Hello and welcome to the second session of Pillow Talk Secrets! This is Malin, your host for this round, and all I can say is that Tamsin, Jade and I have quite a chat lined up. You see, all three of just read Those Boys, which will be coming soon from Go Deeper Press – it’s the highly anticipated sequel to Alison Tyler’s fantastic novelette, Those Girls. Of course, we wanted to discuss it right away, but instead we decided to be incredibly good and save it for this session. As you can imagine, by now, we’re dying to talk to each other about it so, rather than torture ourselves any longer, we’re going to jump right in and get this party started!
Pillow Talk Secrets 2
Malin: Hello ladies!
Tamsin: Hello Malin, hello Jade!
Jade: And hello to both of you!
M: So, I don’t know about you two, but I’m dying to talk to you both about Those Boys. Should we start there?
T: Absolutely. But before we launch in, we should tell people who might not know this is the second book in Alison Tyler’s series that started with Those Girls – both published by Go Deeper Press.
J: Yes, and that we were fortunate enough to score ourselves an early copy of Those Boys - quite possibly because the Universe is just amazing – and wow are we happy about it!
The gorgeous cover for Those Boys, by Alison Tyler. Courtesy of Go Deeper Press.
M: It was a really lovely treat. There’s a lot of food for thought in both the first book, and now the second. For those readers who haven’t read the first book yet, let’s do a really quick run-down.
T: No spoilers!
M: I would never! Okay. Summary not spoilers: it’s told from the POV of a Dom named Sandy. This man is the real deal – a Dom’s Dom. Basically, the novelette is about how he goes about initiating the lovely, slightly stand-offish Vanessa. How’s that?
J: Good – and I want to add this little piece I once read on Alison Tyler’s blog – I can’t remember her exact verbiage, but she said she originally thought Sandy was going to be a she, and then Sandy become this beautifully bisexual Dom. But the key, or the power of Sandy, was that it didn’t matter who he had control over – only that he had that control. The magic is being in his head, because he’s such the Dom’s Dom, as Malin said.
M: And there is magic in his head. You rarely see such a nuanced, authentic portrayal of a dominant in erotica, especially a male dominant, which is a shame.
T: But, I have to admit to a little disappointment with Those Girls, (shock! horror!).
T: Not because it wasn’t brilliant – it was! But it was too damn short! I wanted more. Straight away!
J: Oh well then, in that case…I totally agree.
T: I think Sandy’s character really came into its own, though, in Those Boys. I really got much more of a feel for him – this is a massive development on the first story and with the addition of a new character, Rem, we really get to understand how Sandy’s mind ticks.
J: Agreed! The first novella was more about Sandy leading Vanessa out – but in the second novella, we see so much more of who he is.
M: Yes. I actually think that the second book is, if anything, even stronger than the first because it gives us a deeper perspective on Sandy’s tremendously interesting psychology. His motivations are singular and entirely his own.
T: Yes, Those Boys is definitely stronger and it’s made me hungry for more of Sandy’s story (hint, hint, Alison Tyler!).
J: You know, I heard she’s doing a prequel next! Did either of you hear that?
T: Yes, I did!
M: I heard there was going to be another book, but I didn’t know it was going to be a prequel. Now, that’s going to interesting…
J: And really damn hot. Oh, I do love Sandy’s character so…
M: Okay, so now, tell me what is it about Sandy that works for you guys? Because I feel like it might be different for every reader.
T: I love how fond he is of his subs – he’s not all about the just being bossy and in charge – he really cares for them and what their needs are. He’s interested in exploring their minds, not just in dominating their bodies. It seems like a much more balanced D/s relationship than most other fictional ones.
J: Exactly. And while we do see his need for dominance through his really rich commentary on what he’s doing, wanting, etc., it’s so clear he’s full of compassion and care – but not in a bunny foo foo weird kind of way.
M: Yes! His awareness is completely authentic – he takes his responsibility and control seriously. He is literally giving Rem and Vanessa what they need, and in doing so, he gets what he needs from them. I also love that he has a serious sense of honor. It’s not a typical moral code, but he has a hard, honest integrity.
T: The other thing I really like about Sandy is that he doesn’t constantly lecture his subs about what it means to submit. I get so fed up with these fictional Doms that are pompous and preachy all the time. And have you ever noticed how they only get brand new ‘virgin’ subs? Would that be because experienced subs avoid them like the plague? ;)
J: Right. That is so fucking annoying. It makes the Dom two dimensional and the sub so clichéd – or at least, that’s how it always reads to me.
M: I agree. It’s frustrating because the last thing I really want to read about is a Dom throwing his or her weight around in a meaningless, shallow way – obey my commands, slut! And yet, in everything they do, they’re totally unworthy of the respect they assume inherently comes with being dominant. It’s silliness, and they’re wrong.
T: And it never seems that these relationships could be sustained in real life – they’re just not that realistic when there’s no apparent empathy between Dom and sub, or no humour and fun. How does a Dom like that manage going to the store or taking out the trash?
M: It’s true. There are so many cookie-cutter portrayals in fiction that just… I don’t know. Fall flat, especially when you know that there are a lot of people enjoying rewarding, complicated authentic D/s relationships in real life.
J: Exactly. I think – since there are people just coming to understand that this dynamic is real and out there and very much lived by some couples – that we need to have more of these realistic portrayals. Otherwise, so many who aren’t aware believe it’s actually like the flat version, and that’s no good.
T: Goodness – I’m about to start writing a new Dom character. I’d better make damn sure he lives up to our high expectations!
M: It’ll be brilliant – because you write people and that’s the most important thing.
