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: