I received this question from Ena via formspring...
I was wondering if you would post some of your research on your blog. I know you did a lot of research for the series and how much would you say had to be 'trimmed off' because there was too much--or the opposite, expanded.
This is an excellent question, Ena. Thank you. :)
When I first started doing research for this story, I was somewhat frustrated. I would type in BDSM and most of what would come up were porn sites. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for.
Finally I stumbled onto a few websites and blogs of submissives/slaves, which helped a great deal. One of them was about collars and their meanings. That site is where I got the idea of a collar of protection for Brianna. I was going to post the link here, but apparently the website is no longer active.
At the beginning, I really just tried to think back to some of the other BDSM stories I'd read while taking in the personalities of my two characters. I was also reading a story written by a switch in Germany, so I sent her a few e-mails asking questions regarding the lifestyle in general. She was very helpful in getting the wheels turning in my head and pointing me in the right direction.
It wasn't until I befriended a slave on-line, however, that my access to knowledge began to expand. My friend, pointed me to a great informational website.
I found this website extremely helpful. It breaks the lifestyle down for those who are interested in knowing the basics of submission, Dominance, play, clubs, etc.
As I continued writing, I also met more of those who live the lifestyle and was able to get some real life answers to my questions. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent picking the brains of both Dominants and submissives. There is one chapter that will be in the second book of this series that I spent eight hours hashing out with my friend's Master to get the correct level of realism and what I wanted. We finally called it 'done' at three o'clock in the morning.
I would have to say that I've done more expanding than trimming off, but both have occurred at one point and time; it's just a natural part of the editing process. For example with the chapter I was referencing above, I cut about 1,000 words from that chapter, however, I add almost that much in its place. In Slave, I've definitely done more adding than trimming. In fact, the entire third chapter is new material. I've also added some content throughout for various reasons.
To say that my research for this series is completely would be a total lie. I learn more about D/s every day through my research, through talking to those in the lifestyle, and just through casual observations. It has been a rewarding experience for me where I've met some wonderful friends and gotten to know more about myself as well as my relationship with others in the process.