Steam Scenes

Show Notes

Buckle up friends, this is one a wild ride! The brilliant Mia Michele is this week’s guest and this one is a doozy! Our totally 80s conversation spans soap opera tropes and Greek shipping tycoons and we both fangirl over Sidney Sheldon. And, Mia talks about writing authentic BDSM in romance. We even divert to a converstion about wine! So it’s a boozy doozy. Be sure to check out her astounding epic Mafia romance Faultline on Amazon.

Connect with Mia online:
MiaMichele.com
Facebook: MiaMicheleBooks
Instagram @MiaMicheleAuthor
 

What is Steam Scenes?

Contemporary romance author Elle Greco is joined by her fellow romance authors to talk about writing all the naughty bits.

Elle 0:00
Mia Michelle is the pen name of a suburban housewife and homeschooler and Nashville native. Her nonfiction work on yoga, religion and alternative choices has been featured in the US and Europe. She enjoys running and is an avid racer, having participated in numerous five K's half marathons and marathons in her spare time she teaches yoga and enjoys nature walks with her children. She's a former librarian and lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with her family. Welcome Mia to steam scenes.

Mia 0:28
Thank you so much for having me.

Elle 0:30
I had to practice your first line for a few times, because like you calling yourself a housewife just kept making me laugh. I was like, I don't know if I'm gonna get through this. I don't know if

Mia 0:47
my like big skirt with aprons. And so, in fact, I do have some of those like 50s 40s style dresses, with the hope skirt. And when I'm feeling especially halfway up, I'll put those on with sandals and get my apron and like walk around and cook.

Elle 1:03
That's perfect. Because I was like picturing like the big like the hair and the bouffant. And then maybe like a cigarette and a martini glass too, you know, like that sort of quintessential 50s like the house where I was like, This is great. And, and also Okay, so, background for listeners, how we met was at the fall in love New England Conference this past October was it feels like a million years ago. Oh, my God. It was my very first conference. So I was absolutely terrified. But it turned out to be really great. And so I happen to your they do these I don't know that panels or court like workshops, I guess, during these conferences, some conferences, do them some conferences don't. This one, they did it. And you were doing talks on BDSM. And I was like, No, I want to sit in that room. So I went in, and I was like, so impressed with everything that you were saying. Well, thank ya, like, I was like, oh my god, she has such smart things to say and, and this is so great. And I want to talk to her. And then it seriously took me like, a day to like work up the courage to like, go and be like, Oh, do my podcast. You know, I was fangirling so hard.

Mia 2:26
And then I feel really awful. Because I got home and I am a mess. My house wiping is leaving some to be desired. But all of my like conference stuff. And my four year old decided that that was an outstanding spot for her juice cup. And so I go and like I'm cleaning stuff out, and I'm like, What the fuck is this? And it's juice, like all over all my paperwork that I brought back from the conference, including your contact information. And I'm like so I'm sorry that it took me so long to reach out.

Elle 2:59
I was gonna reach out but I know I follow you on social media. I know you got really busy so I was like, I'm gonna give her some breathing room. I don't want to harass her. But we found each other and here we are. Yay. So um, my God, I feel like I have so many things to talk to you about. So I just want to start by saying while we're at the conference, I bought fault line. And so I was reading it and I bought like the omnibus edition. So I want to talk about this for a second because Okay, first of all that sucker is a doorstop and a half. That is huge. Can you tell me how many of you can put it in

Mia 3:35
your purse and like use it to knockout mongers

Elle 3:38
is such a weapon? Oh my god, how many? How many words is that? What is that word?

Mia 3:44
279,827 pages. And that's the max number you can have as a paperback. So it should have been like nine something and there was a lot of funky formatting that went on to make that come down to the 827.

Elle 4:09
Okay, I was kind of a little bit like this formatting is unusual. And now I know why. Oh, man.

Mia 4:16
I really, it was really important to me not to have it broken into multiple pieces. I am not a person who likes to read cliffhangers. And I don't particularly care for books that clearly could have been one but we divide them up into multiple ones. I did that once. And I just I really hated it. And the second that they all threw her out. Initially like it right away, got pulled and put as one book because it all goes together. It's supposed to be one book, right? So I had really debated on having these faultlines told into two very distinct point of views, and then you kind of get like this. More back and forth at the end. I debated doing three and I just couldn't do it. Yeah, yeah.

Elle 5:02
I kind of really appreciate the fact that you did do it because what what that said to me is, you need to read this all together. And you need to read these two point of views. And I'm still only on like that first, the first point of view. But like, I'm a very slow reader. Um, but when I was reading your scenes that you said that you had that you told me to read, and I was like, and I jumped from her point from Lexi's point of view, to oh my god, Giovanni. Yes. So bad with names view. I was like, Oh, I see why I see why she did this. Because reading through it, I'm like, Ah, what does she do with

Mia 5:49
you because you're not in his point yet. Every single person I know. Every single one hates his guts at chapter 16. So you have to tell me, like, no matter when you finish it, text me call me something and tell me what you think of him? Because even my husband who loves him and is 100% Team Giovanni the whole way? Probably because he's really, they're based. He's based off of the wolf is based on the original Wolf. Okay. Tell me. Everything he does, even when he read through her point of view, he's like, oh, you know, she's just not giving him the benefit of the doubt. Bla bla bla, chapter 16. Even he's like, Man, this guy's a dick. But by 17, he's in love with him again. But every single person has hated him. And I've seen one person who's like, he's such an asshole. I will never ever like him. And even her, she actually turned by the end to do you have to tell me what you think of him going into chapter 17, which is where his point of view starts.

Elle 6:54
Okay, well, okay, here's the thing. You're playing a very dangerous game. Right? I mean, with readers in terms of what you're doing here, because you are crafting that sort of, like, what happens if you're just like, Okay, give your chapter 16 happens. He is the ultimate douchebag. And you're like, I can't even I can't I can't go on. And like, like, that's, that's balls, man. That's so nervy. I love that you did that.

Mia 7:21
It's so funny. Because when I was actually working on another project, and every single time I left the office, my husband's like, man, you clearly don't want to be working on this project. Because you're such a bitch when you come out. Like, it's really not working well for you. Why don't you work on something else and put this one to the side for a second. And so I remember one day I'm sitting and then I'm like, You know what, this is a depressing as hell Park project. I'm gonna stop for a minute and on who's up there who wants to chat, and Giovanni starts talking. And yet when the book starts writing, it's her perspective, right? And so I didn't have the benefit of any of him. Until I got closer to the the end of her her point of view, you know, 1415 ish. But it was something that I had storyboarded out in like, 2012. It was sitting in my computer as a like, there was a file of like, hey, write this someday. But I had no names. I had no real background, just this real basic story. And then it wrote itself in a couple of weeks. What?

Elle 8:28
All 300,000 words,

Mia 8:30
which is psycho, I got up and I work from 5am to 9am. That was that was my window. And I wrote that and got the first draft to the editor in about three months.

Elle 8:44
That's insane.

Mia 8:47
I know. It's funny enough the book right before that took three years. And it's only 180,000 words.

Elle 8:54
You like epics? I do.

Mia 9:00
Like shorter ones, but they're more like the fun stuff that I'm relatively well, and I don't think that that makes me really popular. Because there's like, for example, fallen down out of sight, get it? And if you don't like reading about why people do the things they do, then you're not going to enjoy it. And they all the one before it was like this dystopian. I mean, there's a lot of stories. I guess it's romance, but it's not really it's more romantic fiction. And it was romance. Um, you know, so yeah, I can't figure out what I like to write. So I just write it off a bunch. Okay. I like to think about it.

