I soon realised that even better than the high of actually publishing my first novel was the tremendous glow I experienced from friendship and encouragement offered by the spanking fiction author and reader community.
Among the first to extend that hand of friendship was the wonderful Natasha Knight, and I am so privileged to have her here today to talk about her fantastic new release “Aching to Submit” which was such a wonderful read that I literally couldn’t put it down until I had read every single word. While a delicious spanking romance novel it’s also a “coming of age” novel for anyone harbouring secret Dominance/submission fantasies and have not yet had the opportunity or the courage to confront them. And for those who have already been through that process, it’s amazing how many of the sentiments will be echoes of the evolution process experienced as the reader relives their own “coming out.”
Natasha kindly agreed to a frank and open interview about the parallels between the real Natasha Knight and her main character Sophie, and I loved the insight it offered me into someone I have come to think of as a really good friend.
TF:I know from the information you have publicly available, Natasha Knight is an American living in Holland, who fairly recently came out about her submissive desires. Sophie's story is very similar. So just how much of Sophie is the real Natasha Knight?
NK:Ha ha! A lot of Sophie is the real Natasha Knight. A lot of the story is also fiction of course, but the feelings that went with it all, especially at the beginning of the story, are very close to how I was feeling/thinking/expressing (or not on the latter) for a long long time.
TF: They do say the best writing is born of experience, and I have to say that the depth of the emotions shown by Sophie does speak of experience.
Given your own circumstances and what you’ve been through, I'm sure you became very involved with Sophie. Did you find her emotional to write?
NK: Yes, absolutely. I hated writing this at one point. It was confronting - it forced me to look at a lot of things, the huge move to Europe and all the things it brought up on top of that list. I was writing it at a time that my own story wasn't going the way Sophie's eventually would.
You know I started to write this genre thinking if I could just get it on paper and out of my head, I wouldn't want it anymore - kind of like Sophie with her 'if I just try this once, I won't want it anymore'. It had the opposite effect though. The more I wrote, the more my own stuff came up and the less I could ignore it.
TF: So it didn’t serve it’s original purpose then, but maybe it was better in that it helped you confront the true you!
I can't help but wonder did your husband read this book? And if so how did he feel about you writing it?
He's reading it now and first thing he said was he saw how my writing had developed since he'd read Taught To Kneel, the only other one he has read. That was a great boost.
There were some other circumstances in our lives at this point and it really was like sitting in a pressure cooker - something had to give. Sometimes you need that I think to make a change or to force you to act. We did and we have some great friends who were willing to speak up, tell the truth and help. I'm happy to say the lid is off the pot or at least not screwed on so tightly any longer. I feel like we're moving in the right direction.
TF: I’m so glad it worked out for you. It can’t have been easy taking that leap of faith in coming out to him. Now, looking back, do you wish you had come out sooner?
NK: I wish I knew myself better sooner, yes. I always say as a joke that the 30 Days of Kink questions should be a mandatory dating guide for the kinky but for a long time, I didn't know what kinky was - I only knew what turned me on made me different in not a good way. It was shaming for me, something I needed to hide.
I'm happy to have figured this out and to have come out at all to be honest. It was very difficult at the time and I’m lucky to have a husband who took it like he did.
TF: You certainly are! How much do you think writing these stories has helped you grow into the person you wanted to be?
NK: You're assuming I'm the person I want to be… J Actually, I've gained a lot of confidence since I started writing in general. I am more ok with myself and more ok with the fact that the only person who has to be ok with me is me. I'm no longer ashamed about the kink - I cherish it in fact. I've made some of my best friends through this, I have been more honest than I could be before this. I'm still learning but I think we all are. We don’t stop until the end, right? I don't want to stop at least.
TF: If it means you keep producing those hot books I hope you never stop! And following on from that, how much do you think living it to some extent has helped you write it?
NK: Well, there's the basic physical knowledge of how things feel so that is one way. The emotional part of this - if I hadn't come out and we didn’t live it to some extent, I wonder if my stories would not have their HEAs.
TF:That’s true Natasha, it’s certainly easier to write a HEA if you’re happy in yourself. If I may, I'd like to go off topic for a minute. You were a victim of either stolen or mistaken identity on a colleague's book review a little while back, which was hurtful to you personally and also potentially to your sales. I know James at Stormy Night Publications along the spanking fiction community, writers and readers rallied round to support you as best they could, but has that entirely been resolved now or do you feel it is still an issue for you? What do you think can be learned both by the spanking fiction world and also Amazon about this? Would you have any advice?
NK: Funny enough, I saw a few days ago that the person who'd written that review has reverted back to their original name so I am glad that is behind me. I believe it was a mistake - this person changing their name to my name - why else do it?
Those few days were pretty awful. I felt really awful and hurt and like I had no control over anything. I don't want to focus on the negative though so I'm not going there.
The way SNP, James and the community rallied around me though - wow, that was incredible. I saved some of the notes and just nice little things people sent me.
