Craving Small and Forbidden Desires
"The gift of submission is not the act of obedience itself, but the willingness to submit and obey." — Kitty Wilder
Kitty Wilder would like to read you a dirty story. Maybe even your own.
Sitting at her kitchen table or in a makeshift basement studio, Kitty Wilder tells stories into a microphone. Sometimes these are stories she’s written herself, sometimes by someone else. But none of this can happen until the kids are asleep or elsewhere, because these are dirty stories.
And so begins each episode of Kitty’s YouTube channel, “Kitty Wilder Reads”, with the host’s sultry voice saying: “I’m Kitty Wilder, and I’d like to read you a dirty story.” And what follows is a hair-raising, spine-tingling ascent into the erotic worlds created by romance authors.
Fellow romance authors, as Kitty is one too. In addition to numerous short stories, Kitty is the author of Moonlit Surrender, an erotic vampire BDSM novel, published in 2020. Technically, Kitty Wilder is not an “indie” author, as her novel was published by Blushing Books. But Kitty undoubtedly has much in common with all the indies out there.
Much of Kitty’s work revolves around BDSM-themed material, with a focus on the Daddy Dom/little girl sub-genre. On Instagram, she is not only funny, but something of an educator for those who aren’t as familiar with BDSM.
I barely knew Kitty when I sent her an excerpt of my own romance novel. I sent two chapters for her to choose from—one was dirty but tame, the other untamed. Kitty chose untamed. And I was nervous. These were words I’d written and rewritten … and rewritten … to the point of memorization. Hearing Kitty read them was like hearing them for the first time. What more can an author ask for?
In this interview, Kitty and I discuss her novel and short stories, BDSM, her experiences with her (still new) YouTube channel, and what’s next in the year ahead.
A real witty kitty, Kitty Wilder. All images courtesy of Kitty Wilder.
Your author bio is hilarious. Moonlit Surrender isn’t a funny book, but has some funny moments. Some say humor is the hardest thing to write. What are your thoughts about being funny “on paper” in a general sense?
You’re right. Moonlit Surrender isn’t a funny book, but life isn’t inherently funny either; a lot of us still manage to find some humor in it from time to time. Dark humor is definitely something I use to cope with life, so naturally it shows up in my writing.
It seems to me that humor plays a diminished role in Romance and related genres. What’s your opinion?
Well, there’s the whole subgenre of romantic comedy for those looking for a laugh with their steam. Otherwise, I think it just depends on the writer. I tend to be a very sarcastic and sassy person, so it makes sense it sneaks into my stories.
Moonlit Surrender is a paranormal romance between a vampire, Professor Johnathan Wright, and his (accidental) student, Lucy Beckett. Why did you choose a vampire story for your first novel?
I think it was unavoidable. I grew up worshipping Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles, and my first book boyfriend was Alexander Sterling from Ellen Schrieber’s Vampire Kisses. I’ve been in love with vampires and all the unique variations, poetry, and imagery they carry with them most of my life. It’s where I’m most at home as a writer.
Why did you choose a college town setting?
I suppose some of it was taken from my own personal experiences, having lived in the quiet suburbs most of my life. It also made sense to me that a vampire might want to make his home somewhere quiet and lowkey, especially if he has alternate means of feeding his thirst that wouldn’t raise any suspicion. If you feed on people, then it makes sense to head to a big city, but that’s also where vampire hunters would expect you to be.
This is a BDSM-themed story, with a Daddy Dom/Little Girl (DD/lg) subtheme. How would you describe DD/lg to those who aren’t familiar with it, and what in particular do you want them to know about it?
I think DD/lg can be quite upsetting on the surface if you know nothing of it and just Google it. I’ve actually received emails on it from one of my short stories. The biggest thing is that it’s a particular relationship dynamic between two consenting adults, and does not promote sex with minors. That said, I would describe DD/lg foremost as a power exchange dynamic. You have a Daddy Dom who tends to take on more of a role of caregiver, or even parent, than a typical Dominant, and you have a Little who takes on the role of Submissive, and can be more in need of that parenting and caregiving. Some Littles take part in age regression, which can be in a sexual context or not. Some prefer older Dominants and might be into age gap relationships, and some want the DD/lg dynamic but don’t like BDSM. Also, it’s not strictly male Daddies and female Littles. It’s an incredibly varied group of people who I think take this basic archetype and then make it their own, so you’re probably not going to get one straight answer for how this sort of relationship looks, which I think is beautiful. There’s an innate tenderness within this dynamic that I’m personally drawn to, but I understand it’s not for everyone.
Two of your Instagram posts read: “Domination is an invitation to submission,” and “The gift of submission is not is not the act of obedience itself, but the willingness to submit and obey.” Please elaborate on these a bit.
Whatever the structure of a Dom/sub relationship, be it Master/slave or Daddy/little—whatever is happening there—the submission of the one doing the submitting is always given. Submission is a gift, a willing and consensual relinquishing of certain rights and choices to the Dominant. There’s a misconception that a Dominant is forcing their Submissive into the role, or taking those freedoms; or, even worse, owed those freedoms. The strange and somewhat counterintuitive reality of the dynamic is that the Submissive actually holds all the power, in that they decide how much they’re giving and to whom. So to say that Domination is an invitation to submission is to say: Be the kind of Dominant that a Submissive wants to give everything to. Prove yourself worthy and capable of caring for them and wielding that power responsibly and in their best interest. It’s an intimate trust fall.