Elle 9:34
Okay, that's totally hey, look, keep writing what you're writing because it's clearly working. So does that mean then faultline is your first mafia story because it is a mafia story. Like if we're throwing the genre tropes? Like it's the mafia story.

Mia 9:49
It is and I'm a real I'm a real bitch about that. Because it's moppy with a capital M. And if you know Jalen autumn at all, she's one of my buddies and we were chatting about how Once it passes as often people refer to the mafia with a capital M, and it's not the Italian or Sicilian version. Because the only proper capitalization comes with that 123 Romain joke with my husband that I'm going to write one for every mafia because they're all so different. But he thinks that's lame. However, it didn't introduce me to Georgian wine. So I mean, because the Georgia mafia has a story all all storyboarded out, but I'm just too lazy.

Elle 10:37
Okay, offline, off off Off mic. We're going to talk about this because I'm actually I've just discovered Georgian wine for a story that I'm writing and my other life as a journalist, you know, talking we, where I live, we there's a distributor here of Georgia and wine, and she is the only distributor of Georgia wine. And it's like the original like, everybody thinks the French have the sort of cornered the market on wine. But actually, wine began in the Georgian region, and it's been overlooked. And because of wars and blah, blah, like there's a wild history to Georgia,

Mia 11:13
I'm coming over because I have to drive to New Jersey just to pick up this like one vineyard of Georgian wine, which we love. It's like it's the perfect accompaniment for appetizer night. It's a little sweet, a little dry, like it's perfect. So oh my god, you have a distributor, I'm jealous. I'm gonna be driving over.

Elle 11:34
Yes. So this is really fascinating that you're like, God, it's like they were meant to have this conversation. So, okay, because mafia is like super hot right now, just in terms of genres. And I've always been, and this is like, the Italian girl in me going, I'm not gonna, I'm not, I'm not gonna write mafia. And then and then like, I'm starting, I find myself starting to cave.

Mia 11:55
Well, I think there's something to be said about the hot bad boy. Now, fair disclosure, if you look up. So back before I was the library, and I debated for a second wanting to work for the FBI. And I'm not perfect, but I did look into like the OSI, TF, and all of that. And I was really excited about it. Because as a kid, I fell in love with the Godfather, because my dad made me watch it. And I thought this will be great because I grew up in the heyday of when the mob was really the five families were doing their thing in New York and the FBI was just finally getting them. I thought this will be awesome. They're not as hot as, as we like to think they are like, I mean, that's really one in a million shot, like the real hot guy. Definitely not the ones here for no offense to any of the ones in prison who may love your podcast, but just not gonna for me. So I think the the Giovanni's of the world are few and far between. and my husband's joke is he's like, What the hell's with these 25 year old guys who own an empire? They do not, there's unless you're actually in Italy right now. And basically, all these older guys are in prison or did and there are 16 and 17 year old mafiosos, which is just sad to think about. You are not 25 and running daddy's empire. Like that's not the way this works. You might be 65 and running daddy's Empire, but so he has a real issue with with the really young, young guys, he's like, they don't have any life. There's no experience. So I did my best when making Gianni 38 I'm like that's, that's gotta be close enough. And his dad's still in the picture. So see, he's not really running the show.

Elle 13:42
Of the mob, right? Yeah, he's just like, yo. All right, so what at what point at what point did you decide that you wanted to be a writer because obviously love books if you're a librarian.

Mia 13:58
So, I've been writing literally, since I can hold a pen or a pencil. I remember as a kid for Christmas, we were relatively poor, but my parents did their best to make Christmas like less thing. And I remember my favorite gift. Every year I got the same thing was this ream of paper, like the big box full of notebook looseleaf and pencils. And I just like I remember in second or third grade. We were in a portable classroom both years and I can't quite remember the orientation, writing my first story, like legit pages and everything and the assignment was write a story and illustrate it. Well, I can't draw for shit. So there's like a sick people and then just pages of words and the teachers like, Okay. And then in middle school, I actually got suspended, because for that there were several things that happen. But one of them was in addition to me telling the the person and they To the administrator in question that he couldn't go through my purse because that violated my illegal search and seizure protections. I also wrote some poetry he didn't appreciate. And so he called my mom and told her that I was suicidal and needs to be put in an institution.

Elle 15:17
Oh, my God

Mia 15:20
demands retired because I would really love to send them some work and be like, not only was I never institutionalized when I made my living this way. But yeah, it just, it was always this thing, but I loved books. And the idea of, you've got to do something that pays your rent. But don't ever let go of the things that move you and drive you to keep going. So I became a librarian, and I started writing a lot of nonfiction, because it was very, mostly needed. But it was appreciated in the field if you were writing on things. So I did that. And it was it fulfills that need to write. Yeah, but it never really captured me. I guess, like, the idea of letting the people in your head out. doesn't really happen in nonfiction. But I love the research aspects. So I was I did a lot on on librarianship. And then I moved into comparative religion and yoga because I was teaching yoga at the time. And I really loved that because it was a lot more of trying to figure out why people think and believe the way that they do, right. And then I started having kids, and there's not a whole lot to do once. Once you've got little people, nobody's sleeping. And so I'm talking to my best friend one day, and we would always go up for my birthday. And I've been bitching and moaning about when I was a librarian, some of these books that just circulated so heavily. And I'm like, It's trash. It's not real blah, blah, blah. And she's like, You're just jealous because you couldn't write one of those. And I'm like, oh, oh, game on veg.

Elle 17:00
Gauntlet thrown her fide and

Mia 17:03
completely as a joke. I wrote amnesty of the heart, and it was basically every trope I could, like every 1980s romance novel that I could possibly pull in. I wanted to do that for this one book. And it cracks me up and then I'm like, oh, it's actually not bad and someone bought it seems like well, writing is really someone you got to actually send it to someone on like an whatever. And this small publishing house bought it. And I'm like, shit, that's this is crazy. But um, so and shocker, it was the Greek shipping tycoon, because apparently, it's contrary to my husband's comments. All grief, man must be, you know, shipping tycoons. And the Irish journalist. I don't know where I got those backgrounds, all that is and and yeah, it was so much fun. It's actually an eight book series, of which I've only published two and the third one's almost done. It takes years for me to be able to sit and laugh myself through these. But they're like what your grandma would like to read. They're like the silhouettes of 80s

Elle 18:09
Oh my god, I have Okay, I have to pick one. I have to pick that up because that's the larious because I let you know because you know, I just remember all of those 80s were met like Jackie Collins Danielle Steel, I guess I don't know if their 70s or 80s at this point. It all kind of like molded into one and then even going like a step further than that. Like daytime soaps back then were so big. And I just remember there was always General Hospital was the thing it was on right after school got running.

Mia 18:37
After school,

Elle 18:39
put on put on gentle hug Phil Donahue came on right after or it was Oprah depending. And, and and it was and they had, you know, the Cassadines were the Greek shipping magnets. Right. And they were also the bad they were also evil, but

Mia 18:57
it really screws your head out. I mean, I grew. So the first romance novel I ever read was I was sick and I had chickenpox. And the neighbor who is this older woman, God loved her, sent over books for me because my you know latchkey kids, my mom was like, You're You're fine. You're breathing. I'll come back and check on you in a few hours. And she's like, Oh, my neighbor sent over some books for you. And it was this big box. I think, like these like cheesy romance. Take a kid to read. And the first one I read was, it was I still remember it was Lion of the desert.