As far as it affecting sales, I don't know. Amazon - well, we need Amazon for sales right? The way they decide what qualifies as abuse and what doesn't is a bit like how they decide what gets adult tagged… enough said.
Advice?? Ah - I need to take this advice as well so here it is: you cannot control everything. If you cannot control it, don’t get caught up in it. All that will come of it is suffering and then you're just adding to the negative energy. Keep believing in the good in people. Is that corny? J I'm corny sometimes…another secret out.
TF:Natasha, thank you so much for coming to visit my blog, it was great chatting with you. I wish you every success with Aching to Submit. And thanks for sharing an excerpt with the readers too.
NK: Hey, this was a lot of fun Tara. You asked awesome questions - thanks for the nudge to tell my story.
This scene begins in Kyan's office and ends in the main room of the BDSM club L'Opera. Michael has just brought Sophie to the club where he has arranged that she be spanked in public while he watches.
In Michael's own words: "I’d like to see you spanked in public by another man, Sophie. I want to see you strip naked, I want to see you walk through the club while men watch you. I want to see you bent over, your ass on display, and most important, I want to watch your face as you’re spanked."
* * * *
“Do you understand what’s going to happen tonight?” Kyan asked.
Goose bumps covered Sophie's body and she began to shake. “You’re going to spank me out there,” she said, unable to keep the emotion from her voice as she pointed to the door leading to the main room and broke eye contact with him.
Michael’s hand was on her knee immediately and it was all the encouragement she needed.
“Look at me, Sophie,” Kyan said.
She turned her face back to Kyan’s and wiped the back of her hand over her eyes.
“Michael, as your dominant, has asked you to participate in this public session for a few reasons. You’ve discussed those, yes?”
“Please vocalize. I believe you know how to address me.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said, her eyes wide, looking at him with the same almost childlike need for approval as she did Michael.
“Just to clarify, one is for him to learn your tolerance for pain. Another is for him to understand or establish boundaries for himself as your dominant.”
Michael spoke next. “The third is simply for my pleasure. I’d like to see you spanked in public by another man, Sophie. I want to see you strip naked, I want to see you walk through the club while men watch you. I want to see you bent over, your ass on display, and most important, I want to watch your face as you’re spanked.”
She stared at Michael as he said these things, her heart leaping from her chest in its desire to please him.
“Tell me, does the idea arouse you? Because I think it does,” Michael asked.
She could only swallow.
“If you can’t answer with words, you’ll have to show us just how wet you are.”
Sophie turned from Michael to Kyan, then back again.
“Yes, Sir. The idea excites me. I’m just… nervous.”
“I’d be worried if you weren’t,” Michael said. “Let’s get started.”
“Do you remember your safeword, Sophie?” Kyan asked.
“Yes, Sir. It’s lavender.”
“Good. I’m ready when you are, Michael,” Kyan said, addressing the last part to her husband.
“Stand up, Sophie,” Michael said, his face also looking a little flushed.
She rose slowly to her feet.
“Take off your dress.”
Every hair on her body stood on end. She glanced at Kyan sitting there, relaxed as he leaned back in his seat, as if this was a normal day at the office for him.
“Look at me, Sophie. I’m the only one you need to look at.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said.
“In fact, unless Kyan asks you a question, you’re only allowed to look at me all night. When I’m not standing in your line of vision, I want your eyes on the floor.”
Her pussy was on fire. She slowly stripped off her dress, sliding it down over her body and stepping out of it, effectively naked beneath in just the thigh-high stockings and pumps he’d instructed her to wear. Once the dress was on the floor, she looked at her husband, but managed to keep her hands at her sides.
“Pick up the dress and lay it over the back of the chair.”
She did slowly in the most modest way she could.
“Good girl,” he said. He rose to his feet and took her face in one hand, caressing her cheek before leaning down to kiss her open lips.
Kyan said something in Dutch she obviously wasn’t meant to understand. Michael nodded, even though he never took his eyes off Sophie.
“Slip off your stockings and shoes,” he said.
Kyan had apparently given instructions. She didn’t dare glance at Kyan; she was entirely too embarrassed. Instead, she stepped out of her shoes and peeled off each stocking.
“Are you ready?” Michael asked.
She saw Kyan rise from the corner of her eye and for the first time, something inside her felt fear. Her hand shot out to capture Michael’s. He took it, looking at it before meeting her eyes. He smiled and squeezed. “You’re okay. I’ll be with you the entire time.”
She smiled back and nodded.
He opened the door and the soft opera music playing in the main room broke into their intimate space.
Michael nudged her to walk toward the door and she did, walking between the two men, her eyes on the floor as she’d been instructed, watching her bare feet and glancing at the shiny shoes the men wore on either side of her.
“I’ve had the bench placed in the very center of the room,” Kyan said.
