Earlier this year I received an email from a reader who invited me to check out the writings of a friend of his. Truth be told I wasn’t exactly… umm, enthused… since most of the things I have been sent to review (particularly e-books… there’s a reason some of these things can’t get published properly, said the bitter and twisted would-be author…) have been less than entirely brilliant.
This, thankfully, was a different story. In fact I damn near did my eyes in trying to read the PDF on my Nexus 7 (damned tiny writing!) such was my eagerness to read on. The book (or rather books) in question was the ‘Journey Into Chastity’ trilogy and a finer tale of twisted fucked-up-ness you would be hard pushed to locate.
Having almost blinded myself reading the blessed thing, I reported back to the reader that I thought the book was fantastic and he put me in touch with the author ‘Stanley Jeffries’. Stanley then kindly sent me the paperback version of the ‘Journey Into Chastity’ trilogy (if only I’d had that instead of that effing PDF file!) along with another book (The Slow Seduction of Claire MacDonald) which he had written under another name ‘Marcus Andrews’. So I guess my first question is why did you write the books under different names?
SJ: Good question, because you would think an author would want to build as much recognition of his or her work as possible. But it was publisher, Pink Flamingo, who suggested that I keep the Stanley Jeffries name for FemDom stories, and use a different name for MaleDom. Apparently readers of erotic fiction like to be clear about exactly what they’ll be getting, which made sense to me. I’m an equal opportunity pervert, so I’m turned on by both genres.
RA: I’d like to start with the book you wrote under the name ‘Marcus Andrews’ if I could, mainly because it’s fresher in my mind (I’ve literally just finished it). It’s written in an interesting way, with two stories being told alternately and eventually joining up (though I must admit that bit confused me a little…until you straightened it out for me), what made you decide to tell it like that and did you find it easy to write like that? Did you write all of one story first or did you write it pretty much as the book goes?
SJ: I’d written an earlier story, The Chastity Game (FemDom), as an even more complex intertwining of timelines and viewpoints. I still think The Chastity Game is the best story I’ve written, and so the Slow Seduction I think I wanted to try to recapture that mechanism. But it can be hard to do…you need to keep a lot of stuff straight in your head – and as you pointed out it doesn’t always come over as easy to understand!
RA: I was quite taken aback when I first received the book, by the harshness of some of it, I guess I should have expected it to be quite harsh given what happens in the ‘Journey Into Chastity’ trilogy, I think what did it was I flicked it open at a page where one of the main female characters was having her head held under water… I guess it was partly that the character was female that made me feel a little uneasy, though I must say the scene bothered me less when I read it as part of the whole story.
SJ: Guilty as charged. There’s definitely some strong stuff in those two stories you’ve read. But actually some of my other stories aren’t as extreme. Karl’s Year in Chastity, and The Chastity Game are both more balanced. By the way, I think one of the reasons you might find some scenes to be extreme is that I try to create storylines that could actually happen. I actually don’t read a lot of erotic fiction myself because I tend to find that authors need to create alternate realities. Like some parallel universe where women are totally dominant, and men are sent to “re-education camps” to be trained as submissive slaves. Of course there’s a place for that kind of thing, but when those scenes become extreme we’re not as shocked because we know it’s a fantasy.
RA: In all seriousness, I hate those kind of books…
SJ: In the Slow Seduction book, the hero is a young guy (I think he’s twenty four) called Tony. He gets involved with his mother’s best friend, Rebecca, and initially she wants to dominate him. But he wants none of that, and turns the tables on her in quite an extreme way. In the Rebecca timeline, Tony sometimes does extreme things to her, but she keeps coming back for more. The other thing is that I tried to explore the fact that characters can’t be nice all the time. Sometimes they make mistakes, or do things they regret. The head under the water scene is one of those…and it’s at a point where Tony knows that his time with Rebecca is coming to an end. As you say, hopefully the scene makes sense in context.
The alternating chapters tell the other half of the story – which is where Tony meets Claire and falls in love with her. That part of the story is far more gentle…because Tony takes a young and innocent girl and introduces her to his lifestyle.
