Annabel Joseph: Thanks for doing this interview, Kelsey. Although…maybe this is a little schizophrenic? For an author to interview her character?
Kelsey Martin: No, no, not schizophrenic at all. [gives Annabel the side-eye]
AJ: Let’s begin by learning a little about you. To me, you come off like an extremely driven person. Very disciplined.
KM: Well, when you’re a gymnast and you’re trying to compete at really high levels, you don’t have the option to dork around. You either buckle down and go for it, or you go home. When I left competitive gymnastics and auditioned for the Cirque du Monde, that attitude served me well.
AJ: It’s strange though… A strait-laced, super disciplined person falling for the most unpredictable bad boy in the company.
KM: Not so strange. I was looking for some wildness in my life. That’s why I wanted to move from competing to performing, and how I ended up in the Cirque du Minuit show. Falling for Theo was all part of that. But he’s not such a bad guy.
AJ: Doesn’t he try to choke you out near the beginning of the story?
KM: You tell me. You wrote that scene. [glares at Annabel, who suddenly becomes very interested in the carpet pattern]
AJ: Well, I guess he did, but it was all show and bluster. I had him kissing you a few minutes later.
KM: Yes, that’s true. Theo’s a great kisser. He really gets into it.
AJ: Like everything he does.
KM: Exactly. I guess that’s the most attractive thing about him. He’s full-on with everything he does. And he’s so skilled at everything he does, even if he is the nastiest dom you’ve ever written.
AJ: [shifty eyed] Uh. There are possibly a couple who were worse. Although Theo is definitely in the top three in the Annabel Joseph Mean Dominant Hall of Fame.
KM: [gives Annabel the side-eye again]
AJ: Moving on! Tell us what it’s like to perform on aerial silks, especially coming from the gymnastics world where you’d never done anything like that before.
KM: It was nerve-racking at first, but Theo was a great teacher. Well, he was a demanding teacher. There was no “maybe I can do this.” He prodded me up into the air and we were off. Literally the first day he was like, “Climb up, girl. Go!” And I’m like, “OMG, I’m going to die. Help me!” And he was like, “Shut up and climb.” I mean, I was always safe…but I didn’t always feel safe. [thinks a moment] That’s probably why it felt so damn exciting and why I fell for him so hard.
AJ: Oh yeah, that safe-but-doesn’t-feel-safe thing is total awesomesauce.
KM: And aerial silks are just fun. We’re flying around, flipping around six stories in the air. It was such freedom, and it was never scary because I knew he had my back. When Theo has you by the hand or by the leg or by the ankle, he ain’t letting go, you know? It was fun and exciting, very exciting.
AJ: Sort of like being in the bedroom with Theo.
KM: Oh girl. You went there.
AJ: Well, duh. We want people to read the book. It is an erotic romance.
KM: Yes, okay. Theo Zamora was definitely unlike any other lover I’d had. In a very wonderful way. It was kind of like swinging on the silks with him. Jump onto it and hold on tight.
KM: [side eye]
AJ: So, Theo didn’t just introduce you to aerial silks. He took you to le Citadel, the Cirque du Monde’s secret BDSM club. Were you surprised that you enjoyed submitting to Theo? If you’d never met him, do you still think you would have ended up with a kinky sex life?
KM: Yes, I think so. It was like it was always inside me, just waiting for someone to awaken it. Theo, though…the man set me on fire. Hello, Kelsey’s libido! Wake up! Fire in the building! Yes, you want to be spanked, you bad girl!
AJ: But I think you did something for him too, something none of his previous partners had done.
KM: Yeah. Stand up to him.
AJ: Yes. What I really liked about you is that you submitted on most things, but you weren’t afraid to hold your ground when you had to. When it was balls-to-the-wall.
KM: Yeah. We had some balls-to-the-wall moments, but we ended up making a perfect pair in the end. We balance each other. On the silks, in BDSM, in life. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have him.
AJ: We probably shouldn’t give the ending away.
KM: Yeah, because this is romance and no one expects a happily ever after or anything. [rolls eyes]
AJ: You know, you might have a little more respect for the person who wrote you.
KM: You mean, the person responsible for me getting choked out? Not to mention several other wretched things that happen to me in the course of the story? [mutters a word that sounds suspiciously like ‘bitch’ under her breath]
AJ: It’s cool though. I like that you two didn’t get off to the best start. I like that you had a lot to overcome, and I liked watching Theo mellow out when love finally wrapped its fingers around his neck.
KM: [laughs] Theo? Mellow? I still wouldn’t call him that, but yes, we did have a good story, didn’t we?
AJ: Yeah. People should definitely read it and tell their friends to read it too! ALL their friends.
KM: Mm-hm. Yeah. Well, I have a…practice or something…[looks at her watch]…WOW, is that the time?
AJ: [waves as Kelsey scoots out the door] Bye, Kelsey. Give my best to Theo. Oh, and to your old coach Jason Beck! I think his story is coming next in the series.
KM: Uh. Yeah. I certainly will warn him…er…give him your best.
Thanks everyone for joining me and Kelsey for this friendly little chat. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win a free e-copy or paperback copy of Cirque du Minuit, please leave your info in the comments. Or if you’d rather not wait, you can buy Cirque du Minuit for just 2.99 at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and 3.99 at Smashwords or Allromanceebooks.com.
*Update 3/18/2012: The winner of Annabel’s book giveaway is Donna. Congratulations!
Many thanks to Annabel and Kelsey for stopping by today! Remember to leave a comment on this post to be entered in the CIRQUE DU MINUIT book giveaway. Entries will be accepted until 3/16/2012 @ 11:59 pm EST. 18+ only, please. Good luck!