Featuring Guest Interviewer Noam de Pluma!
time.to.occur (they/he) is the queer, transmasc, polyamorous avatar of the abstract concept of Time Itself. In his dayjob, Time is an interaction/game designer and writer who spends a lot of hours gently repeating the word ‘scope’ to clients. In their leisure time, Time likes to co-create with other people through erotic roleplay, kink and BDSM, tabletop games, game design, and community initiatives like PLOTHOLE. They are a proud Smutwright. Currently, they live in Montreal with two adventure cats and their husband and frequent collaborator, Cuddle-switch.
This interview is part of a series with the 10 contributors to the PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition bundle!
time.to.occur: *Limbers up the typey-type fingers.*
(I’m only half-joking, I am an old.)
Noam de Pluma: Ah, there we are. Hello and welcome to the latest interview in the PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition series!
In which the tables are turned.
How does it feel to be on the other end of the magnifying glass, Time?
T: Honestly, I feel cared for and honoured to have you interview me, Noam!
N: As he amps up the pressure on this poor, poor interviewer… But! We press on!
Question the first: What is the origin of your pen name?
T: time.to.occur comes from a snippet of a phrase that I saw on someone’s MSN Messenger status at least sixteen years ago, and I’ve never been able to source it. It said, “Wake up, wake up, it is time to occur!”
And something about that stuck in my brain. Just like…the idea of waking up to existence, almost? In some way? To action?
Anyway, when I was looking for a handle for GSS, I was like, “It’s about damn time I start publicly publishing my erotica,” and there you have it. I actually also have a huge interest in time — time travel, deep time, queer time, and I only really realized that after the fact.
N: Oh, man — MSN Messenger. That takes me back!
We are both Olds.
T: (Time travel is probably obvious, but deep time is the concept of time scales that are too long for humans to conceptualize/imagine. A good example is the half-life of nuclear waste and how long it stays dangerous, and the idea of needing to communicate to people 10 000 years in the future not to touch our depots.)
N: That’s a lot of layers to three little words!
T: (And queer time is the idea that queer lives don’t follow the same ‘time schemas’ or milestones as hetero ones, basically. Like, the five major events of birth, marriage, buy house, have kids, retire.)
N: I hear that…at least for those who lack the awareness/nerve to come out on the same timescale as our hetero peers who don’t have stigma to fight through. I can only imagine the extra elongation at work for those who identify as trans.
T: I think those things probably don’t apply to most people anymore, really, at least not on the same timeline as say, people’s parents, but there’s still this weird sense of expectation.
N: Most definitely.
So, you’ve already answered part of this next question, but I’ll ask it in full for you to address how you will regardless.
How did you get your start writing (and writing smut specifically)? How long have you been writing, and how long have you been writing smut?
(Publishing on GSS or anywhere else aside.)
T: I wrote lots of juvenalia like most writers we’ve interviewed, but I remember the first person to mentor me in writing, and she really cemented my love of the craft by treating my stuff as worthy of analysis and commentary. I even wrote a queer romance about two guys before I really knew anything solid about my own queerness. I think she knew before I did. From there, I decided to get out of high school by always choosing the creative writing options during exams and did an undergrad in creative writing followed by a Master’s in creative writing, published a fair bit and helped run a small magazine…and then proceeded to stop writing anything resembling a short story for five years.
Meanwhile, on the kinky side, I’ve been doing erotic roleplay since probably age fifteen with other teens, then other adults. I even got my spouse into it. I have written a lot of smut. But I first started to share it during the Pandemic, just like some of the other authors we’ve interviewed.
N: Wow, lots to upack there… an embarrassment of riches for where to follow up!
I’ll let you know where my mind is going, and you can pick the option most enticing to you.
T: Oooo, it’s a chooseable path interview!
N: First, I’ve gotta know: how does one broach doing erotic roleplay with teenagers, as a teenager? I was
perhaps definitely a sheltered child, so maybe my perspective is skewed.
Second, what made you stop writing in that 5-year gap?
Third, is there any kind of role play you confine to doing with your spouse versus what you do with others? If so, are you comfortable sharing why the division exists?
T: Damn, they’re all such good options.
I’m going to roll a die, because that’s what I do.
