Karen Nappa – Exploring the Depths of Romance

The Journey Behind Small-Town Submission and Savage Billionaires

Karen Nappa discusses her journey as a bestselling BDSM romance author, the influence of her personal experiences, the challenges of the genre, and her hopes for readers’ understanding of BDSM relationships.

Karen Nappa is a name that resonates with fans of seasoned BDSM romance, and for good reason. An Amazon bestselling author, Karen has been captivating readers since 2019 with her authentic and heartfelt stories. Her series, such as Small-Town Submission and Doms in Uniform, offer a unique blend of romance and realism, deeply rooted in her own experiences within the D/s lifestyle. Living in the Netherlands with her dominant husband, children, and two Chausie cats, Karen’s life is as vibrant and dynamic as the characters she creates. When she’s not writing, you might find her kickboxing, reading, or exploring new places to uncover the next story waiting to be told.

In this exclusive interview with Reader’s House Magazine, Karen opens up about how her personal experiences influence her writing, the inspiration behind her popular series, and the challenges and rewards of writing romance with a BDSM theme. She also shares insights into her writing process and what she hopes readers take away from her books. Join us as we delve into the world of Karen Nappa, where romance, suspense, and the complexities of BDSM relationships come to life on the page.

How did your personal experiences in the D/s lifestyle influence your writing of realistic BDSM romance?

Most of the BDSM scenes in my books (if not all) are based on personal experiences. I know the freedom of being bound, I’ve experienced subspace, and I’ve tried many impact toys (I really, really don’t like canes). These experiences allow me to write with authenticity and detail, making the scenes both realistic and relatable for readers familiar with the lifestyle. In my books I have a big emphasis on Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC), even when a relationship might not start out that way (Like in Savage Game).

What inspired you to create the Small Town Submission series and the Savage Billionaires series?

When I started writing, it was with a publisher who turned out to be less than trustworthy. Along with dozens of other authors, we fled ‘the Woodshed’ and most of us turned indie. Since I couldn’t continue with my Kansas City BDSM Club series, I wanted to try something completely different. This became an interconnected family saga about a small town with a dark secret below the surface. Savage Billionaires signified another big change in my writing career. I wrote the Club Indigo and Small Town Submission books with my co-author friend Ellen. When she decided to quit writing and I joined Red Hot Romance Ink, Savage Billionaires became my next project.

Can you tell us about the challenges and rewards of writing romance with a BDSM theme?

A big challenge for me is that I write erotic romance, and because of the BDSM element in my books, it’s often mistaken for erotica. I have nothing against erotica, I just don’t write it. My books are mainly relationship-driven; however, my characters use sex and BDSM to cement that relationship, and they don’t close the bedroom (or dungeon, kitchen, etc.) door. The reward is in depicting the depth and complexity of these relationships and the trust involved in BDSM dynamics.

How do you balance the sensual and romantic aspects of your stories with elements of suspense and drama?

I hope skillfully, LOL. The backbone of my story is the relationship, and the sensual parts help move that connection along. My plots often contain elements of suspense because it’s something that intrigues me. I guess I’ve read too many Colin Forbes, Alistair MacLean, and Desmond Bagley growing up. Balancing these elements involves weaving them seamlessly so that the romance and suspense complement each other.

What do you hope readers take away from your books, particularly in terms of understanding BDSM relationships?

As I mention at the beginning of each book, my books are romantic fiction and not a how-to BDSM book. That said, I do hope to give readers a realistic view of the lifestyle. I would also like to encourage older women to express and explore their sexuality and kinks. (Sex) life doesn’t end after 40 (or 50 or 60), and you don’t have to be a 20-something virgin to discover new and exciting things about yourself.

Could you share a bit about your writing process and how you develop your characters and storylines?

I’m a mix between a plotter and a pantser. I always start out my stories with a solid outline. About halfway through each manuscript, my characters act up. They don’t listen, they get a mind of their own, and they have me running in circles. They never listen! This is usually the point where I skip forward to the epilogue and write how the ending is going to be. This gives me (and the characters) a spot on the horizon where they get their happily ever after.


“A captivating blend of romance and erotica, “Their Connecticut Concubine” is an emotional, steamy, and unforgettable journey. Highly recommended!”

Karen Nappa’s Their Connecticut Concubine is a sizzling, emotional rollercoaster that takes readers on a journey through unexpected romance, intense passion, and heart-wrenching choices. 

Elizabeth Brook, the protagonist, steps into a new job expecting to care for an elderly man, only to find herself in the company of a brooding, former hockey player and his equally dominant manager. The chemistry between Elizabeth and her new bosses is palpable from the start, and Nappa masterfully weaves a tale of erotic discovery and emotional depth.

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