An Interview with Alison Tyler

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Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

As part of her blog tour for Dark Secret Love (review below), I have author and editor extraordinare Alison Tyler visiting here today.

Readers know that I’ve been struggling with balance and writing process of late.  So when I had the chance to metaphorically sit down with Alison I needed to know how she does it.

You are ridiculously prolific.  Are you a robot?  How do you do it?  Do you ever blow off writing to binge watch a tv series on Netflix?

Ha! How did you know that I am a robot? I try to keep my wires all tucked in nice and neat. And I wear this fine dusting of pale powder over my chrome-colored skin.

Truth is, I write all the time. Even when I’m not writing, I’m writing. (Yes, that made oodles of sense.) Basically, I can’t turn off the part in my brain that tells stories. I entertain myself 24/7 (or 23/6) with scenarios about strangers I see only for a sliver of time. Not sure what life would be like without the constant whirring of words, but that’s my world.

That said, yes, yes, yes, I am addicted to a few different series. Late to the game, I found West Wing and became instantly obsessed. I lost a few weeks to House of Cards. If I love a series, I will start re-watching from the beginning as soon as I hit the end.

The strangest place I’ve found myself writing erotica was on my laptop in the parent cafe of an indoor kid’s playground.  I was huddled off in a corner, trying to finish a story while my (then) 4 year old ran around with the other kids.  What’s the oddest place or situation you’ve found yourself writing?

The bathtub. The shower. The car. Anywhere I can’t easily get to a piece of paper and pen. That’s often when I come up with my best ideas. Then I simply have to repeat the words to myself, like a mantra, until I can get dry or pull over. (Or both.) You don’t know how many times I’ve been wrapped in a towel at the computer, typing as fast as I can to make sure the words don’t escape. That wet spot on my seat is proof.

Obviously Dark Secret Love is a bit different than other books of yours with regards to how long you’ve been working on it/the highly autobiographical aspects.  Can you talk about how the process of putting it on (metaphorical) paper was different from the way you’ve written other stories?

Dark Secret Love began as a solitary blog post. An answer to a reader’s query: How did you get your start? Many writers would be able to respond in a neat, orderly fashion. My answer has taken 500,000 words—so far. My guess (or hope?) is that I’ll never reach the end. For a year and a half, give or take, I wrote approximately 1,000 words a day on the story. Gathered all together, the “book” would be over 2,000 pages long.

This is the most unique project I’ve ever worked on. There are scenes (coming up in future installments) written from the point of view of different characters. I’ve switched tenses. I’ve played with time. I’ve broken every rule taught by English comp instructors. If you can’t entertain yourself, why bother? I wanted this series to be different.

About Alison

Alison Tyler is nothing if not busy. She’s the editor of 50 anthologies (for Cleis Press), as well as collections for Harlequin, Plume, and Pretty Things Press. Her novellas include Giving In (Harlequin), Those Girls (Go Deeper), and Banging Rebecca (Pretty Things Press). Visit for impromptu makeup reviews, lingering musical longings, and the occasional 80s flashback.

Review of Dark Secret Love

Dark Secret Love is a fictionalized semi-autobiographical story of a woman’s entrance into and acceptance of her own submissive nature.

While I enjoy erotica, I don’t often connect with characters the way I did with Samantha.  Perhaps it’s because Sam’s experiences are based on some of Alison Tyler’s experiences, and thus ring more true?  Or perhaps because I understand all too well the experience of being offered what you want and running away in fear.

While there is plenty of hot sex, Dark Secret Love is more than that.  It is a deeply personal exploration of submission.  If you’re not a member of the scene and want to understand how we got this way, this book may be enlightening for you.  If you are a member of the scene, the book will ring more true than most.

My only complaint?  That the second book isn’t out yet.

I can’t recommend it enough-run, don’t walk to get your copy today.

Disclosure-I did not receive compensation for this review or the opportunity to interview Alison.  I am, however, included in an upcoming anthology of hers.

One Response

  1. […] I learned earlier this year from Alison Tyler’s book Dark Secret Love (review here) and Lynn Townsend’s book Roll (review here) was that erotic novels have changed a lot in the […]

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