SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH ALISON TYLER
Alison Tyler is the author and renowned editor of numerous steamy anthologies. She has always been on the forefront of edgy erotic quickies that busy women (and men) love to read. A guilty pleasure, indeed!
This February she just had her latest anthology, Sudden Sex released.
When I tried to find more information about this popular author I was surprised to find out she is really an enigma. Where does she come up with all of these saucy tales? And what do we really know about this mysterious writer?
Here is what she said.
1) Wow, what an honor! I imagine you as a sexy diva! How did you get started writing romance, specifically erotica?
Sometimes I feel like David Byrne—looking around and thinking, “Well, how did I get here?” I’ve been writing professionally in the erotic industry for more than two decades, but I’ve been simply writing forever. I’m one of those people who always knew what I wanted to do. Words own me. If I don’t get them out on paper, I go a little mad.
Although I’m known for erotica, I began by penning romance stories for my friends. I’d create little scenarios featuring my girlfriends on dates with their favorite rock star or movie star. This was fanfic before the Internet. And if I tell you that the celebs they chose were from Bon Jovi, White Snake, and Duran Duran, then you’ll get the idea of what decade we’re talking about.
Throughout my career, I’ve had, oh, sixteen thousand jobs on the side, but I have never stopped writing. Why erotica? My words run dirty. Even when I try to write clean, I write dirty.
I’ve been lucky enough to be published by Cleis Press, Black Lace, Harlequin, Plume, Masquerade, and more. And I’ve had incredible mentors and supporters over the years, like Violet Blue, Judy Cole, Barbara Pizio, and Brenda Knight.
2) What do you think appeals to readers about erotic romance and its huge popularity in the past decade?
We’re all animals who put on clothes, brush our hair, and act in certain ways. But at the end of the day, we like to think, talk about, and engage in sex. (Okay, some of us like to do it at the start of the day, too.) Erotica is a doorway. You can peek in and see what other people are fantasizing about. You can crack a spine or download an e-book and lose yourself in a whole new sultry universe. What’s not to love?
3) After being the editor and writer of so many short stories, how do you keep coming up with new ideas? Is there any topic you have yet to tackle or is there a subject too taboo?
My personal fetish lies in understanding what turns other people on. Searching out hot-buttons never gets old to me. I am constantly trying to puzzle relationships together. What does he see in her? Why does she make his world spin? I write stories in my head all day long. Look over there. That man in the neat gray suit is going to see his dominant lover at lunchtime. Every Tuesday at noon, she ties him up and torments him until he begs for mercy. And then he slips back into his Brooks Brothers apparel and returns to the boardroom. Or that lady, the one with the silver in her hair and no make-up on, well, she’s on her way to a tryst with a younger man. He can’t get enough of her body. He says her skin smells like rose petals.
I can’t help myself. It’s a habit I don’t know how to break.
As far as taboos go—I won’t write stories in which people are punished for what they need. Being punished is fine. But I don’t write the dark type of stories in which characters end up institutionalized for being kinky.
4) In your latest anthology, Sudden Sex by Cleis Press, what is the basic premise of the sultry 69 stories? Do feel your shorts are a bit of a tease by themselves?
Short fiction is my forte. I adore reading short works by other authors outside of erotica (Fitzgerald’s Bernice Bobs Her Hair is stellar). But obviously erotic shorts are my favorite. I think top-notch writers can capture a whole story in a sliver of space. Janine Ashbless wrote a piece for Frenzy called “Pirate Treasure” that delighted many readers. And Nikki Magennis has penned several gems that were only a page long yet rich with detail. Aisling Weaver, Andrea Dale, and Vida Bailey are three more of my go-to writers when I need something short and hot. In Sudden Sex, no story is longer than 1,500 words. A writer has to be something of a magician to make this work. My authors rose to the challenge.
5) What makes your latest book so special?
You know how you feel at the start of a love affair. Everything about the person makes you swoon. I could lick the cover of Sudden Sex—the image is so fiercely sexy. And that’s before I even split the spine to see the unbelievable talent in the table of contents. This collection features 69 stories by more than 35 authors. The genres covered will light up any fetishist: ménage, spanking, bondage, cross-dressing, BDSM, anal, quickies… all of my favorite flavors.
6) When you edit books how do you choose what to keep and what may cross the line? What do you look for in a racy short story?
Let’s talk about foreplay, baby. Win me with your opening. Then woo me with your parting phrase. Sure, the middle has to be sexy as hell, but I am all about love at first sight. And I want our last kiss to be special, as well.
7) Are there any new authors that you have felt break the mold in erotica?
There was a sign in my gym recently that advised people not to leave fewer than five links on a pull-down weight, because some of the “older” members couldn’t reach. I revised the sign (no, really, I did) to read “shorter” members. I work out occasionally with a guy who is in his seventies, and he’s 6’8”—no problems reaching the heights. That said, I’m less concerned with new authors than with writers who are fearless, regardless of their history. I have a permanent heart-on for Thomas Roche, Sophia Valenti, Sommer Marsden, Kristina Lloyd, and Jax Baynard. I also look forward to reading work by Justine Elyot, Giselle Renarde, Cheyenne Blue, Charlotte Stein, Teresa Noelle Roberts, Veronica Wilde, Cora Zane… I think the violins are going to kick in at any second and play me off the stage.
8) Since Erotica is the hottest thing in romance today, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
Read everything you can get your hands on, but be yourself. Don’t try to write someone else’s story or in someone else’s style. I love The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice, but I knew when I started I would never be able to write like she does. My sense of description is nothing like her rich style.
9) Do you have more books planned on the horizon. Can you give us a quick peek?
My dance card is full. Basically, I’m like one of those little spinning tops. If I’m not in motion, I tip over. My next novel out is Dark, Secret Love (Cleis, July 2013), and The Big Book of Bondage also just came out (also from Cleis). Plus I’m super excited about Smart Ass, Bad Ass, Kiss My Ass: The Trilogy. Susie Bright recently brought this collection to Audible.com. How kick-ass is that?
Thanks so much for giving us your time. I really admire how you have brought this genre to the forefront.
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For More Information About Alison Tyler:
Recent and Upcoming Books by Alison Tyler
Sudden Sex: 69 Sultry Short Stories by Alison Tyler (Feb 19, 2013)
Maybe one of the hidden benefits of everyone being so darn busy is the rise of the quickie! No one writes fresh fiction on quick sex better than Alison Tyler who has probably inspired more time-efficient trysts that any other eroticist. Whether at the office with your boss, in a restaurant restroom or naughty nooners with your long-time love, Tyler's Sudden Sex will have you dialing up a booty call stat!