Elle 19:33
Sounds great. Tell me more.

Mia 19:36
It was like this, this little thin as silhouette novel. That was about a sheik Haley and my aunt and my little kid had all Arabic men must be these hot rich sheiks. And what did he do? Oh, he was saving some oil tycoons daughter because she been kidnapped and of course they fall I'm lovin you know it ends as I'm like, wow. And you read it like an hour and a half because they're literally like, you know? Yeah. Oh, she sent me like a dozen of those and then a couple of Sidney Sheldon books who to this day I love reading he actually the whole like I Dream of Jeannie thing like and he was brilliant when it came to, to actually writing for a mass market but his books are so underappreciated.

Elle 20:28
I agree completely. I've read. For me, it's my favorite book. And

Mia 20:34
there's one Oh, God, I can't remember the name of it. It's the letter. Michael Moretti is the it's the it's the bad guy. Fate is

Elle 20:46
Gilbert do the the made for TV movie.

Mia 20:53
So often they have your cell phone, I need to know, we might have to take this, it's going to put librarians out of work. I'm not patron now who's like it was a white book. And I had some blue writing on it. But I remember that there was the the guy who's going to be president as

Elle 21:13
was was was, I think it was range of angels was the Yeah, it was Michael Moran. Yeah,

Mia 21:24
that one, so I know that and then the was it something as two faces or there was one he actually wrote two of them, because he wasn't very long sequels. But he wrote one and it took place in like the 40s. And then he revisited it like a little later, but I just loved him so much.

Elle 21:43
I think I read was it nothing lasts forever. I think I read that long. Anyway, he's i Yeah, he's a bloodline line. Was that was when I hit.

Mia 21:53
And then I don't know which book it was that um, Roger Moore narrated one shot. And I was like, I'm a Sean Connery all the way for bond because I watched Roger Morris the same. And so it was real hard to get into his Bond movies. But NARRATION The man's got a gift. And I remember my husband, I were driving probably to visit my parents. And we were listening to audiobooks that I'd gotten in the library, probably on tape. And we listened to him there at one and I'm like, Oh, my God, I this has ruined me for all of their narrators. And tell them that, you know, we're a spotlight. And Anna just I absolutely adore them. And and they have now ruined me for all other narrators. But yeah, I got Roger Moore, he's narrated a couple of stuff. A couple of things.

Elle 22:42
Oh, yeah. It's funny talking about all of these old books, like, like, you know, 70s 80s like, consent was sticky. In those back then, like, in those books, and movies and TV. Baby, it is cold outside. Yeah. And there's even when you think about talking about General Hospital, Luke and Laura, that was a weird pairing, considering

Mia 23:08
on consent pair.

Elle 23:10
Yeah. And I and this is something that I think, you know, you touched on, or you talked about in your workshops, and you know, because you are talking about relationships, like kink driven relationships, right, and what that means, in particular, as a writer, like, what can you do? And what can you definitely not due to not only get the relationship, and, you know, right, like, just, you know, factually correct about what happens in a BDSM relationship. But also, I mean, I think the safety part of it, right, is that this might be somebody's first introduction to it. And you don't want to give them information that's going to make it seem like, there's a lot like lack of consent is okay, or being put in some sort of, like, physical danger is okay, you know, like, and I think that this is something that, especially as more and more graphic books become mainstreamed. It's something that I think as writers we really need to grapple with, and we need to have that education. So first of all, like that's where I was like, Oh, my God, she's so brilliant with these workshops. I was it was but but there was, you know, and the way that you were able to distill it, so that it was very clear and approachable and definitely filled with humor, which was which made it fun. But, but these are these are like serious conversations, because there is an empowerment aspect to writing this sort of romance and reading this sort of romance. And also, you know, I'm also participating in that sort of in that sort of play. But we don't talk about the person's personal preferences, because that's your personal preferences. But I'm just sort of saying, and there's I don't know, there's just a whole. And there's also fields of study out there that we, you know, how, how to work through trauma, using kink in your relationship and how that moves you through a traumatic experience. And even, you know, and even I'm slowly coming to it, but the understanding that dub con also serves a place there as well, where you work with dubious consent, and that can also serve serve as a as as a healing from a trauma. So I don't know, I just feel like, these are such big things that sort of either, like we don't really talk about, I think in the romance world, as writers, and I think that we do, because I do think, for a lot of girls, frankly, and younger women are coming to our books as they sort of come of age sexually.

Mia 26:03
I think that's an important. An important thing to remember, I've been in writer groups, our reader group together, where there's talk of all it took me out of the moment, because they were discussing safeword, or they were discussing consent, or they were doing this. And I think that when we're presenting it as realistic fiction, then that's what's going to happen, you're going to be taken out of the moment, there's not a person who has engaged in kink of any type. But there hasn't been at least one moment, or many, that are real funny in retrospect, or really helped set the groundwork for things. And without those discussions. And without that conversation, you cannot have a healthy, kink based relationship. And I think that in writing, because like, as you said, this may be the first time that someone has come to a book and said, Ooh, maybe this is what I'm looking for. That we kind of have an obligation. Now, that being said, fiction is fiction, yes, everyone should do their due diligence and go and check out a nonfiction you know, or, or a fact based book or, or, or visit a workshop to kind of get the real nuts and bolts of what's going on. But you and I both know that that's not really the case for most folks. Now, most of the people who are reading taboo, they're not looking for incest in there, realize they're not looking to go stalk, somebody they sure as fuck don't want to be stalked, you know, there is an element of release, and just escapism to books. And that's fine, I've got no shade to tell us towards people who want to write or read that, because we all have our escape mechanisms that we want to use. But I do think that if you are going for a realistic story, then you kind of owe it to your readers. I think we all saw what happened when there were books that became very popular, that didn't necessarily embrace maybe the mainstream ideology that we would have hoped. And kind of horrified stalking or, you know, crossing people's boundaries without getting a clear and definite, here's what I want in my life up front. And I know, especially when I talk to younger girls, and I have daughters, I have sons. But my one daughter is at the point where she's, you know, thinking about relationships and things like that, I would not want her to read something like that and think that was normal. You know, there's, there's an escapism, if you want to read it and be like, yeah, if I just I didn't care, and this is what it is. But I don't want her reading that and thinking these are manned goals. You know, I want her to know, where, where she feels comfortable, and that that communication is part of making that safe. Right, you know, BDSM that that one of the primary things is that it's safe, right, you know, and consent is a part of that. You talked about working through trauma. And a book I wrote a while ago was kind of me putting me on paper because I needed to express the fact that I had used CNC, which is what non consent used to be called consent, non consented non consent for basically you are talking to your partner upfront and saying, I consent to having no consent for this period of time. And unfortunately, it used to be perceived as kind of a rape fantasy thing, which is not true at all. But I've been sexually assaulted as a teenager, and had never really come to terms and gotten over that. And so we opted to try CNC to help with that. And it made it changed my life Being able to go through some of these experiences that I had no control over with one that at the end of the day, I had full control, but I gave it over to someone else it was it was something that was very freeing. And while I don't suggest it or recommend it for everyone, it's definitely least something that can, can have a place in a safe and healthy relationship. So I think when we're presenting things like that, and books, we have to be clear that there's trust involved, that there's communication of all the reason you can hand over your trust, your your consent is that, you know, at the end of the day, this person's not going to harm you. Right. Right. I think it's, I

Elle 30:22
think, also, you know, talking about CNC or dub con, I guess, would they maybe call it that now? I don't even know if they would, if that's right. But this idea of even just having a fantasy, particularly, I think, well, I mean, I think particularly with, with women, our our sexuality has been shamed so much from such a young age where like, when we're little, we're sexualized, but then once we do go through puberty, all of a sudden that sexualization becomes like a taboo, right, and there's a lot of confusing messages and, and, and, and I think that women do end up with a lot of shame around things, even if they haven't been sexually assaulted. Or obviously, if they have been sexually assaulted, there can be a lot of shame around that. And so sometimes having like, even just having a fantasy and active fantasy life, and you're sort of thinking about, you know, either something dubbed Connie or you know, or having a rape fantasy or something like that, and then you start putting, like building shame around that. And the fact of the matter is, there should not be shame, because this is how you're working through things like this is how you are able to sort of like regain, as you said, regain this control that you lost because of this particular situation. And I think that that's something that I don't know, like, as I think that's something we obviously don't talk enough about. But I also think that it's you know, it's important for our sexual health or mental health, like, you know, just our, our physical and mental wellness. So, you know, fantasies are okay.

