November 20 – A Dom Is Not a Stalker in Leather with Cecilia Tan

A workshop for writers who want to create scorching hot dominant heroes while still incorporating real-life BDSM community values. There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. But how do real-life BDSM doms fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. This workshop will explore the intersections between what romance readers and real-life submissives are looking for in heroes and doms, and how romance writers can bring realistic depictions of domination and male dom personas into their work. I’ll present the results of surveys I took of both BDSM lifestyle submissives and avid romance readers which showed many parallels and a few surprising contrasts.

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers. She is the author of many books including the Magic University Series, Secrets of a Rock Star series, and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, several collections of short stories, and even some nonfiction books on baseball. In 2017 she will launch a new urban fantasy series at Tor Books entitled The Vanished Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.