I asked her to send me her best work and she sent me Mistress On Her Knees. She was right, it was her best work…well, until she wrote Gemstone, at least. I enjoyed Mistress, but there was something very special about Gemstone.
Having said that, I encourage you to read both and be your own judge.
Hang on. The Anastasia Vitsky voice in my head just told me to tell you that you need to read all of her books not just those two. So, there you have it.
Now let’s move away from the voices in my head and on to what the real Vitsky has to say about her work.
A brief description of your writing:
I’d call my writing sweet romance with a kinky twist, with an undercurrent of literary fiction. If that seems an unlikely mix, that describes my writing perfectly. Common themes in my books include redemption and forgiveness, the courage to be authentically ourselves, power dynamics, and the complicated ways we love each other. And, of course, powerful women form the core of my stories. Strong women are sexy.
One word to describe your books:
Who/What inspired you to start writing:
My mother tells me I regaled her with stories while sitting in my high chair as a toddler. I learned to read by watching and imitating my parents reading bedtime stories to me, and I began writing stories as soon as I learned how to use a pencil. I vividly remember an early story that described “cowoperation.” Tricky thing, that spelling! I loved the librarian at my elementary school, and my childhood was spent fighting to get more reading time. My earliest stories were, of course, imitations of the books I read and loved. I had some wonderful teachers, librarians, and mentors in my early years who indulged my need to write. I still wake up sometimes and can’t believe my good fortune at becoming an author. Thank you to everyone who has read my books, and thank you especially to The Lesbian Review for the wonderful reviews.
Why lesbian fiction?
The world is full of male-centric stories focused on the role of men in everyone’s lives, including women. Writing lesbian fiction allows me to write women’s experiences as central, rather than in relationship to men. A woman is more than a man’s mother, wife, sister, or daughter. What if the love between women, sexual or non-sexual, were given equal credibility, attention, and legitimacy as that between men and women? What if stories of women were viewed as universal, rather than a niche genre applicable only to women?
Many readers tell me they felt uncomfortable about lesbian fiction until they read my books, but The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is taught as a classic book that everyone should read. When will stories of women love become ordinary, normal, and an integral part of our society? We need to offer real stories of real love to counteract the damaging effects of lesbian porn marketed to heterosexual men. By presenting women’s stories as natural and beautiful, I hope to promote greater acceptance for women’s experiences in real life.
If someone is new to your work, which of your books should she read first?
That’s a great question. I asked my readers, who were split between The Way Home and Becoming Clissine. The Way Home was my earliest written book, and it tells the story of two college roommates who discover they are soul mates. Unfortunately, the ugliness of real life sets in tears them apart.
Becoming Clissine is my most unusual book to date. It depicts Clissa, a young woman growing up in a theocracy that forbids opposite-sex relationships. As punishment for falling in love with a boy, she is taken from her family and re-educated as if she were a child. Her new parents, in the effort to indoctrinate, are forced to confront their own prejudices as societal mores make less sense in the face of their beloved daughter’s anguish.
What inspired you to write the Mistress series (Mistress on Her Knees, Mistress, Please, and Mistress’s Release)?
I’ve always been fascinated by women in power. I don’t mean a woman playing according to men’s rules, but a woman who is secure in her strength. But when a female dominant is portrayed in literature, she is often reduced to a sexual object for male viewing pleasure.
I’d always wondered what happens when a dominant woman needs to submit. What if two Dommes were in a relationship? What if one cheated on the other? Could there ever be forgiveness? In this series, which is a reader favorite and has won Top Ten mentions here at The Lesbian Review, we watch two headstrong women come to terms with their love for each other.
What inspired you to write Seoul Spankings?
I was asked to write a story for the popular 1Night Stand series by Decadent Publishing, and the series has a strict one-night requirement for the story. I don’t typically write one-night stands or characters who have them, so I struggled to find a plausible setting. Since readers had responded so well to the overseas setting in Desire in Any Language, I returned to Korea and brought an Iowan woman with me. Indigo is the prototype of a small-town middle American, someone with a good heart but no experience with cultures besides her own. She’s matched with Hyunkyung, the imperious and temperamental head of a key Korean business corporation, and sparks fly.
See our review of Seoul Spankings here
What inspired you to write Taliasman?
As part of the Beyond Fairytales series with Decadent Publishing, I received the fairy tale “Our Lady’s Child” to turn it into a romance. The original story is wild! It combines elements of Rumplestiltskin, Rapunzel, and Bluebeard. I sat with the story for ages before developing my own tale of a young woman who has been rejected for not being a boy. The opening line is, “If I had been born a boy, I would have followed in my father’s footstep and become a tradesman. Because I was a girl, he sold me instead.” Amidst this life of abject poverty and misogyny, Queen Vina enters with her sack full of gold and desire to save. Taliasman is my love letter to anyone who has been told she is not good enough. We all deserve love.
What inspired you to write Gemstone?
There are two answers to this question. I’ve been intrigued at the phenomenon of catfishing (pretending to be a different kind of person online than in real life) and relationships that begin online. The original title for Gemstone was Catfishing the Mistress, but my publisher vetoed it.
The second answer is more complex. Faith, kink, and loving the same sex can seem an irreconcilable mixture. Too often, LGBT groups are anti-religion, religious groups are anti-LGBT, and LGBT-friendly religious groups are anti-kink. I wanted to show a world in which it’s okay to be a religious, kinky lesbian. A friend of mine adores her Jell-O shots, serves her church, and has an open mind. Another minister’s parish accepts her marriage to a woman. Gemstone tells the multi-layered story of a devout woman, Gemma, who has accepted her lot in life as a single woman but hopes for luck in love. Her church accepts her as a lesbian, but she is terrified that they will judge her secret identity as a BDSM mistress. Gemma’s best friend sets her up with an online dating service, and both are shocked at the results.
See our review of Gemstone here
Other Works In The Lesbian Genre
Your favourite lesbian book (not written by you):
Your favourite lesbian movie:
Saving Face. I like the theme of finding courage to be happy in love, no matter what society might say.
Find Anastasia Vitsky books here
Get In Touch
Anastasia Vitsky has also collaborated with other authors on a number of projects. You can see all of her works on her website
Vitsky is extremely active on Facebook, so start there.
You can also check out her website