Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’m Lesli Richardson, better known as Tymber Dalton, and my latest release is “More Than Make-Believe,” from Captiva Press. I also have “Cardinal’s Rule” coming soon from them. Coming soon from Siren, I’ll have “Bightmares,” the second in my Deep Space Mission Corps series, and “Acquainted With the Night,” another futuristic story.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
“The Reluctant Dom” is definitely one that scared me because of both the personal feelings I had writing it as well as the fact that there wasn’t going to be some magic ending to save Kaden. I wasn’t sure what reader reaction would be to it, but I knew I had to stay true to the story. “Cardinal’s Rule,” coming soon from Captiva Press, scared me because it deals with some pretty dark, intense emotions. And “Acquainted With the Night,” where human men are turned into breeder pets for aliens. (And not as studs. *LOL*) It’s…pretty out there, but one of my beta readers who I let read it, she told me absolutely I didn’t go too far, that it made sense and worked. So we’ll see if anyone else likes it. *LOL*
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Yes. *smirk* Oh! You want examples? Well, one safe example is my book “Cross Country Chaos” (writing as Lesli Richardson) which was inspired by a real-life cross-country trip I took with my son, driving from Florida to Spokane, Washington, to take him to his wheelchair sports competition. As far as other real life events, I always change the names and settings to protect the guilty, as it were. *grin*
That was the first book I'd read of yours; it made me and instant fan! It's also on a short list of 'to-be-read-again' books:)
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Depends on the book. If it’s a contemporary, I research as needed. Some books flow naturally from stuff I’ve learned already. For example, I used what I learned about Yellowstone National Park on the same trip that inspired “Cross Country Chaos” to write “Love and Brimstone,” “Brimstone Blues,” and “Steam.”
And you just returned from another trip, so you must really enjoy Yellowstone! We went in 2003, so it was nice to go down 'Memory Lane' while reading CCC:)
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Message? Well, I don’t know. I think one of the greatest compliments I can get is someone telling me they stayed up all night reading one of my books, or that they laughed and/or cried. That the reader buys my book and invests their time on me, that’s huge, to me. I don’t ever take that for granted. I have had readers tell me that from reading my books, they learned to look at m/m relationships in a more positive light, so that’s a good thing, definitely, but I write stories that resonate with me. So if a reader takes something away from reading, that’s great. If I entertained them, that’s great too.
Are you a plotter or a pantster? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
Pantster. Definitely. I use “mile markers” in my writing process, but I rarely write a book from Chapter One to The End. And the question should be, “Do any of your stories ever NOT take on a life of their own?” and the answer to that is…no. They all evolve during the process. LOL!
How long did it take for you to be published?
I knew back before high school (twenty plus years ago) that I wanted to be a novelist. So technically, since the early ‘80s. But from when I actively started submitting and made my first fiction sale, less than a year. I wrote non-fiction professionally for quite a few years before that, and I made very sporadic attempts at submitting my work years earlier before evil day jobs took precedence. It was only after I transitioned to working full time from home as a freelancer that I was able to start seriously devoting time and effort to getting my fiction published. And I’d been “playing” with my fiction all that time as well, but I felt guilty if I took time away from the non-fiction to “play.” Fortunately, my hubby said, “You know, if you don’t try to get it published, you’ll never get published. So go for it.” And I did.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Don’t give up, and don’t turn your nose up at indie presses or e-books. They are the best market for a newbie writer to break into, and you can make a better living with them than you can wasting years for “traditional” publishers to sign you.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Laptop, but I do carry around a spiral notebook when I go places in case an idea hits. I have a mind like a rusty sieve, and I can’t count how many “great” ideas I totally forgot. I also have to have my music. My iPod is loaded with a variety of artists from classical to heavy metal, jazz to Jimmy Buffett.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Stephen King, Rick R. Reed, James Lee Burke, Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, just to name a few. King influenced me (some would say warped me) at an early age because I wanted to be a writer “just like him.” Which as we all know isn’t the way to go, because you have to find your own style, but he lit the fire under my ass. Burke I learned a lot from because of his style of writing, a sparse, yet lyrical kind of prose that has a beautiful economy about it, yet you don’ t lose anything in the reading.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I can rebuild a car engine and used to be a certified mechanic.
