Tell us about your new Surface Tension serial.
Three novels, three characters, a ménage a trois like I haven’t written before… would be the way I’d describe Surface Tension in a really short elevator pitch. The longer version is that I’ve wanted to go back to triads and polyamory since A Touch of Spice, my first title with Totally Bound, but I had a hard time finding the right storyline. And then the nude celebrity photo leaks happened.
While I was reading up on that whole fiasco, I stumbled across the revolting concept of revenge porn. A nugget of an idea began to emerge, as ideas do when I’m annoyed. Before I knew it, I was elbow-deep in the story of a woman who is betrayed by someone close to her and has to live with the consequences for the rest of her life… and Surface Tension was born.
I’m leery of saying my characters eschew cliché. After all, one author’s stereotype is another’s aspirational ideal. But as a queer romance author I’ll admit find it easy to relate to characters who don’t conform.
In the Surface Tension trilogy, Hazel is a college dropout with a shitty job. She was curvaceous before but has put on weight. She compares herself constantly to her best friend. She’s bored in relationships unless she can get that thing she both fears and enjoys—a dash of BDSM. She’s obviously the wrong woman for clean-cut, Tesla-driving Dylan. But Dylan is also struggling to fit in. He’s an Asian man raised in a white Jewish family, who also happens to be involved in a murky friends-with-benefits situation with his roommate Ward.
All three struggle with issues of identity and their place in a world that reward toeing the line. All three have secrets that could jeopardize what they most care about, whether that’s a job or relationship, or both.
Dylan, Ward and Hazel are all very different characters. Did you enjoy bringing together this unlikely trio?
Very much so. My approach to writing has slowly become trying to fit square pegs into round holes. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s incredibly rewarding. (Yes! You can find love! And you, and you, and you!) Plus, with the BDSM side of this trilogy, Dylan, Ward and Hazel also gave me an excuse to write some lovely steamy scenes, which is always fun.
What made you choose your title, Twice Upon a Blue Moon?
I wanted a reference to the idea that love is this rare occurrence, that if you’ve experienced it once, you can’t hope for another shot and you’re destined to die alone. That kind of thinking can be comforting if you’re with a great partner, but also terrifying if, say, you end up in a bad relationship.
Surface Tension is the slow unearthing of one such failed attempt. In its aftermath, Hazel has pretty much closed herself off to any hope of future romance and it takes a lot of coaxing to get her to take a leap of faith. And since Dylan and Ward come as a sort of package deal, trusting not one but two men who enjoy dominating her requires Hazel to take an almighty jump.
You have many genres and pairings in your backlist. What’s your favourite?
I’m starting to enjoy contemporary romance more than I thought I would. I’m a fantasy/sci-fi reader at heart, so it seemed really easy to dabble in those genres, but more and more I’m drawn to characters who can’t rely on supernatural powers to get through the day. That said, I’m probably going to keep writing an array of pairings regardless of the genre. If the characters ‘speak’ to me, I’m going to be interested in who they are and what they want whether that’s a man, or woman, two of each, or an alien.
Although come to think of it, I haven’t written aliens in love yet…
What can we expect from the next instalment, A Smile as Sweet as Poison?
Misunderstandings. Awkward family reunions. Bottled resentment. A visit from the Ghost of BDSM Past.
There’s also a bit with a giraffe that’s quite cute.
What can we expect from you next with Totally Bound?
Another ménage a trois, this time featuring a vampire, a werewolf and a human with exceedingly bad luck. That’s in the Wild After Dark anthology, along with many other sexy mmf stories from my fellow Totally Bound authors. Later this year, you can look forward to Bliss, a sci-fi May/December title featuring a disgruntled cop and the young woman he has to work with to stop a serial killer.
And there may be some aliens in love. You read it here first!
Check out the rest of the Twice Upon a Blue Moon Blog tour and see what else Helena has to say about this newest release!
Like the sound of Twice Upon a Blue Moon?
Buy it here: https://www.totallybound.com/twice-upon-a-blue-moon