How can I explain the impact, the significance, the brilliance of Alison Tyler? I'm not sure I can, so I'll just cast my net and see if I can catch a fraction of her luminescence here.
It was 2006, I think. I got a laptop of my own. It was for 'work'. Fairly soon...OK, make that very soon...I started exploring the non-work possibilities of the internet. I can't remember exactly how I stumbled on Alison's Trollop with a Laptop blog, but the odds of it being through one of her beloved random search strings is rather high.
Maybe...supple leather burning ass...or...voyeuristic bondage baron...or...gloves lubricant plug...well, y'know. Something like that. Anyway, what my ramblings on Google yielded was something far, far better than I had ever expected.
There was this blog, right? And it was a filthy, delicious, no-holds-barred, scintillating ride through all my favourite aspects of erotica and female sexuality. It was a revelation to me - seriously. This is some of what I learned from browsing the archive:
1. You can be a woman, and sexual, and honest about it, without having to make excuses or apologies for yourself.
2. Whatever you have the taste for, somebody somewhere will share it.
3. There are loads of things you can do with a leather belt.
I know I'm going to sound ridiculously naive, but these were some life-changing realisations.
So I have to thank Alison for giving this to me. I tend to lurk, but I'm an avid lurker, and over the years it's become obvious that Alison is a one-off. Her tirelessness, her endless generosity to new and established writers, her commitment - all are extraordinary. And that's before we even mention her writing and editing! I'll never forget the knock-your-socks-off moment when I realised I was in an anthology with her.
So here you are, Alison - you're a hero of mine, and always will be. Happy Birthday.