Those of you with even the usual level of observational ability will have spotted my review of Rollin's recent Ebook; if you haven't you just aren't looking properly, as it's the post before this one!
Those who read my blog a little more carefully may have noticed that, when I posted my return to work notice a week ago, Rollin offered to provide me with some content to help me get going again.
I love the opportunity that this blog has given me to interact with spankos who operate within various different areas of our World Wide Sphere of Spanking, and accordingly I am delighted to publish my first interview with a spanking story writer.
So, with no further ado, onto the questions:-
1. You write under the name Rollin Hand, which if memory serves me right was Martin Landau's character in Mission: Impossible. Why did you choose that name?
I always liked the character because he was a rather suave gent and a master of disguise. At the time I was looking for any old pseudonym that would "disguise" my identity, so I just picked it. I was just starting then, getting my feet wet with writing, and I never thought I'd stick with it, but here I am. I actually wrote a "Mission Impossible" story called "The Lost Episode."
2. You write very convincing disciplinary stories; to what extent are you involved in the spanking scene outside of your work?
Not at all. All I do is write. I don't go to parties or munches or conventions or anything like that, and I wouldn't even know where to look to find a local scene.
3. What lead to the decision to go into the Ebook market?
It was an experiment that began in September 2012. I had something like 250+ stories/novella parts just sitting around and I chanced upon the Kindle platform. It looked fairly simple, so I gave it a try. To my amazement people started buying the books and it grew from there. I never thought that I'd actually make money.
4. You have a fair number of Ebooks available; do you make a living as a writer of spanking fiction?
No, I have a day job. It does, however, provide a nice bit of supplementary income, and I hope to develop as a writer and carry writing into retirement. I eventually want to branch out into mystery, thriller and horror.
5. Your stories strike me as the type I like best; ones that are stories first, and the spankings just happen in an organic way. Have you ever written a story that;s just there for the spanking and nothing else?
Thank you. That's the way I try to do it. Writing a pure "spanking story" though? Oh sure. Not so much now, but earlier I wrote pretty conventional spanking fiction like what you found in the 60's from writers like Will Henry and Paul Little. Even now I occasionally write a traditional "spanking story", but you know, even there I try to infuse it with a little something extra to distinguish it from formula, perhaps give it a twist.
6. Can you describe your writing process?
Once I get a story idea I think it through. I play dialog and scenes in my head. I may write a very short blurb that captures the essentials of the story then I augment it. Who are the characters? Whose POV? What is the tone going to be? Then I write a condensed version and fashion the ending.
The end is very important. A writer friend of mine once told me "write the end first." I don't always do that, but I'm always thinking about it. (Just one example-midway through writing "The Legend of Sophia the Fair" I knew what my very last line had to be, so I went back and made sure that everything set up for the delivery of that last line.) Then I go back and flesh out the condensed version, sometimes adding new ideas. It's like building a house--first the foundation, then the framing, then the walls, roof, and finally decorating the inside.
7. I'm sure that you knew this was coming. Where do you get your ideas? (sorry but I had to ask)
Everywhere. First comes what Alfred Hitchcock called "The MacGuffin." It's the plot or character device that drives everything else.
I might see a news story and think, ok, what if? The novella "A Very Bright Girl" came about because of an actual incident that made national news. TV shows/movies that could have had spankings in them give me ideas. Other books I read may have a germ of a plot idea that could have potential. Right after I read Robert McCammon's "The Wolf's Hour", I wrote "The Countess and The Magician." Right after I watched the old Flash Gordon serial "Space Soldiers" I wrote "Menace from Mongo." Those are just a few examples. It's the art of seeing one thing and asking ok, what if? Like, what if Anne Bolynn had been birched in the courtyard instead of being beheaded?--now you've got a story.
8. Your work is very literate. I can't say that this is the case with every writer of spanking fiction. What do you think of the technical standards of scene writing generally?
Thank you. I appreciate that.
The level of talent is all over the lot and one cannot really generalize. Many writers are technically pretty decent, but where they can falter is in the art of storytelling. The curse of this genre is people writing what amount to scenes that follow the clichéd infraction/discovery/punishment formula. The other flaw is the plausibility of the actual spanking scene--it might not ring true given the times or the culture. For example spanking a secretary today is pretty verboten, even if she forgot to mail that important letter, but that plot device is still used.
On the technical level I'd say the worst sins I see are strings of declaratory sentences that read as if they came from a third grade reader, and dialog that sounds like talking heads with no description of what is transpiring. Then there is overuse of onomatopoeia, but happily that has mostly disappeared now.
9. Do you have any favourite spanking writers?
I do have a few. In the old days, Will Henry and Paul Little, of course. Today I think DJ Black is good. Flopsybunny is an excellent writer. Alex Birch, who is now deceased, was very good. There are some writers who are no longer around that I liked such as AB (maybe that's Alex Birch), Ross, kfr, mel b owen, Quillis. There are probably more.
Then there is the whole "spanking romance" genre with folks like Jade Cary, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Cara Bristol and Celeste Jones.
10. What authors do you read outside of spanking fiction?
Oh wow. I'm a voracious reader. Today it's Lee Child, Stephen Hunter, Robert Crais, Thomas Perry, Nelson DeMille, Stephen King, Bernard Cornwell, Michael Koryta, Preston/Child--I could go on and on.
Before them it was John D MacDonald, Frank Herbert, Elmore Leonard, James Ellroy, Issac Asimov, Robert A Heinlein --again, I could go on and on.
11. I understand that you started writing spanking stories in 1999. Did you write other fiction before that? And have you written anything else since?
Actually, no. I wrote my own stories because I was frustrated with the genre. And, I had ideas that I felt compelled to reduce to print.
Eventually I want to branch out into thriller and horror, but right now managing my blog, my "publishing house", and writing stories in the spanking erotica genre uses up all my spare time.
12. Do you have any tips for those aspiring writers who may be reading this?
Read a lot. Make note of how the pros do things. Remember those things that you have read that impressed you, and try to emulate them.
13. What is your favorite work to date?
I'd have to say LaFORGE. It's certainly my most ambitious and is really a genre bender. It starts off as a male domestic fantasy come true in Farm of the Deelphian Sisterhood. Then there is LaForge, a romance that morphs into a supernatural thriller in Thermopols Springs. It's wild and fun.
I think that will do. I hope that the questions aren't too dull (I'm afraid that a couple are routine, but almost required when interviewing an author).
Many thanks again for agreeing to do this.
So there you have it; I found much that was fascinating in Rollin's answers, and I hope that you did too. I'd urge you to check out his Ebooks, his blog www.disciplinarytales.blogspot.com and his stories at the Kilahara Library of Spanking Fiction.
As a special treat, and with Rollin's kind permission, I'll be posting one of his stories here in a few days time.
All the best