Good morning and welcome to Fika! Today we are welcoming a long-time regular reader and participant, Minelle Labraun. Does the name sound familiar? You may recognize Minelle in one of three capacities. Her namesake is the co-heroine of The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, inspired by Minelle herself. What happened? I teased Minelle by saying that her husband should spank her and then proceeded to write a tiny scene where he did. She loved it! I put a snippet up for Six Sunday, and other people loved it as well. So I kept writing, and Vennie was born.
The other way you might recognize Minelle is that she is the one who can be counted on to tease me in the comments. Every day! (Don’t you ever take a vacation, Minelle? Hehe…)
But finally, the name Minelle is familiar to many of our spanking fiction authors because she is the dedicated reader who not only reads every single story she can find, but she also gives reviews and feedback. She has a way of understanding stories on such an intuitive, empathic level that I often find myself re-examining my writing after hearing her feedback. To have a reader like Minelle is the best gift an author could hope for. Thank you, Minelle, for all that you do for the spanking fiction author community.
Minelle has agreed to chat with us today, so we have the dream of any author: a real live reader who will answer our questions! I’ve asked her a few questions to get us started, but then feel free to chime in with your own.
Anastasia Vitsky: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Minelle Labraun: I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. My natural family and chosen family inspire me to be better. As I get older I try not to let my natural reticence compete with my love of others. The one unifying element within all of those labels is that I am an artist. It is how I see the world. It is also often how I connect with people…I enjoy people. I love sharing friendship with others. Even when I am not painting or creating art, my eyes do not always see what others see. I get caught in the imagery around me. I pick up on things and they excite me. When I see a beautiful or interesting object or natural scene my heart races and I become lost in that vision. I often read with this perspective as well. A good story can inspire me to creative thought or just pure enjoyment.
Oh and I guess I like to read about spanking….and maybe enjoy the threat of spanking….Sometimes even practice a little spanking!
Anastasia Vitsky: How did you first become interested in spanking fiction?
Minelle Labraun: I have always been into spanking fiction. Any book I came across that mentioned spanking became the source of secret pleasure or a heart pounding rush. As I approached adolescence and later young adulthood, I read any romance, and eagerly embraced one that suggested spanking may occur or… ‘Joy’ did contain a strong leader taking someone in hand. I often kept those books and would revisit the spanking threats or scenes often through the years. I often think some of those bodice buster authors are settled right here in this community.
Five or six years ago instead of rushing off to search out a main stream ‘spanking’ fix, I decided I would try and understand the connection for me. I felt there needed to be an explanation for my secret desire.
I typed the phrase spanking in romance for my search. My world exploded. I was never to be the same again. I certainly had been mildly spanked in my relationship with my husband and threatened upon numerous occasions (not just by hubby) through the years, however I never thought about it beyond the secret thrill/confusion and embarrassment that loomed before me.
Then I began reading book sites and blogs…. ALL THE TIME. I started to feel comfortable buying stories so I bought lots…. Initially for me it was the spanking and romance not necessarily the sex. (The strong alpha man, taking in hand the equally strong woman.) I was amazed that there were stories such as I wrote in my head on a daily basis for as long as I could remember. Instead of imagining the scenes from my vanilla-ish books with a real spanking….I could actually read them personified.
Soon I made a connection with our dear Ana here, and she opened my eyes to FF spanking with Kat and Natalie. The writing was emotionally compelling and the love between Kat and Nat was palpable. Even though I had an open mind, I fell into the category of choosing things based on my MF bias. However I was amazed at her writing. The moment I discovered Kat and Nat story’s I waited with my breath held for each new scene to be revealed. The scenes were filled with descriptions invoking new experiences. I felt like I was back in a literature class analyzing and interpreting the subtle meaning behind the motivation of these multi-dimensional women.
Anastasia Vitsky: What about spanking fiction do you find interesting and enjoyable?
