Meet Ms. Jacky Donovan author of
Instant Whips and Dream Toppings!
Tonya: Readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Jacky: I’m fortunate enough to live in the sunny Spanish island of Gran Canaria, working occasionally in between relaxing a lot. But my journey here wasn’t an easy one. Figuratively I mean: the plane ride was only a few smooth hours from London! I’ve gone from battered wife to alcohol and food addict to depressive to career-driven to dominatrix to author. Quite a journey. I’ve had a long and passionate love affair along the way, leapt from planes, escaped in a dinghy James Bond style, had a cream cake throwing session with a famous MP and an even stranger time with an eight month pregnant lady. I hope you’ll read more about me in my autobiography ‘Instant Whips and Dream Toppings: A true-life dom rom com’.
Tonya: Do you have a day job?
Jacky: I’m lucky to be semi retired in Gran Canaria but I still work occasionally as a Dominatrix and also as a tantric masseuse, which actually has more similarities with BDSM than you might at first think! I do charity work both for Breast Cancer and Gay Pride so am pretty busy for an allegedly semi retired person. And I write whenever I have both inspiration and time. Very therapeutic and relaxing after a hard day’s whipping J Though, joking apart, BDSM isn’t really about whipping and pain and that’s largely why I wrote my book – to let readers hear the genuinely funny, bizarre, tear-jerking, thought-provoking side to this seemingly strange world and make it more acceptable and palatable. Not so much pervily peculiar but rather perkily, provocatively intriguing.
Tonya: Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?
Jacky: Taking a long walk along the beach promenade always stimulates my writing juices. Seeing the glorious expanse of golden sand dunes stretching for miles and the vivid blue of the sea empties my mind of day to day trivia and allows creative thoughts to spill out. I often end up using my mobile phone like a dictaphone – I ring my own number and leave myself a voicemail so I capture my ideas, often hoping nobody is listening in as they’re often pretty outrageous!
Tonya: Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Jacky: My current book ‘Instant Whips and Dream Toppings: A true-life dom rom com’ is autobiographical so I’m fortunate the people I’ve met in my life have provided me with more than enough material to keep me merrily typing away. As I’ve had a pretty varied life the content lurches from romance to humour to despair to eye-wateringly, mind-bogglingly peculiar to sad to thought-provoking. Which makes for an interesting read.
Tonya: If you’re self-published, can you tell us a bit about that and how it’s going for you?
Jacky: I was fortunate enough to find an agent, publisher and publicist but I do spend a lot of time seeking out other avenues personally in which to spread the word about my book – book clubs, blogs, forums, interviews (thank you, Tonya), twitter etc. I’ve received many terrific reviews on Amazon, particularly in the UK where most of my publicity has taken place and that definitely helps sell even more copies. And everything I’ve read about kindle taking market share from traditional print is absolutely true! Which is kindof a shame – there’s no better way of selling the book than having a reader openly chuckling away at a paperback version on the train or bus and having people peek at the front cover to see what’s causing all the amusement.
Tonya: Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?
Jacky: Definitely not a morning writer. In fact I do little in the mornings except gradually come back to life after the late nights I enjoy in Gran Canaria. I have to be alone and in a peaceful environment to be able to write. Even background music distracts me. It’s the one time in my life that I’m like a proverbial man and unable to multi-task.
Tonya: What advice would you give to new authors?
Jacky: Don’t delay – start straight away! Sounds trite, but it’s true. So many people say they want to write but find a million and one reasons why they can’t, won’t or shouldn’t. Just find some time and start typing. And, inbetween, try to read a lot. Allowing your mind to explore different authors and genres will, long term, help you become a better author.
Tonya: Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Jacky: I’m fortunate that, so far, my writing has been autobiographical or biographical so the characters already exist. I have the opposite problem though in that, for legal reasons, I then have to disguise many of them so am forced to create an alternative look for each individual. Though sometimes I do a ‘double bluff’ just to confuse everyone - if the reader assumes that I convert all tall people to short, fat to thin, blonde to dark etc then they’d perhaps be able to guess who was who. So I throw in some curve balls for good measure along the way.
Tonya: What attracts you most about men?
Jacky: Firstly their personality. No, honestly, I’m not just saying that for good effect! For me there’s nothing more attractive than a man who exudes a charismatic and powerful personality. Once they’ve got that tick in the box then I do get a little more fickle, however.
Here’s a short excerpt from my autobiography about the man who ended up transforming my life during our passionate affair:"I loved the way he laughed. Actually it wasn’t his laugh so much as his mouth, or rather, his lips. I used to stare at them, adoring the way he pronounced certain words, such as “organise” or “use”. He would draw them out, making them sound almost edible. I was drawn to other parts of his anatomy too. Not that part of his anatomy! The cut of the blue trousers he permanently wore gave little away for a start. It was his smooth hands I found appealing. I’d first noticed them when he’d accosted me at the end of last year, at that table, over there. They seemed gentle yet strong, agile, as if he knew when to use them as sources of comfort and when to be firm. And after all, surely lips and fingers are the main features of a person when it comes to sex and the expression of passion and love, rather than the eyes – and definitely not the stomach. Perhaps I’d been influenced by an article I’d read about how these were the real clues to a man’s character”.
Tonya: We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?
Jacky: I have a couple of things on the go currently. Each is the biography of a truly unique individual who has an astonishing tale to tell and I’m writing as if I am that person, which is fascinating to mentally step into their shoes and lead their life. Once you read their escapades you’ll understand just how taxing that is as they make my life look almost dull by comparison. And I thought mine had been pretty bizarre.
Tonya: Where can our readers find you and your books?
Jacky: My book’s available on Amazon in paperback and kindle and you can read more about it – and me – on my website where there are also some sample excerpts, reviews and press articles http://www.InstantWhipsAndDreamToppings.com
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Jacky: Regardless of what your views are on BDSM and whether you loved or hated ‘50 Shades of Grey’ I hope you’ll take a look at my book with an open mind. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that it’s uniquely different – a romantic affair set against comic episodes from my life. You’ll laugh and cry and occasionally scratch your head in puzzlement. If you take a look at its reviews to date I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find it’s not the stereotypical fetish norm but a refreshingly different and stimulating read.
Tonya: What is your favorite night time snack?
Jacky: Spicy mixed nuts. I pop a huge tray of nuts in the oven for a few minutes with a dash of olive oil and lashings of hot spices. Leave to cook for a few minutes then cool for an hour. Delicious. And store the rest in an air-tight tin for future nibbles. Assuming there are some left, that is.
Tonya: Do you like toppings on your ice cream?
Jacky: I’m vegan at the moment so don’t often get a chance to eat ice cream. But I found a truly wonderful vegan ice cream shop while on holiday in New York where they made the most amazing vegan caramel fudge topping with whipped coconut cream on top. Absolute heaven. (Books a flight to New York just at the thought… )
Tonya: What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?
Jacky: There’s a terrific Indian restaurant near where I live that makes the most incredible spicy vegan dishes. So yummy I don’t miss meat, fish or dairy at all.
Contest: I’m currently interested in hearing funny stories about either dogs, cats, rabbits or rats! Please send me YOUR quirky story to firstname.lastname@example.org and the reader whose tale I find funniest or most bizarre will receive a *** FREE *** kindle copy of my autobiography AND have have their story mentioned in a future book I intend to write, along with their name in the acknowledgements section.