The reason I've never written a review of Fiona Locke's "definitive CP novel" Over the Knee is an interesting story.
When I was at uni, we had a "family" system for first years, where an older student doing the same subject would be picked to be your mentor. My uni "mum" and I couldn't really have been better matched: at the first family dinner in Freshers' Week, we clocked each other's dyed black hair, heavy eyeliner, and scarred forearms with a mutual understanding. She stayed on to do a Masters, and throughout my three undergraduate years we'd often be found sitting on the steps in halls, smoking Marlborough Lights (no, I don't any more), bitching and bonding. We kept bumping into each other on random online communities, we had very similar problems with food and our bodies at the time, and all sorts of other things in common.
When we were students, she wasn't into spanking. I talked about my kink and she listened, and occasionally made wistful comments about how maybe she was kinky after all, but then she remembered that she was really happy with her vanilla fiancé, so that was that.
She got back in touch a few months ago, and we met up for drinks. Both of us had fallen out of touch with most of our other acquaintances from uni, but we quickly realised that the other was what I think of as a real person: a kindred spirit, someone who gets it. I'm not just talking about spanking; we'd both turned into sexually adventurous, politically minded, independent women with very similar tastes. Except that she was still with her vanilla fiancé, so she hadn't yet had much experience of kink. She was interested enough, however, that I sent her away with my copies of Over the Knee, Dances with Werewolves and Sex in Uniform (which includes a delicious naval cross-dressed caning story by Fiona Locke), hoping that they would awaken her inner kinkster.
I had difficulty getting in touch with her for the next few months. After a while I stopped sending her emails, and figured she'd get back to me when she was ready. Eventually I got a text from her. Long story. Am moving to the States with my new Dom. Probably won't be able to take you up on that offer of drinks. Are you surprised?!
I wasn't. Not at all. But she still has my damn books.
There has been some speculation this week on the "true identity" of Ms Locke. It was all started when Emma-Jane vehemently denied that it was her, and set everyone to wondering. Zille Defeu sums up the available information, causing wild guesses that Fiona is Caroline Grey (she denies it), Peter Markworthy of English Vice (so does he) and Rosaleen Young. After all, what spanko conversation would be complete without mention of the International Bottom of Mystery?
Ludwig joined the fray with a flattering, but entirely inaccurate, theory that I'm Fiona Locke, which of course means now I have to post and deny it. Prefectdt offered the hilariously credible idea that it must be one of my Doms; I was tempted to play along and claim that yes, Tom is the true Fiona Locke, but when I asked him he didn't seem as amused by the idea as I was. In any case, while he is certainly more inclined to novel-writing than me, I can't see him ever publishing under a female persona.
Amy Hunter, observant wench that she is, has pointed out that I'm named on English Vice as a "friend" of Angie and Peter. Peter himself tells us that he wrote that paragraph, and he certainly isn't Fiona Locke.
Logically, the existence of Peter tells us certain things. Tempting as the arguments are for a male Fiona, if the "Angie" of English Vice is male, who is "Peter"? A gay partner? An invented character, mischeivously participating in the conversation on Zille's blog (in which case he's lying; he is Fiona Locke)? At this point the subterfuge becomes far too complex for me to wrap my head around, so for the moment I'm going to abandon that idea, although if you want to try and work it out, by all means feel free.
Obviously if I did know Angie's real identity, and was her friend, I wouldn't publish it here, when she's clearly not ready to share her secrets. But I'm amused that everyone's so quick to jump to the conclusion that the name-check on their website means I'm privy to their every secret. Is it so implausible that I only know Angie and Peter online? There are plenty of friends in this scene I haven't met in person yet: most of you lot, for a start.
Even if I don't know who they are (and if I did, I wouldn't tell you), it makes sense that Angie and Peter are the pseudonyms of a spanko couple we know under other names. After all, Angie writes about being active on spanking forums, and they still update their website occasionally, if less often than they used to: but they almost never post on blogs or forums, which seems strange for web-savvy, social people. Is English Vice the only place they talk about kink online? Or are they doing so elsewhere, under different names?
My personal favourite candidate is, and always has been, Haron of the Spanking Writers. Haron is a talented writer, an intelligent and very kinky woman, with many of the same tastes and fantasies as Angie. She clearly has a wealth of personal experience to draw from, and she's more careful about sharing information about herself online than some - perhaps to protect her nom de plume. We know she's a keen writer, quite possibly published; she wrote for Lowewood throughout its lifespan, and talks on her blog about writing erotic fiction.
We have never seen a picture of Haron or her partner Abel and so it's perfectly plausible they are the couple posing on the covers of Fiona's books, and for the photos on English Vice. They are English, and can you think of a better inspiration for the Professor character than Abel? I haven't yet read On the Bare, but a few scenes from Over the Knee are strangely similar to those in The Spanking Writers: like Angie, school roleplay and motivational spankings helped Haron while she was writing her thesis; and, like Angie, she was given a celebratory caning to mark its finish.
Of course, I've met Haron, so I know (and so do several of you!) whether or not she does in fact resemble Angie's photos on English Vice. But ... even then, that wouldn't necessarily prove it either way: Fiona could always have got a friend to model for her. After all, in Over the Knee englishvice.net already exists when Angie discovers it, run by another kinky couple with a penchant for outdoor punishments. Perhaps Angie identifying herself with Fiona is a sneaky piece of misdirection, to help keep her friend's identity safe?
It's all far too complicated. Fiona clearly doesn't want to be identified - yet. But I don't think she'd mind some idle speculation. As for whether she is really Haron - you'll have to ask her yourself :)
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