N: You give me an embarrassment of riches, I give you one right back. Rubber and glue and suchlike.
T: Okay, so I’m going to cheat.
The first answer is: chatrooms.
The second answer is: the creative writing programs and the industry made writing less enjoyable and burned me out on it.
The third answer is the one I’ll dig into.
N: First: facepalm, of course that’s the answer.
Second: I feel that.
Third: go on…
T: So, my spouse and I are polyamorous/ethically non-monogamous. There is a kind of roleplay that I do with nobody else, but not for the reasons you’d think.
I will roleplay anything (that I enjoy) with anyone, and ultimately, I take my roleplay relationships pretty seriously in terms of the care I treat my partners with, because it is an emotional relationship and we are doing very intimate things together.
But — with my spouse, we can take things off the page. Part of what really gets me going about ERP is the developing relationships and the stakes. When I develop a story with someone and we both know those stakes really well, it’s possible to then do some of those scenes IRL as a kind of sexy larp. It’s not just naughty nurses. We both know the stakes to the characters, and we can have a lot of intense fun with it while also doing things to each other we might not necessarily do as ourselves, if that makes sense.
Realistically, the reason I don’t do that with anyone else is because it takes a fair bit of commitment to do a bunch of worldbuilding, character creation and scene writing with each other and then to also physically meet up and play with the world for sexy times.
N: All of which makes a lot of sense. I wasn’t expecting ‘logistics’ to be the driving answer there, but it stands to reason that physically acting something out takes a degree of commitment that really would preclude more casual encounters. I’m glad you have someone you can explore that space with, and who makes you feel comfortable (and vice versa)!
Man, that mentor of yours back in high school had no idea what kind of path she was setting you up for, did she?
A little bit of literary encouragement, and bam.
T: Haha, I suspect not! But based on her friends (some of whom I met again as an adult at kink parties), I suspect she’d be totally cool with it.
N: That’s a nice, full-circle moment for sure.
This question technically comes later on in the order of operations, but it feels relevant now, so I exercise my power as Guy Doing the Interview to shake things up.
What is the kind of feedback that keeps you coming back for more, in the general kink community, and/or with writing in particular? What’s a particular comment or reaction that has stuck with you and that you carry with you in all your kinky endeavours?
T: I am an absolute comment magpie and have been since I got that first draft back with comments.
Okay, so best feedback at a kink party: someone watching me spank my spouse during a scene and then coming up and asking me, “Uh, can you do that to me?”
But I like comments that have some specificity to them — moving beyond, “that was hot” to naming and discussing particular elements to a story. I actually have a little collection of comments on my website as “testimonials” that are purely there for me to go look at when I want a boost.
I’m going to give the site a quick scan and pick one out.
“Weird, original and wonderful. And the thought of Jörmungandr — oh gods.” — this is a comment on one of my stories in the bundle, The Cambion Monsterfucker.
N: I love that metaphor, let me tell you. And that query at the kink party is just delightful.
Hah! I remember that one comment. And the story, in general…one of my favourites of yours.
I definitely relate to the desire for specificity. Like, when someone identifies a thing you’re very mindful about executing, and then praises you for it, for the exact reasons you do it in the first place, it’s like…yes. I feel seen. Thank you, be-pseudonym’d commenter.
T: Aww, thank you. Honestly, comments and feedback are a big part of what keeps me writing. I think it’s also part of why I like erotic roleplay so much — that sense of co-presence and being responsive to each other, the yes-anding and running with ideas that excite both (or more) players.
It feels like I should want to do it more for the writing’s sake, and I do, but comments are very special.
N: Eh, no harm in a little vanity 😀
T: Vanity lights my bonfires 😉
(I’m trying, Evan, this is supposed to be a Bonfire of the Vanities reference. It is bad.)
(And I’m flagging Evan because it’s a bad pun.)
N: Lol. I’m sure he forgives you.
Surprisingly, the question I was supposed to ask the last time is actually a lovely segue from the one I wound up asking.
Here we go:
You engage in a lot of creative, playful work and hobbies, including game design, roleplay, kink play, and writing erotica. What is your relationship to play and playfulness as a creator?
Evan (Author and Audience Member): I forgive bad puns. But never forgive being associated with them. 😉
T: (To be clear, Evan’s puns are good.)
