Delphine Dryden’s The Seduction Hypothesis (The Science of Temptation series) is a funny, sexy erotic romance. In it, the absolutely adorable, quite nerdy hero, Ben is trying to get his girlfriend Lindsay back. He stupidly broke up with her a few months ago and has regretted it ever since. The two are on their way to BeastCon–a convention for fans of comics/games/anime–and Ben plans to use the next five days to reclaim Lindsay’s heart. Ben realizes Lindsay is, in BDSM parlance, a Sub and he, once he tries the role on, is more than happy to be her Dom.
I loved this book. It’s witty and steamy, has engaging leads and a sweetly believable HEA.
I know Del through Twitter and asked her if she’d be willing to answer a few questions. She agreed and wow, does she know a lot about spiders and snakes. And, if you leave a comment below, we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a $5.00 gift/credit from Carina Press!
Dabney: In The Seduction Hypothesis and in its predecessor in your Science of Temptation series, you write about romances that are (to me) BDSM-lite. In these two books, the Dominant partner is the man. Do you plan to write a book where the Dom is a woman?
Delphine: I like to think of it as BDSM-real world. Most people simply aren’t living a reality in which engaging in regular hard-core BDSM is feasible or desirable, because there’s an extent to which it can be debilitating (Especially for the submissive or masochist. That stuff hurts, which is part of the point, but you have to remember that even consensual pain can be exhausting, and it’s as hard to work through an endorphin hangover as any other kind of hangover). Also, the psychological aspects of domination and submission are “heavier” in impact than people realize, so I think it’s a mistake to characterize as “lite” books that don’t emphasize intense physical play and club settings, or that don’t rely on the trope of BDSM being a response to some deep psychological wound. It’s heavy enough without all that if you’re actually the one doing it. Even when there are jokes.
And the next book in the series will actually feature a “switch” heroine who will be Dominant in some scenes.
Dabney: Your books are hot and hilarious. That’s a hard combination to pull off and you do it beautifully. How do you balance those when you’re writing? Do you think, “Hey, I need a joke here” or “Must insert sexy times now”?
Delphine: Thank you! I think neither, actually. I just write. People tell me afterwards that it’s funny, but at the time I’m usually just thinking something like, “Oh, this character is apparently just as neurotic and liable to use humor as a defense mechanism as the last one.” But it’s not a conscious, writing-process choice on my part. Sex is inherently sort of goofy and, in my mind, the laughs are built in. Have you ever seen sex? It’s pretty ridiculous. Hard not to laugh sometimes. Especially when you throw in props.
Dabney: I fell madly in love with the hero of The Seduction Hypothesis, Ben. Given his inventive use of Gandalf’s staff, I’d say his favorite book is the Lord of the Rings. So, what’s his favorite movie? Favorite band?
Delphine: His favorite book is actually The Once and Future King by T.H. White, but he wouldn’t admit that publicly because it is so far from historically accurate. It is deeply romantic in its way, however, and speaks volumes about why Ben is interested in history to begin with (drama, excitement, chivalry, adventure!). His favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which has a lot more historical accuracy than people usually realize).
You’ve never heard of his favorite band.
Dabney: You have kids, right? When people ask them what their mom does, what do they say?
Delphine: I do have kids! Two of them, and they are both surprisingly prim and proper. Right little Puritans, they are. They just say their mom writes books, and then they talk about the YA I’m working on writing for them (it’s steampunk-flavored, I will be starting serious work on it at the end of 2013 or early in 2014, I’ll have a new pen name for YA, and that’s all I’m gonna say). If you just went by what they say, you’d probably assume I was an unpublished YA writer. Not complaining, mind you. I’m cool with their Puritanism.
Dabney: Would you say Ben is more of a geek or a nerd? Why?
Delphine: Ben is a geeky nerd. His baseline is nerdiness – he’s a wannabe history professor with faint hipster leanings, after all, and he’s no stranger to sitting around and pseudo-intellectualizing with his nerdy academic friends – but behaviorally speaking, he also geeks out on history as well as on gaming, comics, and other things. Like the rest of the Science of Temptation group, he maintains a healthy nerd/geek balance.
Dabney: The heroine of The Seduction Hypothesis is a wildlife biologist. At one point in the book she discusses her love for snakes, her dislike of scorpions, and her “it depends on what kind” attitude toward spiders. Does she have a favorite kind of snake? And what spiders does she loathe?
Delphine: What kind of snake wouldn’t be a favorite? Snakes are cool! Herpetology is cool! Because Lindsey also has a passing interest in genetics she likes corn snakes for their fun color variations, but from a research standpoint she is fascinated with the whole range of snakes and other reptiles native to Texas and the Houston area in particular. Texas has coral snakes plus five different species of pit viper, and it’s a great place to see venomous snakes and their “mimics” in action (the coral snake and the milk snake, for instance, or the cottonmouth/water moccasin and the broad water snake). All that, and alligators too! All these critters are readily observable in the urban and suburban environments of the greater Houston SMSA (although this isn’t as true for rattlesnakes now as it was, say, fifty years ago).
As for spiders, Lindsey doesn’t exactly loathe any of them, but as a practical matter she dislikes the spiky, evil-looking venomous kind (black widows and brown recluses, both of which are common in the Texas coastal plains region…as is kukulcania hibernalis, the southern house spider, which is a brown recluse semi-lookalike. Because we weren’t already concerned enough with having brown recluses around, we also needed a much more common spider that is difficult to distinguish from its evil, venomous cousins). She loves the orb weavers (all families, but her favorites are those in families araneidae – particularly genus argiope which produces a beautiful zig-zag pattern on the web – and nephilidae), wolf spiders and tarantulas.
Um. Sorry. I got wildlife-geekery all over your blog *releases snakes back into the shrubbery, shoos away spiders*. Hehe.
Dabney: Thanks for the interview. (And, hey, I might have heard of that band. I am surrounded by my four musically hip New Adults/teens… and their laundry.)