Darkest Desires – An Interview with Alessa Hale about her Debut
Miri: Hello friends! Today on the blog we have a good friend of mine, Alessa Hale. Alessa is releasing her first published novel on February 17th, 2023 with Skye High Publishing and I for one, am very happy to see it coming out. As an ace who loves to read the kinky, dark side of things, Alessa has long been a provider of my guilty pleasure reads, though I’m trying to stop using that term, as we should not feel guilty about our pleasure.
To start out, why don’t you hit us with the good old “back of the book” blurb? What is Darkest Desires?
Alessa: Darkest Desires is a dark, kink-heavy erotic romance, featuring a MMF (Miri note: that’s male-male-female for those who aren’t familiar with the short form) polyamorous triad. Oh, and the two male leads are demons.
Elias and Caelan are the gorgeous rockstar duo behind Goëtica, a concept band where they play the role of otherworldly, demonic creatures. Except it’s far more than an act. Shannon runs into them after a concert and learns the truth about them; they are demons. They’re powerful, terrifying, dangerous, and irresistible, all in equal measure. One thing leads to another, and they end up spending the night together.
What starts out as a rockstar-and-groupie style one night stand soon becomes much more, as Shannon learns more about them, their stories, and their rather dark inclinations in the bedroom.
Darkest Desires is very much a character driven story, focusing tightly on their interactions and burgeoning relationship. Anticipate something more like a dark, fucked up slice of life… if your life involved two demon boyfriends of highly questionable morals and a lot of spicy, kinky sex.
Alessa: In a manner of speaking. The boys are demons, but they are also trapped on our plane of existence and in human forms now. They weren’t too happy about that.
They still retain a fair bit of their power and a few not-so-human features (no spicy demon peen, though–perhaps a missed opportunity on my part!) but mostly they’re just minding their own business and trying to make the best of their circumstances. By starting a band, because what else would you do if you were a demon stuck masquerading as a human.
That leaves the setting of the story more or less contemporary, but with a paranormal twist and just a sprinkling of demon metaphysics to make life more exciting.
Miri: This is a kinky book, and you’ve kindly posted the list of kinks and content warnings as well (links). Was it important to you to make these contents clear to the audience?
Alessa: Definitely. I come from a fandom background where tagging your work is a common courtesy, plus I’m a big believer in “your kink is not my kink and that’s okay”. There are absolutely kinks in the book that are not going to be to everyone’s taste, or could even be triggering for some.
A lot of BDSM themes are present throughout – fully consensual, enthusiastic, and negotiated – but some of the kinks involved are considered taboo or fringe even within BDSM spheres. Specifically, there is a heavy emphasis on knife play and blood play. These have a significant part in the story, such as an entire scene that is primarily focused on knife play, so it’s not really something that can be glossed over.
It’s definitely something people should be aware of beforehand, so they can make an informed decision as to whether the story is right for them. That said… if you’re on the fence but curious, give it a try. I have been told I’ve introduced people to kinks they never knew they had on a fairly regular basis. 😉
Miri: That you have, that you have! I certainly have… learned a few things about myself over the years. 😀
Your Instagram (over here) features one of the locations that makes an appearance in the book, a restaurant the characters have a date at. The photo is of a most delicious looking dessert and I just have to know what it was.
Alessa: It was so good it even got an honorary inclusion in the book! That is a white chocolate bread pudding, from a restaurant called The Perch in L.A. (The restaurant itself isn’t named in the story, but now you know the secret.)
Miri: Ooh. That does sound as good as it looks. Folx in the L.A. area, if you can get out there and try it, snag your own pictures! You don’t have to take a demonic date with you, but if you have the chance, well, you know I won’t judge.
Alright this is one of those questions I hit every writer with: pantser or plotter? (Or as some people like to phrase it, Gardener or architect?) Or that magical in between? Plantser? Garditech? (Who knows what bonkers words we’ll come up with next.)
Alessa: Pantser, absolutely 100%. Even gardener sounds a little too refined for my process! This wasn’t intended to be a novel originally – it started out life as a short one-shot story, which was just their initial meeting and a one night stand. But I loved the characters so much, I loved their dynamic so much, and there was so much potential left open, I ended up coming back to it again and again. More parts were added as and when the ideas came… and then I eventually realised I had written enough to count as an entire novel. Some heavy streamlining and polishing later, and here we are.
Miri: Isn’t that just the way of it. Those pesky characters rarely do what we expect them to. You sit down for a quick 1k, and next thing you know… years of your life gone.
I know, I know, I’m asking you to pick a favourite child here, but do you have a favourite moment in the book – not necessarily a favourite scene as it turned out, but one that was the most fun to write? (Fun doesn’t always mean the easiest, of course.)
Alessa: That first section, the original short story it started life as, will always be the most special thing to me. It’s far more than just one moment, of course—I think chapter 2 to 5 cover what was initially the self-contained one shot. But that was the most fun I’ve had writing anything in… ever.
It was 3am in the coffee shop around the block, typing feverishly away at my laptop because I’d rather be writing it than sleep. Notebooks in every bag, scribbling on the bus, in checkout lines, any single second I could get. The inspiration, flow, and sheer joy of writing it was an as-of-yet completely unparalleled experience. I adored that thing.
For a little more of a specific moment, perhaps some of more amusing dialogue. During the editing process, I reread a line that I had entirely forgotten I’d written, and it caught me off guard and made me snort-laugh in a most inelegant manner. Of course, maybe I just have a terrible sense of humour…
Miri: Where can folx find out more about you, the book, and pre-order it? I hear there’s a sign up for ARCs (that’s advanced reader copies) as well? I know I’ve signed up so I can get an early review for the blog.
Alessa: Absolutely! Anyone who signs up can get a free electronic copy (Kindle or ePub) of the book. The publisher will be distributing these around two weeks before the release date. If you read it and enjoy it, an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads would be greatly appreciated, but there’s definitely no pressure.
Instagram is the best place to keep up to date with promotions and release information. I also have an author site with a full blurb and all the links you could possibly need, as well as some fun extras like character bios and a secret playlist.
Preorder at Amazon *The book will be available on Kindle Unlimited from February 17th.
Add to your Want to Read at Goodreads!
ARC Sign Up Form – Sign up by January 31st to make sure you are on the list!
Miri: One thing that I have always felt has come across in your writing (and folx, trust me, I have devoured a lot over the years) is your passion. You care about your characters, and their interactions. And I think that’s something that helps your work stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of books out there to pick from, and I hope folx will give this one a read if it’s up their alley!
Well folx, that wraps up this preview interview, as I’d like to get it out in time for you to have a chance to sign up for an ARC or Preorder the book. I’ll be back again with my review once I’ve had a chance to read it!