A Weekend Unbound is an extreme BDSM novel. Why did you choose to write a story that pushes the boundaries so far?
S: I don’t think we consciously chose to push the limits as far as we did, did we? All we did was set up a very rough idea of something that would easily work and after that we simply started and let things flow. Of course, we had some idea of what the other felt comfortable with. Don’t forget we never intended it for publication, but since it turned out to be pretty readable, we decided to give it a try. And let’s be honest, what can be more fun than trying your limits as a writer?
A: I agree about the limits. We wrote this fairly quickly, and I think to some extent we learned how comfortable each other was as we went. I will say it was truly fun writing with a friend who was comfortable exploring the wilder side of kink.
How did you both get into writing erotic romance, and how did you end up writing it together?
S: Love and sex are among the deepest human motivations. I bet we’ve been telling stories about those two things since we developed language and the talent to see things separate from ourselves, so we could tell stories about it. It feels natural to me, that’s about it. A. Moore and I were aware of each other’s work, and while I’m not sure who came up with the idea of writing a story together, it ended up being a lot of fun.
A: I have always questioned society’s need to codify sexuality, and writing erotica was one way I grappled with these imposed limits. Over time I’ve gravitated toward writing about relationships and love as well as sex. While sometimes I like to read quality smut, I’ve found that the one thing that pushes my buttons is the relationship between any two characters. I have written m/m, m/f, and f/f and regardless of sex or gender, it’s the emotional connection that truly inspires me.
I think both S. Dora and I wrote this because we loved the emotions and the dynamics behind Derek’s and Tyler’s relationship. I’m not going to lie, I truly enjoyed writing about the physicality of BDSM sex, but what I truly love about this book is the relationship between Derek and Tyler, the support and the love and the strength each man has.
I think S. is being modest, because I clearly remember how we met! While I had read some of S.’s work, we started talking to each other when S. gave me some pointers about writing a D/s relationship. I made a few rookie mistakes, and S was the only one who, kindly or otherwise, mentioned that someone dropping to their knees and calling another man master upon first meeting was not realistic. I feel that while writing A Weekend Unbound we taught one another, but I’m truly grateful that S. chose to contact me about that first attempt at BDSM kink.
Derek and Tyler agree to have no safe-words for this weekend of escape. Why did you decide to omit this established part of a BDSM relationship?
S: Because we could? Seriously, we both were aware that this practice sometimes happens with couples who are very aware of each other’s boundaries, health and above all body language. Not using safe-words gives an extra dimension to the play between Derek and Tyler. But you bet Derek as both a dominant and a lover is very aware of the difference, when it comes to Tyler, between “I wouldn’t choose this for myself, but if Sir wants me to do it, I can be a good slave” and “I feel totally miserable, unsafe and will need at least a dozen therapy sessions after this.”
A: I agree with S.! We were both aware of the BDSM unspoken rule of relationships, but we felt that it worked for this couple. We wrote this before Fifty Shades of Grey came out, and in retrospect I feel we did a pretty good job conveying that Derek and Tyler were clear about what the weekend entailed and why the lack of safe-words made it so meaningful.
S: Since we didn’t expect the story ever to be published, why not have as much fun as possible and go all out? (the published version is toned down a little bit, the original had a few more “icky” details) We provided each other with challenges by setting up scenes, wondered if certain acts would be too much and wrote it anyway. Because, why not?
A: Why not? We constantly challenged one another, and a few times S. would challenge me with a scenario that I thought, “Whoa, can I actually write that?” There is something freeing about writing with someone who agrees nothing is taboo but is also comfortable enough to say, “Yeah, bestiality is not my thing” (not that bestiality was ever an element of this story, promise!).
Was it important for you to demonstrate how dedicated Derek and Tyler were to each other in their relationship outside of the bedroom?
S: Absolutely! The psychological part of the story is as important as the smut. It makes A Weekend Unbound not for everyone, because the reader never gets truly lost in the fantasy of the all-knowing totally self-assured Dom. Despite the sometimes heavy scenes, this is a love story between two very human males.
A: Yes, yes, and yes. One of my favourite parts of A Weekend Unbound is that the reader witnesses how the men’s dedication to one another allowed them to go to such extreme lengths. Without that romantic and emotional commitment, such an extreme setting would have made Derek and Tyler blank slates, and let’s face it: if all I wanted was bodies in motion I would just watch porn.
S: I’m playing with several ideas at the same time, both as S.Dora and Ella Laurance (who is the me writing m/f erotic romance). There are no concrete plans to write another book together with A. Moore at the moment, but who knows what the future will hold for us. I would love it to happen, make no mistake about that.
A: I would love to write with S. Dora in the future, but no, there are no future plans. I’m still interested in writing and in Derek and Tyler, and depending on the reception to this book who knows?