Welcome everyone, thank you for stopping by OJ He Say! for this very special, exclusive author interview with Joseph Lance Tonlet, the Master sub of #pleasurethroughdenial.
This interview has two parts. My co-reviewer, Lisa and I have practically torn JLT in two to bring you a dual perspective from our Gay Guy/ Straight Girl viewpoints.
Lisa got to go first and now I’m going to get down and dirty, Dom to sub, with JLT.
Here’s Lisa’s Debauched Denial Interview Part 1
Don’t forget to check out the giveaway package JLT has put together for a very lucky winner at the end of this down and dirty interview.
The Debauched Denial Interview – Part 2
Thanks so much for the privilege of this interview. I’ve been dying to ask you some questions about Wes’ Denial.
OK, here goes: As a Dom, I’ve focused more on Wes than Grif, even though I love Grif for reasons we’ll get into…
OJ – How did you get into a Dom’s head space so well. It was pretty darn much on point. You pretty much got it. How?
JLT – Wow! No, I’m serious, WOW! Thank you so much for that compliment, OJ. As I was saying to Lisa, one of the most challenging things about writing Wes’ Denial was trying to ensure I got the ‘feeling’ of being a Dom down. I’m a sub – something I find great fulfillment in – and I have no desire to dominate another person sexually, so this particular aspect of the book was concerning for me. To be honest, it took me a little bit to find an angle I felt comfortable writing from. What I came up with was this: What do I, as a submissive, ‘hope’ a Dom is feeling when he’s with a sub – when he’s with me? I found that if I wrote that, that if I tapped into what I truly hoped a Dom was experiencing on an emotional level – the exhilaration of hurting, or humiliating, or controlling his sub – I could give voice to that. The following passage from Grif’s Toy finds Wes and Grif deep in a sexual scene and picks up with Wes asking Grif a question:
“And if it’s pain I decide I’d like to offer your meager prick? If it’s seeing you hurt that makes me hard, that gives me pleasure?”
And there it was, the key combination. Sure, I enjoyed the submission, the pain, and the denigration. But it was the combination—the indubitable knowledge—that he enjoyed my submission, inflicting the pain, and delivering the denigration, as much as I enjoyed receiving it. That’s where the complete bliss lay.
The above succinctly conveys my personal feelings about being a sub. Sure, I enjoy much of what trips Grif’s trigger but, like Grif, I wouldn’t enjoy having any of it done if I weren’t absolutely certain my Dom were deriving just as much pleasure and fulfillment out of doing those things to me. Knowing, without question, that he is enjoying hurting me, degrading me, using me for his desires… I have known no greater pleasure! With those basic truths and tenets in mind, I set about writing Wes’ character.
OJ – Grif is phenomenal. Again, how did you get into that headspace. He’s a complete person, tell me about that – getting into that subspace.
JLT – *blushes* Again, thank you. I admit, writing Grif – both his character, and from his perspective – was relatively easy. As I mentioned, we share very similar sexual tastes. So, once I overcame my initial hesitation of putting into writing some of the most private aspects of my life (Grif and I share not only congruent sexual kinks, but also certain anatomy characteristics) I found writing him – and his story – both easy and surprisingly liberating.
OJ – Henrik and Paul. Wow. OK. The two scenes with them. How did you develop those? I’m really curious here. They’re off the scale. Really?
JLT – Those two characters not only profoundly impact how Wes sees himself, but they are also pivotal to the overall arc of Wes’ Denial. Without delving too deeply into the scenes themselves, I will say they had to be hard-hitting. Indeed, each were defining moments in Wes’ life and colored many of his future decisions. Thus, the challenge in writing them was twofold: one, their significance would need to be unquestionable, and two, they had to be written in a way that was truthful to Wes’ character. I believe within each of us lies the ability to do something heinous, something tragic, something unforgivable, if the right circumstances present themselves. The key, I believe, when writing a story is finding the exact circumstances that both fit the character and, when presented with them, will subsequently push that character over the edge…cause him to (justifiably?) do something he’d never otherwise do. And, not coincidentally, both of the future-shaping events/scenes you mentioned, OJ, are motivated by love and compassion. Wes feels deeply and with his entire being.
OJ – Grif’s Toy and Wes’ Denial was not a quick project. How did you plot these two out, or did one come naturally out of the other?