Mia 31:59
Oh, yeah, totally. And I mean, no, as long as we, as long as legitimately there's consent involved, right. You know, in the real world, I think that's really important. And if your fantasy is non consent, go for it. As long as you're being safe. You know, and I think that unfortunately, it's really easy for people masquerading as dominance, to be narcissists who really could care less about your safety so it's important I think, when we are presenting them in fiction that we call out the things that are red flags, right and we everyone doesn't need redemption you know, if you don't want to redeem the bad guy that's fine because bad guys are sexy we probably all have had the bad guy in our life that we tried to redeem but you have to still like you want your readers to walk away knowing what they're getting. Right You know, if he's redeemed great if he's an actual dominant great is if he's a crazy stalker. Great, but know what you're getting now know what the package is holding underneath.

Elle 33:05
So to all of your books have played play in the BDSM world? Or is it just faultline? Or is it just a select few?

Mia 33:12
Yeah, they all the I'm a Gemini, and I honestly have like so many personalities? I don't know what's going on? Yeah, I did. So I've got the sweet Hardy 1980 stuff. And then I have a book that's ds. So it doesn't really play with the bondage and the the sex play. It's way more of a DOM sub. Like so more of a mental play than it is anything else. And then there's speculative, which is like religious tinged. I don't have any sci fi or fantasy. Not Yeah. No, I don't read it either. So but I don't read a lot of romance. I'm real big into poetry books. I love poetry. Don't have any of those. And then I've got dystopian, and and this one is this BDSM mafia.

Elle 34:08
That's wild. That's really well, okay, so why did you decide to write them a BDSM? Because you are writing all over the place.

Mia 34:14
Uh, you know, that was the voice that was in that that was loudest. It sounds really crazy. But it was he was the one that was talking loudest. So he got his

Elle 34:24
shot. Yeah, and he's actually yeah, he's a great Dom, right. Like he really is.

Mia 34:31
Yeah. And he I would say that he deals a lot with the dubious consent because I think the biggest difference between non consent and dubious consent is non consent. They're really hope in play. They're really hoping that they read your right but at the end of the day, it's so what they want and and dubious consent. I think there's a lot of you're not actually saying no, maybe your body is saying no, but but they're reading you enough to know where that line is so that you don't take it I think there's a lot of mentalists mind game that goes that goes into the consent. And that's really where Giovanni is. He's a really good psychological dominant, I think, in addition to really enjoying the physical aspects of dominance.

Elle 35:15
So I was really curious in that the sort of play between Lexie and Giovanni, in faultline and how you're crafting this intimate scene when there is this sort of, there are these lines that they're testing? And and there is a sense, there is an element of danger in there, like, how do you? How do you ensure that you're not crossing a line? Right? Oh, God,

Mia 35:41
I don't know that there's ever any real way to know you're not because I had someone who read it. And their comments were, that they, you know, they felt that there was no clear line and that it was crossed all the time, and how could I possibly feel like that was an acceptable representation. And then other people who read it and did not feel that way? I think for me, it becomes trying to put yourself into that person, you know, and to feel what they are feeling. And you know, where your own lines are. So if you can become this other person, and almost method act yourself into them, you know, who they are and what they would do and, and where their lines would be. And so there's actually the theme that we were talking about is a there's a place for like, she's not sure where her line is, but she knows where it is, like, the second she hits it, she knows where it is. Right? And, you know, if he were to overstep that, because he misread her, that's on him that's not on her for being in this situation. I think that's one of the most important things about DS is that, you know, the responsibility on the play is always on the dominant. You know, it's not on the sub to red card. It's on the DOM to know where the line is. And most of the dominance that I know that I have talked to and they're really upset when they get red carded, not because they were told to stop, but because dammit, they should have known they should have

Elle 37:11
known better is that it comes with time. I mean,

Mia 37:17
I think so I most of the folks I know have been doing this for a long time. So I mean, at one point, we were all beginning and there then you're gonna make mistakes. I mean, you got even today you make mistakes. I mean, last last, when was it last year, at some point? The wolf got a got a new flogger, and he was playing with it, which I mean, come on, you don't play with these things they hurt. And he was kind of like flicking his wrist with it. And I was in front of them. And the intent was that he was going to flick it and it was going to hit me and fine. But He misjudged where I was standing. So when he flicked it impacted, but then it wrapped the ends of it around and I like Mark around my neck, and it hurt like

Elle 38:10
a mofo Oh, my God. Like my husband was

Mia 38:14
like a girl. Like, like I screamed like a child on a playground who'd scraped their mate. Like it was like, I mean, it was. Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I mean, there's nothing sexy about that, like a bad call. And I mean, nine any of her standing there while he was playing with it? Yep. And was he an idiot for playing with a toy? That isn't really a toy? Yep. You know, so there's some things that even age can't help. And then there were you know, there's always going to be the stuff that happens that you cannot plan for, you know, everyone I know. will laugh because she and I had this discussion on a chat what the missing bump plug where I mean, it's not like you've not used these things before. And then all of a sudden, that father is missing. And you're like, should I cannot go to the ER and be like, So doc, here's the situation. You know, this is not something that fits into a game that you're playing. Like, you're not need your partner's legit help to find the missing actor, mom, because you don't want to go to the hospital with that in there. You know, these are things that might not necessarily get put in the books. But they're going to happen in real life and whether you've been doing it two years or 20 years, they're still going to happen. I mean, that's awesome.

Elle 39:39
Well, there's an element honestly to it. Like sometimes when I hear things like that, I'm like, Ah, thank God. It's not just like, oh, it's not just me, okay.

Mia 39:51
I remember listening to a rope guy, and he was he was talking about how he had learned how to tie up and he doesn't you to full night, I mean absolutely beautiful. And he told the story of how he was so proud. And he was taking pictures. And he had inadvertently cut the circulation off in the rope bunnies hands like she couldn't feel anything. And she didn't want to interrupt him because he was taking pictures and trying to be like beer. I can't throw my hands. I mean, you know, this is stuff that happens, even when you've been doing this a while.

Elle 40:22
Yeah, I mean, it's like, I'm sorry. But when you have, like, if we're having sex, you might start it. Right. Like, I

Mia 40:30
was like that for the queefing. I mean, like, like, arrogance in there, dude, it's got to come out. And there's nothing wrong with this. It's just like, when you got a paddle, sometimes that fucker goes a little too low. And you're like the hell dude, really? Like, you know, it's gonna take your right out of the scene, but it happened. Would you write that? Or die? No, you're much. Right?