I would say that playful co-creation is basically my love language. Small-talk is fine, I guess, but when I really want to get to know someone, I want to make something with them. I want to play.
From kink play to tabletop roleplay, to erotic roleplay and worldbuilding, to game design…
And I see co-creation of imaginary things as a form of ‘play pretend’, I guess.
N: That’s such a great quality, the instinct to create, and the ability to use that process to get to know others.
T: I learn a lot more about someone from what they dream and invent than what they had for dinner or whether they like the weather.
N: A very evolved, matured version of ‘play pretend’.
Oh. So I’ll refrain from mentioning that I just finished having a Tim Hortons S’mores donut and honestly, this is your interview. What am I thinking?
T: I mean, to be fair, I happen to love S’mores because I’m not a monster.
N: (Or is my mentioning it a form of play? Who knows!)
T: It feels playful to me! 😀
So. You’ve been an active participant in the kink community for some time now, so it’s safe to say you’ve seen quite a lot.
Does the community still manage to surprise you?
If so, what’s one of the recent ones (maybe specific to PLOTHOLE, maybe not) that sticks out in your mind?
T: I would say that I am rarely really surprised by the community at this point, but I am often delighted. Where the surprise comes from, maybe, is really out of specificity. Getting to know specific people and their work is always a delight. I like to follow people’s excitement and I love to both mentor and mutually admire other creators.
I think that makes sense though, because communities are made up of individuals, and those individuals are really who set the tone of a place.
So, when I say that I love GKS as a community, I’m thinking of the people who sort of…hold up its values and demonstrate them to me.
N: That’s a very… I’m going to say expansive way to look at it, though I don’t think I’ve picked the right word.
Big-picture, maybe? Almost impressionistic? Regardless, you do seem to take a very bird’s-eye view of the communities you join to get a feel for what makes them, and by extension, the people inside them, tick.
A Pos5es5ion A Day (Author and Audience Member): (holistic?)
N: Time, help us settle on a word!
T: Yeah, I think it moves between registers for me? Like, from the individuals to their impact on the community.
Ha, I think those are all very good words, honestly.
N: Alright, we’ll take them — and ‘holistic’ as well, because we’re big-tent over in the PLOTHOLE-verse.
You mentioned mentorship. Given your focus on establishing creative relationships with others, and the importance you place on engaging with communities in a positive way, it’s perhaps not surprising that word would come up. What does mentorship look like for you in the kink community? Both in the way you practice it, and in the way others do that you find inspirational?
T: I think that for me, mentorship is about three main things: sharing safe knowledge and practices, instilling confidence through practice, and recognizing the particularity of what’s already within a person’s particular practice.
N: So alliterative.
T: I mean, this looks different in writing, say, than at a kink party. But it holds true for most kinds of mentorship, I think.
The first part is just: being a resource. Sharing what knowledge you have. Pointing out pitfalls and potential dangers. Making sure there’s a safety plan in place. (And you can replace all this for it to be context-specific.)
Instilling confidence through practice is about giving people space and time to develop their own skillset in low-stakes contexts.
The third part is really something that has to happen throughout. You gotta recognize what’s special about what a person is trying to do or in their interests, and help them foster their own particular skills, talents and interests.
And all the while, be friendly, encouraging, honest, and kind.
N: Sounds like good advice to me. The fact that you can articulate your approach so thoughtfully speaks well to the care you take when acting in that role.
T: Thank you! I have benefited from mentorship and it feels natural to me to want to mentor!
N: Pay it forward — arguably the most noble sentiment!
Alright, let’s start winnowing our conversation down to the realm of writing.
I know this quote is gonna blow your mind, because clearly you haven’t yet posed it to Soren, Dace, Evan, Nu, and Davis. Are you ready for it?
Robert Hass says, “It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” Discuss! Or, to put the question another way, what’s your writing practice like and how do you hold space for it?
T: Haha, didn’t even wait for me to answer about whether I was ready for it!
Lotus-silk (Author and Audience Member): I’m late, but I just wanna chime in that Time is a great mentor :3
N: Your actual readiness is immaterial in this instance. The question has been posed!
T: Okay, so firstly, every time I read that quote, it tickles something in my brain that is incredibly hard to express otherwise. I love it because it gives me an embodied sense of, “YUP!” like…deep in my spine.