RA: In the book the main male character instigates some pretty harsh punishments on various females, but he also displays immense common sense and concern for sane practices, for example he is outraged when one of the women is caned to the point where she could potentially have been left scarred for life. Do you think it’s important to try and instil a sense of responsibility in the reader who might one day want to try his hand at administering erotic punishments?
SJ: Very much so. This is partly to do with the fact I mentioned just now – that my stories are set in a “real world”. We all have to remember that BDSM has to be Safe, Sane and Consensual. Obviously as writers we don’t want to go all “preachy”, but I think if it fits into the story then why not throw in some advice at the same time? If you think about it there’s a lot of quite extreme stuff on the web these days. Studios like Mood Pictures (for MaleDom), or Cruel Amazons (for FemDom) show material that’s not just incredibly extreme, but could also be illegal under the UK’s new definitions of extreme pornography. If people use those movies as some kind of guide for their own S&M activities then that would be a huge mistake. It’s one thing to use those images for sexual arousal, but a totally different thing when you come to put it into practice. So maybe a bit of social responsibility in erotic fiction is a good thing.
RA: Both the books I’ve read of yours feature electro-torture quite heavily, is that something you’ve had a lot of experience with?
SJ: A fair bit – most of it on the receiving end, and all of it extremely mild. My favorite toy is the Tazapper. The thing I love about it is that it’s totally safe. It’s a battery-powered device that generates a static electric zap – a bit like touching a door handle if you’ve walked across a synthetic carpet, except a lot more powerful. There’s no intensity dial on a Tazapper – it’s just all the same level of zap each time. So the way you control the pain is by choosing the location of the zap (nipples are my favorite), and the rate of zapping. If you combine it with the helplessness of bondage it can be pretty intense. It’s really easy to control a scene like that with the usual safe words (“mercy” = “that’s my limit”, and “red” = “stop and talk properly”).
I’d like to try other electrical stuff, but the BDSM-style electro equipment can be pretty expensive. I’ve seen electric dog collars used in various ways – the most extreme being when they’d wrapped around a submissive male’s scrotum. Again – that kind of activity looks fun in the porn movies, but you need to be so careful with the power levels. Obviously pain has to play a part, but at the end of the day it’s also supposed to be safe, and fun for both parties. So right now we stick to the trusty Tazapper.
RA: Are your characters based on people you know or are they purely products of your imagination?
SJ: It’s a mixture, actually. If you use people you know then it saves a lot of time because you don’t have to build a detailed character profile. In the first part of Journey I based the characters on a girl I was engaged to, and it’s very, very, VERY loosely based on some real stuff that happened. It was way less interesting in real life!
If I meet certain people, sometimes there’s just something about them that makes me want to use them as characters. For the character of Gemma in The Chastity Game I used Rachel Riley, who is a hostess on a UK TV game show called Countdown. She’s utterly gorgeous, but she has this “girl next door” quality to her that I find enchanting. As she’s as smart as fuck too!
There’s a UK comedian called Jimmy Carr. Some of you reading this will know that he’s done a few spoof shows “8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown”, and he’s worked with Rachel Riley on those shows. On his latest stand-up comedy DVD he says this…“As some of you will know, I’ve had the chance to work with Rachel Riley recently, and I’m often asked if she’s as pretty in real life as she seems on TV. Let me put it like this…I would crawl naked across broken glass to suck the cock of the last guy who fucked her.”
One of the things I always have to do when I’m developing characters is to “fall in love” with my main female character. In Journey into Chastity I had four female characters: Laura, Christine, Angie, and Louise. Laura and Christine were based on girls I’d known (Laura was my ex-fiancee). Angie was invented, but Louise sprang out of a TV weather girl called Lisa Burke. Lisa is a Cambridge graduate in Natural Sciences (First Class Honors), and she’d lyrically beautiful. But she has an even more beautiful voice. I remember listening to her do a weather forecast and just melting as she spoke.
