so discouraged, he killed himself. Only his mother's determination eventually found a publisher after his death.

The publishing industry wants blockbuster bestsellers, but seems (nearly) incapable of recognizing them when they arrive in the mail in manuscript form.

So many great novels got published only because the author refused to give up AND -- this part is also necessary -- an editor or publisher eventually saw the light.

Because of the massive consolidation in the publishing industry, that many editors don't exist any longer.

You may be willing to send your science fiction novel to an 100 editors until it sells, but there aren't that many.

If the handful of remaining gatekeepers believe your masterpiece will not sell in huge numbers, they'll pass on it. Even if they personally love it. Or the publisher's sale force will force them to reject you, because they believe it won't make enough money.

Not necessarily not make money. Just not "enough." Decades ago, small paperback publishers like Ace and Ballantine could buy high quality genre novels because they knew their monthly releases sold enough copies to make them a small profit. They didn't need every book to hit the New York Times. They rarely did. But the company made a profit, and, with luck, sometimes they did hit the jackpot. As Ace did with Dune and Ballantine with Lord of the Rings.

All of which means, no traditional publisher would spare five seconds for a series of four novels about adults enjoying age play sexual fantasies.

They wouldn't touch 50 Shades of Grey with a 200-foot pole if it weren't already selling online like crazy.

John Locke famously said all he needed was to find ten thousand dedicated fans of his books.

A mentality the traditional publishers despise.

But don't those ten thousand John Locke fans deserve his novels just as much as James Patterson's umpteen million fans?

For decades, the traditional publishers have narrowed the choices available to readers. And therefore, for writers.

Now, led by Kindle, ereaders and sites such as Smashwords are giving both readers and writers lots more choice.
It seems like a good deal for writers, but how about readers? Aren't they going to be buried in lousy books?
For decades, publishers have been exerting a subtle form of thought control on the public.

Not consciously. Not as a conspiracy. It's had a liberal bias, but hasn't excluded conservatives who can sell lots of books. And in other ways, it's not political at all.

In fiction, publishers have been restricting the types of fiction available.

Again, it's not organized censorship. It's just that editors choose not to publish books they believe won't make enough money -- in fiction and nonfiction.

Now their lock on distribution to the readership has been broken. They still largely control access to bookstores, drug stores, and supermarkets. But fewer Americans depend on these sources for their books.

Now many heavy readers own Kindles, Nooks, or apps for their PCs or iPads.

Maybe they enjoy westerns. As a traditional publishing genre, westerns have been dead since the early 1970s. But some people still enjoy reading them. Writers couldn't sell them, but now they can.

And science fiction mysteries. And erotic fantasy. And historical romances that take place in other times and places than the English Regency era. And many more cross-genre stories.

Maybe long sagas. They made James Michener millions of dollars. I have an idea for one I'd like to do, if I only had time to do the research.

And in nonfiction now people can publish facts and beliefs the traditional publishers don't want to try to market.

Writers do need editors who can find and help correct mistakes in characterization, plot, comma faults, and so on.

Readers don't need editors to tell them what they are allowed to read.
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Books by This Author

The Rich Dude's 7 Hot Dolls
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,700. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2014 by Wendy. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » General, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Not one, not two, not three, but seven -- seven beautiful young ladies lusting to act out age play scenarios. Billionaire Samson Bailey dates the hottest women, yet remains unsatisfied. He believes gorgeous and sexy Melissa just one more, until she proposes an enticing deal. What man could resist 7 gorgeous hot ladies and Melissa willing to act out adult baby fantasy roles with him?
Living Dolls
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,050. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2013 by Wendy. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Men's Erotica, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
David takes after his father in many ways. He founded a successful business and is obsessed with beautiful women, particularly those acting younger than their years. When David's father introduces David to his "friend" Melissa, David doesn't know what to think, when he finds Melissa dressed like a very young woman and twerking. And when Melissa finds Calamansi for David, he can't resist.