T: Well, I have to say, I started to develop him when I was on holiday and I’m already a little in love with him. Okay, a lot! But that’s all I’ll say for now.
J: You are a tease, Tamsin. For shame. Regardless, I do know you write some strong alphas. Take Etienne and Saul, for example, from The Crimson Bond – oh la la. Those are convincing alphas.
M: Saul. It’s all about Saul. Etienne’s great, but really. Saul. Now that’s a well-rounded, complicated alpha if ever I saw one… Plus, he’s fucking hot.
The Scarlet Bond, Tamsin’s sexy new release
J: I agree. Well, I’m kind of torn. Etienne has something that’s working for me, but Saul’s beginning to call to me more. Perhaps in the second book [The Scarlet Bond], he’ll woo me away from Etienne! Speaking of…isn’t that out, like, right now?!
T: Absolutely – and there’s a new character in this episode, Rakim Argent, the head of an opposing vampire clan, that really gives our boys Etienne and Saul a run for their money! But I have to say, these vampires are not really comparable with serious Dom portrayals – it’s all a bit of camp fun in vampire land!
M: Well, I’m looking forward to getting my paws on that sequel. The Scarlet Bond looks great. Plus, I love a good alpha. And a true to life Dom, (and sub), for that matter.
T: Now, if I can let the readers in on a little secret, I think that our own Jade has written the most brilliant Dom ever but you’ll all have to wait a while before you meet him… and I’m probably talking out of turn…
J: Oh, you’re so sweet, Tamsin! Thank you. Good ole Dean…can’t wait for everyone to meet him one day…
M: Actually, I’m curious. I think we’ve all written dominants, (though mine are mostly female). How did you both approach that? Any different from any other type of character? Or really just focusing on the individual?
T: That’s a tough question. Sometimes characters pop up fully formed and sometimes I have to drag them out kicking and screaming but I don’t really have a way of approaching different types of characters… You two?
M: I tend to come at them as individuals rather than types, though personalities do fall into certain broad categories. I just try to keep their individuality intact when I put them on paper… Does that make sense? What about you Jade?
J: It does make sense. I’ve written a few, and they’re definitely distinct from one another and not “boxed” in my head as a certain type or anything. I guess I kind of go with my mood – what type of dom would I be swayed by if I were on the other end of this…today? :) And then I just run with it…
M: Makes sense. In the end, it kind of comes down to our own relationships with the characters we create.
T: I would certainly say that for this next one, I want to create a Dom that’s as far away different from Christian Grey as is humanly possible!
J: Um, I think you’ve got that covered. Back to my 2D comment…he’s everything about the standard portrayal that I don’t like and that I don’t think accurately conveys the true emotion behind it.
M: Uh, yeah. I’m going to save you all a rant and just say that I agree.
J: The only positive on that book was that it opened the dynamic up to the world – like, yes, this does exist in real life – so that’s good. Now it’s important that we as writers start portraying the reality. It’s far sexier, anyway.
No cardboard Doms, please.
T: You said it, girl! So now just a quick fire question to both of you – what are you currently working on?
M: I’ve got a few irons in the fire, but the focus right now is my novel. It’s a historical BDSM menage situation. I was going to say it’s like Downton, but filthier, but it’s not. It does have corsets though. And crops. For riding. Horses. You know…
J: Ditto on the irons for me…I just finished the first book of a trilogy (with the previously mentioned Dom) called The Assignment, and now I’m taking a short story and novella breather before I go back in for the sequel. Back to that earlier comment about loving your Doms? Yeah. I get a little overwhelmed sometimes writing that guy… What about you, Tamsin?
T: Okay – I just this morning finished writing a story for the fabulous Rose Caraway of The Kiss Me Quick’s podcasts and this afternoon I’ve been slaving away on my sizzling sexspionage novel, Honeytrap. I need to get that finished up before diving headlong into my huge Alchemy XII project! (More on that soon but for now it’s a badly kept secret!)
M: I’m really pretty excited about all of that, I have to say. Plus, sexspionage is just such fun.
T: And so hot!
J: Yes yes yes…! Can’t wait for those. Oh! Hey, before we go, should we mention our upcoming newsletter?
M: That’s a fabulous idea – especially as we’ll have a lot more info on Tamsin’s new release, The Scarlet Bond, in there. We’re pretty excited.
T: I’m pretty excited about it myself. But what else is on the roster?
J: Well, we have a couple new releases to tell you about. And I just had the honor of having my story “Soundscapes” performed by the fabulous Rose Caraway of The Kiss Me Quick’s (*squeal!*), so there’s more about that in there, too…
M: One of my posts got a nice little editor’s prize so there will be a bit about that. Plus, Jade and I had a couple of sexy excerpts over at Unbound Magazine. And then I think there’s at least one anthology with one, (or two?), of us in it coming out in the next little bit.
J: Yes. So if you haven’t signed up yet, please be sure you do – that way you can catch all the news we don’t cover here. This month’s newsletter will be out on the 20th.
T: Can’t wait to find out what you two have been getting up to!
M: No good, I can guarantee. ;)
J: Naturally. Erotica writers talking dirty, and all. Tee-hee.
M: And on that entirely appropriate note, should we sign off?
T: I think so – and the conclusion for today – grab Those Boys when you can (literally or figuratively!). Bye!
J: What she said! So much fun!
M: Agreed on all counts! Talk to you ladies soon! And thank you readers for reading!
J: Oooh, and a huge thank you to Go Deeper Press and Alison Tyler for giving us a sneak peek of Those Boys!
Jade, Malin and Tamsin
PS – what do you look for in a fictional – or real life – dom? Let us know in the comments…