by David Wraith
Some say the first rule of writing is “write what you know.” If this is true, then it’s safe to assume that St. Louis area author, Marie Haynes, knows sex, sadomasochism and… food. Her novel, Tasting Pleasure, is the tale of an American expatriate trying to launch a catering company in Great Britain. When she embarks on a BDSM relationship with her first client, an influential photographer, their evolution from employer/employee to dominant/submissive is charted not only in masochism, but in meals. Each chapter begins with a different recipe.
I interviewed Marie in anticipation of her appearance at SEX+STL Out Loud.
How long have you been writing erotica and how did you first get published?
My first novella, Conquest of a Fairy, was published in 2008, but I began writing poetry and erotica years before that privately. I love words but sometimes become tongue-tied (so to speak) in the heat of a moment. Therefore, I like to write my erotic thoughts and fantasies. When I finally had a story that I thought might be good enough, I researched several different publishers and found total-e-bound – new on the scene in 2008 and looking for hot new writers. I was blessed enough for them to agree to take me on.
You’re a submissive woman, as is Alicia, the protagonist of Tasting Pleasure. Would you say that you and your character have a lot in common?
I am submissive in nature, but not nearly as much as Alicia! Actually, I’d classify myself more as a pleaser than a submissive these days. I like to please people, my partner in particular, but I don’t take orders and I don’t seek out pain. Alicia is a strong woman, any submissive has to be, but she thrives on service and places the happiness of her dominant before her own needs and those of others. While my partner’s happiness is indeed important to me, I have too many responsibilities to place his needs before everything else in my life. And in all truth, my husband wouldn’t really want that anyway. I suppose, thought, that at a basic level, Alicia and I are both simply trying to find our place in the world.
Alicia also runs a catering business. Are you a good cook?
I am an excellent cook!! I learned in my grandmother’s kitchen and respect the old ways, such as mashing potatoes by hand and starting a pumpkin pie with a real pumpkin. Food is very sensual and personal. After all, it goes into our bodies, feeds us, heals us, become a part of us. By putting so much attention and care into the food that I serve to my family and friends, I’m showing them how much I love and care about them.
Would you say there is a correlation between your favorite scenes to write and things you enjoy sexually in real life?
Indeed. Many things I write about I personally enjoy, but not everything. Nor have I tried everything I write about. For example, Alicia, in one scene, is tied up by her hair. I personally would not enjoy or appreciate that, even when my hair reached almost to my waist. Still, the touch of tongue against tongue, the warm breathe of a lover on cool skin, the explosion of color when the ultimate pleasure is reached – yes. Alicia and I certain share in some aspects of lovemaking.
What type of feedback have you gotten from readers?
When I was in L.A. last April I had one reader hug me and tell me she had gotten her family to eat cauliflower because of a recipe in Tasting Pleasure! Another reader, and this I’m most happy about, told me that after reading my book and blog she found the courage to tell her husband that she wanted to add some kink to their lovemaking. He agreed and the two have been exploring new sexual adventures to the delight of both of them! Actually, I’d love to hear more from readers.
Marie Haynes will be appearing at SEX+STL Out Loud, November 10th at 7pm at Shameless Grounds.
Her books, Conquest of a Fairy, What’s Your Pleasure and Tasting Pleasure are all available from total-e-bound.