Mountains or Beach?
Well, I live in Florida, just minutes from the beach, and rarely get to the mountains. So I’d say mountains for vacation.
Favorite amusement park ride?
Unless they have one of those nice tram or train rides, the car ride to get there. I’m not much of a roller coaster person! Although carousels are nice. Yay! Another non-rollar coaster person! I knew I wasn't the only one:)
Father’s Day ritual?
My husband and I don’t do a whole lot. We try to go out to dinner. We’re pretty boring.
How do you balance kids being at home 24/7 and writing time?
I think everyone needs to find a routine that works for them. The biggest thing is to make sure kids understand that you ARE working. They tend to think (so do adult relatives sometimes) that it’s not a “real” job because you’re sitting in front of a computer every day. But if you went to work in an office and sat in front of a computer all day, they’d see it differently. Set up “working hours” and stick to them, get into a routine
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
I’m published with Siren-BookStrand as both Lesli Richardson and Tymber Dalton, with Captiva Press as Tymber Dalton, with Amira Press as Lesli Richardson, and with Lyrical Press as Tymber Dalton and Lesli Richardson. I’ve got a list of my current releases at my Tymber website or Lesli website
When you fall for a fantasy, how do you know if it’s more than make-believe?
Travis, an unquestionably straight college student, finds himself in a financial bind. He’ll do anything legal—including going gay for pay—and spends a weekend as Craig Rocke, letting gay porn star Marston Cougar have his way with him on film. Marston tells him to remember it’s all just a fantasy for the camera, even though it sure feels like more.
Gary, also known as Marston Cougar, has a respectable day job. A straight guy, he started out making gay porn to pay his way through college. After getting his heart broken he has a no-dating rule. Now paired with “virgin” Craig Rocke, he finds it hard to keep it make-believe when he’s losing his heart.
Gary’s young niece needs surgery, and he almost has enough money to quit for good. But now that he feels a true connection with his fantasy co-star, will he be able to find a happily ever after with him when it’s more than make-believe?
Contains a modern fairy tale, hot manlove, movie magic, flipped perceptions, and a cranky three year-old who really wants her pizza.
Content Warning: Graphic language, sensual and explicit scenes of m/m sexuality including oral sex, anal sex/play, sex toys, public exhibition, group sex, and public sex.
Travis felt another mask descend over Marston’s face. This time he was on camera and playing to that. “So you looking to make some cash, huh, Craig?”
Travis nodded. “Yeah.”
Mars leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands clasped. His intense hazel eyes bored into him. “You ever think about fucking a guy before?”
“And you’ve never sucked a cock before, right? Never had a guy blow you?”
“I love taking a straight cock virgin. Stand up.” He did, and Marston’s eyes slowly roamed his body. “Turn around for me. Let me see your pretty ass.”
He did, blushing. He didn’t jump when Mars reached out and touched his butt through his khakis, but only through sheer effort of will.
Marston stood and pressed his body against his back. The other man was about three inches taller, not too much heavier. Marston’s hands came to rest on his hips and he forced himself to relax.
“You have a very nice ass,” Marston said. “I’m going to enjoy being the first guy to fuck it.” Marston’s fingers tightened on him. He felt the man’s cock thicken against his ass through his slacks as he rocked his hips against his butt.
Marston turned him around and kissed him. Travis didn’t know what to do or expect at first and finally went with it. He closed his eyes. After a minute he realized it wasn’t bad. Actually, Marston wasn’t a bad kisser. As he relaxed into it, Marston ran a hand through his hair, fisted it, kissed him with more force and added a little tongue.
His breath caught as he tried to fight the resistance that crept in and tensed his body.
Go with it. It’s all make-believe.
Relaxing again his lips parted, giving Marston full access. The man took it, his other hand dropping to his lower back and holding him tightly against him, his rigid cock pressing against Travis through their clothes. Unsure what to do with his own arms, Travis let them slide around Marston’s body and held on.
Marston lifted his head. “That’s it, baby. Just go with it. You’ll be begging for my cock by the time we’re done, I promise.”
