Friday, March 23, 2012

*Blog Tour* Dark Souls Vol 5 by Aleksandr Voinov *Riptide Publishing*

Ladies and Gents of the Lair, please put a warm welcome to Mr. Aleksandr! He has braved the front and come to the Smutty Hussy Lair to discuss........

Dark Soul: “Girl bits” in m/m

I’ve just finished “Dark Soul”, my mafia series. To be honest, when I started it, it was for the kink. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by criminal organizations, and especially the mafia/Cosa Nostra. It’s the macho culture and homophobia, which makes life for gay or bisexual men really dangerous. Danger means conflict, and conflict is story.

When I started, I wanted to explore a number of kinks. Silvio Spadaro, my oldest character of them all, has always been a kinky (and very sexy) bastard. He was kinky before I, the author, understood what kink was. From the outset, I knew he’d lead a “straight” man into temptation. Stefano Marino, the boss of that local crime family, is a good-looking man in his early thirties, and at that age, he’s been married for a few years. What I honestly did not expect was the amount of resistance Stefano put up when fighting his attraction to Silvio. Because that’s the rule of m/m romance, isn’t it? If the other man in the main relationship is married, the author best get rid of the woman. So didn’t spend too much time on Stefano’s wife Donata. For most the first three books, we see her mainly as sex kitten, a very good-looking wife whom Stefano loves. She doesn’t get much screen time, because I was driving the relationship between Silvio and Stefano.

However, when things start to go very wrong for Stefano, Donata is there and supports him. She holds herself with dignity and grace, even when she’s convinced Stefano is having an affair. That was the point when I sat back and realized that my original plans to get her out of the picture wouldn’t work. Many m/m writers turn the women in their protagonist’s lives into total bitches, or kill them in some way (ideally leaving a newborn baby that the two men can then take care of). In my mind’s eye, I looked at this strong, loyal, graceful woman and suddenly, utterly, understood why Stefano loves her. She’s worthy of his love. She’s a worthy wife, a worthy ally. Stefano kept calling her his first, best ally. I realized he was right. I did love her, too.

So, Stefano, torn between Silvio and Donata, has to admit he loves both of them, wants them both, and even though he would most likely have chosen Donata if absolutely forced (and hating her a little for forcing him), it’s Donata’s generosity that takes that choice off the table. She understands that Silvio is not just a plaything, that her husband is truly capable of loving two people at the same time. And she makes him a huge gift: total acceptance, as hard as it is. She stands by him against the law, against the antagonist who tries to break him with his “little dirty secret”, and tells those people to get lost.

While I was writing Dark Soul 5, I knew I’d be losing readers over this. I broke one of the Cardinal Rules of m/m. There’s even an explicit sex scene between the two men and the woman that cements the new understanding between the characters.

Donata confesses she almost fell in love with a girl and is up for girl-on-girl action too, so all these characters are bisexual to some degree or other (with Silvio leaning more towards gay, but not completely 100% adamantly gay), which enables them to love people, not genitals (much as this author falls in love with a person, regardless of their gender). I think that’s a very human, very generous, very natural thing to do; to not judge a person worthy of love based on their gender, but just see them as people. And if people are happy and everybody agrees (and the characters in Dark Soul do), in my mind they can find whatever solution works for them.

It’s sad that this will lose me many readers (I already got emails saying “WFT were you thinking?! Girl bits in my M/M!?”). What’s worse, Dark Soul will, for this reason, not get reviewed at some of the biggest blogs out there, but I do believe that bisexual characters (and authors, and all other people) have a right to solve their problems in a way that works for them, not what other people expect. That’s the only way I know how to tell a story; tell the truth of characters, and consequences pretty much damned.

Please see my older post to see my reviews of all these books!! This is a great series!!!
Thanks again Alek for stopping by my place!!! Many Hugs to you!!

And remember... Always keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy!Photobucket


  1. It’s sad that this will lose me many readers (I already got emails saying “WFT were you thinking?! Girl bits in my M/M!?”). What’s worse, Dark Soul will, for this reason, not get reviewed at some of the biggest blogs out there....

    This is such a ridiculous attitude for those people to have! I feel that, as a whole, most readers forget that the body of work we are holding in our hands is not ours. We may have paid for it and we may get lost in it, but it is not our property. The characters may speak to us but they didn't speak through us. Readers get a sense of entitlement when it comes to stories/characters we have fallen for. But in the end, we have a choice. We can walk away. Any author who has been true to their characters doesn't have that choice. The story must be told! And I say f*ck 'em if they don't like it!

    Just remember that there are those of us out here that try to understand instead of judge ;)

  2. Idd it would be very sad if readers would prefer a chopped off story to a full, rich and fairly realistic one. Hopefully you wont get bitter about them Aleks,the way you write is what distincts you and makes your work so lovable. And yes as Kassandra says there are plenty of us who understand and love ur work with all our heart.

  3. I'm usually that person that when I see girly bit's in my m/m... oh no, I immediately stop, roll my eyes and shelve the book forever. Especially when there is already another female character that is a total bitch trying everything she can to make one of them miserable.
    I've just had enough of girls in my M/M trying to ruin their lives when they discover he is actually gay and not into her. << Is my usual thought.
    But for Dark Soul, Though, I admit that it still took me by surprise to see Donata in the mix there, I was not at all pissed off by it. or put off. At all. In fact, I loved to see her with them. It was right.
    She was really this strong, steady woman. Not at all whiny and any bit annoying.

    The mood that Dark Soul had, the struggle within Stefano and his feelings for Donata made ME, love her too. Not all books are like this but most have this annoying girl that is just... THERE, and is always kidnapped and everyone wants to shag her and blah, blah, blah... urghh... so annoying, this... this was wonderful. For me, who is usually a girly bit's prissy... LOVED the girl in the mix. I WANTED her there. If she hadn't accepted and been... just Donata or died, The last bit of the story would have felt empty, I think.
    So thank you Aleks, Thank you for finally letting me love the female chara. THANK YOU, for letting me like a little bit of MMF this time. Just, THANK YOU~


  4. Girl bits in my M/M, I had to lol there. I would not mind. Just be happy and love

  5. I agree with Blodeudd.Just love.
    I actually like reading m/m/f books.I thought it was well written in the Dark Souls books(although we don't see much of her until the end)It was appropriate for her to be here and accept who he was and embraced it.

  6. I loved Donata in the series and it felt incredibly right for her to be with Silvio and Stefano in volume 5. Being bisexual myself, I love to see the variety in books, rather than the very strict m/m or m/f that occurs in most.

  7. I'm really glad you didn't get rid of Donata. :) She's my favourite female in this genre.

    As for readers being put off... I read one review where the lady was outraged and I saw her point. But the thing is - she didn't see yours (and your characters').
    (I'll stop short on this matter or I'll get all riled up and just basically repeat all you said in your blog post and then some.)
    When I started Dark Soul, I assumed that Silvio and Stefano would stay together (only the two of them), but somewhere along the way I started to root for Donata and Stefano, but then again what about Silvio? To be honest, I don't enjoy menages (m/m/m, m/f/m or f/m/f, doesn't matter (maybe 'cause they're not written well enough?)), but here I was hoping that they would end up like that. :) And yep! - you're the great master of making me feel comfortable with themes and situations I'm usually not. I'm still verra pleased with the ending. :)

    I'm hoping you'll introduce us with more sensible women!


I want to thank you for stopping by my place... I hope to see you again!!
I hope you enjoy my little bloggie home as much as I do!
With hugs, love and smiles... Cecile

My Fictional Smutty Boyfriend.... =)