Blog Tour Guest Post: Alison Tyler, Author of The Delicious Torment

What’s In a Name?

Sometimes the title comes first. “All Things to All Women” is the name of a story I wrote for a new Cleis collection. I had the title before I had the story. The plot came second. Same for the one I’m tying up right now: WYSIWYG. As soon as I had the title, the story followed.

My series of novels for Cleis was totally different. First off, the books began as blog posts, and each individual “chapter” had its own title. Compiling the posts into readable books was a puzzle in itself. Naming those books was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done writing wise. I discussed this topic at Kristina Lloyd’s blog when the first novel came out:

Kristina Lloyd: Alison Tyler – The Words Please My Mouth

The original title for The Delicious Torment was The Beast In Me (Nick Lowe’s version, thank you very much). At this moment, the third book is called Wrapped Around Your Finger. (You must sense a music-theme here, yes?)

Within the books, many of the chapters are named for song titles. And I listened to the radio religiously while I was writing the books. I was often inspired to create a specific mood based on the songs I heard each day. I’ve been tempted to compile playlists to go with the novels. I wonder if readers would appreciate companion “soundtracks” to accompany each book.

Truly, I wish I could create atmospheres for every reader. I’d pour the right drink. I’d serve the right snacks.

As I said in The Delicious Torment:

By now you know that I think sugar tastes better in cubes, that coffee is richer in my favorite mug, that food is more luscious on a special blue glass plate.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you scents or tastes or a 1950s mug of French Roast. But I can give you my words. Every last one—from the hardworking title all the way to “the end.”


Alison Tyler is the author of more than twenty-five novels, including Dark Secret Love and The Delicious Torment from Cleis Press. She has edited 50 collections for Cleis Press, as well as collections for Harlequin, Plume, and Masquerade. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter.

P.S. Believe it or not, I have books four, five, and six nearly finished and titled. My fingers are crossed in hopes that I will be able to bring these novels to your bookshelf.

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