Mars kissed him again. This time Travis threw reserve to the wind and got into it. If he couldn’t kiss the man, how would he suck his cock?
Picture Ben Franklin.
After a few minutes of kissing, Marston lifted his head and looked down at him. “Okay?”
Mars grabbed one of Travis’ hands, placed it over the front seam of his trousers, and squeezed. He was hard. Understandable, his own cock had started throbbing, whether from the Viagra or damn good method acting or genuine desire, he didn’t care. He felt a little more confident since he wouldn’t be on film looking like a limp noodle.
“That cock is going in your sweet virgin mouth first. I’m going to teach you how to suck a cock the right way. Then I’m going to take it and drill your untapped ass until you’re begging me to make you cum. How’s that sound?”
His mouth had gone dry, but he nodded.
Mars smiled. “I’m going to suck your cock too, baby. Show you how it should be done. No woman can suck cock as good as I can. By the time I’m done with you, you won’t ever want pussy again. You’ll beg me to be my full-time bitch.”
Marston guided him over to the bed, where he sat and leaned back, propped on his arms. “Take off your shirt for me.”
Travis pulled it off over his head and dropped it to the floor.
Marston smiled, his lower lip caught under his upper teeth. He let out a low hiss. “Fuckin’ beautiful. Come here.”
Travis nervously stepped forward. The other man’s hands roamed his body, pinching his nipples, tracing the curve of his flesh, until his fingers stopped over his slacks.
Marston grabbed his crotch and squeezed, prompting a moan from Travis. Yep, he was officially hard now. “Feels like you’ve got a nice cock of your own. You like me touching you, don’t you, baby?”
“Say it. I want to hear you say you like it.”
“I like it.”
“You want me to play with your cock, don’t you?”
“You want to suck mine too, right?”
It’s only make-believe. “I want to suck your cock.”
“Oh, fuck yeah, baby.” He quickly worked on Travis’ belt and slacks until they hung open. “Take your cock out for me. Show me what you got, I want to see it.”
Fumbling with nervous hands, Travis pulled his stiff member out.
“And look at that.” Marston trailed one finger from the base to the tip. It twitched under his touch. “It’s nice and hard for me. Can’t fake that kind of interest, can you?”
“Get out of those pants. I want you naked.” He leaned back, propped on his hands while Travis stripped his pants off. It got easier to ignore the crew as he focused on Marston’s intense gaze.
Marston studied him for a moment before he leaned forward again. He stroked Travis’ sac, palming it and giving his cock a quick squeeze that prompted another moan from him. “You like that?”
“You want more than that, you know what you have to do. Your first lesson on how to suck a cock starts now.” He leaned back again and pointed at his own pants.
Travis met his gaze. Marston’s eyes flicked down before they returned to him and Travis knew what he wanted. He dropped to his knees between Marston’s legs. With trembling hands, he started unfastening his belt, then his slacks.
“Look at that, you’re a total natural. Knew just what to do. I bet you were made to suck cock, baby.”
He’d gone commando, and the cock he’d seen in the still photos sprang free. He didn’t know what kind of fabric softener Marston used, but his clothes smelled good. He nervously glanced up at him. Marston tipped his head in a nod.
“Go on, hold it. It’s not going to hurt you. Think about how you like your cock touched and touch me.”
Okay, he could do that. He gently stroked him, growing bolder as his brain feverishly worked to translate his potential earnings into a substantial breakdown he could focus on to take his mind off what he was doing. Minimum seven grand, over three days, equaled twenty-three hundred a day. If they worked ten hours a day, that was two hundred and thirty-three dollars an hour. Meaning he’d already earned a minimum of twenty dollars just from what he’d done.
He could do this.
It’s only make-believe.
Marston reached out with one hand and cupped the back of his head, gently but insistently. “I want your sweet lips on my cock, baby. Come on, quit teasing me and suck it. I bet you’re a natural.”
Travis picked out individual veins on the man’s shaft. Marston didn’t shave, but he wasn’t very hairy and looked like he trimmed his bush. Travis slowly leaned forward, his eyes focused on the slit at the end of his stiff cock.