Alison Tyler graciously answered some interview questions about book two of her semi-autobiographical series: The Delicious Torment: A Story of Submission. Although I have already reviewed this book, I thought it would be a grand idea to feature it again on my blog–because it’s that good.
1. What do you find is the most deliciously tormenting aspect of this book?
The Delicious Torment is about a unique type of romance. This is the story of Jack, Samantha, and Alex, a dom, a sub, and a switch. The electricity between the trio is searing. I think the most tormenting moments aren’t so much the physical connections but the brutal mind-fucks:
“Would you ask Jack that question?”
I took a risk. “No, but I’m asking you.”
He tried to stare me down, but failed. It was like the offer your parents always warn you about. Hey, little girl. If you come with me, I’ll give you candy.
“I want to talk to Jack,” I said, and Alex gave me another harsh stare, but I would not budge.
“He’s in a meeting.”
“He’s not going to be pleased, Samantha.” There was the threat. First I’d been given a promise of a reward. Now, I was being threatened with a promise of punishment. I sat on the sofa, implying with my body language that I wasn’t planning on moving.
“What’s gotten into you? Usually, you’re such a good girl.”
My radar was finely tuned. I crossed arms and waited. Alex walked into the kitchen and dialed Jack on the phone. Then he called out to me. I headed to the bedroom and grabbed the extension there, and I didn’t speak until I heard the click of Alex setting down the receiver.
“What is it?” Jack’s voice was cold.
“Alex wants me to go somewhere with him. But he won’t say where.”
“And you don’t trust him?”
“No, that’s not it—”
“You don’t trust me?” His tone was glacial now.
“No, Jack—” Uh oh… What had I gotten myself into? “It’s only that you didn’t mention anything this morning, and I wasn’t sure…”
“That’s right,” he said, and the sarcasm made me flinch. “And I do run my schedule by you every day.”
“No, Jack—” Jesus. I was floundering. “He wanted me to go with him, but he wouldn’t say why or where. And I wasn’t sure that you would approve….”
“…of my assistant doing as I asked him. Yes, I can see why that would make me suspicious.”
My heart sank further. And when I thought of what Alex’s expression would be when I headed back down the hall, I cringed.
2. Is there one character you enjoyed writing about the most? Why?
Alex. He talks to me all the time in my head. He comments on what I’m writing. His wry smirk and sarcastic tone keep me honest.
3. One of the bigger themes of this book seemed to me to be an exploration of a relationship–a testing of the waters to see how each other responded to and grappled with each new experience. What is one of the themes that you see in this book?
I’m obsessed with the power of submission. “Taking it”—whatever the “it” is that a dom deems necessary—whets more than my appetite. Mix that with the addictive elixir of jealousy, and I think you’ve got The Delicious Torment:
Had my heart raced before? Now, I felt myself turning to stone.
Alex had been wearing a simple black outfit, expensive, I was sure. He was like a mini-Jack, sometimes. Not in physical appearance, with his wheat-blonde hair, but he took his cues from Jack—from the clothes he wore to the watch he favored to the wallet he chose. Not as high-end as Jack’s, but the same clean, elegant style. When I’d been looking downward, Alex must have stripped off his shirt, clad in only black pants now, and his leather boots. The fine muscles of his back were exposed. His strong arms bound into place.
What the fuck? I thought. Oh, Jesus. What was going on?
Jack stood behind Alex, and he had a flogger. My mind tripped over itself in a mad rush to explain the situation. But my pussy didn’t need any explanation. I grew instantly wet at the sight, as I realized I hadn’t seen Jack in action like this before. Not outside of gazing into a mirror while he punished me, making me watch while he tanned my ass for me.
This was different. Jack was in charge of someone else’s pain. Someone else’s ultimate pleasure. Have I ever felt such a surge of white-hot jealousy before? I can’t think of a time.
4. This book was so realistic that it made me squirm in arousal, made me flinch from the pain. Did writing this book cause some visceral reactions in you too?
Often, when I write for long stretches of time, I almost feel as if I’ve endured a workout. I’m breathless, muscles aching, damp at the nape of my neck. This series was written over several years, with intense edits—late nights, early mornings. Of all my past work, these words are my truest. I opened a vein.
5. Can you provide a hint as to where Sam goes next in book three?
“Wrapped Around Your Finger” is my attempt to describe a 24/7 relationship in extreme focus. I like to tease that what relationship isn’t 24/7? Even vanilla players don’t get time off for good behavior. But a BDSM 24/7 love affair is unique. I took a close-up look at what goes on in a short span of time. I hope readers will feel invited into the bedroom, the office, the mindspace of the powerful connection between Samantha, Jack, and Alex.
Thank you to Alison Tyler and Cleis Press for this wonderful opportunity! xoxo