Elle 40:54
Like, we're writing a fantasy and we want, but at the same time, sometimes I'm like, You know what, I really kind of like it when it breaks. And you're like, oh, you know, I just Oh, you just fell off the bat. Or because this stuff happens, right? Like this shit happens. And I do

Mia 41:10
remember Bell phone on my ass. I mean, learn right away that you don't stay with the cell phones. I mean, this is not appropriate use. Now I gotta buy a new one. You know, I often go back and forth, I think it'd be funny to right like the middle aged couple. They've been doing this for 25 years, what they do in their life, and then they're like, oh, shit, the kids walked into the kitchen while we're in the middle, begging, get your pants up, you know. But then I'm like, if I read that, I'd be so mortified. And one day my kids would read it. And they'd be like, Oh, my God, I remember this. I need counseling. That memory been taken for me. But yeah, I think that the dynamic changes when you have a family, it changes when you get comfortable. And like you said, you know, sometimes you're in the middle of doing the deed and something biological happens. And you're like, Oops, or sometimes you're in the middle of a great screw. And you come and you don't mean to, and everything stops. You know, these aren't the things that stop the romance. There the real part. Yeah, yeah. And we've all been there. But I think on some level, unless it's rom com, no one's reading the the BDSM fantasy to get the real stuff, you know, they don't, they don't necessarily want to know that there's lube on the counter, or that, you know, you had to bandage up your nipple, because the nipple clamp was too tight, and you cut into the skin, and now you need to run out to the store for lanolin. I mean, not that that's a true story or anything. I mean, people don't want that in their fantasy. But it's all true. And it all

Elle 42:43
happened. And I also but I mean, I guess what I'm sort of struggling with to about like, do you put it in? Do you not put it in those, those those those moments are also the moments that actually I think draw the couples together in a more intimate way, right, is when you actually have those mishaps and you have to like, sit there and laugh at this thing that happened. Or like the butt plug. Do we really want to go to the hospital for this or like, you know, what, if you can't find it, and then you're like, Oh, sweetheart, you're going to the hospital with me, I'm not going to have this conversation alone.

Mia 43:16
You're gonna find it, they'll get the flashlight. I don't really care. I'm not going to the hospital. We found that just you know, spoiler alert, we found that it was located. And to this day, we still laugh about it. But it was not funny in the moment. It's definitely not funny in the moment. Those things should come with some sort of warning. I actually looked into like a whole different style after that because I'm like, I'm just not gonna want to deal with it anymore. Oh my god.

Elle 43:48
Well, okay, I want to get into into reading from the scene because it is so good. And there's so much going on. So, so let's segue. Could you set up where we are? We're gonna start with Lexi who? Lexi is not her real name. No, wait. Lexi is her real name. But Giovanni knows her as Alessandra Correct. Yes, her name

Mia 44:13
is Alexandre. But Lexi is her nickname that she goes by.

Elle 44:17
Oh, okay. I'm sorry. I'm forgetting now. If if because he calls her Alessandra. And I wasn't sure if she just gave him a fake name. Because she's. I mean, like, she's

Mia 44:26
her name. Yeah, he does. He doesn't like the nickname. It reminds him of like a kid. So he refuses to use the nickname but that's what other people call her. Got it. And it's how she introduces herself and it's kind of from a psych aspect. It's also meant to kind of denote who she is because her her life kind of stopped when she was 22. Her dad was killed and she was not really able to move on and process that. And so you have two people because once you get into his life, you see he's had these defining moments as well. It's two people that deal with trauma and very different way aise that for her, it stunts her growth but for him, he grows up way too fast. And how do these things play out in their lives as they get older. So, you know, she very much identifies with this Lexi person, this, you know, young, early 20s, late teens, my life stopped even though she's 32 years old, and really should be making some better choices, but doesn't necessarily always hoard things and doesn't always see the forest for the trees. Whereas Giovanni when he, you find out later that when he was 15, something really, you know, traumatic happens to him. And instead of becoming that child, he now has to be this man, he has to fourth thing he has to think everybody is placed three in advance. But what does that do to a man like, when you can no longer see just in a spontaneous sense, but every single person you come into contact with for your own safety as a defense mechanism you are reading you know, it makes you an outstanding mafioso? Probably not so outstanding of a whole legit person. Right? So together, they're like a normal person. But apart they are really, really abnormal people.

Elle 46:13
So do you I'm very, I'm actually kind of curious in a craft way, like, how do you are you a plotter? How do you draw out these sort of No, you're not. You're your pants all the way?

Mia 46:25
Yeah, I, they live in my head. And we have a lot of conversations, but I don't really sit and draft people are stories. And it's really interesting, the the scene that changed Giovanni, I knew something, but I didn't know what it was until after the book was fully done. And then I was just sitting there. And all of a sudden, I was like meditating. And in my head, this very vivid expression of what it was happened. And the chapter that that is put in was completely written on the fly after the book was done. Because it suddenly explained him. So up until then, it was just something, right. But then you get this definition of what that something is.

Elle 47:05
It's funny, I work pretty, very much the same way because I can't, I feel like I haven't, I don't I need to write them and spend time with them before I can really figure out what it is that that's that's underneath everything, you know, and I have some, and I'll have ideas when I start and I'll have a lot of backstory written, but then that backstory is going to change and the situations are going to change. And you know, and it's a, it can be a very frustrating way to write. But it's just the way that works. For me.

Mia 47:34
It's like finding a new friend, you know that when you when you meet, like, there you've got the things that you have in common are those things that are on the outside, but then you and you really sit down over coffee, and you're getting to know the person, that's when all the juicy bits come out. And I feel like that's character profiling for me that, you know, in the beginning, I kind of can close my eyes and see them and I know who they are, I don't really know them until we spend a little bit of time together. And then that's all I can think about. Like they are the voices in my head, and I cannot get rid of them until they're on paper.

Elle 48:04
So here we are in the scene in Lexus point of view, and this is their first intimate moment together. Correct? Or did they have one before this?

Mia 48:13
Yeah. Oh, so they in a previous chapter, they sleep together. And you know, it's, it's great. Because it's romance, and it's gotta be great. But so we're this scene leads us is he has taken her home to meet his family. And they're now back and they have like this really this heart to heart in the car. Because she's like, look, they're just not going to work. And at this point, she knows who she's supposed to be. And she knows that she is not that person with him. And she just needs to bail and walk away. But he gives her this real heartfelt, like, Come back with me because that's who I'm showing you kind of thing. And this is, this is great, really, I kind of see it, you know, in the back of the car with the music playing and it's, it's real nice and loving and romantic. So she's like, Sure, okay, she comes up with him. And then he's on edge. But he knows that. Although I'm getting ahead because you're in his person and his point of view, you know, he knows that he has to work out his frustration, and he can't be with her. But he has to leave her for a little bit. And so she is just like hanging out and checking out his house and things and and then they get into an altercation because he sees some bruises on her bruises that he left, but that he's really pissed off about because he wasn't in control when he left them and this really bothers him. And so they separate again and she ultimately ends up in bed asleep alone. And then he wakes her up as he's moving her from like a Shea's into the actual bed and she notices on his hands, that there's broken skin, that it's clear he was he was hitting somebody or something and she Ask them about it. Anyone Keller. Okay, and so this really of course doesn't end well. Right? Okay.

