Lisa: We’re so pleased to welcome author Z. Allora to TNA today. We’re going to talk books, cover art, and whatever else we can think of, so grab a chair and join us!
Let’s start with the introductions. For readers who may not be familiar with you and your work yet, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in this writing biz.
Z: Greetings, readers of The Novel Approach and to you Lisa (my Goddess of All Things Bloggery). Thank you for having me over for a chat. I write hot rockers, sexy zombies (zombies suck… but mine swallow), BDSM and a bit of contemporary.
I’ve always written, but never shared until I was living in China. There were protests in Malaysia against Adam Lambert. Parents were afraid he’d turn their children gay. Stunned, I decided to add my voice to promote equality. I write because I believe we can change hearts and minds with our words.
To celebrate my visit, I’d like to giveaway an audio book of my Lock and Key. Enter by leaving me a comment on whether you’re an audio book virgin or pro.
Lisa: I wasn’t going to start here, but I changed my mind as I was looking through your Goodreads Author Profile. You have some AMAZING cover art spanning your body of work, from PL Nunn to K-Koji. Tell us how you go about the process of choosing an artist and then working with them to design the perfect cover.
Z: I start by apologizing. I know I’m going to make the artist crazy with my need to capture a specific scene in the book. Most artists accept a commission from me understanding the insanity of pulling my characters out of my brain. I truly appreciate the talent they share in bringing my characters to life.
Lisa: I notice that drawn covers have seemed to be your go-to over the years. What do you love about a drawn cover? Do you think there are certain genres or tropes that just beg for a drawn cover as opposed to a photo designed cover?
Z: Many of us judge books by covers. I believe in giving the reader clarity to make the right decision on buying my book or not. They should know what they are in for with a Z. Allora book upfront. My style veers to the Yaoi side of romance which means over the top smexy fluffy goodness.
Heads up: On Oct. 25th, I’ll be releasing The Librarian’s Rake and it will be my first photo designed cover. I didn’t go with a drawn cover because the story is contemporary, and much less yaoified than anything I’ve ever written.
Lisa: If I asked you to choose a favorite from all your covers, which would you choose and why?
Z: I’d like to plead the 5th! But since it’s just us… I guess I’ll say Lock and Key. K-Koji captured Zack’s defiance in his need to submit even though everyone saw him as a Dominant.
Side note: Originally, in the book Zack remained blindfolded during the Are You Dom Enough to be a sub auction scene. But I added Zack removing his blindfold and staring blindly into the bright lights during the slave auction so K-Koji could use his eyes to convey Zack’s mixed emotions. K-Koji and I went back and forth on what shade green for his eyes for about a week. (K-Koji was incredibly patient with me).
Lisa: BDSM plays a role in some of your writing, most recently in your Entwined Dreams series. Tell us about exploring sexual dominance and submission through your characters. Do you feel there’s more difficulty in writing a BDSM relationship than in what we might call, for lack of a better term, a conventional relationship?
Z: I’m a love slave so everything I do or write has a BDSM edge. It’s the filter I view the world through. So, I don’t think it’s more difficult in writing a BDSM relationship I usually have the opposite problem. Apparently not everyone is in a BDSM relationship or so my critique partners tell me.
Writing an official BDSM series allowed me to address the practice directly. BDSM needs and expression run an infinite spectrum and are unique to each individual. My goal is to share basic information without short-handing, spoon feeding the reader, or sounding preachy.
It’s important to me not just to write the BDSM scene but explore the motivation behind the activity. So, we can understand if the participants are getting what they need.
Take the guys of Entwined Dreams thus far: Zack, Orion, and Zander are all subs. But each need something very different.
Let’s take enduring pain for an example: Zack wants to prove his love, and worthiness for his Master. Orion gets off on the freedom pain allows him (the stimulation disconnects him from his normal thought pathways which he finds freeing) and it’s a pleasurable way to show his devotion. The joke is Zander’s safeword is “Ow”. He doesn’t like pain all that much.
I love exploring the spectrums be it orientation, gender or BDSM. Each facet is unique and beautiful and all variations should be validated.
Lisa: Lock and Key, book one in the Entwined Dreams series, is your first book translated to audio. Tell us about that process. Did you get to audition several narrators? How did you know Jonathan Waters was the right one for the job?
Z: I’m thrilled Lock and Key was put into audio. I was given four short clips to hear different voice actors. (All were incredible!) Lock and Key has a lot of Zack’s internal submissive loops along with deep point of view, and dialogue. Jonathan Waters nailed the differences.
To celebrate my visit, I’d like to giveaway an audiobook of my Lock and Key. Enter by leaving me a comment on whether you’re an audiobook virgin or pro. A winner will be chosen on July 28.
Lisa: If you could spend some real-life time with any one of your characters, who would you choose and why?
Z: Oh! Goddess of All Things Bloggery that’s an unfair question! (All my characters are now screaming in my head… including the ones I don’t even know the names of yet!) If you force me to pick I guess Angel Luv, he’s the one who started it all.
Lisa: If you were to sit down and write your autobiography today, what would the title be?
Z: Orgasm As Much As You Can
Lisa: Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and chat with us today. It’s been fun! Will you tell us where we can find you on the internet?
Z: Thank you for having me on today. Big huge hugs! Pretty ones can find me:
ICYMI: To celebrate my visit, I’d like to giveaway an audio book of my Lock and Key. Enter by leaving me a comment on whether you’re an audio book virgin or pro. A winner will be chosen on July 28.
About the Book
Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.
Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.
After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.
Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.