On the flip side, the joy in being a Dominant isn’t getting to boss someone around in the bedroom or 24/7 (depending on how far the dynamic extends), but in this willing surrendering of freedoms and power by the Submissive. The Dominant’s delight comes from their Submissive being willing to make that trust fall with them.
Moonlit Surrender has a unique feel that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It felt dreamlike—gauzy and sheer one minute, then sharp and vivid the next—almost like the moon slipping in and out of clouds. Was this intentional or more a reflection of your writing style and vision in general?
I certainly didn’t sit down with this idea of gauzy and vivid, so I suppose unintentional. I think one reviewer said my writing was atmospheric, so I suppose that’s just my style.
The story evolves into suspense, action and adventure, with ancient characters in a contemporary setting. What can you share about where this vision came from?
I don’t even know. One minute you’re watching a rerun of an old sitcom, and in the next you get the idea to kidnap and gaslight your Heroine. Inspiration is a mysterious thing.
Moonlit Surrender was erotic and explicit, but also very sensual. Explain why that works so well within the DD/lg theme.
I suppose because DD/lg falls under D/s, which is under the BDSM umbrella. It’s not hard to take it in a sexual, sensual direction.
How did you connect with Blushing Books? And would you do that again, or pursue the self-publishing route?
Once upon a time, as a young and very naive teen, perhaps eighteen or nineteen, I wrote a little YA fantasy adventure and attempted to self-publish, having absolutely no idea what all goes into that—the hard work, money, attention to detail, and especially the marketing and networking. It was an absolute flop and one of those cringey memories that likes to pop up in my greatest hits reel before falling asleep at night, next to other super embarrassing moments I’d love to forget. So, after finishing Moonlit Surrender, I knew I wanted to find a publisher. I shopped around and researched a lot of publishers before settling on Blushing Books and submitting my manuscript. I like what they’re about, the other titles they publish, their royalties split. Working with them has been a wonderful experience.
I respect the hell out of indie authors, and there is no questioning they hustle like nobody else, but to me it was worth splitting those royalties to have an in-house editor, cover artist, and head of marketing to handle all the things that felt so completely out of my depth. I have another title releasing with them, scheduled to drop in late July. I’ll be posting more info on that as it draws nearer. However, is this to say that I’ll never independently publish? Certainly not. After observing the tight-knit and incredibly hard working community of indie authors on Instagram and TikTok, and learning more about the process of independently publishing, I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility.
Can you share some of your influences that led you to a DD/lg-themed vampire story?
Moonlit Surrender is a great example of someone telling a writer to write what they love, and that’s why there’s so much happening in it (haha). Vampires are special to me, and as a Submissive, I wanted to make the love interest a Daddy Dom. As far as influences, just far too much Anne Rice at an early age; and not just her vampires, but also her erotic series, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.
You wrote “Stolen Kiss,” a short story that takes place in a kitchen at the end of a dinner party. It’s about a kiss, not sex per se, yet is intensely erotic. What makes it so?
I suppose it’s because it centers around everything that leads to sex: the attraction, the longing, the flirtation, and that first kiss that sets everything in motion. In my experience, good sex is about the drumroll that leads to it.
Your stories are saturated with desire. Relative to the “show, don’t tell” advice most writers receive at some point, showing desire is a tough one. Writers really have to “get there,” and you do. Does this come naturally, or do you have to keep reworking and pushing it further throughout various drafts?
I honestly just think about all the things I feel when I’m attracted to someone, so I guess in that sense it comes naturally. You don’t look at them and instantly want to tear their clothes off. In real life there are glances, the brushing of fingertips, that skip in your heart when they enter the room, that ever present hope that they’ll be wherever you’re going, and the daydreaming and borderline obsessing. As far as a main character reading attraction from their love interest, it’s very similar. We pick up the little things that make us think someone is interested in us. Desire starts small.
Many readers understandably don’t want to read about infidelity of any kind. Would you have been able to build tension in “Stolen Kiss” without it?
I’m sure I could’ve built that tension without the infidelity factor, but there’s something decadent and delicious about the forbidden, isn’t there? Craving the forbidden is as old as the Bible and a shared struggle of humanity. Erotic stories give us the outlet to explore those forbidden desires without all the nasty consequences. Plenty of people in committed relationships have felt tempted to stray, or have at one point or another simply wondered. There are plenty of things I’ve read and loved but would never do in real life. That’s the freedom of fantasies.
What’s next for Kitty Wilder?
I have many things in the works right now, including turning Moonlit Surrender into an exciting series that will follow Lucy’s experience into vampirism and the dark world I’ve created for them, as well as the evolution of her and John’s relationship. It will also introduce new characters I hope readers will enjoy getting to know. In between these installations you can expect some lighter, shorter reads centered around my common themes of Age Gap and Domination and Submission, because “write what you love,” right?