Elle 50:08
All right, get ready. Lexi felt sick. She knew exactly what had transpired. Who did you hit? Because you wouldn't hit me. When Giovanni didn't answer she also knew that she was right. Who did you go to one of the clubs you on for some interviewing to make sure to cover all your bases. The growl replaced the gentleness don't Alessandra Lexi pulled away from him and stumbled off the other side of the bed. Why the fuck not Giovanni afraid you won't be able to stop. Why did the idea of another woman make her so angry, so hurt. She had forgotten that was why Giovanni had made her forget that this was just an assignment and that there was no reason for her to give a damn. He had convinced her to see him. And Lexi had decided to ignore everything she knew. Being here, in this position, again, was her fault. Caring about him and letting him hurt her was her penance for her stupid heart. Let him fucking beat the hell out of every woman, this side of New Jersey, she didn't care. I really loved this moment. Because I felt like you're almost disregarding that unwritten rule in romance of No cheating. And in a way, he's kind of doing that. But like, whatever is happening here is in service to the story. And so and that's where, because I don't know if whatever he was doing was cheating in the he had sex with somebody else since but it was clearly he needed to get out some something that, that he then that he can't quite do with her yet. Right. And so, I guess in the romance world, does that count as a cheat? I don't like I don't know, I feel like in my head, I'd be like, Oh, you cheated on me?

Mia 51:58
I mean, clearly, she's. So in the, in the beginning, the whole throwback to the interviewing is that, you know, how he interviewed with these girls, you know, yeah, it's special way at work. You know, so this is where her mind goes, is that I? I've been alone for hours. What were you doing?

Elle 52:18
Were you having sex with somebody else? And, you know, you know, and, or having the intimacy of, you know, some sort of BDSM play as well, because that's intimate, too. And so, you know, I don't know, I just felt like there was like, like, again, that sort of where we talked about there's a lot, right, and you're just kind of dancing on it. And I was like, That's ballsy.

Mia 52:43
Yeah. Yet, oh, my God. Yeah.

Elle 52:53
Because I wrote this one thing, and it was just like this little tiny thing, and there was nothing going on. Between the main character and this groupie that I threw that was in the first book, and oh my god, I got reamed. There was cheating in this book. I'm like, there was no there was no cheating. He didn't like, have sex with her. It was just, it was like, you know, you assume you're gonna have sex, but that actually never happened. And so like, that doesn't count. That was his cheating. He was just being like, a groupie on tour. Like, what? Anyway, I was like, What are you doing here? I was just like, that's ballsy. I love it. Okay, so we're gonna really get into it. This is a long one, so buckle in. She shoved her body against him to create space, but he only laughed as he tossed her back on the bed. When she pushed up in an attempt to get to the other side. He used his knee on her. He used his knee on her lower back to push her down and curled his hand into her hair, forcing her head against the mattress. Lexi felt the expensive leather trace the curve of her skin and closed her eyes. Her tears saturated the sheets below as she prepared herself for the blow. Do it she whispered. She heard him shutter when she truly consented to his game. Giovanni pulled her hair tighter and his knee weighed her while he balanced on the leg kept off the bed. She could feel the belt still in his hands when he ripped the thong to shreds the sides cutting into her hips as they toured the seams. Seconds later, the soft leather bitten to her ass as it cut into her bare skin and she copped an air. Lexie didn't know what she had expected, but it wasn't that the impact initially was soft to the touch before a millisecond later, every nerve ending was on fire. Her brain lit up across the board. She was unable to scream having barely been able to breathe before the second hit harder than the First Lady's marks across her backside. Enough, Giovanni's voice was harsh and barely registered. Lexi was struggling to cope and clenched her eyes tightly as their fingers threatened to tear holes in the sheets of third dropped at the belt slapped her. Whether it was because her ass was already raw or because his wolf was finally being stilled. This one felt even harder, and she managed to choke out Assad between her rapid inhales and exhales. Lexi didn't know how to say that she was done. There weren't words in her vocabulary to tell him that she couldn't take any more. The monsters in her head were quieted and her body couldn't withstand another blow without shattering the silence and to the lack of trust she feared was waiting on the other side. When she heard the belt hit the floor and felt the knee come off her back while the hand in her hair loosened. Lexi knew that Giovanni understood without her saying anything. She panted with relief and pulled herself and pulled herself to her knees with the intent of crawling to the other side of the bed. Before Lexi could move away, his hand returned to her, grasping her shoulder and positioning her body in front of him. Shivani was inside of her seconds later, roughly claiming the body that he already owned. He tore the thin baby doll from her and left it hanging at her wrists, using the same hand to grab one breast and pinch the nipple so hard that she cried out, she was dripping wet for him, and he was sick from the need to possess her. She couldn't help but respond to his deep thrusts by moving her body back against him, flooding her when were sensations of pain and pleasure, Fear and Desire. There was no rational thought process had there been her brain would have probably told her to run. Lexie had known from the start that Giovanni's game was one she had no business playing it here, she was encouraging him to fuck her like this, giving him the last remaining position needed to completely break her. But God, Oh, my God, this was Wow. Like the intensity of everything going on between them, I thought was divine and frightening all at once. There's a real power here. And your writing in this moment in particular, I thought was really incredible to, to read. And just like I have is like, how does she get there? As a writer, like that was sort of like the intensity of that moment was absolutely gorgeous. Oh, think? Welcome. I mean, do you do you have it like all in one go? Like you're like, or does this take you time to really get there?

Mia 57:21
No, the scenes all come at one like that. Like it's it's a it's a sit and do it I actually am really terrible about stopping and starting, I have ascended with autism, and he has to finish what he starts. And there's a part of me that really understands that part better than I understand the rest of it, because that's me, I can't start and stop. And I'm that person who's like five more minutes. Five more minutes. It's nine o'clock already. It's time to be done. Yeah, I can't sorry, you're just gonna have to go deal with it. I'll be out in five minutes. And then an hour later, I'm like, I'm done.

Elle 57:53
So So then you just kind of like wrote that all in one go. Yeah, that you don't go back and like redo rework layer back in like you're like this is?

Mia 58:04
Yeah, I mean, I go back for like corrections with grammar, or language or things like that. But the scene is what the scene is. The interesting thing in this one, because up until this point, everything I wrote was pretty back and forth between characters where you saw one scene, told by two people maybe. But if one person told it, you didn't see the other person's perspective on that specific part, something that was very interesting was with this one is that her story was told, all at once. And then when I started his not only were you seeing what he was doing when he wasn't with her, but there are a few scenes, this one among them that are repeated, but you see his point of view, right and not having the benefit of being able to go back except to make sure the dialogue matched up where needed and his story, you get more dialogue, typically, so where she may say a sentence in hers, you might get five sentences in his because it's supposed to be the final telling of this one scene and gives you things you didn't necessarily have before. Because in hers, she's remembering the things or her characters telling the things that were important to her. Whereas in his that same scene, he's going to show you things that were important to him. And just as in real life, you and I would have completely different tellings of a scene that we both lived through. Because what you took away is going to be way more important to you than it might have been to me.

Elle 59:29
So I feel like I might know the answer to this question. But instead of doing that sort of like alternating point of view that we're I think we're used to and actually writing her point of view, big chunk, then moving on almost like two separate books, right. I mean, that's essentially what they are. Did you set out to do that? Was this a conscious thing or this is just how it presents? The story presented itself?

