Today, we’re thrilled to welcome Tamsin Flowers to the Go Deeper Press blog. Tamsin’s brand new erotic series Alchemy xii really hooked us here at Go Deeper, so what could we do but cunningly snare Tamsin for an interview? Fortunately, she agreed to join us for a chinwag. Here is our conversation:
Lana: Tamsin, I’m so excited to be talking with you about Alchemy xii! Many thanks for joining us.
Tamsin: Hi Lana, and thanks so much for having me here today – it’s always such a pleasure to catch up with my friends at Go Deeper!
Lana: The pleasure is all ours! So…to start, can you tell us a little about Alchemy xii?
Tamsin: Alchemy xii is a brand new project for me that’s launching on 31 December—and with it, I hope I’m bringing something really fresh and new to the erotica market. To kick off with what’s different about Alchemy xii, it’s a serial rather than a book. The first episode, available on 31 December, is free and thereafter a new novella-length episode will be released on the 1st of each month throughout 2015. People can buy each monthly episode as they wish or subscribe to the whole series. I’m harnessing today’s technology to transport readers back to the era of Dickens or the ‘Penny Dreadfuls’.
But it’s not just the format of Alchemy xii that’s different. The entire series and the website (www.alchemyxii.com) bring a totally fresh aesthetic to the erotica market. Alchemy xii uses acid-drenched color and stunning photography to get away from the ubiquitous black-and-white-with-a-splash-of-red look that dominates the current market.
Lana: So Alchemy xii looks different and is delivered in a new way. What about the actual story?
Tamsin: When I conceived this project, I was setting out to write a club-based D/s tale. Sure, there are plenty of those on the market. But I wanted mine to be different. I’ve read too many of the same Dom and sub characters—he’s always a serious-minded mentor whose role is to teach and explain, she’s always an ingénue who is led by the hand and taught to enjoy what she at first is afraid of. In Alchemy xii, I’ve tried to create a Dom who’s a person first and a Dom second. Harry’s mischievous and funny, irreverent and charming, and, when he’s in the mood, a skilled Dominant. Olivia, his sub, is an experienced woman who’s already seeking out the world of kink when Harry discovers her. But she’s not the least bit interested in submitting and has no intention of calling anybody “Sir”.
On New Year’s Eve, when Olivia agrees to train with Harry at the prestigious Alchemy club in Chicago, the scene is set for an explosive battle of wills and an eruption of passion that quite literally scorches the pages!
Lana: Your main character Harry is so likable in the first installment — and he’s also very professional, which makes me warm to him even more. Can you tell us a little about him, his work, and his passions?
Tamsin: One thing I love about being a writer is the opportunity to create memorable characters and that’s certainly what I’ve tried to do with Harry Lomax. With his wiry frame and multiple piercings, Harry’s the hottest Dom in a club full of hot Doms. He also enjoys charisma by the bucket load—men and women simply can’t resist the Lomax charm and he sweeps through Alchemy as if he owns it. But despite his mischievous streak, Harry absolutely knows what he’s doing when it comes to domination and training subs. His own mentor is Belladonna Grim, Alchemy’s senior Domme and a legend in the Chicago underground. Together, they’re responsible for training up the new subs and Doms that the club employs on behalf of its members.
Here’s a little taster of Harry at work…
“Whose sub?” Harry asked, jerking his head in the girl’s direction.
“Mine,” said one of Raf’s friends, a short blond man, sweating in heavily studded leather.
“She needs some work,” said Harry. “May I?”
He held out his hand for the quirt but the man looked anything but happy.
“Go on,” said Raf. “You could learn from this guy.”
Reluctantly the Dom nodded and handed over his quirt for Harry to use on the girl. The tool was practically brand new, unfortunately for the sub. Just like her, it hadn’t been broken in yet. He walked up behind the girl, close enough to ruffle her hair with his breath. She twitched, pushing her ass out in invitation.
“You don’t know me,” whispered Harry in her ear. “But you’ll never forget me.”
The girl gasped, trying to look round, but she couldn’t twist her head far enough to see him.
“He’s busy. You’re with me now. Give me your safe word.”
Harry slapped her hard with the palm of his hand across her rump. She let out a little shriek.
“Safe word. Now.”
“Sir. Butterfly, Sir.”
Harry turned towards the baby Doms, shaking his head.
“Have you ever used it?” he asked the girl.
“You’ll use it tonight,” he said.
“Thank you, Sir.”
He had no intention of hitting the girl hard enough to make her safeword. After all, he didn’t know where her limits were or how experienced she was—certainly not very, by appearances so far. But he wanted to scare her, just a little bit. And when he saw her leg tremble against the cross he knew he’d done just that. Pumped up on adrenalin, the whole experience would be intensified—the physical pain, the emotional stress, the blessed relief…
The club was too noisy for her to hear the whisper of the quirt’s leather tails sliding through the air toward her, so she only realized he’d begun when she felt their impact squarely across her ass.