N: It’s always a magic moment when you, or someone else, manages to articulate the precise intangible feeling in your gut.
T: I will say that none of this applies to the collaborative writing process — co-writing a story or roleplaying. I never get tired of that, and I think it has everything to do with co-presence and having someone to bounce off of, to get excited with. It’s really delightful.
N: That changes the dynamic, for sure.
T: My personal practice involves a lot of rewriting. I can’t actually give a count of how many drafts I do because each sentence or just about goes through redrafting as I write it, then every time I revisit it. Then, when I’m satisfied, I leave it alone and then come back to it, then draft some more, then ask other people to read it, and then edit based on their comments.
Holding space for solo writing is actually hugely difficult for me — it takes me a long time to get in and out of my writing headspace — I need at least a three-hour stretch or more, and it’s always the first thing to go out the window when there are other priorities that are due sooner.
N: You’re in the minority among us PLOTHOLE authors on that score.
The willingness to do drafts and rounds of edits once your story is on the page.
T: Not to insult every other author, but there’s a maxim that I learned in fancy schmancy writing school that, like most maxims, is not always, true, but is definitely true of my stories. For me, my best writing is rewriting.
That process helps me bring out the best in my stories.
N: Hey, this is all highly individual stuff! There’s no right way to do it. And I think the common thread among the re-writer (you) and the non-re-writers (most of the others) is the degree to which you all turn the story over a million times, be it in your head or once it’s on the page.
T: Yeah, absolutely. I’m sure that process is going on in some way!
N: So let me ask you — when you have a story that’s done, finito, on the page, and then you decide you have to do not just an edit, but an overhaul… how do you react? Excited? Resigned? Both? Something else entirely?
Evan: I was very fortunate to have Time’s thoughts on my stories for PLOTHOLE. It must have saved me days of re-reading and editing. But the story is so, so much better for it.
N: (I really liked Stranded, Evan!)
T: Hmm, it depends.
Typically if this is something I’ve decided to rewrite without external feedback, I don’t even really notice? It’s just me filling a hole or fixing something.
Once it gets to the stage where I’m getting external thoughts, I have to read all the comments, interpret them and filter them through my goals for the story, groan at the ones that are so right but so much work, then sit down and do the thing. If it’s a particularly difficult comment, I might get help from Cuddle-switch (my spouse) to discuss what I should do about it, or ask the person who gave me the comment to chat about it.
For substantive comments, I deliberate very carefully.
N: Filling in a hole….. sorry, where was I?
N: I definitely get that feeling of “Ugh, why did you have to be right about this thing that represents so much work?”
But that thoughtfulness and willingness to engage with the prospect of more work is so important when refining your skills or any given product.
T: It’s definitely a “THANK YOU!!! Damn it.”
Yeah, and it is hard to see from the inside of a story, sometimes.
N: I think there’s a Garfield comic, of all things, where the punchline is him thinking “I must remember to send her a thank-you bomb.”
Which, frankly, is a mood.
Last follow-up before we move on: you mentioned needing a three-hour window, minimum before you can write? Please delve into that and how your process works, or doesn’t work, given that constraint.
T: For a story where I don’t have someone writing it with me to keep me in the moment or to discuss with, I have to really inhabit a particular headspace. And it requires me to not be distracted about all the other tasks still left on my to-do list, or about making dinner, or doing chores, or that sort of thing, or I’ll just get distracted.
Davis talked about ritual the other day, and I relate to that. I remember the day that I started lighting a spooky candle to write one of my stories, and ever since I really do recognize it as a ritual. I have to put things aside and give myself to the work, in a way.
N: Hmm. I forgot to ask this question, but it dovetails with this follow-up nicely, so I’ll drop it here and you can respond as you will.
What is something unique to you — a special skill, a particular experience, or a challenge that you face — and how do you think that it has shaped or impacted your writing practice?
I can appreciate the value of a ritual (though I routinely fail to set one myself).
lotus-silk: Does the spooky candle have a particular smell?
T: The spooky candle has a sandalwood smell! It’s black, and I started using that one when I wrote To See, To Hear, To Touch, To Kiss — which is one that really got away from me in terms of what I expected it to be.
