Blast from the past: Split
A new reader got in touch recently to tell me how much she’d enjoyed my third novel, Split. “I just finished reading your book ‘Split‘. Wow. I think some of the images in that book are going to haunt me for years.”
Split is not for everyone! In terms of sales, it’s my least popular book but regular readers of my work often tell me it’s their favourite novel of mine. Which may mean that my fanbase consists primarily of sexual deviants who don’t mind having their kink linked to a contemporary gothic sensibility employing tropes of the uncanny, doubles, haunted houses, menacing men, BDSM, and eerie landscapes. And, um, marionettes.
People, who the fuck are you?! I thought I was alone!
Split is set in a puppet museum on the Yorkshire moors. It’s been described as ‘Wuthering Heights with bondage’. The ending is not a romantic HEA. Really, it’s not! Back then, in 2007, my publisher, Black Lace, tried to market it as ‘erotic romance’. Nah!
Split is an autumnal book. It begins:
“My story starts last autumn. I want to set it down because I understand now that I’ll never be able to leave this place.”
If you’re in the mood to close the curtains of an evening and curl up with something sultry, spooky and sexy, you might enjoy Split.
Incidentally, the cover I’ve uploaded here was an early version of the artwork from BL. I do prefer it to the final version, although both are gorgeous. (I love how the strap on her slip visually reflects both the string of marionettes and rope bondage.)
Another interesting comment from the reader who contacted me was: “I found your book in a freepile outside a site that does ‘books through bars’ and other radical political kinds of stuff. Man did I hit the jackpot of lucky fantastical free books!”
I had to google ‘books through bars’. I thought maybe they were suppliers to drinking establishments. But no, these are books for people in prison. And Split didn’t even get that far, it seems, but hey!
Anyways, that got me thinking about how we discover new authors, outside of “Amazon recommends” algorithms, and the like. Alison Tyler is stopping by my blog on Friday, and I distinctly remember discovering her work. I’d been away from erotica for several years then was lured back when Black Lace re-issued my early books. Blogs were starting to happen and our editor issued a general recommendation to authors, advising they check out this woman, Alison Tyler, who really knew what she was doing when it came to utilising new media platforms, connecting with readers, building her author profile etc
And so I checked her out and quickly became a fan. And the funny thing is, I don’t think Alison does know what she’s doing! She’s not a strategist or a businesswoman. And that’s why it works so damn well. And that’s why Alison writes reams and reams for free, for the joy and for the hell of it. And then years later, those words become a published series from Cleis with beautifully designed book covers.
Drop by on Friday for more from Alison and her exciting new release, Dark Secret Love. We’re talking poetry and book titles.