“Count,” Harry reminded her.
“One, thank you, Sir.”
Harry drew his arm back and this time brought the fine leather strips home against the top of her right thigh, just at the crease of her buttock. She yelled but remembered to count.
“Two, thank you, Sir.”
He laid the next strike along the other buttock crease.
“Three, thank you, Sir.”
Welts rose like the red tails of comets across a dawn sky. She writhed, but she still pushed her cheeks out to meet each blow rather than avoiding them. Harry added a little more impact until she yelped before counting. Butterfly was very cute. He liked the way she called out her count in a strong, clear voice. She would probably be just the right amount brattish after a bit of training. He definitely could have made something of her but he didn’t have the space for her. Not when somewhere out there, his Amazonian waited.
“Six, thank you, Sir.” Her breathing came harder now. Harry knew a couple more strikes would have her in tears. Time to put some diagonals across the horizontals. He changed the angle of his arm to make the tails of the quirt drag fiercely across the existing welts. Butterfly let out a scream that tailed off into a gasp of pure sexual pleasure. Harry smiled.
–Excerpted from Alchemy xii by Tamsin Flowers
Lana: We’re big believers in the powerful, transformative work that so many sex workers do. In part one of Alchemy xii, you show us a very classy side of sex work. Why do the doms, subs and switches who work at Alchemy enjoy it and/or find it challenging?
Tamsin: Alchemy is an extraordinary club—it’s a total fantasy. Or put it this way, if there is a club anywhere in the world like Alchemy, they haven’t invited me to join yet! The club itself occupies a 90 story tower on West Whacker Drive in Chicago—how could I resist that address? Inside the anonymous looking-building, members can stay in a luxury hotel where the concierge will see to all their desires. There are restaurants, bars, a nightclub, a fitness and beauty center, a medical center, conference rooms, limos and private jets on call…and up near the top of the tower, overlooking the Chicago skyline, Harry rules supreme over the most extraordinary kink club anywhere. Whatever members want, they’ll find it here on the club floor or in one of the private rooms or dungeons.
Every professional kinkster in the city wants to work here—generous pay, luxurious living quarters and all the advantages of being a member of Alchemy rather than an employee see to this. None of the subs or Doms have to participate in a scene they don’t want to—there’s always someone else who’ll provide whatever’s required—and their clients are the wealthiest, most interesting and most beautiful people in the world.
Who wouldn’t want to work here? Especially with the roguish Harry Lomax as your boss….
Lana: (Fanning self!) Your sex scenes in Alchemy xii (part one) and elsewhere are so sensually vivid. As an author, how do you make sure the reader is totally immersed in your hottest scenes?
Tamsin: Thank you for saying that. Writing sex scenes is one the really fun parts of being an erotica writer—but it can also be one of the toughest, as one has to keep them fresh and fizzing. I find the sexiest scenes happen when we can get inside a character’s head and experience their reaction to what’s going on. The simple mechanics of his leg, her arm, his cock etc, can come over as a bit sterile if you don’t add some emotional content to the action. However, by swirling strands of conflict and desire between your two (or more!) protagonists, you can lift the action off the page and really make your reader hot under the collar. And of course, scenes like this are far more interesting to write!
Lana: There are some tantalizing references to pony play in Alchemy xii (part one). I’ve always been intrigued by this kinky activity, which frankly sounds like such fun — is pony play something we’ll see more of as the series progresses?
Tamsin: There will, indeed, be some pony play in Alchemy xii—but no spoilers! You’ll just have to wait…
Lana: Hot damn, you’re a delicious tease, Ms. Flowers! I await the coming installments with baited breath. Now, I feel a sense of “found family” in the first installment of Alchemy xii. Does this sexy community grow closer as the series progresses?
Tamsin: I was so interested to find that you’d picked up on this, Lana. The Doms and subs who work at Alchemy are a close-knit group and Harry and Belladonna in particular have a strong bond of friendship. Again, I’m having to say ‘no spoilers’ but some of the reason for this will become apparent as the story unfolds. This element brings some real warmth into the story, which is ultimately about the people even if the setting may be so very alluring. Harry, Olivia, Belladonna and the rest of the characters are hopefully multi-dimensional beings that interact together in realistic ways. So, yes, Alchemy is a family so to speak—just one that has the hottest, sizzling sex imaginable!
Lana: It’s been fantastic to catch up with you, Tamsin, and get some extra-special insights into Alchemy xii. Many thanks for joining us and sharing your gorgeous work and insights.
Tamsin: Thank you so much for having me, Lana. I’ve really enjoyed thinking about the answers to these questions. I hope they’ve given your readers a real flavor for the project.
Alchemy xii is available for free download from Amazon.com, Amazon UK (if Amazon is not showing a free price match, please download for free from elsewhere), Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and from the Alchemy xii website.