Obviously the trilogy was a very long story, but at various stages I had to evolve my own personal feelings for them. It’s one of the things I really like about the creative process.
RA: Going back to the ‘Journey Into Chastity’ trilogy, I obviously read it pretty much all in one go, but it was written as three separate books, what was the timescale of the creative process for that?
SJ: Flipping ages! Each book is over a hundred thousand words. I’m guessing it took at least a couple of years. As you know from reading it, there’s a humongous plot swing in Book Three, and because I’d published Book One already it took a lot of work to make sure I didn’t go off the rails and become inconsistent.
RA: Again there are two really rather nasty scenes in that book, one involving electro-torture and the other involving a blunted woodworking tool. Are you fucked up in the head or what?
SJ: You nailed it, yes! I really should be locked up. Preferably in a special chastity hospital where the nurses all dress in black leather and…wait a second…don’t get me started! The thing is that the male character in the Journey trilogy, John, is a serious masochist. And the two girls who dominate him sort of get a bit carried away. In some ways it highlights one of the issues of a BDSM relationship, because we do get really excited when we’re in the scene. The endorphins start flowing, and we can take all sorts of pain. Then the next morning we wake up and think “what the fuck did I do?”. But you’re right…some of the stuff was pretty extreme. People seem to like it though…
RA: I must say, despite my own better judgement I continued reading enthusiastically… that tells me something about your writing skills, wouldn’t you agree?
SJ: Now I’m blushing. But I think as a reader sometimes you have to plough through some painful bits of a book to make progress on the plot. Equally as an author there are times I think “for goodness’ sake I’m really not enjoying writing this bit, but I need the story to move from one place to another, and this is the only way I can do it”. I remember reading Lord of the Rings as a kid, and there were a lot of bits of those books that were hard going. But you come out at the end really enjoying it.
RA: Does writing that kind of extreme scene get your own juices flowing, or are you just trying to shock the reader?
SJ: I get very turned on when I’m writing, absolutely. It’s interesting you ask if I’m trying to shock the reader. I never really thought about that. In fact, come to think of it I’m not sure I really consider the reader when I’m writing – how fucked up is that?
RA: Did you encounter any problems with your publisher regarding the severity of the content of the book or were they pretty relaxed about it all?
SJ: Things have changed a lot now that the religious right have got so much power in the US. In the real world I work for a US company and those poor sods have got to be so careful in their day to day work. I was lucky that most of my books sneaked in before the latest series of bans by Amazon. But I was a bit surprised when Fiona at Pink Flamingo told me that the Slow Seduction book wouldn’t be able to go on their main site – and it’d have to be listed on a more extreme site. In a way that was a wake up call for me, because I’m honestly not trying to write extreme stuff. I’m quite a nice chap really…honestly!
RA: I know you are working on a new book and you are trying to make it a bit less extreme, how’s that going so far?
SJ: It’s going really well. I’ve written about 120,000 words – of course it doesn’t mean they’re “good words”, but it does tell me that I really need to stop creating more story and focus on making the story that’s already there better, and more consistent. It’s a FemDom story, and is told from the viewpoint of a Romanian woman who’s basically fallen on some tough times, and who needs to find a way to survive and help her family. She’s twenty four…she’s beautiful, and smart. I love writing strong female characters, and I also love creating dominant women who truly love the men they dominate. Here’s the summary text I’ve written for the back page cover…
“People in difficult situations sometimes have to take drastic action, which was how business graduate, Alina Florian, found herself sitting with a group of other pretty young girls waiting in a sports hall in her home town of Bucharest for the chance to be interviewed as a candidate for a modeling agency. She understood all too well what “modeling” might entail, but right now she was too desperate to be proud.
What she didn’t expect was the offer to become the wife, and full time Dominatrix, of English inventor and millionaire, Charles Waddington. The deal she was offered was simple; five years of her life in exchange for financial security forever for Alina and her family.
Taking the biggest risk of her life, Alina decided to go through with the deal, and embarked not only in this rather strange marriage, but also on an MBA course in a prestigious English business school.
