Today, I have the great pleasure of welcoming the fabulously funny Sheri Savill behind my very chintzy curtains because, lo! She hath just written a BDSM erotica parody by the name of Bound for Disappointment (a.k.a BFD) and, in the past few days, set said satirical masterpiece afloat upon the waters of the Mighty River Zon, unleashed it within the Noble Barn. What better time to pull her into my floral den and force her to answer serious questions about her latest release?
Prepare yourselves. This could get a little messy.
Jane: Welcome, Ms Savill! It is an honour to have you here in my erotic Laura Ashley-stroke-Cath Kidston paradise. First of all, why don’t you give us a brief run down on YOU. Who is Sheri, really, and what is she about? What does she spread on her toast in the morning? Does she take milk in her coffee? Does she pay her electricity bill on time?
Sheri: Greetings Jane! And if I may, just a quick hello to the last of your readers as they rush for the doors. So glad to be here! At last! I’m Behind the Chintz Curtain. And may I say it is every bit as lovely as I had suspected it would be. The pictures do NOT do it justice. I expected nice, but this is really elegant. And thank you for setting out the cheesy poofs for me. A most thoughtful gesture.
Jane: Let’s begin our Bound for Disappointment discussion by talking a little bit about Tara Febreze, the book’s intrepid erotic author heroine. What – or who – inspired her creation and could you tell us a little more about the etymology of her name? It has a very French feel to it and I am curious as to whether you may have been influenced by the great Anne Desclos of Story of O fame.
Sheri: Very perceptive of you Jane, to notice the literary influences as to Tara’s name. Yes, the name conjures cheap French perfume and odour-masking aerosols. The name Tara … I was thinking of Scarlett O’Hara’s plantation and of course Scarlett wore corsets. See how it all connects so cleverly? So well-crafted, isn’t it? Or, maybe I just got up one morning and, before I’d had that first life-giving slug of espresso, let out a breathy sigh and said to myself, “Hmm. Name for character. Let’s see. How ’bout Tara? Febreze? Yeah, good a name as any. Clackety-clack.” Oh no! Trade secrets given away here on Chintz Curtain. Redact!
Jane: In the initial stages of the book, burritos and flip flops play a significant role in the storyline. Can you expand a little on your decision to include them in the text and perhaps explain their metaphorical significance?
Sheri: Burritos are terribly underused in most great literature, don’t you agree? And why is that? It got me to thinking. Kept me up at night. Then I hit upon it: the burrito is a perfect metaphor for BDSM. It’s got all these bits sort of bound up inside. Bondage. And flip flops, of course, can be removed quickly, and used to slap at things. Like if you wanted to kill a bug crawling along the floor. So, burritos and bondage, flip flops and slapping at things. BDSM. I thought it was pretty ham-handed and transparent of me, really. But readers should see these things through the prism of their own experience.
Jane: Tara comes across as a very emotional heroine. Do you think that sometimes her feelings get the better of her? Is, for example, the scene in which she demolishes a neighbour’s topiary with a chainsaw typical or atypical of her from a behavioural point-of-view?
Sheri: Tara is a bit … high-strung. She’s creative; has that artistic temperament. So of course she’s going to react to blatant hypocrisy with a chainsaw massacre. Who doesn’t? For readers who don’t know, I’ll tell you a little (without spoilers): In the story, when the big online retailer starts censoring smut books, Tara just loses her shit completely. Personally I would never do something like that. Say a big online retailer made me change a beautiful book cover of mine, and then the next day I saw sixty-three others that are much much much more provocative than mine ever was, and the retailer let all of those stand, and they’re still there as we speak. Would I grab a chainsaw and go on a rampage next door? No. I’d write a polite letter of inquiry to the retailer, and then delete it. And then I’d probably say, “Well, right then. I’m going to write some snarky shit about this, at least, and then sell it on their site, because I do enjoy a nice slice of irony now and then.”
Sheri: Vageena is annoying, isn’t she? I actually based her on a character from school. Someone who hid library books we all needed for research papers. Very cutthroat shit, that was. I have to figure karma got her. So I learned from that … trust no one! Make fun of them twenty years later in a book. No, they won’t know you’ve done it. But you will. Petty? You bet. Oh! Random fact you must know: As I wrote BFD, I constantly typed “Vegeena” instead of “Vageena.” I didn’t say it was an interesting fact. Just a random one.
Jane: It’s very difficult to prevent at least some of who we are, as authors, from seeping into our writing. How heavily do you, Sheri Savill, feature in Bound for Disappointment?
Sheri: I’d say Tara is 100% me through and through. Not just with regard to my penchant for wearing corsets and thigh-highs while out on errands, but the way she deals with the bad reviews, and the way she fondled the burritos. All those little details. Very much me.