Mia 59:55
No, I actually thought that I would start writing hers and then he would start talking and I'd get some benefit of him. And that's not how it rolled at all. Like, he started the talking in my head. And then when it was like, Alright, let's get it started. It was her voice, and it was only her voice. And so there was no like, I was living it with her. I hated his guts, too, when I got to 16 because I have a fucking this guy ever redeemed himself. Like he's an awful human being, what is wrong with me that this guy is in my head. And then I expected at the end of 16, that I would keep hearing what she was going through, and instead it stopped. It completely stopped. And all of a sudden, she's silent. And he's talking and I'm like, why? Don't understand. And then I got his benefit. And then as I'm sitting there, and living his life, it's like holy shit, like, this is why X happened. Oh, this is what he was doing while she was doing that. And it was like a completely new story. So other than going back to make sure like when a scene was finished, like, Oh, this is exactly how that sentence was worded, I need to make sure that that matches. It was really, it was like two completely separate entities. And it did not change until they both get up to that part where for 16 ends for her, when he meets her at that point. Then I got this little bit of back and forth between the two of them, which is what you see in the book, because chapters I think it's 31 and 32, or 32 and 33. Those actually do go back and forth. Okay. And that was kind of how I saw it in my head. So it was like back and forth between these characters. But then it went back to her and her book ends. And when hers ended, I'm like, shit what happened. And when he starts talking, it takes me back a few chapters all I know and even know what happens to her like what happened. So yeah, it was it was a real interesting journey that kind of wrote like it reads.

Elle 1:01:49
Oh, my God, this is amazing. Okay, so I'm jumping now down into his point of view, in this moment, and so, you know, we're at the point where he comes in sort of at the beginning, you know, where there's like, that argument and you know, who of you? Wait, are we there? Yeah, no, so yeah, so we're like, kind of right at that same moment where I started. I just thought this was so fascinating. Okay, anyway, he wakes her up. At this point. She yawned her words. It's, it's too big. You don't want to be there. So why do you think I do? The bad folks? I need to justify that. Yeah. It's far more comfortable. It's too vague. I just realized I was like, Oh, wait. She took on the attitude of a small child when she was tired. Her lips were pouty. And her hair fell around her face like a frame of windswept flowers. In the light of the bedside lamp, he could see freckles across the bridge of her nose that he had somehow missed before. Okay, this is this is where I stopped. I was like, okay, the juxtaposition between these point of views, this is where I was like, holy shit. He, again, like I mentioned, like, he looked like such a monster before like fire and rage and all that. And the way he sees her, He's so soft. And the way he sees her is so beautiful. And it just kind of like completely turn the character around for me. Just sort of like, go into his head right here and spend, you know, because even though I'm not as far along, I, you know, I'm into the book a bit, and I'm sort of like, I'm still kind of wondering how the hell they're gonna get together. And is this a real pain? Is she really going to pair these to God? He's such a jackass. What is she thinking? You know, like, the I'm there. Like, that's where I am right now with this book. And, but then I got skipping ahead to get here. I was like, Oh, I'm in love with him, right? Like you. You gotta forget it when you get back. So I just was like, Oh, that's really kind of cool that you're now it's sort of like now it's starting. I'm starting to have this kind of understanding of like, why? Alright, so I'm gonna jump down a little bit. In that moment, everything shifted with her consent. The entire playbook changed. It was impossible that Alessandra didn't know what she was asking him to do. She had seen snippets of who he was. She knew the control and his lack there off went where she was concerned. She knew what drove him to the point that Giovanni had beaten someone in her stead. She knew how he spent his time and the types of women he used. He was an open book, and still she had invited him to let his aggression loose on her. Did Alessandra understand that there would be no stopping that when she gave him her word, it would be completely on him to read her and know at what stage she reached her breaking point, Giovanni's whole world was at risk, the volcano had finally erupted and now as the lava began to spill out, he had to climb without burning himself and without destroying the fragile rocks that kept them out and upright. So beautiful. In a lot of like the trying to sort of read what the hell I'm saying, here are my notes. In the good BDSM books that I read, like the good ones, I actually love, that we're able to see the damage in the men, I honestly think that that's part of the reason why I enjoy reading the good ones so much, is because we don't see the damage. And I mean, deep damage in men in just regular romance that we do in BDSM. And I think that that's really striking. And I think that, you know, as much as we kind of, like we, I think, I think in society, we gloss that over like our men are damaged. And that is part of the issue. You know, if we're going to talk about feminism, or we're going to talk about, like, whatever it is, we can't do that, and not have a conversation about how our men are damaged.

Mia 1:06:15
I think you're absolutely right. I mean, all people are damaged, we all are the, you know, kind of the the substance of what the damage is left behind, and the scars on the way that we've healed, sometimes the bones are set, sometimes they're not. And this creates the people that we are, and I think women are in as much as we are overly sexualized and are downgraded in a lot of ways. I think that there is a perception that seeing that damage is on some level acceptable, it's okay to cry, like, Oh, she wants to cry on your shoulder or go and support her. We don't see the crying as strength, we don't see it as the body's way to release the pain so that we can stand and fight another day, we see it as weakness, and men aren't weak. So men aren't allowed to cry, you know, we don't want them to show that we don't want them to wine, we expect them to be, you know, tough and able to take it. And I think one of the things that's very refreshing about BDSM as a lifestyle, is that it's open and honest. And part of what it is based on is this understanding between the two people that apart, we are broken, but together those broken parts fit, you know, they mesh, you know that the parts of me that that can't stand on their own are supported by you. And the parts of you that can't stand are supported by me. And together we make that wholeness. And I do I love that. I think typically in romance novels, we see the man as needing to be redeemed. But we're not really exposed to the brokenness inside we're exposed to however they're exporting it, you know that maybe he's a womanizer, he's a jerk or whatever. But we're not trying to fix the person within we just want him to export himself as something that's easier to read. And that makes him more of the hero that we just knew he was. And we take the fragility of the woman's character, and you know, that scene is the way that it transforms the man into his redemption. But I don't think that's true in real life. And for me, when I read something that presents itself as real, I find myself poking holes and all the ways that it disregards what's going on in our brain. And I mean, our brains most sexual part of us so especially in romance novels, if I can't see the person is real. I can't put myself there and I can't want that person to be my other person either. So yeah, I do. I really like in a lot of the current BDSM fiction that's out there. It's not just a guy who's doing a thing. It's a guy who's a whole character, he's a whole person. And you get to see that that brokenness and that fragility in him as well even if he doesn't always see it upfront.

Elle 1:09:08
Right. Exactly. I just want to just quickly read through because I know like we are kept you so late.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:17
Do you have anywhere to go for the takin

Elle 1:09:24
is near was in her lower back and mobilizing her He ran his hand down her hair, she turned her head to the side her eyes tightly closed, she was breathless. Do it. The belt moved up her leg and he felt her tremble with anticipation. I need you to I need you to it didn't matter. He had a file identifying her as a federal agent. It didn't matter that she had tried to lie to him. It didn't matter that she had the power to betray him. All that mattered was that Alessandra trusted him she was his and in those words was telling him everything he needed to hear. Giovanni side her name is his fingers twisted in her hair. Do it, she whispered again. That was sort of great because it was like, I didn't know that he knew at that point that she was just really when you read it, I'm like, theoret No, I didn't know that. And I was like, Oh,

Mia 1:10:15
you need to forget otherwise it's not going to work you got to forget. Like, would never allow the book to work as leapt back and forth, is the reader isn't supposed to know when he finds out who she is until she finds out that he knows who she

Elle 1:10:32
is who she is. Okay. All right.