She glanced at the contraption from beneath her lashes as they approached it. It was a long wooden thing with what looked to be adjustable back legs, which were slightly higher than the front legs that also contained leather restraints. The long rectangular top was padded.
“Here we are,” Kyan said. “Sophie.”
She looked up at him. “Yes, Sir?”
He smiled and gestured to the bench and she wondered how she was supposed to mount that thing while preserving any decorum.
“Sophie?” Michael asked when she didn’t move.
Sophie stepped closer to the bench and placed her right leg over it. The men stood back and watched as she maneuvered herself into position, placing her hands on the blocks by the front legs where Michael bent to tie the restraints around her wrists. She looked at him as he did this, his blue eyes staring right back into hers. The warmth she was used to was there, but in addition to it, there was something else. Arousal, certainly, but something else. Something more base, more animalistic.
Michael smiled and leaned forward to kiss her, then whispered “I love you,” in her ear.
Blurb: Though deeply in love with her husband Michael, for years Sophie has longed to give him not only her love, but her submission as well. In spite of her yearning to kneel at his feet, fear of rejection keeps her from sharing the truth with him. Though she would never give her body to another man, her need to submit drives her to seek out others like herself and learn more… until Michael discovers her deception and she fears her marriage may be over.
Despite the anger and sadness which tear at his heart when he learns that his wife has kept such an important secret from him, Michael is not going to give up the love of his life without a fight. It will take time, but he is more than ready to be the man she needs, the man to whom she will gladly submit. First, though, she must be firmly disciplined for her betrayal of his trust…
Standing naked before her husband, awaiting a punishment which will bring her to tears and leave her bare bottom red and sore, submission suddenly feels truly real to Sophie for the first time. As Michael asserts his dominance more and more with each passing day, Sophie begins to see him in a way she has never seen him before, and her desire for him seems to know no bounds. But is this just a second honeymoon of sorts, or will Sophie’s submission endure through the trials of everyday life?
Publisher’s Note: Aching to Submit is an erotic novel that includes spankings, anal play, exhibitionism, graphic sexual scenes, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Natasha Knight is the author of several BDSM and spanking erotic romances all of which explore the mind of the Dominant male and the submissive female, discovering just beneath the surface of each story that key element of love. Her characters are as human as she: powerful and vulnerable, flawed, perhaps damaged but with an incredible capacity to love.
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Review of Aching to Submit by Tara Finnegan (c) Spanking Romance reviews
five paddle review, (or five out of five stars)
Review of Aching to Submit by Tara Finnegan (c) Spanking Romance reviews
When I read a book by Natasha Knight there are certain things I have come to expect:
1. Hot as hell spankings and sex scenes.
2. Well Written story to capture my interest.
3. Likeable characters that I can really identify with.
4. A hot dominant man.
Aching to Submit has all that and so much more. It’s a journey that many a submissive and/or spanko will identify with, including the lumps and bumps along the road. It will speak to anyone who has either come out or still harbours a secret fantasy.
The opening scene has a very hot image of a young woman, Sophie, positioning herself over a desk, bottom bared for a punishment she desperately craves, but it’s not going to come. Its heart rending and poignant, rather like the song in Les Miserables, Only in my Mind.
We get to follow Sophie a little bit more and we can sense her loneliness. She is carrying a sadness from her childlessness, a secret guilt from her desire for submission which she feels makes her dirty, and she is incredibly isolated, being displaced from her native America to Amsterdam due to her husband’s work and his gruelling travelling schedule. All this results in Sophie’s shutting off from her husband.
We also get to see Michael, heartbroken and scared. As a divorcee, he can see the signs of a crumbling marriage and he is at a loss about how to get through to Sophie. He is also wracked with guilt as he feels he has caused her isolation and depression. He seems to be a tender, loving and indulgent husband.
Sophie’s need to submit becomes all pervasive to the point where she almost loses her sense of reason. She is aware of a BDSM club in Amsterdam and she stakes it out for a time before finally garnering the courage to go in. She is excited about what she sees but decides to keep away out of duty to her husband. But of course the draw is too strong and she returns. Kyan, the club leader sees her confusion and befriends her, even offering her the punishment she feels she needs, but Sophie rejects his offer, realising that Michael is the person she wishes to submit to. She is finally ready to tell him her secret.
At the same time, Michael becomes aware of Sophie’s secret trips to the club and is devastated by her rejection of him. Finally it all comes out in the open and Michael punishes Sophie for her deception. We get some beautiful insights into both Michael’s and Sophie’s thoughts as both grow into their new roles and their relationship strengthens with their newfound openness and trust. And we also get to witness the positive effect it has on their sex life!
I don’t want to add any spoilers, but suffice to say, as you’d expect from any of Natasha Knights books you’ll be gasping for breath at the eroticism of the steamy, smoking sex and spankings which are generously offered throughout.
Top marks, five out of five stars from me, for everything, sex, spankings, story and readers emotional involvement with the characters.
My favourite Natasha Knight book to date, and that is really saying something.