Jane: At one point, Tara is told to edit her writing to make it ‘less smutty’, more acceptable for mainstream distribution. What parallels can we draw from this incident with real life and, say, the move to censor adult content by governments and large multinationals?
Sheri: Seriously I could rant about this all day. Censorship just infuriates me. As Mark Twain said, “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” I don’t like babies either. Sorry. But censorship with no logic, and being applied unevenly, and without explanation? Infuriating. Dangerous. And some are saying we mustn’t talk about it because we might be banned “for good” from certain … places. That’s some self-censorship right there, eh?
Jane: Would you ever recommend looking for a Dom in the frozen foods aisle?
Sheri: Yes, by all means. Look for the black flip flops and other tell tale signs of Domliness. Really, I think Doms are hard to find these days. It’s all submissives now. They’re being hatched somewhere. Someone needs to spray, or set out bait traps. The big ones. Where HAVE all the Doms gone? Who has them? Is there a ransom note? How much do the kidnappers want? Can we raise the money, Jane!? Online petition? Why isn’t there a rent-a-Dom service? Why? I don’t want to buy one because they lose more than half their value the minute you get them off the showroom floor. My head swirls with questions like this pretty much all the time. You know how they say a creative mind is like a computer monitor with 2,853 windows all open in separate tabs, all at the same time? My mind is exactly like that, only there’s a 404 on every page.
Jane: Lastly, I’d like to ask you about the book’s title. Does it suggest an ill-fated ending for Ms Febreze, or is it perhaps more hopeful, hinting at disappointment only if she continues to pursue Tops by the name of DOM?
Sheri: Well, Bound for Disappointment sort of sums up my personal “journey”. The glass is half full. The wheels have fallen off the wagon. Someone’s stuck a pin in the balloon. But I’m known as an optimist.
I don’t want to give away the ending because I spent a good three minutes – at least – plotting it. But I’ll hint. There may be sequels. Yes. Because I have – I mean Tara has – angst. She’s sensitive. She needs to vent when people leave inane reviews of her books. Me, I shrug and go about my business all cheerful-like. I don’t give it a second thought. Because I’m a professional. I can take harsh, poorly-written criticism from strangers who’ve never read erotica, much less BDSM erotica. “My that’s an interesting point you make. I’ll be sure to …” The chainsaw is gassed up and ready.
‘When Tara reached home she opened her laptop and checked her email. There was one marked URGENT, from her editor, Deke:
“Hey, Tara. Our distributors are tightening up some categories for smutty BDSM books. There have been complaints that your stuff is too … hardcore. So we have to be a little more careful. No biggie, just means changing a little wording in your new books, here and there, to adapt. No more references to “cock” “pussy” “fucking” “tits” “ass” “holes” “come” “coming” “wet” “hard” “breathing” “licking” “sucking” “fingers” “smacking” “bruising” “blowing” “moaning” “hot” “touching” “thrusting” “whipping” “caning” “spanking” “toys” and “sex.” I’ll send the full list later.”
“What in the name of FUCK-ALL?!” Tara said aloud, to her pet goldfish Skippy, who was doing a backstroke in his bowl on her desk. Actually he was Skippy 17. She numbered the Skippys now, because she traveled a lot and, well, you know. When she returned from trips it was just a matter of a quick flushing and then on to the next Skippy. Tara knew that people with pets were generally happier and better adjusted overall. Dealing with a string of senseless fish deaths made her better able to handle the stresses of everyday life with grace and aplomb.
“Are these fucking prude-ass distributors on meth!? How am I going to write smut without cocks and pussies and assholes and come? MY STUFF IS TOO HARDCORE?! This is smut, for God’s sake! Smut is supposed to be … SMUTTY!”
The rain pelted the windows. Thunder rolled, rattling the light fixture over her desk. Tara felt a furious bubbling froth of anger rising up from the pit of her stomach. She jumped up and headed to the backyard. She stopped at the shed and grabbed her perfectly-maintained gassed-up chainsaw. She pulled the cord. It started instantly and she charged over wet grass in her five-inch black patent heels in the darkness and heavy rain.
“I’ll show these motherfuckers! TOO HARDCORE?! MY STUFF IS TOO HARDCORE?!?! FUCKING ASSHOLES!” She thought again how having pets allowed her to channel her feelings in healthy ways.’
* Sheri Savill is a real-life submissive who “came out” about it back in the mid-90s, somewhat at least (went to dungeons, etc.). She knew she was submissive since she was a pre-teen, and there are still whips and chains in the house. She’s worked at damned near every sort of media outlet there is over the years – as a magazine editor, reporter, freelance writer, copy editor. Now she writes smut and does web development. When she’s working, she wears headphones and listens to soothing rainstorm sounds that promise to keep her centered and calm. It doesn’t work.
Bound for Disappointment tickle your fancy? Click on the following links to purchase a copy:
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