Minelle Labraun: Frankly I can enjoy almost every type., however I lean toward DD. But when a story is noteworthy it comes down to how the author sets up the story. When I first began reading stories I had all these preconceived stipulations regarding what was okay and what wasn’t. For example, I could find certain implements or the length of a spanking harsh. I would become so emotionally vested I tried too hard to place the story in my real world. Now I have recognized that there are differences between fantasy and reality for me. Something that may seem harsh in fantasy can be enjoyable within the fantasy the author has created. It is important for me when an author sets up the scene properly. In those instances it doesn’t matter to me whether I agree with why the TIH [Taken in Hand or disciplined] individual is spanked, but that it was explained, even if it is just because this is our dynamic and I am in control.
Another draw for me is the conflict. I like that feisty struggle. The spanked doesn’t make it always easy. He or she doesn’t want the punishment. Maybe they do not even acknowledge the positive. I am fine with the HOH making mistakes as long as it is discussed somehow and recognized and rectified. I do enjoy a happy ending but it doesn’t always have to get there easily. There are exceptions to happy endings. Sometimes the direction a story takes just doesn’t deem a happy ending as one that is plausible.
And yes I can deal with formula writing since I am getting a spanking story! Good formula spanking stories will see me revisiting the author more often. Bad formula is much more difficult to slosh through.
A consideration regarding how I choose stories may also favor on my emotions. If I am moody etc… I may pick a harsher story. I always read the blurb and if the author offers a part of or chapter free that often settles my decision.
If it is in the erotic element all bets are off and I just enjoy the variety of approaches.
Anastasia Vitsky: How do you find new books to read, and how do you decide which ones to read?
Minelle Labraun: I enjoy word of mouth. I also will read stories from authors I have read previously. I am very loyal.
Anastasia Vitsky: Approximately how many stories do you read per week/month, and how many do you think you’ve read in all?
Minelle Labraun: I read spanking fiction all the time. I read a new story a few times per week. I read many books or stories at the same time. I belong to a few sites and when I buy books I have many pages. Ana, and now Sunny love to tease that I have read almost all the spanking fiction e-books…They may be close to right, regarding certain genres and categories. However I may have lost books since I am totally a tech-no.
Anastasia Vitsky: What do you wish for in a spanking story? What do you hope won’t be in the story?
Minelle Labraun: Someone gets a Spanking…..or two…or three….! I like the traditional OTK spanking scenario. The intimacy of that position is so much a part of television and the romance novels I grew up seeing. It propels my fantasy.
I do not always want or need to have it consensual. For me it is okay within the context of fantasy. The idea of giving up control and someone making everything okay is part of the white horse fantasy. I don’t care of it is MF, FF or MM, There is a great appeal to being taken care of and put first. Love is the common denominator. Now for me…And I don’t judge others’ fantasies, there needs to be care in the spanking scenarios…not cruelty or abuse, I have some clear limits here. The main Characters having a moral fortitude guiding their actions is always a plus. Now I am not talking about a black and white definition, there can be a multitude of grays. Human nature is flawed and I do not mind seeing a transitional journey.
Anastasia Vitsky: You’ve tried your hand at writing a few spanking stories and put them on your blog. How was that experience for you? Will you continue to write stories? What do you enjoy about it?
Minelle Labraun: Well I have PK to thank for encouraging me to write my first spanking story. If not for her I would have just continued weaving scenarios in my head. Daily in the quiet moments I would settle and create a picture and dialogue for my mind to enjoy. I would choose a set of characters that were strong but real, sit back and imagine away. When I actually attempted to pen my first story, the experience was literally one of the most exciting and frightening creative journeys I have faced. I know I am a novice but I enjoy facing the challenge. I try and learn from my mistakes and make the characters fun, albeit flawed. As long as everyone is willing to muddle through my sophomoric attempts I will keep trying to get better.
Anastasia Vitsky: What would you say to spanking fiction authors if you could?
Minelle Labraun: Keep writing your stories…..Write the way you enjoy. Don’t try and change based on what you think readers want. We will read what you write if it seems as if it is authentic. If you feel a certain way write it and don’t put something into a story just because you think it is what a reader wants. Every author has a different voice. That is what I enjoy as a reader…your perspective.