Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Author Post: Tiffany Reisz (KB's new crack author to read)

My newest crack is Tiffany Reisz. If you read my review for The Siren, book one in Tiffany's Original Sinners series, you know how much I loved this book. I also read the sequel, The Angel (releases September 25th) and that book is just as OMG explosive, disturbing, hot, scandalous, I've run out of words, as The Siren was. When I was offered to interview Tiffany, I said sure! I'm so thrilled to have Tiffany here and what may just be the most revealing interview I've ever done with an author...

KB: Would you describe yourself as an erotic romance author or an author of erotica? How do the two differ from one another?

Tiffany: I’m definitely not an erotic romance author. Erotic romance follows a strict formula. I’m not an erotica writer really either. Sex permeates every page of my books but most erotica has sex as the main thrust of the books (pardon the pun). My stuff is plot-driven. It just so happens my characters are incredibly kinky and sexual and so the books feel as naughty as erotica.

I consider my books modern Gothic novels. Gothic fiction blends romance with horror. So many readers come out of THE SIREN telling me how they felt like they were reading a psychological thriller. I’ll take that.

KB: Your latest release, The Siren has great word of mouth and excellent reviews. What’s the book about for those who may not be aware?

Tiffany: THE SIREN is the first in my Original Sinners series about a quirky and beautiful Dominatrix, her wealthy and powerful clients, and her various lovers. Mistress Nora is a Dominatrix by day and an erotica writer by night. She’s got a gorgeous virginal teenage boy for a roommate/intern, a nymphomaniac Frenchman for a boss, a stuffy Englishman for an editor, and her off-again/on-again lover is…well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

KB: There’s been a great resurgence of erotic romance because of Fifty Shades of Grey. Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey, and if so, do you feel it has gained more readers for the romance genre, specifically erotica or erotic romance?

Tiffany: I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t read much YA. ;)

In all seriousness, I think the shocking success of Fifty Shades has shown publishers that readers want and can handle a lot of sexual content. Suddenly BDSM is dinner table conversation. That can only be a good thing for writers like me.

KB: Do you do research for your books? If so, do you use the internet or interview people, especially when dealing with the BDSM aspect of your writing?

Tiffany: I do my own research. I mean that. I’m kinky and I used to sub (sexual submit) for an assortment of interesting Dominant men. One was a six-foot-four blond sadist. When you read THE SIREN, you’ll see how much he influenced the story. I’ve also had two session with a New York Dominatrix. She kicked my ass and I loved every second of it.

On occasion I’ll want to write a kink scene that involves an act I haven’t done before. Then I’ll simply email one of my kink buddies and pick his/her brain for details. But the vast majority of stuff in my books, I’ve either done or seen done with my own eyes.

KB: What are some of your favorite authors to read? Are there any recent books you’ve read you would recommend?

Tiffany: Anne Rice is my writing hero. She writes literary friction which is what I playfully call my genre. My favorite book by her is CRY TO HEAVEN. Glorious historical novel about castrati singers and their sexual exploits in 17th century Italy. More recently I read MELT INTO YOU by Roni Loren. Her books are so hot I took them off my “To Read” list and put them on my “To Do” list.

KB: How do you deal with reviews, mainly negative ones? Do you read your reviews?

Tiffany: Luckily my negative reviews have been few and far between. And they are ALWAYS content-based. I get negative reviews like, “The book is well-written but the level of violence in it is too much for me.” Or my favorite—“I can’t believe a book so un-politically correct could get published in this day and age.” Seriously? Fiction is supposed to be politically correct? I use my negative reviews to sell my books to the other perverts out there. I’ll tweet stuff like, “Buy the book reviewers are calling ‘un-PC’ and ‘just sick’!” That gets pervy little ears to perk up.

The thing is that I know this book isn’t for everyone any more than Lolita was for everyone. Some people can read Lolita as a beautiful, darkly funny work of fiction. Some people simply cannot get past the content of the older man seducing a 13 year-old-girl. And that’s fine. I never want to write a book with content so watered down it doesn’t offend anyone. A book no one hates is probably a book no one loves either. I want strong feelings, strong reactions. Luckily, I’m getting them.

KB: Do you feel social medias like Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads can help authors and are great ways of promotion? What’s your favorite types of social medias to use?

Tiffany: I think social media is a great way to connect with people who are already fans of your work. Word of mouth is still the best way to sell books. No one trusts me when I say, “I wrote an awesome book! You should read it.” But when someone in your book group or at your hair salon says, “Ladies, you have GOT to read this,” then people listen. I love Twitter. I’ll talk to anyone who talks to me. And I have two fan clubs (God help us) on Goodreads and that’s been a great way to connect with readers.

KB: If someone who has never read romance or erotic romance wanted to start, what books and or authors would you recommend they try?

Tiffany: I’m a horrible person to ask this question to. My favorite romance novel of all time is THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand. That should explain a lot about me. I got started reading Harlequin Presents as a kid. I loved Julie Garwood for her humor and Beatrice Small for her intense sex scenes. Both still great writers.

KB: Who is your all-time favorite literary character and why?

Tiffany: You might as well ask me to choose between my parents. But since I can only pick one, let’s go with Lestat from Anne Rice’s Vampire books. I love him because he’s so complicated. In Interview with the Vampire he comes off as the villain. In the rest of the series, you discover he’s really an anti-hero. I pull the same trick in my series. My blond sadist comes off as borderline villainous in THE SIREN (although really careful readers have seen through the charade) but in the next three books in the series, he’ll slowly reveal himself to be, as my Nora says, “the best man on Earth.”

KB: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are trying to break into the publishing industry?

Tiffany: Don’t? Okay, that’s not true. Don’t go into publishing if you’re not 110%  ready and willing to give your heart and soul to this endeavor. I rewrote THE SIREN six times cover to cover. I gutted it and re-gutted it. I spent six years working on the book and then had to write two of the three sequels in six months. This isn’t a hobby. It’s not a job. Writing will become your entire existence if you break into at all. 

You’ve got to ask yourself if that’s what you want. There’s no shame in saying, “No, I’d like to not hate my children when they interrupt my work. I’d like to have free time. I’d like to go on real vacations instead of just writers conferences.” Luckily…I don’t have kids and free time bores me.

The best advice to an aspiring writer is still just write…all the goddamn time.


Synopsis: Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she's sure it'll be her breakout book...if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora's fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it's no deal.

Nora's grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him...or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.


Ligeia Ahgony said...

Great review!
Tiffany Reisz is my personal Queen of the Universe, and I´m so happy that there will be 3 sequels of The Siren. Can´t wait to see more of Kingsley Edge, Wesley and Michael.
Book recommendations are already on my TO-READ list.

Pamela {@SpazP} said...

Lovely review! I devoured this book and then was able to get The Angel thru NetGalley and devoured that one too. I LOVE Tiffany Reisz's writing. Definitely a fan!!!!
PS: see you in NOLA tomorrow! :P