Sunday, March 23, 2014

, , , , , , ,

Addy Welcomes: Joelle Casteel - Genre Formulas and How I Break Them

Hi Joelle! Thank you so much for coming over. I am very excited to be part of the tour and thrilled about the re-release! Feel free to come back anytime.

It's day 11 on my blog tour for the re-release of "Out of the Night: Book One" of my Vala's Story serial. Please visit this page if you want to catch up on missed posts. Thank you, Adaline, for hosting me.

I failed algebra the first time through in high school. I had it first thing after lunch and my friend who always had marijuana had the same lunch period with me. I also decided to take my math book home one night, but then went to a pot party and heck if I had my book the next day. So yeah, formulas and me aren't on speaking terms lol.

Formulas (in fiction) are also a large part of why I decided to self-publish "Vala's Story." Every so often I read an article, something posted on Facebook and my beta reader receives a worried message "Is 'Vala's Story' erotica or erotic romance?" Or something like that. Or I'll worry at her about what would be the appropriate "tags" for any of the books. Things like "Is 19 slaves/subs/switches and one Master too many to use menage?" Or "Does the sex happen too often for erotic romance?"

So what is "Vala's Story" anyways? Of course, each book in the serial has its own color. "Out of the Night: Book One" is a much different book than "Oh, Sklavimuth: Book 7"- there is certainly more humor in Book 7 than Book 1. Rather than try to say what it is, I'm going to tell you how it's different than much of the erotica/erotic romance that I've read.

Here I'm thinking about erotica- I have spent more time on character development, especially on back stories than one often finds in erotica. I didn't try to do "point of view pornography" in words; while the formal introductions of The Queen's slaves may seem like a lot of info quick, I lay the plans for you the reader to get to know each of these people more over the 9 planned books of the serial. And these are really more than characters to me; my BR is all too familiar with questions like "Do you think The Queen would really say that?" as if he's an actual person. Also as I was just talking, not only am I thoughtful on character back story, but on character interaction. I haven't written a monogamous couple nor have I written a threesome. I have a complex polyamorous situation that not only includes the complicated interactions of a poly relationship, but also includes a BDSM hierarchy- I've included The Queen's stable diagrams for a reason- to aid readers in following who submits to whom, who owes whom a title, and all sorts of other little details that a BDSM relationship of this type entail.

Now these last comments lead me to two interesting ways in which I'm different than erotic fiction I've read. I have written a polyamorous relationship; the focus of the sexual and romantic activity in my story is The Queen and his slaves. While some casual sex happens at times (and only in limited situations in "Out of the Night: Book One"), the focus is still on activity that happens within a committed relationship. And yes, The Queen has a lot of slaves. Twenty by the end of Vala's Story. The number of characters also affects the subjects of "happily-ever-after" and "happy-for-now." In reading Patricia Logan's "Master's Boy" serial, I quickly saw how HEAs and HFNs are going to be difficult for readers in my books. Spoiler here, but I think most would say that Vala only gets an HFN in "Night," and that's even debatable. But you see, I know where she is when the 9th book ends. There's also The Queen's HEA, Tommy's HEA, Abrecan's HFN and on and on. Sure, it's Vala's Story, but there are other people that she interacts with. Heck, even The Queen's best friend, Prince Synn, gets a HFN in a few books lol.

But don't let me forget the myriad types of sexual and BDSM activity I show! I would be remiss to limit my conversation just to the book I'm promoting here- I build from straightforward male, female vaginal intercourse all the way to extreme BDSM activities (things such as inverted, suspended bondage) over the course of Vala's Story. I don't ask for my readers to deal with that much variety in "Night" though; you get to build up to much of the diversity of sexuality along with Vala as she sees and experiences things. A little preview of sorts, I was talking with my editor about the third book in this serial and I asked her "Will you be able to handle scenes including enemas and scat?" No, there aren't any enemas or scat in "Night," but I do engage in a bit of CBT (or in other words, cock and ball torture.)

