craft,  the writing life

Relax, it’s only fiction…

DOM359You know how there’s always that one person who just doesn’t get it? Well, sometimes this happens with readers, too. With my OTS series, I can’t begin to tell you how many people think the novels are actually autobiographical.  More than once I’ve had people approach me and ask if I know Senator XXX, or this or that actor. I’ve even had people contact me to ask if there were any murder cases I was working on. While I pride myself on a certain level of occult realism for the OTS series, they are fiction. Yes, I do blend some of my real life experiences into the books, but I guess I’ve done it so well that people can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t.

On the flip side of that coin, some folks who read my BDSM complain that it isn’t real enough. For example, Amy is an unsafe play partner and real Doms wouldn’t do what a lot of the Doms in my books do. That’s probably true (unless they weren’t following the safe, sane consensual real-world community guidelines). No Dom would throw his unsuspecting employee into a cage unless he wanted to go to jail. Also, taking the liberty to whip Amy when she shut down is something a real Dom would have never done. I get it. But it’s a FANTASY. That’s why it’s fiction.  I’m not writing “How To” manuals and it’s not my job to police the world.

I give my readers enough credit for understanding reality vs. fiction. They should know it’s completely illegal for someone to kidnap the person they’ve loved from afar (e.g. Weekend Captive). It’s also highly unlikely that characters like Kate, in the real world, would fall in love with their captor. In the real world, perhaps Amy would have refused to get in the cage, ran from the bookstore, and gotten the police involved. Eric would be in jail right now. But she didn’t. In the book she made a very conscious choice to get into that cage when told to. Quite frankly – I find that (as a fantasy) rather hot.

I understand suspending disbelief. I totally get that those who are 24/7 into the lifestyle need that realism. Let’s just say that if you need that kind of realism, my Anne O’Connell books probably aren’t for you. After all, in Her Demon Lover, the demon doesn’t give a safeword. Safe, sane and consensual isn’t really a *thing* for the demon in the story. Of course he’s mind linked to his submissive, so he knows exactly what she needs and wants. Even though she may resist him at certain points, it really is consensual.

I imagine some of my novels’ critics will really flip when (and if) they read DOM359. There are some rather unsafe play practices there, too. I suppose it serves as a cautionary tale. Perhaps I should put  THIS IS FICTION warnings in the front of all my short stories, novellas and novels lest someone thinks they’re reading non-fiction?

Let this post serve as a warning to all who read my past and future fictional works:

  • The works of Audrey Brice (e.g. The OTS Series) are all fictional.
  • The Works of Anne O’Connell are all fictional.

And just in case –

  • The Works of S. J. Reisner are all fictional.

This public service announcement brought to you by the letter X and the letter O.  XO  😉

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at


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