Monday Morning Fika: Alta Hensley, the Good/Naughty Girl of DD Fiction

Today Governing Ana is proud to host Alta Hensley for Monday Morning Fika*!  On select Mondays, we will sit down with an author or figure of the ttwd community to chat about topics such as books, love, electronic readers, and even biting!  Please welcome Alta.  

*”Fika” is a Swedish term for enjoying coffee, tea, and sweets over conversation with friends.  It is a sacred tradition in many families, friends, and even workplaces, and it offers a chance to chat informally on a number of topics.  While “Fika” may refer specifically to the coffee, in practice it refers to the moment of community.  In this hectic world, it is nice to take a moment to stop, pause, and savor time getting to know a little more about each other.

Good morning, Alta, and thank you so much for joining us!  Congratulations on your newest book Of Yesterday!  You were one of the first to write domestic discipline novels, and in fact LazyDay’s decision to publish your first book was a big risk.  Amazingly, you rocketed to best-seller lists and have helped to redefine kinky novels.  Did you think that you would go over as big as you have, or were you surprised?

Was I one of the first? Interesting. 🙂

I had no idea it would take off the way it did. Traditional Love was a huge step outside of the typical bdsm type story. There was no safe word, and it wasn’t really consensual spanking, so I was nervous how the average reader would take it. LazyDay took a huge risk because Domestic Discipline was still very taboo…still is. It wasn’t just about a sexual kink, but rather, a lifestyle.

What has this been like for you?

Exciting! Seeing the sales meant that people were actually reading my book(s). I started selling 100’s and then 1000’s of books. As a writer, this is a dream come true. It was also stressful at times. I had some backlash that I was writing about domestic abuse, or that my scenes were “vulgar.” So, I had to learn how to have a thick skin pretty fast. I also started getting e-mails asking for advice about Domestic Discipline. It was…odd. People were starting to see me as a “DD Pioneer Author” and that title was weird for me. But overall, I have really loved seeing how much my writing has been embraced, and I have met some really wonderful people.

Considering that your books are quite steamy, your readers might well be surprised that you describe yourself as a shy, quiet, private girl who likes to please.  You said that you didn’t even share your first book with your mother.  Do you see any dichotomy between writing erotic novels and being a “good girl”?

It’s funny, because I am the typical “good girl” but with a hidden naughty side. 🙂

I didn’t share my books with most anyone I knew. They all know that I write, but they all know that they are NOT allowed to read my books. I think a lot of people are like that, though. I think a lot of people have secret desires that they unleash behind closed doors. In fact, the whole DD community is a hush hush group of people. Rarely, are people “out” as a DD couple. And even if you don’t practice the lifestyle…I think the fantasy of it, really turns people on…secretly. 😉

Do you think that being a “good girl” has been an asset for you as a writer?

Yes. If a scene I’m writing makes me blush – then I know it is good! I think I’m also overly sensitive to making my scenes less “dirty” and more “sensual”. Don’t get me wrong, my books can be very “dirty,” but I think my good girl side keeps me in check.

How would you define the kind of writing that you do?

Erotic Romance. I think I would put myself in the very new genre of Domestic Discipline Contemporary Romance. It’s different than bdsm because my scenes don’t have safe words and really don’t follow all the rules of bdsm. All of my writing has a DD element to it. What can I say? I like the spank. 😉

You have said that you believe firmly–and this is a theme in your books–that DD can save marriages and reduce or prevent divorces.  Do you see writing about DD couples as a kind of intervention or outreach?

I truly do believe that DD can help many marriages. I believe in traditional roles between a man and woman. A woman can be strong, run businesses, dominate in the world, but she also needs to be soft and sensual to her man. A man can’t have his masculinity stripped from him, while a woman loses her femininity. It’s just not natural. I write about DD, because I think that many women really want at least some aspect of it. Maybe not the whole lifestyle, but I think most women want a strong man who can lead. Why are romance novels with strong alphas so popular?

Although, I’m not trying to convince or change anyone’s mind. I’m just writing about something I find very seductive and erotic.  

How do you hope your books will affect readers?

I just hope they walk away from my book, happy that they read it. Even if they don’t agree with the spanking/discipline in the book, my hope is that they at least liked the story and characters. 