Evan: (It signals it’s time for riting!)
N: I endorse you answering Lotus’s question first, as it is the most funny.
Yay! You answered it first!
T: And something unique to me…Geez, that’s a hard question. Why did I write this question? I’m sorry, other authors.
Evan: (I love that we are both including Time and also getting a subtle revenge.)
N: You could almost say asking you this one is worthy of a GSS story challenge o:)
(It being turnabout and all.)
T: Okay, cheating again. Special skill: a curiosity about learning new skills, always. Particular experience: probably direct experience with kink. Particular challenge (in this writing space): having to imagine what it’s like to have a penis from analogous body parts XD.
N: Also, regarding your pun [Evan]: doffs cap
T: The last one in particular means that a lot of my sex scenes are more bodily-sensation focused than cock-focused, I’d say.
And I like to be able to bring realism to my kink scenes — through that lived experience.
N: Honestly, that’s not a bad way to go! I’d wager that 99% of what GSS writers write about is stuff they haven’t experienced, or stuff that can’t even exist in the world, so a rich imagination is the only way to make it happen.
Evan: I do want to just slip in here that the black candle is perfect for To See, To Hear, To Touch, To Kiss. It is a particularly deep and emotional story. Gives me feelings. I can only imagine the writing space needed for it — on top of the usual writing space.
N: Alright Time, next Big Question That Is Actually In Order:
What do you like to read in queer porn? How do your tastes in reading differ from your tastes in writing? And, in a twist on this question, what’s a story you read that shocked you in how much you liked it, given what you knew about your tastes at the time?
T: At this point, it might be easier to say what I don’t like to read — heheh. I find that in the right horny headspace, there are a lot of kinks that have surprised me with how much I can get into them. What I need in order to connect to a kink story is interiority. If I can be with the characters in their experiences, that goes a long way towards my enjoyment. And it’s also the thing most likely to make me bounce off of something, hard limits aside.
N: Interiority: a word my spellcheck does not enjoy. But I like it!
T: I think my tastes in reading differ in one substantial way from the way that I write (and trust me, I have tried to avoid this): sometimes I really just want something that gets right to the kinky action (but not directly to the sex, penetrative sex on its own is pretty boring to me).
lotus-silk: Time always with the big obscure words
T: I actually am trying to write a series where I limit each chapter to a certain word count.
N: (Willing to bet that ‘interiority’ is a neologism, but a good one for all that 😀 )
lotus-silk: I don’t know what that is either
N: Realistically, I’d guess that most people come to sites like GSS for a quick sessions of, shall we say, physical satisfaction. And then they discover, “Ooh, plot is sexy, too!” as a happy accident.
Hah! I remember how well that [writing a series where each chapter is limited to a certain word count] went over for most of us involved in the December 2020 story exchange. Only Kuro kept to the word cap with any reliability.
T: Yeah, and I hear that, I really do! It’s just not what my brain does. And I actually also do need a certain minimum length to get my enjoyment.
N: Bless his editorial heart.
Neologism = creating new words!
T: I’d say anything shorter than 5K is like…not necessarily worth the price of admission in terms of me getting into it only for it to finish too soon.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy those stories at other times!
N: So you like ’em long.
T: Long, and with really thick plots!
N: gazes off into the middle distance
T: Meaty plots!
Dripping with character!
Turgid with turmoil and stakes!
N: I’ll just ignore all of the buttons you’re pushing — character development! — and move onto the next question, shall I?
T: To be absolutely clear, I do regularly read shorter stories than 5K! Just…not when I’m trying to get off ^^.
N: This one comes from our very own Punmaster-in-Chief: “Time, If you could live in any of the worlds you’ve made, which would it be? Why?”
T: Ooo, good question. Most of my worlds are horrid to their characters in some way or another (but still better than here?).
I think I’d like to live in the world of Wild Pansies/Wild-Eyed Boys. I love Fae lore and verbal trickery, and I’ve regularly been accused of being a fae creature by my friends and loved ones. So I think I would do well there. Plus, it takes place in the late nineties, so there’s a chance I could afford a house.
N: Oof, harsh.
But I can see the appeal there. Magic and fairies and affordable housing, oh my!
T: Affordable housing is the real dream, innit?
