Friday, October 11, 2013

Dark Secret Love: A Visit With Alison Tyler

Dark Secret Love
A Story of Submission

Keep Your Safe Word Handy
Dark Secret Love is a modern-day Story of O, a 9 1/2 Weeks-style journey fueled by lust, longing and the search for true love. Inspired by her own BDSM exploits and private diaries, Alison Tyler draws on twenty-five years of penning sultry stories to create a scorchingly hot work of fiction, a memoir-inspired novel with reality at its core. A luscious and literary experience of authenticity, Dark Secret Love is a romance for readers who desire sweetness edged with danger and a kinky fairy tale with a happily-ever-after ending. Take a deep breath and prepare to submit. Alison Tyler will push your boundaries to the limits—and have you begging for more.
“Alison Tyler delivers sex scenes brimming with breathless intensity, marrying them with the deep emotions and irresistible desires that fuel her character’s kinky journey of self-discovery.” —Barbara Pizio, Executive Editor of Penthouse Variations
“The kinky, red-hot sex practically drips off the page. Alison Tyler has created an erotic masterpiece.” —Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of The Big Book of Orgasms and Cheeky Spanking Stories
ALISON TYLER is a prolific author of erotic fiction and is the editor of Three-WayHeat WaveBest Bondage EroticaLove at First Sting, and Naughty or Nice. She lives in San Francisco and has a well-traveled website at

Also by Alison Tyler

Writing Your Heart Out
By Alison Tyler

The heart may be a lonely hunter, but so is the writer. At least, I was when I first started.

Late at night, I would write on my laptop. But mostly I wrote in bars, at cafes, on park benches. I craved the colorful chaos of people swirling around me, even if I never said a word.

Every so often, I would hear from a reader through the mail—yes, old-fashioned, lick-the-stamp mail. Letters were sent to my publisher in New York and then passed on to me. One fan appreciated my Victorian-esque novel, The Blue Rose, and offered me $100 to pen a novella based entirely on brushing girls’ hair. Another chided me for not going far enough in a book.

Back then, you could tell people you were a writer—but there was no Google to discover your backlist. No Chrome to call up your website. Sometimes I visited Tower Books simply to see my work on a shelf. It was like visiting a part of me I’d left behind.

I’m shy. In fact, those three letters (s-h-y) don’t begin to cover the panic I feel at getting up on stage. Yet I coerced myself do readings from time to time—at bookstores in Santa Monica, Berkeley, even Manhattan. I read dirty words out loud in rooms filled with strangers, almost to prove to myself that there really was an audience out in the darkness.

Otherwise, why put the words on the page to begin with?

When I finished my first novel, I began a tradition I’ve continued for two decades (the tequila to celebrate, that is). I wrote about the experience in Dark Secret Love:

I went out to my favorite bar. It was four o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, my day off. I told the bartender, Jason, that I wanted a shot of tequila. He had names of all his ex-girlfriends tattooed on his biceps.
“Mmm-hmm. I finished my first novel.”
“Reading one or writing one?”
I grinned. I loved the question. Who would have a shot after finishing reading a book? “Writing one.”
“Then that shot’s on me,” he said, putting out a glass, a sliver of lime, and a shaker of salt.
I did the shot quickly, no accessories, and then sat there quietly as the bar filled with the pure, shimmering light of the golden hour.
Several tall, well-dressed men in their forties entered the bar. We were the only people there at this slow time before happy hour. I eavesdropped easily on their conversation.
They were cajoling one of their friends to have a drink with them. The man insisted he had to go, but finally he said, “I’ll have one if she has one with me.”
Jason sidled over to them. “She drinks tequila, straight.”
He sounded impressed, as if I looked more like someone who would celebrate big events with a milkshake.
The guys laughed, as if I’d challenged them, then bought a round. We toasted, their friend shook my hand, and then he left.
One of the men came to my side afterwards. “That was Mr. — who bought you that drink,” he said, naming a famous L.A. athlete. “You ought to remember that,” he told me. “It’s an honor.”
After they left, Jason came back to stand in front of me. “It’s an honor for them to drink with you,” he smiled.
“That’s what you should have said.”

Writing Dark Secret Love was different. Back in 2006, when I first began the project (which is over half-a-million words at the moment), I uploaded approximately 1K a day on my blog. I could feel people watching, waiting, devouring. This was a decadent experience for me because while I am pathologically introverted, I enjoyed that sensation of being on display.

Now that the book is complete, I can actually track people reading my words. Sometimes readers post as they read, almost inviting me into their bedrooms or (in one case) onto public transit—to virtually watch them read me.

Welcome to writing and reading in the 21st century. It is—if nothing else—a truly interactive experience. There are many reasons not to embrace the new world of technology. But I have to think that the world of a writer is a far less lonely place to be.


Called a “Trollop with a Laptop” by East Bay Express, Alison Tyler is naughty and she knows it. Her sultry short stories have appeared in more than 100 anthologies including Coupling edited by Sommer Marsden and Sex for America edited by Stephen Elliott. She is the author of more than 25 erotic novels, most recently Dark Secret Love, and the editor of more than 75 explicit anthologies, including Alison’s Wonderland and 69. 24/7 as she’s a total insomniac.

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