What might bring readers to the books?

I wish I knew! If I truly knew that answer, then I’d outsell Fifty Shades of Grey! Ha ha.

What greater message might people take away after reading your books?

Love. All my books are truly about love. Take out the DD, the spanking, the anal discipline and so on…I just want people to walk away saying, “That was a great love story.”

I heard that you had a one-time foray into F/F and even found out you liked to top!  I love that you are willing to experiment.  What did you like about it?

I am an extremely sexual person. I’m open minded to all sexual beliefs, lifestyles etc. I also love the female body, as you may notice on my blog. I think the shape and curves of a woman is beyond beautiful.

Have you considered writing F/F fiction in the future?

Well, I was part of Indulgence: Tales of the Cirque Romani. I wrote a short story that explored the F/F sensuality, and it was fun! So you never know…. 

As someone who has pioneered books about M/F DD, what are your thoughts about F/F DD possibly emerging as part of that genre?

It think it’s great! It exists just like M/F does and M/M does. So why not find more books about it? I think that if a story can stand on its own, it doesn’t matter if it’s M/F, M/M, F/F and so on. A good book is a good book, regardless.

LazyDay, your publisher (and mine, too!), is relatively new and does a great deal besides spanking fiction.  Why do you work with them?  Their trademark seems to be accepting books that don’t fit into a particular genre, and they seem to be open to kink writing.  Do you agree?

LazyDay Publishing is a fairly new digital first publisher (they opened December 1, 2010). They have some print on demand, but their focus is the ebook. What is so great about them, is that they truly take on all genres and take chances with authors, ideas, and out of the box genres. They also really nourish their relationships with their authors and continue to work with them, which is why I keep writing for them. They even created a Spanking/Domestic Discipline category on their site. So they are really supportive to the lifestyle.

When I first sent my first book Traditional Love out to publishers, I was given a couple of acceptance letters IF I changed a few things. The changes that were asked would have changed my book completely and removed Domestic Discipline ideas. LazyDay allowed me to keep my voice. They work with you on everything. You even get to be part of the cover creation. They are new and still fairly unknown by many, but they have had several books make the bestseller lists on Amazon (I have had 3 make that list). 🙂

My next book Of Yesterday is now for sale. So proud of it!  

[Ana’s note: Please click on the book cover image below if you would like to purchase it.]

Alta’s newest book!

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31 thoughts on “Monday Morning Fika: Alta Hensley, the Good/Naughty Girl of DD Fiction

    • Ana says:

      If you haven’t read Alta’s books, I highly recommend them. They’re like DD fairy tales for grownups (Alta loves it when I call them that!). Thank you for stopping by and for supporting DD in all forms! I know some DDers don’t believe in reading fiction, but I think there *is* benefit to having fictional representations.

      Like

  1. Bas says:

    As I understand Alta is the classic example of “Still waters, Deep grounds”.
    Alta says she writes Erotic Romance.
    Makes me wonder if there is any other kind of Romance.
    In many Non-erotic books, I tend to wonder what the Hero and the Heroine see in each other. Just looking at each other across the table, makes them happy for the rest of their lives? Hardly romantic.
    I have quite often tried to form a mental image about what “Living Happily Ever After” stands for. What did Cinderella and the Prince discuss after the glass shoe identified her as the girl he danced with one evening?
    Alta and many other writers, give meaning to this Living Happily.
    Thank you Alta and Ana (lots of A’s!)

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Dear Bas…I think that “erotic” means “sex scenes”, so that’s a little bit different from the usual meaning of erotic.

      Why am I picturing Prince Charming spanking Cinderella with her shoe? 😉

      Like

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    Amazing how many authors of steamy novels describe themselves as shy. I think a big part of it is that we imagine so much in our heads! Congrats on the new release, Alta. I’m looking forward to having you on my blog.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I agree with the shyness! It’s harder to feel the need to write when you are completely at ease expressing everything in your daily life. Looking forward to seeing Alta on your blog!

      Like

  3. Sue Lyndon says:

    Great interview! I’ve read lots of books with spanking themes over the years, but until I read Traditional Love, my only exposure to domestic discipline was reading blogs maintained by people who lived the lifestyle. Finally finding a book that called it out as DD was wonderful.