N: Alright, another author question, and then we’ll dive down the PLOTHOLE of it all, at last.
“Who are some of the smut authors who have been influential on your work, and what influence did they have?”
(I mildly paraphrased this one, for the record.)
Lol, maybe pick just one? type type type type type
T: I have read a lot of erotica over the years, and after a while, the older stuff kind of starts to meld together. The very existence of all that smut is an inspiration! Definitely read the M/M sections of McStories to pieces. TopLegal is an old favourite — I came back to Adonis easily fifteen or more times.
I think the authors who are directly influencing me the most today are the ones who are writing alongside me, and many of whom are in PLOTHOLE — Soren Fitz, Dace, Nutiper, lotus-silk, Evan Jackson, you, Noam…and also bluesuedewho, S. Q. Neemie, Nocturne13, screamingmoist, Derek Williams, Dreamweavr, Razz TFs, Freckleman64, Ethan White…
N: That’s a solid list, and a good rationale for assembling it as you have.
Isn’t it Freckleman69? Man, Curse of 100 Bottoms… if I ever write anything half as emotionally resonant…
T: Oh, you may be right. Too much Nintendo.
T: It’s totally 64!
N: Maybe you’re right. My memory is like Swiss cheese; full of holes. Oh, dang.
T: It’s okay, Noam, 69 was more likely, given this crowd!
N: I was about to make a joke about how there’s no way we could possibly find out, but then you had to go and ruin it. Bah.
T: As to what influence they’ve had, they’ve just pushed me to be way, way better by inspiring me or working with me. I’m grateful that so many of these authors have mid-husbanded some of my work into the world.
N: Hopefully they read this interview and get the warm fuzzies!
Alright, let’s turn to PLOTHOLE specifically. What is it about lore and worldbuilding that gets you going?
Why build a bundle around it?
T: Okay, so two things, and I’ve touched on both before, so I think these will make sense. First of all, the creativity of a well-built, original world and its lore is hot to me. As we’ve established, I love creation and play.
Secondly, I think what lore and worldbuilding (and characterization, which is micro-lore and worldbuilding) do is create stakes. And stakes are what make me care about what happens.
The bundle was pure hubris — I was high off the success of a crowdfunding campaign at work, and had just participated in another author bundle and I was like, “Hey, nobody is doing this with GSS and adjacent queer erotica communities and it is totally doable. I could do this. What if I just gave it a try?”
And since it was my bundle project, I got to set the theme :3. Next time, I hope we will have built enough interest that we can bring an end to my tyranny.
N: Tyranny, he says.
And yes, lol, I think a lot of the remaining questions will have been answered in large part already, given the far-ranging nature of the conversation we’ve had.
T: That’s good, we can do a rapid-fire round :3!
N: I guess I’ll pose them anyway, and leave it to you to fill in the gaps as appropriate.
T: I am very good at filling in holes.
N: I will say that your hubris is very much appreciated, and don’t you dare stop.
Alright, rapid-fire is go.
I know you’ve collaborated on at least a few of your works in PLOTHOLE, whether simply seeking editors or outright co-writing. How do you find collaborating with others on something as personal and “transgressive” as porn?
T: It is deeply intimate, and I seek it out as often as possible! I like to be able to encourage others and I looove the vulnerability and intimacy of co-creating!
N: Rapidly asked and well-answered. Next!
You’ve submitted a lot of content to PLOTHOLE. Why did you choose these, apart from how lore-gasmic they are? Is there one in particular you’d want to draw a reader’s attention to?
T: Honestly, I wanted to create as much “value” as possible for the bundle so that people would be able to say, “That many stories for such a low cost? This is definitely worth the price of entry!” and the human eye loves numbers when it comes to that stuff. Of course, I’m proud of everything I’ve included, but I think two stand-outs in particular are HONEYPOT, which is the only interactive piece in the bundle, co-created with lotus-silk, and Them Wild-Eyed Boys That Are Really Fae, which is the sequel to Wild Pansies in the Fae Court and secretly a Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back in Town songfic.
N: I definitely is worth the price of entry! Seventeen stories by 10 authors for just $10, you say? It’s a veritable steal.
T: I sure think so! <3
N: (I’m trying to help you with the marketing, you see. Is it working?)
