Interview w/ The Wonderful Alison Tyler

11 Feb

alison tyler dark secret loveIt should come as no surprise that we here at Secret Pleasures love erotica. Erotica is a fantastic tool for adding a little zest to your relationship, adding some spice to your solo fantasies and, honestly, it’s just plain fun. And while we love a lot of writers, Alison Tyler is one of our favorites. The self-proclaimed “Trollop* with a Laptop”  is a prolific erotica writer & anthology editor and she produces some of the best stories to grace our book shelves. We recently got a chance to interview Alison via the wonder of the interwebs. Read on to see what she has to say about her inspiration, the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and her advice to folks who want to write erotic stories of their own!

Secret Pleasures: While you have written a plethora of erotica (and edited quite a bit as well), readers may best know you from many of your fantastic BDSM related stories. What was your take on the  “50 Shades” phenomenon and have you found that more people have sought out your (and other authors) kink centered erotica since those books hit the market?

 Allison Tyler: I tend to keep my head down and not pay much attention to what other writers are doing, so the whole FSOG tsunami did take me by surprise. A long-time reader of mine was the first to tell me about 50 Shades. She said that the books reminded her of a serial I’d penned on my blog. (This serial has now become Dark Secret Love, The Delicious Torment, Wrapped Around Your Finger….)

 What’s funny is that I’ve been writing for so long—and I’ve been so accustomed to being relegated to the dark corners of the bookstores—that the new world order is disconcerting. I mean, even at some of the mainstream publishing houses I’ve worked for, the erotic writers are treated like the stoners out behind the gym. Wearing our black t-shirts and listening to Zeppelin. So now that you can find erotica at Costco, Target, Wal-Mart and even the local grocery store… I still am a bit taken aback.

SP: What got you into writing erotica in the first place?

 AT: My very first stab was fan fic. I didn’t know what I was doing, truly. But I wrote stories for my friends featuring their favorite movie stars or rock stars taking them out on dates. This was before the internet, so the concept of “fan fic” didn’t really exist. I just liked to spin stories for my girlfriends. Later on, I had a beau who was into porn, and I read the magazines he had “on hand.” We had a long distance relationship, so I started writing the same type of stories for him, just to keep him entertained. He said my work was better than what he was reading in the magazines, and he challenged me to submit. (In more ways than one.)

SP: Where do you turn to for inspiration for your stories?

AT: You know the fountain of youth? Well, I have the fountain of sex. In my head. I don’t need much inspiration. Sometimes a word alone will spark a story. (I heard the word “luster” in a song and that was all it took.) I challenge myself to make up stories wherever I go. If I’m in line at the post office, I mentally undress the people around me and put them together in unusual combinations. I can’t help myself at this point. I really do see sex everywhere I go.

SP: Are there authors who you are particularly inspired by?

AT: Funny, I was just talking about this to Sommer Marsden—whose work I love. I don’t read other erotic writers for pleasure. I’ve edited more than 75 anthologies to date (50 for Cleis Press alone). So I do read a lot of sexy stories for my work. But in my off time, I lose myself in memoirs, pulp fiction, Westerns, mysteries, cookbooks, graphic novels, Mad Magazine, the back of the cereal box, mechanical manuals. I read constantly.

SP: We have a lot of customers mention that they want to write erotic notes or stories for their partners. Any advice on how they can approach that if they have never written erotica before?

 AT: First, I have to say: simply do it. Pick up a pen and write the words. You don’t have to be fancy. If you write down what turns you on—even as a bulleted list—your partner should be delighted. My main skill is that I’m not afraid to put words on a page. Once you put the words down, you can tweak them, twist them, tie them up. But you can do nothing with a blank page. So—put the words down.

 If you’re mentally tongue-tied, I suggest that people read erotica for inspiration. Especially, short stories. So you can dip in and out of a book to see if anything tantalizes you. But really—don’t be afraid. Put the words in your head onto the paper. You’ll be surprised!

 For more help, check out “How to Write a Love Note” by The Sexy Grammarian: http://sexyg.co/blog/?p=4036

SP: What can readers expect next from you? Any new projects in the works?

 AT: Always. I have 253 open stories (unfinished, that is) on my laptop, as well as 22 novels in progress. No joke. I never stop writing. But I move from project to project. (I don’t get writer’s block—but I do have writer’s hop.) The next book in my submission series is due out in June, I think. And I have several projects coming out from Cleis Press over the next few months. Check out my blog: alisontyler.blogspot.com for updates. And thank you for the opportunity to chat!

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Many thanks to Alison Tyler for taking the time to answer our questions and to the folks over at Cleis Press for helping to arrange the interview. We look forward to bringing you more interviews from some of Cleis’ other fabulous authors and editors in the near future!
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*The word trollop needs to be used more often. It’s just delightful!

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