    Of Yesterday is an awesome book…go buy it right now! 🙂

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I think it’s exciting to have DD books like Alta’s! Selfishly, it makes it that much easier for those of us who want to follow in the DD genre. It’s also fun to read stories where such wonderful things happen. 🙂

      Like

  4. Celeste Jones says:

    Hi Alta and Ana. Great interview.

    Interesting points by Alta and Bas about couples/marriage/happily ever after. I think there are plenty of people out there who want to read about married couples and the challenges of making a marriage work. I’m not saying that I think DD books can substitute for marriage counseling (I’m not saying they can’t either) but sometimes traditional romance annoys me with the typical “now that we’ve declared our love and devotion for each other, life will always be perfect”.

    Nice to “meet” you Alta. So many great folks out there to get to know.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Oh that is one of my pet peeves! Why do the stories always end in marriage when a super romance can be written AFTER the wedding? Don’t even get me started on the F/F and M/M aspects…

      Like

    • Ana says:

      I love having you here, Alta! So many neat people to meet and get to know in our little niche of spanking fiction. 🙂 Thank you always for being so gracious and kind.

      Like

  5. altahensley says:

    Cara,
    I can’t wait to be on your blog as well. As for being shy…I think a lot of authors in general are. Writing allows us to express ourselves with the security of hiding behind our stories. We writers are an odd breed. ha ha 🙂

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I’m glad Alta is the go-to gal so I can just be the quiet girl following in everyone else’s footsteps. 😀 As I raise my fist and mutter, “Hey, women can spank, too!” *giggle*

      I think it’s wonderful that we can actually have a genre of contemporary DD fiction. I hope it continues to grow and diversify.

      Like

  6. Minelle says:

    I love what you said about being a “good girl” with a naughty side. I think that is such a perfect description of many of “us” out here. I absolutely agree with what women want, and the theory of not stripping a man’s masculinity away.
    I also strongly believe that it doesn’t just need to be M/F there is absolutely a market for F/F and M/M. Just because you are one gender doesn’t mean we fall into typical stereotypes within a certain dynamic.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      You mean like a nice girl who wins sex toys? 😉

      I think women can relate to F/F when the focus is on the friendship/relationship and, as Alta says, on the pretty woman’s body. lol…I love that line! I love the fluidity and that we don’t have to remain rigidly in only one idea of DD.

      Like

  7. altahensley says:

    Jade and Ana,
    Go-to-gal? I can’t take the pressure! Ha ha. I’m just happy that the DD genre is starting to gain steam. I love that there are so many great books out there to read now.

    Like

  8. altahensley says:

    Ana and Minelle,
    YES! Women can spank and men can spank other men. I simply refer to the M/F, because that is what I know and can speak to. What I think is important to remember, is that DD/TTWD/Spanking etc. does not stop with one gender or one group of people. It’s about a relationship dynamic between two people.

    Like

  9. tfd says:

    Thank you for this very interesting interview.

    Not to open a can of worms, but the characteristics that have traditionally been considered masculine and feminine are becoming less a burden on both males and females, and I like that. Someday, perhaps anyone can be the disciplined or the disciplinarian, and they won’t have to be confused about whether they’re fulfilling any notion of what is “natural” for their gender.

    Like

  10. altahensley says:

    Which is why I love LazyDay Publishing! They just put out 2 books by Liz Borino that have M/M spanking and about to publish Ana. They realize that not everyone wants the same old books you can find anywhere.

    Like

  11. Joelle Casteel says:

    I find it interesting that Alta talks about safe words and rules in BDSM erotica. Personally I’m always looking for- both in what I read and write- something that exists between total non-consent and a Pollyanna-ish BDSM that requires hours of negotiation before anything can happen.

    But I certainly can’t wait until I manage to buy one of Alta’s books. “Traditional Marriage” sounds very much like a book I’ll enjoy.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I’m not sure if the line between DD and BDSM is quite that clear. DD involves a great deal of consent and negotiation. I don’t think anyone would approve of a completely nonconsensual DD relationship unless it was within a very specific context.

      Hope you do enjoy Alta’s book!

      Like

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