First, my real name isn't Kira Barcelo. Surprise! I actually write under a couple of other names. Those would be my other romances...my "vanilla" books. Though I started getting published over ten years ago, I didn't write my first spanking romance until 2011.
But let's back up: Back in the late 70s, early 80s, I was one of those young ladies who would scour the romance novel section of the bookstore (back then, there were these charming, little independents, too. Remember those?). My particular favorites were the ones with spanking scenes in them. Oh, let's be honest--if it had a spanking scene, that book would get bought over another one that didn't.
Then somebody in publishing decided to slash out every single, dern spanking scene in romance novels, and just like that, or so it seemed, the heroes were no longer allowed to haul those naughty, bratty heroines over their knees for an exciting and well deserved paddling. (I mean, it's not like they even approached the spanking romances of today; all you got back then was ONE spanking scene, or sometimes only a measly threat, but hey, we'd take it what we could get back then.They took away even that. The romance genre then became strictly vanilla. Strictly. Thanks a lot to the geniuses who decided that!)
Here's a little secret: I had an editor in the late 1990s who DID let me get away with the hero threatening to spank the heroine in one book, and then another hero pretending to deliver a smack to the heroine's behind, without her noticing, in another book. For the most part, I got away with it, if you don't count the reviewer who said my hero with the spanking threat was "too dominant." Hmm. It does make me chuckle to think there are those of us who would think he wasn't dom enough, that he should have carried out the threat!
Then, I don't recall exactly how it happened, but through the internet I came across Bethany's Woodshed. (Yeah, okay, I did a search for "spanking stories" or something like that. LOL! However it happened, I found it!) It was like finding a Spanish galleon washed up on the beach with its treasure trove still intact. These stories weren't just a scene here and a scene there, either; it was a whole, fun genre by itself.
So after some time of reading and enjoying the stories on Bethany's Woodshed, I decided to try my hand at writing one sometime in 2010. I was SCARED. This was totally out of my element, totally new, and back then you could actually just email the story to Bethany. I'd also sent it to another wonderful publisher I'd worked with before, Melange Books, which actually ended up making an offer first on I Dream of Amy--my first spanking romance, published in 2011. Keep in mind, I didn't think anybody would want it, because I wasn't sure I had a good handle on this new-to-me genre. In submitting this story, I was also "coming out"--admitting I had this not-so-vanilla side. Even so, imagine how thrilled I was when Bethany invited me to send in something else!
With all that, it was still months before I finally worked up the nerve to submit LARKIN'S COWBOY, which was published in 2012, my first book for Blushing. Though three more books, including COOKING WITH FIRE, followed, I still hadn't totally come to terms with that part of my writing--the part that wasn't vanilla, the part that wanted to write spanking fiction.
Writing spanking romance for me was--is--a LOT of fun, and yet I sort of kept denying that part. Still, I returned to it with MARRIED TO THE SHERIFF, a story I'd had "brewing on the stove" for a while. I was feeling more comfortable by then, but I was also accepting the fact that I LIKE not only writing but also reading these books. Give me a book by Starla Kaye, Patty Devlin, April Hill, Sue Lyndon, and a number of others, and I'll devour it in half the time it takes me to go through a "mainstream" romance.
THE RANCHER AND THE BAD GIRL became my first bestselling spanking romance. My first bestselling romance, period. I NEVER expected that one; totally blown away. Maybe because it followed so closely behind MARRIED TO THE SHERIFF, which I also enjoyed writing, but I've at last come to accept that not all the stories in my imagination are vanilla. Sometimes, my heroine needs a strong hero to take her in hand--and that's going to be a fun ride! The sky is also the limit, because spanking romance is so versatile, working well in just about every subgenre. That opens up ideas for many, many books.
I'm hoping to be more prolific, adding to my Kira books, in 2015 than I've been in previous years, now that I'm ready to dive right in. And I'm also in good company, with all the authors I've loved and enjoyed over the years.
There you have it. My bio as spanking romance author Kira Barcelo...not so vanilla anymore! ;D