JLT – LOL! I laugh because these books were a VERY lengthy process. The first draft of Grif’s Toy was written in just under 4 weeks. That’s about six chapters a week, or slightly under a chapter a day. Needless to say, when I started writing, things just…flowed. But, that was just the first draft – countless others would follow. Wes’ Denial was written directly after that. In fact, some rather small parts were penned while I was writing Grif’s Toy. Both books were written in the spring/summer of 2013. Grif’s Toy wouldn’t be published until the fall of 2014, and Wes’ Denial was just released last week. To describe the process of shaping Grif’s Toy from ‘first draft’ to ‘publication ready’ as a learning experience would be a huge understatement. I wrote both books without any prior writing experience at all. (I don’t consider the mandatory writing I did while in college worthy of the designation ‘experience’.)
It’s generally accepted that there are two types of writing: 1) Plotting – meaning the entire book is plotted out prior to writing the first word, and 2) Pantsing – meaning nothing is plotted out and one simply sits down and starts writing. With the exception of the beginning and the ending of both books, I Pantsed the entire thing. I knew where each would start, and where each would end, but nothing more. Aside from that, what’s on the page is the result of placing my fingers on a keyboard and letting the story take me where it would. As you might imagine, there can be some significant drawbacks to this method of writing. Pictured below are the chapters in Wes’ Denial. One night, rather than rip my hair out yet again, I took the rather drastic step of ripping the book apart, spreading it on the table, and rearranging the entire thing. Once that was done, I went about rewriting the affected parts. I now consider myself a reformed Pantser and a firm Plotter.
OJ – Thomas. I love Thomas. Might we see more of Thomas’ life in the future?
JLT – Thanks so much! I’m so glad you like him, because I simply adore him. Thomas is a much harsher Dom than Wes will ever be, but I found it nice to explore a less outwardly jovial character. Where Wes mostly derives pleasure from the psychological Thomas’ kink is much more physical. His love, his rush, his euphoria is causing physical pain. Thomas asks the question below of his sub and Wes, who were having a whispered conversation while Thomas was preparing his next implement of pain inflection:
“Are we about done with the chit-chat, ladies?” He rolled his shoulders and stretched his neck side-to-side before snipping, “My dick is hard and I want to hit someone.”
One of the things I find most attractive about Thomas, and Wes, is how they own their kinks. Neither apologizes for what turns them on – they embrace who they are, and what they like, wholly.
OJ – Quinn and Gage. What an amazing, and complimentary to Wes and Grif, couple they are. That beach scene, as a Dom, was one of the single most erotic things I’ve ever read. Creating a reward for your sub and kicking back with your fellow Dom to enjoy the results, like a fine glass of Scotch served neat. Yeah! That so works. Care to tell us more about that and perhaps there’s more to Quinn and Gage? A rich story there.
JLT – As an erotica author, I can’t easily convey how much that means to me, OJ. I write about sex, sure. And, without a doubt, I sincerely hope it titillates. However, I honestly believe their appeal is directly related to how much the reader has become invested in the story and with the characters. In fact, in addition to titillation, and of equal importance with these scenes, is conveying feelings, motivations, and forwarding the arc of the story. That difference – using sex as a vehicle – is what I feel defines and sets erotica authors aside from our non-erotica counterparts. It’s funny, I was talking about this very thing the other day with my friend Katie. Well, more specifically, we were discussing how much dialogue my sex scenes tend to contain. Again, the primary reason for that IS to further the story through sex. And why do I choose sex? Well, for one, it’s just downright fun to write about. But beyond that, it’s been my personal experience that people are either very emotionally closed, or very emotionally accessible during sex. Often times people are most real when they’re flayed open and vulnerable. And what better way to illustrate that vulnerability than to toss a submissive into an unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable situation? Again, I’m so glad you found that scene enjoyable.
I also can’t easily put into words the joy writing about another D/s couple gave me. Quinn and Gage intrigue me tremendously! Of course I know most of their story; how they arrived where they are when we meet them in Wes’ Denial, what challenges they faced in the past, and some of the hurdles that face them in the future. Will their stories ever make it onto the page? I honestly have no plans to do so. But, again, never say never, right?
Thanks for stopping by and getting down and dirty with us. We sincerely cannot wait to see what other phenomenal stories you have up your sleeve, or caged up waiting for release.
Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.
Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.
However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.
And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?
Check out JLT’s Rafflecopter Giveaway! You won’t regret it:
The Master sub of #PleasureThroughDenial
JOSEPH LANCE TONLET is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing. A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.