I’m super happy to have Z. Allora here talking about her latest holiday novella, The Longest Night. She talks below about stereotypes and her dislike of them, but that she is fascinated by those stereotypes. And this novella has stereotypes! Check it out and don’t forget to leave a comment to enter her giveaway!
The holiday season is lonely for construction worker Benjamin Morgan, a big muscular guy who just wants to submit, obey, and serve. But the men he’s attracted to usually don’t have a dominant bone in their bodies. He’s done seeking his BDSM dreams with someone who isn’t interested in putting him in his rightful place—on his knees at their feet.
When a friend sets up a meeting with Foster Ridgeway at the BDSM club, Entiwned, Benjamin has his doubts. Of course he is attracted to bookish Foster, who works for the same construction company, but how will someone so small and delicate-looking master Benjamin? But when Foster–the tiny temple of dominance wielding a crop—heads toward Benjamin, he might get what he’s always wanted, just in time for Solstice.
Thank you so much for allowing me to visit Two Chicks Obsessed and talk about the locations, stereotypes, and my current release. The Longest Night is a contemporary BDSM with of course a happily ever after. The story is set a few miles from where I grew up. To celebrate I’m doing a giveaway.
The location of the story is crucial to how I write a character because places impact us.
I write stories set in places I’ve visited or lived because location determines so much about people: their attitudes, their use of language, the filters they see the world through, what they’ve had to deal with, how they deal with it, etc.
As with each of my stories, I worship atypical characters that are on the edges because I validate everyone especially though folks on the fringes. I find the uniqueness that emanates from differences intoxicating. Where the person is from determines the details of what they have had to deal with in their past and affect how they view current and future events.
Stereotypes, in general, suck. However, knowing what the “stereotypes” are in an area allows me to acknowledge what the person may have endured (especially if they don’t agree with it or have fought against it). It’s fascinating to me to figure out how a character is affected by the stereotypes they grew up with?
One of the most important things is how do my characters deal with not only what’s thrown at them but how people see them. What do they carry into the world with them because of the baggage the stereotype forces on them? How does this affect their relationships? Their mannerisms….
The Longest Night is set in Upstate NY (Albany). I grew up 10 miles away in Schenectady, NY so I’m very familiar with societal expectations/beliefs from that particular area.
One of the stereotypes I examined through this story is the heavy machismo overtones. My characters came of age with expectation men needed to be manly. (Probably in most parts of the USA, but I’m most familiar with the brand of sexism from this area and how it was translated in day-to-day life.)
So, while my character Benjamin physically meets the criteria of being a man’s man (big and muscular), he’s a sub. In his early 20’s, this stereotype encouraged him to meet the expectations society had about what it meant to be a man, but now in his 30’s he’s no longer willing to compromise who he is or settle for something that doesn’t meet his needs. His struggle happened before the story, so we only see the results and how he deals with them going forward.
Foster, the Dominant, has dealt with the opposite problem. People would see his slender, almost delicate frame as weak and the opposite of control. His struggle was needing to learn how to defend himself and how to dominate people who were much bigger than himself.
Turning these stereotypes upside down pleases both of these men. Benjamin is a sub and countering the manly man stereotype by submitting adds an extra kick for him. Foster gets a boost from dominating larger men. They both acknowledge the fetish-y nature of part of their attraction to each other but it goes much deeper than stereotypes Albany, NY force fed them.
This was a short little holiday novella. Not the traditional holidays, but a little different take than you might normally see in holiday romances. In addition, with both MC’s trying to find their Mr. Right, and having very different stereotypes of what BDSM might look like, it hasn’t been easy for either of them.
I absolutely loved the twist on the stereotypes. Benjamin could not have been a sweeter, more gentle man, with a huge submissive side, who merely wanted someone who was his idea, someone smaller, to Dominate him. He finds that person in his coworker, Foster, but not until good friends put them together.
It’s a match made in heaven, and a sweet, but very sexy story. The joy emanated off Benjamin, and it just made the reader happy to see him be so elated that finally someone saw him for who he really was.
There could be nothing but an HEA here, and the sooner the better. 🙂
4 pieces of eye candy
BIO: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.
To contact Z. Allora:
FACEBOOK: Z Allora Allora
GIVEAWAY: What stereotypes have you seen in your area? Let me know in the comments to enter to win an e-book one of my other Entwined BDSM stories: Lock and Key or Secured and Free. I’ll contact the winner by Dec 30th.