THE source for spanking fiction reviews…BottomsUp

Run a search for spanking books and a lot of titles pop up. Search for spanking book reviewers, and there’s only one: BottomsUpBook Review. Many review sites include spanking books, but no other site that I’ve found reviews just spanking fiction. Not only does Katerina Kinsley of Bottoms Up provide a unique service, she provides a comprehensive one: besides reviewing a book herself, she shows how other individuals have rated a book so readers can compare. Think of BottomsUpBookReview as the Consumer Reports of spanking fiction. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll mention that BottomsUp gave a rave review to my domestic discipline novella, Unexpected Consequences).

Cara Bristol: Why did you decide to focus on spanking fiction?

Katerina Kinsley: When I had my first child a few years ago, I realized that nursing a baby was a full time job that left me with about eight hours a day to either stare into space or read.  I chose to read.  Not long after that, I discovered my first spanking novella and promptly devoured it.  You could say at that point I was hooked.  I can’t even count how many spanking books I read that year.

Cara Bristol: How long has your blog been around?

Katerina Kinsley: I started BottomsUpBookReview last summer.  At the time, I was a little frustrated that there weren’t many reviews for spanking books available.  The average spanking book costs about $5 and can be read in an afternoon.  It was certainly upsetting to spend $15 to $20 on books in one week only to discover that they were all less than fantastic.  I scoured the internet for a site to help me pick new titles, but didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.  So, I decided to create it myself to help other spanking fiction addicts.

Cara Bristol: Do you think there are different subgenres/categories of spanking fiction? What are they?

Katerina Kinsley: Yes!  Spanking fiction is a surprisingly multifaceted topic.  While I can’t say there are formal subgenres, I’ve certainly noticed a few common themes including:

  • Domestic Discipline
  • Christian Domestic Discipline (similar to DD, but with a lot of Jesus talk thrown in)
  • Historical Spanking Fiction
  • Westerns: Cowboys Who Spank
  • Borderline BDSM
  • Fantasy (where the punishments are public and/or too severe to be realistic)
  • And surprisingly, Amish Spanking fiction

Cara Bristol: What makes for a good spanking book?

Katerina Kinsley: The answer to this question is largely subjective as it is based on the interests of the reader. The elements that make a spanking book good are very much the same as those required to make a non-spanking book good. A spanking novel will be a success, in my opinion, if you can remove all of the spanking scenes and still have a story that is worth reading.  But, to be a great spanking novel, the spanking scenes should stand out.  Some readers love the crime, others are attracted to the notion of getting caught and scolded, and some just savor the spanking.  Some say “the devil is in the details” and with the spanking part of spanking fiction, this couldn’t be more accurate.  To find out more about my views on what makes for a good spanking book, be sure to check out my article in the next issue of Wellred Weekly.

Cara Bristol: What detracts from the story? Do you have any pet peeves?

Katerina Kinsley: There are definitely a few things that are big turn offs to me when it comes to spanking fiction.  One of the most common weaknesses that I see in spanking fiction occurs when the author focuses too much on stereotypes and spanking clichés.  A dominant male can have flaws; a submissive female can be strong and independent; and there are many ways for a girl to end up over the knee beyond overdrawing her checking account, swearing, smoking, or drinking too much.  The book that stands out is the one that can come up with a new way for a gal to find mischief, get caught, and end up with a sore tush for her trouble.

Another pet peeve of mine is when the entire book is constructed for the sake of spanking.  The story should be cohesive and consistent from the beginning of the book to the end.  Many spanking books have distinct chapters that do not relate to one another.  Each chapter will start with a new situation that ultimately ends with a spanking.  Once the spanking has been doled out, the chapter is over.  In my opinion, this type of writing is perfect for websites that publish stories a chapter at a time, but it is not appropriate for a book.

Cara Bristol: Spanking is often grouped with BDSM fiction. But you don’t generally review BDSM books, correct? What do you see as the differences between BDSM & spanking stories?

Katerina Kinsley: I see spanking fiction as a subset of BDSM fiction.  It is not uncommon to have a spanking scene in a BDSM book.  It is uncommon, however, to read about how a girl was gagged, restrained, and/or flogged in a spanking fiction book.  Books that are more inclined to BDSM often use words like “dom,” “sub,” and “dungeon” and talk about “clubs” where spanking and other play is done in public with others.  These words are scarcely used in most typical spanking books.

Cara Bristol: Why do you think readers like spanking stories?

Katerina Kinsley: I can only guess that, like me, they like spanking and they like to read.