Vala begins the story: "Hello. How are you today? I hope you're doing wonderful. I know I am." Yes, she is talking directly to you, the reader, here. Yes, she hasn't taken her new name yet. She introduces herself as Mearr Efa. Now this isn't the only time she talks to the reader or even her ghost writer, although you have to wait for that one :D. With the exception of stories told in the 1st person, I'm told that characters talking to the reader is pretty rare now and in fact, I can't think of any books where this is done off the top of my head. But Vala is willful and she'll talk to the reader if she darn well whats to; I know, she taught me how to brat and be less the perfect little submissive.

S. J. Maylee, whose review on a previous edition of "Night" now appears at the beginning of the book, said of my use of POV that "it makes it feel as if it's a movie." I hadn't actively attempted to make that feeling, but it's an interesting summary. Of course, the majority of the story in in Vala's POV, it being her story, but there have been times when I had a reason to jump into some other character's head; don't worry, you'll be able to tell when and why I've done it. Now in many writing circles the phrase "head-hopping" is used as a derogatory term for this sort of POV shifting. Handled poorly, I agree that it's bad, but I've endeavored to use it as a plot device that I hope readers enjoy.

What is "Vala's Story"? It's a serialized story following the BDSM training of one woman who happily finds herself in a large, loving polyamorous BDSM relationship. There's romance, sexual activity, humor, tragedy, and hopefully a wider range of human emotion shown in either erotica or erotic romance usually.

"Out of the Night: Book One" blurb

Restless and world-weary, Mearr isn't about to admit she needs anyone's help, even this gorgeous man who has taken her into his home. Well one of his homes and part of this huge family she's heard about but not met all of. She's young, looks young, and knows it but at least she's legal now so she can pick a new name to go with her new life...

The Queen knows he wants Mearr bad, ever since the first time he saw her in the window of the coffeehouse. He has his plan, but even a Dominant's plans don't always survive the unpredictability of the future. He struggles to figure out this temperamental woman he's brought home, how best to help her. Then he takes her to his mansion...

They wait patiently for The Queen to bring Mearr home. Well to the home they've been redecorating for Him and for the hopes that she'll become part of their family and be trained to please Him. Simon and Tommy have seen her, of course, being The Queen's right and left hands; they say she'll be a perfect addition...

Please come along with Joelle on this journey, shared with the readers in serial fashion. A multitude of "Happily-ever-afters" are waiting with the completion of book 9.

Author's Note: This novel is meant for open-minded adults. Activities described include a wide range of BDSM and sexual activities, some of which are male/male, male/female, consensual slavery, oral/anal/vaginal intercourse, bondage. The story also covers some sensitive topics in characters' backstories, such as drug abuse.

Buy it on-


As they become available, please check on the "My Books" page for links to buy on, Barnes and Noble, and, if you'd prefer not to buy at Smashwords.

Joelle Casteel has been writing for as long as she can remember. Explicit, graphic, her writing isn't for minors or the easily offended. Once upon a time, she preferred to write on a PC, sitting on a stool- there were those who told her she looked like Tori Amos playing the piano. She's still trying to get the hang of writing in an arm chair instead, normally with a heavy dog's head resting on her feet, whether she wants that or not. With BDSM gaining a broader audience with various books- which she will not name because she can't stand them- she feels it's past time to put out her impression of what BDSM can look like in reality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow Joelle on the rest of her tour!


  1. thanks for hosting me, Adaline :) This has been such a fun tour

  2. Congratulations on the release. I definitely subscribe to the view that formulae are there to be disproven and boundaries are there to be challenged. If everyone did everything exactly by the book, this would be a dull little world and I love the way you challenge everything.

    1. thanks for the commment, Tara. Yeah, how boring would that be if we all put out the same book with only details like names, eye colour etc changed :D

  3. Agree wholeheartedly with the concept of characterization and growth being a large part of erotic fiction. Loved the post. I think the genre fiction formulas are there more for the reader than the writer sometimes. :) Congrats on the release.


I adore comments! Ask a question, rant, rave,I'll answer back. :P

All material copyrite Adaline Raine. Powered by Blogger.