About the Author

Christina Thacher doesn't use her real name for her erotica, if only to keep her boss from teasing her about her "smut." She's an urban professional writing about urban professionals having kinky sex. Her inspiration is obvious, she says: she just imagines what she would like to have happen to her and the next thing she knows, the book's done. Of course, between her day job as a bankruptcy lawyer and her secret life as a BDSM erotica author, Christina barely has time to date. Just as well...none of the men she meets are as sexy as her heroes. As long as that proves true, she'll keep writing books. Q: How did you come to start writing BDSM romances? I found Cherise Sinclair online and read the first of her Club Shadowlands books. I was blown away by how caring a romance hero could be. Dominating but caring at the same time. Hey, I want that! So I started reading all of Cherise's backlist, then Annabel Joseph, Juniper Bell, and a host of others. I have my favorite authors, but much as I would like, they can't write fast enough for me. Then a friend, Tara Buckley, told me she'd written one, and being basically competitive, I thought, "I can do that." Q: Which authors outside of the BDSM genre have influenced you most? Great question. Lee Child, for sure, because Jack Reacher is such a hottie. Also Jodi Picoult writes beautifully about situations we mostly think about in the abstract. I love Stephen King; no one is better at grabbing readers and taking them along for a ride. And romance authors, of course, like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Mary Balogh. Q: When and how do you write? Ah, the joys of a pseudonym! In my real life, I'm a bankruptcy lawyer. That means I frequently have to be in court, waiting for my case to be called. Let's just say some naughty things have happened to my characters while I'm waiting. And all the other lawyers - and the judge! - think I'm making notes or something. Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing? Sadly, I don't have as much free time as I would like. My day job tends to keep me in the office a lot. I like to travel when I can, I read (of course!), and I'm passionate about the Philadelphia Eagles. I never miss a game. Q: What kind of research do you do...The Aerie seems like it might be a real place? I had a chance to meet Juniper Bell. This was back when I was just a reader and a fan. I asked her a similar question, which is rather what a lot of readers want to know. She just laughed. And now I understand why. I've never been to Denver (although I've visited it a lot online, LOL) and I've never been to a club quite like The Aerie. This might be a good place to admit that mine are works of imaginative fiction. So to the many courageous and honest people who are in the real BDSM world, I apologize for getting the details wrong. I'm well aware that my characters may be a little bit tame compared to what's out there. Q: Who's in on the secret that you write BDSM erotica? My publishers, and almost no one else. My best friend at work is married to a judge; I'm too terrified to tell her the truth in case she tells her husband. My family just assumes I work too much. I've also not told my friends that I'd like to try BDSM in real life. Well, "BDSM-lite." Basically, I want to meet a man like one of my heroes: firm and in control while all the time focused on my satisfaction. I haven't met him...yet. Q: What kind of feedback have you been getting from readers? I've gotten some lovely emails from readers, which has been great. Personally I get shy about contacting my own favorite authors, but it's absolutely true: one of the nicest things that can happen to an author is to hear from a satisfied reader. I've also gotten some wonderful reviews by readers at the various places where you can say why you liked a book (e.g., Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). The reservations expressed by readers are often quite insightful. I read them with a lot of interest; those comments do help me get better as a writer. Q: The erotic romance sub-genre seems to be increasingly hot right now ... why do think that is, and do you think the trend will continue? "Increasingly hot"? Did you intend that pun, or are you just glad to see me? LOL Well, 50 Shades of Grey has brought erotic romance to a lot of readers, some of whom perhaps didn't know that such books existed. Of course, sexy romances have been around since the days of the so-called "bodice ripper," but there are some key differences. The strength of E.L. James's trilogy is that her characters are relatable while still being larger-than-life. Twenty-seven-year-old billionaires aren't exactly run-of-the-mill guys, but that feeling of falling in love and being desperate to maintain the connection with another person: that's something a lot of us have experienced or want to experience. What the sex adds to such a story is a universal point of connection. I could write about Xavier and Angela (my hero and heroine in The Secret Heart) intensely playing backgammon, but a lot of people have no experience of that game. Sex, on the other hand, is frequently fun to do and fun to read about. Finally, 50 Shades of Grey focused on the core of two people falling in love. There was a modest suspense subplot, but most of the three books was taken up with the relationship. I like stories like that: they look at the two people and what they're dealing with in the course of falling in love. Sex and intense emotions: my favorite sides to a main dish of romance! Q: Without spoiling things too much, is The Secret Heart the last we will hear of The Aerie? I may come back to visit from time to time--I do love these characters--but it's tough to present them as viable characters after their HEAs (happy-ever-afters). Part of me would love to see Kai and Jenna's wedding, or Darby and Damien's domestic bliss after their baby is born. And Xavier owns a Queen Anne Victorian that I'm just itching to visit. But a little of that can go a long way, and as the characters themselves are stable, what would I write about them? Part of the HEA is the assurance the writer gives the reader: "They're okay. You don't have to worry about them anymore." That said, I'm currently working on a short story, Roman and Juliet, that pairs off a visiting Dom and one of the usual subs at The Aerie. So I've not locked the doors to The Aerie yet! Q: What are your plans after that? Oh, I'm so excited about this. Someone online asked if anyone knew of books with actual BDSM contracts in them. There's 50 Shades of Grey, of course, and Annabel Joseph's Comfort Object, but it got me thinking. (I'm a lawyer in "real life.") Contracts and other legal documents have limits, including a prohibition against any agreement that violates public policy. So a piece of paper signed by two adults that lays out the terms of a sexual power exchange is unlikely to be enforceable in a court of law. That doesn't mean there aren't situations where it's still a good idea to draft that agreement. And if you're going to create a legal document, you may want a lawyer to help. Who's that lawyer going to be? Someone intimately familiar with the BDSM community. At the same time, I LOVED the recent BBC adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia," the short story that introduces Sherlock Holmes to Irene Adler. In the remake, "A Scandal in Belgravia," Irene Adler is a professional dominatrix who's clearly attracted to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Homes. She's the one who got away, his "what if" woman. Of course, she never shows up again in Conan Doyle's stories, but what if she had? In other words, what if an all-powerful lawyer fell in love with a woman who has to disappear...and then, when he is used to life without her, she reappears? And that's when I got the idea for Mackenzie Lyon, the super-hot "Lawyer to the Doms." I have in mind a trilogy (good things come in threes) that starts with Mac dealing with an unusual bequest from an uncle to his vanilla nephew. When the uncle dies, the nephew inherits his estate...and the young woman living in the uncles house as a 24-7 submissive. Of course you can't "leave" a human being in your will...but as introductions go, that's a doozy. What's the nephew going to think when he meets this woman? And what's she going to think of him? And was the uncle matchmaking the whole time? In Mac's second book, he's the lawyer helping a young woman negotiate a contract with a Dom who's hiding behind legalese. We all know the sub has a lot of power in these situations, so how can the "Lawyer to the Doms" help her get what love story she wants? Finally, in the third story, Mac's "Irene Adler" is going to return and we'll find out what an all-powerful guy does when his heart starts up again! As we've seen in Xavier and Angela's story, I enjoy watching very powerful men deal with the one situation they can't control: love.

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