Cara Bristol: One of the criticisms sometimes lobbed at domestic discipline stories is that the DD relationship is unequal; the man punishes the woman for her faults, yet he’s not called to task for his. What is your response to that?

Katerina Kinsley: This is a good question!  I must admit that this is one that I struggle with.  I certainly don’t buy into the theory that a lot of spanking books spout that says that the man in the relationship carries a larger burden by having to hold onto his guilt when he makes a mistake.  Personally, I think that is crap – but I don’t live in a domestic discipline relationship.  While I don’t think it is fair that the man in a DD relationship gets away scot-free, I also know that I have no interest in spanking a man who spanks me.  It’s sort of a catch-22, eh?

Cara Bristol: How do you find the books you review? Do authors generally send them to you? Do you go looking for them?

Katerina Kinsley: When I first started reading spanking fiction, I would find books by doing a simple search for “spanking” on amazon.com.  I then found sites dedicated to spanking fiction, such as BlushingBooks.com.  Nowadays, I get quite a few books directly from authors and publishers who want to see their books reviewed on my site.

Cara Bristol: When you’re not wearing your book reviewer hat, who is Katerina?

Katerina Kinsley: I am a happily married working mother of two beautiful boys and just happen to enjoy reading and reviewing spanking fiction in my spare time.

Readers can find Katerina here:

BottomsUpBookReview

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9 Responses to THE source for spanking fiction reviews…BottomsUp

  1. Basia Rose says:

    Believe me, I was VERY happy to discover Bottoms Up! Spanking and DD stories really interest me, but it’s such an “underground” thing, and very hard to find anything about it. A search for books like that on Goodreads brought up about four of them – and I’d read them all already!

    “While I don’t think it is fair that the man in a DD relationship gets away scot-free, I also know that I have no interest in spanking a man who spanks me. It’s sort of a catch-22, eh?”

    THAT!! I read about a lot of real-life DD relationships where the husband completely abuses his position of power. And yet, I can’t find much that’s appealing in role-reversal. I can’t explain it beyond that.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I agree, Basia. DD practiced in real life requires a lot of trust. And the partner you pick has to be TRUSTWORTHY. The relationship dynamic can be a healthy one that works for both parties, or a very unhealthy one in which one person is taken advantage or or abused. But that’s the same in non-DD/vanilla relationships too.

  2. I’m very into domestic disciple stories. I don’t mind reading BDSM, but the “club” thing seems so over-populated on the shelves. I like to read about the emotional aspect of the spanking books. Great interview Cara and Katerina!!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Pauline. You express what I feel: that so many bdsm books are all about the club scene. What fascinates me is the dynamics of dominance and submission. Masculine and feminine, control and surrender. That’s what I like about DD & spanking books.

  3. Alta Hensley says:

    Wonderful interview! I like seeing what the reviewer thinks is good and what is bad. Very helpful to the author.
    I’m really happy that there is a review site out there for books in the genre I write. Great Job!
    ~Alta Hensley

  4. I’m glad to learn about BottomsUp too. I used to seek out DD books, but like Katerina said, the bar was set so low. I figured I was stuck with second rate, because I never expected mainstream publishers to touch a DD story with a ten foot pole. I am so heartened to have learned about your books, Cara. I’m glad you’re bringing quality DD to the masses. Not everyone will like it, but those of us who do like DD appreciate it so much.

    I do agree with Pauline also that the club/BDSM/Dom thing is getting played out. It would be fun if DD became a new hot genre. I think there will always be those who can’t stand the man-as-household-authority issue, but if people can put away their real life hangups and just enjoy the fantasy naughtiness of it… Or maybe there can be spanking without BDSM. That can be fun too. I think I like the DD stuff better though.

    I know I’ve personally been inspired/emboldened to start writing a new DD-based historical novel! YAY!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you Annabel. I’m glad you’re writing a DD. Yay!

      It does deserve its own genre. I think spanking books have been “in the closet” and so have its readers, which I really don’t understand. BDSM is been SO popular, but I personally think it is far more extreme than DD or spanking romances, yet as you say, it’s the HoH issue that makes some people squeamish.

  5. Thanks for this great interview. I will have to go over and check out Bottoms Up. As a writer it’s great to know what a reviewer is looking for and also to see what else is being written in the genre.

    I have read some bdsm stories and it’s just too much for me. It also made me think that I was writing stuff that was too tame because it didn’t involve ball gags or some other things which I found to be demeaning. So, I have been particularly glad to find others who enjoy and write in the spanking/dd genre.

    Thanks for a great interview!

  6. SNP says:

    Enjoyed the interview and the comments here as well.

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