T: (I don’t know — is it working? We’re at $525 at time of writing!)
N: W00t! (Speaking of aging myself)
Alright. Which of your favourite kink/erotica tropes do you think is the most unusual? What are your top three?
T: Damn it, another hard one. (That’s it, that’s the trope. Just kidding.)
N: So your most unusual kink is an Evan-level pun. Got it.
T: I think my most unusual favourite kink is probably a particular style of hypnosis, which is the ‘talking themselves into it’ trope. I don’t know if there’s a better name for that. Convincing the person that it’s what they want without real coercion or magic, just helping them see the hotness of a particular act. I feel like it’s what my brain does with new kinks. Once I understand the appeal, I’m able to be into it.
But top three have to be: mindcontrolling the “good guy” hero into being a thrall or a bad guy, power exchange writ large, and an ineffable alien/magical creature comes to town.
T: I like mystery and intrigue!
N: I’m with you on that third one, for sure!
T: Ineffable as in unknowable, not as in unfuckable.
I definitely want them to eff.
N: Hah! So say we all. Alrighty, second-last question. Another difficult one, I’m sure.
In your own body of work, do you have a favourite story, a favourite character, or any other favourite elements? You’re allowed to pick more than one, and I promise I won’t tell any of them.
T: Yes, this is extremely difficult! But I have two favourite characters, a favourite element, and we’ll see if I can decide on a favourite story.
N: *Bates breath*
T: First favourite character: Sawyer Mulholland from To See, To Hear, To Touch, To Kiss — I love his patient ruefulness and general enthusiasm for life.
N: Worthy choice.
T: Second favourite character: Bo Fairchilde from Wild Pansies and Wild-Eyed Boys. I love that his nerdiness and wordplay is so integral to the plot in Wild Pansies, and I loved discovering the complexity [of the character] and ways in which he is fallible in Wild-Eyed Boys.
T: Favourite element: it all comes back to that unknowable-but-very-fuckable mysterious character or entity. I love when a character like that shows up and teases me by withholding their backstory.
N: That Cthulhu dude in the story I can’t recall the title of comes to mind.
Dace (Author and Audience Member): God I loved that story.
T: Ah, yes, Tarquin from The Morphee Hill Manor House.
Favourite story… Okay, I feel really good about a lot of my stories, but I have a favourite story that I feel never really found its audience. A lot of you who know me will know this story.
N: Yep, no way I was going to pull that title out of my head on short notice!
T: Nu midhusbanded it into the world and it’s To See, To Hear, To Touch, To Kiss. I feel like it’s some of my best queer romance, but the fact that it has a sad ending probably puts a lot of people off. I loved writing that story and I’m proud of what it brings to the table, warts and all.
It’s got lots of sweet and fun moments along the way before the ending!
N: Major sympathy vibes! My one ‘sad romance’ story has fewer than 70 unique views on Gay Cupid Stories. Alas, we suffer for our art…
T: Sometimes we don’t get to choose what stories grip us close and hold us tight!
N: But good answers to a tough question. And at the tail end of an interview that’s now gone over 2 hours. Congrats!
Last question: Any shoutouts, last words, rude remarks, or requests for anyone reading this?
T: Well, shoutouts to everyone who I’ve named throughout this interview for sure.
Special shoutout to our brave first-time authors in the bundle and to Cuddle-switch, who made dinner tonight while I was doing this interview.
To anyone reading, please consider supporting the bundle and helping us show that queer erotica is valuable and that you value it, even if there are no good mainstream venues to publish it. If you can’t support it [monetarily], please reshare it if you can!
N: Three cheers for Cuddle-switch!
And can’t say it any better than that.
Thank you for the time, Time! You’ve been an incandescent interview subject.
T: Thank you so much for interviewing me, Noam! I really appreciate your time and energy.
N: The honour was mine, I assure you.
PLOTHOLE: Loregasm Edition is a bundle of 10 authors, 17 stories, available until June 15th 2022 on itch.io. It contains porn with plot, stories with worldbuilding and lore alongside some very hot erotica. You can find Wild Pansies in the Fae Court, The Machine Collection, The Cambion Monsterfucker, HONEYPOT, and Them Wild-Eyed Boys Who Are Really Fae along with 12 other stories here for just $10.