Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Q & A with Kate Kinsey
Author: Kate Kinsey
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Publication: September 6, 2012
Page Count: 277
A BDSM thriller
Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers—aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.
Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper…beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain…good and evil.
Add Red to your Goodreads list
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The author of 'Red' promises us a story that is well written, a story that doesn't just have kinky sex but an actual plot, and a story written by someone who knows what she's talking about when it comes to the kinky world of BDSM. I have to say, she delivered. This book is an erotic thriller. There's not a lot of romance, but an incredible murder mystery divulging into the world of BDSM that will leave you guessing until the very end and then leave you shocked. Talk about twists you won't see coming.
The author is great at building up tension and anticipation in her writing. The story itself is dark, complex, and violent, but she is able to throw in humor relief, mainly through Hanson's partner, Griggs, that keeps it on the edge of becoming too dark. I just had to mention Griggs because I like him :)
So who my favorite character? Hard to say. Gina is a strong female character and isn't afraid of what she wants. She is sexy and confident. Hanson is pretty much the opposite of Gina. It's interesting how their characters come together so well, but they do. I love how the author was able to portray her characters as real people with real lives, worries, and desires. She was able to use them to bring dimension to the story and give it purpose. All of the characters are believable.
As for the erotica/BDSM aspect – This is not erotic romance. If you open this book looking for that, you'll be disappointed. However, keep reading. The BDSM is successfully woven into the storyline rather than just being a side story as it is in so many other erotica books, and rather than just throw us into the world of BDSM assuming we know everything about it, the author gives us a roadmap to guide us in the form of Detective Hanson. He knows next to nothing about BDSM, and as things are explained to him, they are also explained to the reader.
Here are my only two grievances with the book: One, the first few chapters seemed a bit muddled to me. You were kind of thrown into the middle of things, and it was a bit hard to follow. However, it quickly came together nicely into create a wonderful story. Second, the quotes at the beginning of each and every chapter I found unnecessary and annoying and would have rather had them not there. Because of these two things I have been hovering between 4 and 5 stars. However, I ultimately decided that my small qualms weren't enough to knock off a star. Overall this story was sexual, violent, suspenseful, and complex. Read it.
View all my reviews
Q: When and why did you begin writing?
A: I started writing in my head from early childhood, but didn't actually write anything down until college.
I published another book, under another name, several years ago, and I've written three others that are still being shopped around by my agent. "Red" is my first stab at a crime thriller.
Q: How would you describe your writing style?
A: "Red" is NOT erotica, nor is it a romance. I've seen comments from a few readers who somehow picked it up expecting Fifty Shades of Grey; needless to say, they ran screaming into the night! "Red" is a crime thriller. I did a lot of research on police procedure in order to craft a believable and well-written suspense novel. Because this particular killer is stalking the BDSM community, there is some graphic (and hot!) sex along the way, but it is secondary to the plot.
Q: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A: I began writing "Red" about four years ago. I've been heavily involved in the BDSM lifestyle for more than ten years now, and kinksters are some of the healthiest and happiest people I've ever met. Yet most of us have gone through a period of wondering if something is wrong with us, simply because we are aroused by bondage, pain, dominance, etc. I personally get sick of seeing the bad guy turn out to be a "sadistic serial killer" with lots of ropes and chains in his basement. That's why I set out specifically to write something that reflected the BDSM community as I know it. Not perfect, not romantic, but not "sick" either.
Q: How do you think the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has influenced or affected the erotica/BDSM genre?
A: It's virtually impossible now to discuss BDSM without mentioning those four dirty words, Fifty Shades of Grey. I have very mixed feelings about that book. On one hand, it's transformed BDSM from a dark little secret that nice people would never talk about, to something that everyone is talking about. Many women are in many cases for the first time ever talking honestly to their partners about their sexual desires.
It also allowed me, when friends asked what I thought about it, to shrug and say with a sly smile, "Hey, that's just my average Friday night." (Which probably explains why most of my friends in the community weren't that impressed by FSoG. We're already living that fantasy, and the written word just cannot compete with a sharp smack on a bare ass.)
But when I discovered Anne Rice's The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty years ago, I was amazed and relieved to find I was not the only person in the world who had such fantasies. If FSoG does that for even one reader, then I can forgive it everything else.
Everything else being: ultimately, FSoG portrays people who practice BDSM as damaged. We still battle this stereotype that we could only enjoy these things as a result of past abuse or some mental defect. Have some kinksters been molested and abused? Sure, but so have a lot of Republicans, fly fishermen and pastry chefs. One thing does not inevitably lead to the other!
My publisher, Kensington Books, might not have been willing to take a chance on "Red" if FSoG hadn't just made BDSM the hottest ticket in publishing right now. So for that reason, if no other, I have to cut FSoG some slack. Though, oh my God, if only it weren't so badly written!
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main characters from Red.
A: I love my main characters, Tom Hanson and Gina Larsen. Both are smart and dedicated to their jobs, and those are two qualities I most admire. I'd never tried to write about love (or lust) from a male POV, so Tom was a bit of a challenge, but I love him more for that. He's far more of a "romantic" than Gina, and I adore men who are able to love deeply and even desperately.
Gina's strong and fearlessly unapologetic about who she is and what she wants. She has her demons, just as Tom does, and that's what makes them so interesting together. But there are still a lot of things to explore in the dark recesses of Gina's psyche. (Yes, there will be a sequel.)
I'm tickled pink that so many readers found a soft spot for Griggs. For a "knuckle-dragging, equal opportunity bigot," he's strangely likable.
Q: What do you do to keep busy when you're not writing?
A: What do I do to keep busy when I'm not writing? Keeping busy is not a problem for me! The problem is finding time to sleep. Besides the necessary evil of a full-time job for a steady paycheck and health insurance, I am also a painter and crafter who sells in a local gallery. When I'm not writing, painting, reading or tied to a cross somewhere, I'm a movie junkie.
Q: What are you reading now?
A: I just bought a Kindle and I've gone a little crazy loading it up. Currently I am reading: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn; The Blood in the Snowflake Garden, by D. Alan Lewis; and Society of the Golden Rose by Breanne Erickson. In the car, I'm listening to Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I love audio books! Makes it easy to get more books read!
About the Author: Kate Kinsey is a forty-something single white female with a highly sophisticated brain that sometimes still gets obsessed trying to remember all the words to the Gilligan's Island theme song.
She's a truly fabulous person who just can't figure out why she's not rich and famous yet, or why the universe refuses to admit that she is indeed the center of it.
She currently lives in Tennessee with a cat who is in the Witness Protection Program — at least, that's his story and he's sticking to it. He has a fetish for leather shoes and bare ankles, and an obsession with squirrels.
Kate has been collared to her Sir for more than ten years. She has been very involved in her local community since she first stepped off the vanilla cliffs and dove into the kinky world of BDSM.
When she's not tied to a cross in a dungeon somewhere, she loves to read as well as write. She's also a painter and a film buff.
Hard as it may be to believe, Kate was raised Southern Baptist, but is recovering.