Alina’s life was certainly transformed beyond her expectations. Still confused by the luxury her husband’s wealth could buy her, she begins to feel a strange attraction to her submissive slave. She discovers a love of physical domination, including sexual tease and denial, and enforced male chastity. Gradually her husband’s gentleness and devotion begins to win her over, despite the temptation she encounters from her new best friend, Rachel. But Alina also has to deal with her own turbulent past, and confront personal demons in her quest for happiness.
In his latest FemDom novel, Stanley Jeffries explores the possibility that money really might be able to buy love…as long as that love is earned through total devotion and suffering. The story includes scenes of intense verbal and physical Female Domination, and a gradual escalation of that dominance within a loving, and highly consensual relationship.”
I actually don’t have a title for it yet, but “The Alina Story” as I call it at the moment, really is a love story. It’s also the first time I’ve deliberately sought feedback on the story as it developed – and you’ve been a massive help there, Rob. The problem is that, even if I finish it soon, it tends to take ages for it to be published. Pink Flamingo has a big queue of stories, and I suppose they only have so much capacity to turn out the final finished books.
RA: I notice you have a couple more books listed on Amazon (Karl’s Year in Chastity and The Chastity Game) are they available as paperbacks?
SJ: Interestingly both of these are a lot less extreme than either Journey or Slow Seduction. Karl’s Year in Chastity is available as a paperback, and I would have sent you a copy if I’d still got one. Authors are sent five copies of their books for “promotional” purposes (we don’t get the ebooks, oddly enough).
RA: I’m sure you would, I guess I’ll just have to stump up for it myself! 🙂
SJ: About a year ago I’d taken my last copy of Karl’s Year in Chastity to give to a pal of mine. We were down in London in a bar, and the book was sitting on the bar between us. There was a really cute Italian girl serving us, and she picked it up and asked about it. So over the next hour or so she kept coming back over to talk to us for a couple of minutes each time, and I was explaining how she needed to lock her boyfriend in chastity to get him under control. We kept the whole thing very, very polite and low key, and to our amazement the girl was really starting to get into the idea. At first we just assumed she was being nice to get a tip, but she kept asking sensible questions and coming back over to read bits of the book between serving other people. It was the middle of the week, and the bar was in the City of London, so everybody had gone home by then and the bar was almost empty, so she had plenty of spare time. The next thing is that the girl brought her two female colleagues over, and she starts explaining to them how they could change their men for the better! They weren’t quite as into the idea, needless to say…
RA: Their loss.
SJ: If you haven’t been to a pub in London lately, they are almost always staffed by Eastern European immigrants (they used to be staffed by Australians, but that phase seems to have passed). As I said, our girl was Italian – I know Italy’s not in Eastern Europe, but the other two girls were from Hungary. They were all in their early twenties, and my mate was loving it (he’d recently split up with his wife). So instead of giving him the book, I gave it to the Italian girl – along with my email address, of course. I wanted her to tell me if it worked on her boyfriend! Sadly this is the real world, and she never sent me an email.
RA: C’est la vie…
SJ: The Chastity Game is only available as an e-book, I’m afraid. At the time I wrote it, Pink Flamingo were overwhelmed with other manuscripts and so I asked if they just wanted to publish it as an ebook. I’ve got to agree with you – real books are still better! And I’m particularly annoyed that The Chastity Game isn’t available as a real paperback because I think it’s my best story overall. I’m hopelessly in love with the character of Gemma in that book (big sigh).
RA: Well Stanley, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions and giving me some insight into your creative process, it’s much appreciated and I very much look forward to reading your new book when it’s ready for release!
Visit Stanley Jeffries’ author page at Pink Flamingo HERE
Buy Stanley Jeffries’ books on Amazon.co.uk HERE
Buy Marcus Andrews’ book on Amazon.co.uk HERE
Buy Stanley Jeffries’ books on Amazon.com HERE
Buy Marcus Andrews’ book on Amazon.com HERE