By Kristin Leigh Jones and Kat DeSalle
c/o Jen Rattie Professor of Sexual Literature
Promotional Book Tours
The Has-Been Series really began with a funny porn name, that morphed into a hilarious title, honestly. Began as a joke. The thought process that day went: *cue dream sequence waves*
“Ting Tang Tony, mahahahaha,” Kristin laughed parroting back the silly name she’d heard on a television. “Sounds like a porn star name doesn’t it?” she spoke into the phone to her best friend, Kat.
“You said what? What are you watching? Aren’t you watching shows with your kid?” Kat asked, she knew it wasn’t uncommon for Kristin to come out of left-field with the most random shit.
Kristin promptly ignored her dear friend because her mind often went to weird places in order to sane in the stream of loud noises, screaming kids, spit-up, and all the romantic notions that follow being a work-from-home mother. “Yep, definitely a porn star name of a guy with a tiny wiener.”
Laughter spilled over the line. “Dude, could you imagine?”
The problem was, Kristin could only ever imagine confessing the strange places her mind went to when speaking to her best friend, Kat, also a work-from-home-mom, who equally shared in her joy and misery.
Between giggles Kat sputtered, “I bet he was a one-hit wonder.”
“Yeah just rutting away … like throwing a hot dog down a hallway, chanting, ‘I think I can, I think I can,” Kristin added, the banter between them just getting started.
“I bet he totally has to only to anal because it’s so small,” Kat blurted through her own laughter.
“Mahahahaha,” Kristin squealed into the phone, her toddler mimicking her horrible laugh in the background. “Wait, oh wait! I’ve got it! Ting Tang Tony: and the Tale of the Little Erection That Could.”
“Yes!” Kat hissed. “It’s his one and only break-out role but will live down in the halls of porn fame forever!”
We think all good stories start with a dick joke, right? It was meant to be a short story. Only meant to be written, shared with friends, laughed about and buried in a lonely folder on a hard drive. That Tony was a much different man that he is today, or rather, the Tony you all know. Once we started writing his character came screaming through in our heads, and we thought … huh, maybe there is something more here. Especially after being frustrated readers getting the same algorithms in romance and fiction. With Tony, we started thinking about how there is someone out there for everyone. Sure, everyone loves an alpha billionaire with cock like “whoa”, but average or less than average guys need love too. But it’s more than that. Ting Tang Tony: and the Tale of the Little Erection That Could is about insecurities, and issues—and even if there is someone, that soul mate, out there for you—it won’t work till you figure out your own shit. (See reference below about the “journey” theme, no need to start singing Journey songs though. Please and Thanks!)We wanted something different and we ran with it. And really, we discovered that Tony’s story, and the concept for this series is so much more than porn, that’s just their career—or was— this series is about life and a journey to be complete and happy, or at least content. It’s also about self-discovery, and how life throws you curveballs, and what happens when you win some and lose some.
Once we decided to take a more serious turn with the original short story and develop it into a full novel, (we use the term “serious” loosely, because the comedy is still there but trust me, the original short was all campy and pulp) we started thinking up the other main characters. Poof—within weeks (no joke!) we had a pretty solid outline planned out for eight books. Honestly, plotting that out was some of the most exciting times in our lives. The magic of weaving these character’s lives together, and doing it all with your best friend … Priceless! So now I run to you, with open arms… (Okay, sappy music time over)
Each main character: Tony, Rod, Ric, and Levi; will get two books each. There might be some supplemental short stories or novellas, but that will be bonus content. The really exciting thing about this series, something we haven’t encountered before, is the genre and subgenre crossing we will cover through the eight books. Each guy has his own voyage, his own story, his own personality. For example: Tony’s book is a Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance, while Rod’s story falls more in General Fiction but still has Romantic/Erotic content and moments. Stick Me Baby … One More Time, Rod’s book, and well, Rod, just deserves a category all on his own. He’s a rare bird, and we say that with a smile. We feel like publishing his story is like giving birth to a full-grown man with issues. We love him so much and want to slap the shit out of him at the same time. He battles hard with his own demons, being alone, and a disease called: addiction. Rod’s road is bumpy and long, but there are good times to be had along the way.
Although the different books will cross genres, they will have common themes and their stories are interconnected. All four of the main characters appear in every book, in some context. The comedy, banter, or even satire, continues throughout the series, even with the books that have a heavier content or more emotional grit, such as Book 2: Stick Me Baby … One More Time. Really the closest thing to porn we have is we’ve copied the concept of ripping off pop culture: movie titles, song titles, and so on; and made them sexual or pertaining to the story. Yeah we might catch the guys on a shoot or two but the majority of the sexual content throughout the series is between consenting, non-paid adults, developing an emotional relationship— or already in a relationship.
We imagine the next book (Book 3), Levi’s 501 Ways to Tie a Knot, will probably have the most sexual content of the series and will definitely fall into the Erotica category. With Levi being our resident sexy submissive his book will contain prolific and (we stress) consenting, accurate, professional, and proper BDSM content. You guys are really going to like that one. Well, we’re biased, we think you will love them all. We do. Do we have favorites, maybe, but we would never tell. That’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite child. You know they have one but they won’t admit it. ;)