Mia 1:10:35
So you got to forget that he knows that they're really in okay,

Elle 1:10:39
because I mean, look, I am the person and I'm loads for this. I will read the last page. I know I know. I will tell you I flipped to the end of the book and I read I do and it's terrible. But But yes, so I'm fine with that spoiler but everybody else spoiler alert.

Mia 1:11:02
I like to read what's going on in TV series before I've seen the actual part because I need to know hey, if they broke away from the book and be how much my heart has to take out so I feel Yeah,

Elle 1:11:13
I always I'm always reading the end first. I'm like, I know. I know. But I just I do so don't I'm not the I'm not the one to go away because then other people give me a spoiler and that'll actually make me more excited to go you know see the thing so so I'm good with spoilers. Okay, better than a were our way. He thought he might further ruin his pants from his earlier boxing matches his erection tried to break through the zipper. After the second hit. Alessandra deeply inhaled and he thought she might be she might ask for mercy. Instead, she curled her fingers into the sheets that were beneath her and Giovanni answered her body with a third and final slap that stills every bit of need to punish her earlier miscalculations. His disciplinary, disciplinary and quiet as well as sexual aggression still raged and he dropped the belt to the floor. Alessandra too had managed to fight to find her needs filled. Her body no longer begged for his correction as her posture unconsciously changed. She dropped her stomach lower her head bowed into the mattress. When he let her go. She pulled herself to kneeling and that brief moment he saw Alessandra fully submissive before him, and the desire that overwhelmed him was complete. Okay, so just one last little bit. His father had been wrong. It wasn't losing Alexandria. That was the danger it was loving her. God. Giovanni was up ended and the world that had existed only a week before was annihilated by Cupid's arrow cracking open a heart that was better left alone. This love was all encompassing it which torture need bliss. That like kicked me, right?

Mia 1:12:56
Isn't that like true love though? I mean, isn't love really torture made bliss and we have this fantasy that love is beautiful and sweet and pretty. I mean, weddings kind of play on this and the happy ever after in the fantasy fairy tale. But I mean, loving someone really loving them is suffering and torture. I mean, you can't really love someone without that pain. Right?

Elle 1:13:19
Right. No, you're absolutely right. Love is exquisite, exquisite torture. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that scene. Even with the spoilers.

Mia 1:13:35
My favorites, I'm not usually a fan of like, picking out a 16 as a favorite, but I like those, especially reading them next to each other the difference and how they're both approaching the exact same moment.

Elle 1:13:48
Yes. Yeah, you know,

Mia 1:13:50
I just I find it. So it's like you're delving into their brain.

Elle 1:13:55
Yeah. And he also a bit of a shock to me, but in this moment, he actually seems more invested in the relationship than she is when you get into his point of view. And, and, and that, to me was sort of the shocker, because in her point of view, it was like, I could see infested. Is this a kink thing for him as you just delay? Like, what it you know, is this just a sexual thing? And then you go into his head, and you're just like, Wow, he really is very, like, he's in deep here. And I absolutely loved being able to read that. I mean, like, you know, full disclosure, I struggle writing male point of view, so I don't put it into my books. So it's all from the female point of view. And I'm trying to actively change that because I do think that I would like to write it right from both and I know the readers like it too, but for whatever reason right now, it's just not working for me, right? So I just absolutely loved being able to like get into his head and experience things from where he was coming from. But in a deeper way, like I liked, I never I never thought that I would be okay with reading with like kind of rereading a scene. Because I feel like oh, I've already I've already been there. But I absolutely loved going back and sort of seeing it through his eyes, I thought that it really did add to the story and, and a really beautiful story. So thank you.

Mia 1:15:24
You're welcome. Actually one of my other favorite scenes is I don't know where you are yet. But have they gone to Sicily? No, they have not. Okay, so there's a there's a scene a conversation scene, that it's actually part of the audio book. The it was the these two scenes where it was we were going back and forth on what was going to be the teaser for it. And it's a segment of this conversation that they have. And it's another one of those where these two people are living the same moment. And they pull away completely different things from it. So that's actually if I had to pick one thing, if that's completely nonsexual, it would be that same between them because you really get to see who they are in these moments, while they're trying desperately to figure out who the other person is.

Elle 1:16:10
Right. So cool. So faultline was just made into an audio book? Right? And what else do you have coming up?

Mia 1:16:20
Um, that's a really good question. I have things that are supposed to be coming up, but I just can't seem to get myself there. So that's the third book in the Egina. Fair series. Done. It's an edit. But I'm not doing my part. So I'm sorry, I will, I will get my shit together. There's also a retelling of Persephone and Hades, which is so funny because when that was started, that was not a thing. And then I'm like, Who Why the hell are people writing for 70s and 80s. Which, because now it's a thing, but my husband's great. And I love studying Greek religion. And it dawned on me just how different we perceive some of the tellings than necessarily how they were intended. So that's kind of where the gospel of Persephone comes from. It is a retelling of the story trying to find its hooks in actual Greek bore verses, the stories that we've had passed to us as part of this mythology. And then I've got my Jordan one that's, like 60 pages in but it's disturbing me, so I can't quite quite get there. And then nonfiction stuff. So I do some BDSM nonfiction work. And so I've got a few pieces there. And honestly, as terrible as this may sound, I've got a religious book that should be out by the end of the year.

Elle 1:17:45
I mean, it's under a different name. And amazing, and that's nonfiction as well. Okay, cool. And I mean, just really quickly, I did want to point because I thought that this was really cool. Your nonfiction, around BDSM is you have these Love Letter prompts a Book of Love Letter prompts, which I just was like, that's so cool. I love a good love letter. Sexting does not count. And I don't think we write them anymore. And I kind of love that you have this, this, this book out there that like prompts people to write love letters I was like. So my husband and I

Mia 1:18:22
went to a military school. And initially, we were not allowed to be together even though we were married. So we used to write love letters to each other and drop them in. So he would walk by my window at night, and I would drop a love letter out the window. And then he would reciprocate by shoving one in my mailbox. Oh, cool. And so I would have these rant and I have an entire binder full of love letters. And then he leaves me a love note by my coffeemaker, or he'll shove it you know, in my bag or something so that I'll find it randomly through the day. And I write him love notes in his lunches that I pack. So it's just a way to kind of keep and some of them are dirty. Some of them are like glorified sexting, but some really these deep, powerful moments that you don't need to wait for an anniversary or birthday or some made up holiday to stick them in a card. You know, you can cut off a little sheet of paper from your grocery list and write something and they're so so yeah, I agree with you. I think there's a lost art to the love letter and because our minds are such sexual beings. I think there is this distance makes the heart grow fonder. When you're when you're reading a note. So yeah, so there's a there are two books that are one from the dominant or the the male perspective and one from the female perspective. And then accountability books for folks exploring DNS, because that tends to be a real that communication is something that's learned over time and tends to be really difficult to get into in the beginning.

Elle 1:19:59
You This was awesome. Thank you so much for doing this. Where can people find you on the internet? Like what? Where's your favorite place to hang out?

Mia 1:20:07
Um, so I'm a slacker and I suck at self promotion. So you will find me if I'm there. I do answer. I do always respond though. So I am on Facebook at me Michelle books, and Instagram at me and Michelle author and I'm Michelle with one L. That's that's legit. How my mom spelled it. I'm not sure why it is a boy's name I understand. And then me and michelle.com. So

Elle 1:20:37
I will. I will have those links in the show notes as well. So Mia, thank you so much for doing this.

Mia 1:20:45
Thanks for having me. This was great time.

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