Tiffany Reisz describes her erotic novels as “literary friction”, and when I read The Siren I was immediately drawn in by its intelligent characters and exploration of what draws different people to different sexual experiences. Whether in her stories, her blog or her Twitter account, Tiffany never shies away from tough questions or frank sexual discussions. I’m so happy she’s here today giving away a copy of The Siren. Welcome, Tiffany!
Hi Kat! *waves*
1. First of all, for readers who aren’t very familiar with erotica, can you explain how it differs from erotic romance?
Erotic romance is a subgenre of romance so it has to follow the same basic path as any romance novel. Couple meets, there’s sexual and romantic tension, and the plot question is simply “How and when will they end up together?” It’s never a matter of if they’ll get together. You know they will because it’s a romance novel.
Erotica has much more freedom. My genre is better classified as “erotic thriller” since my books all contain lots of kinky sex but also a plot line that has a real, dark mystery element to it. Erotica itself is simply a book about sex. You can have a work of erotica with one person along in a room masturbating – no romance necessary. Erotic romance explores the erotic side of love. In erotica, the love is optional.
2. The tagline on your blog is “It’s not erotica until someone gets hurt,” and your books contain scenes of physical pain that some people would find difficult to read. You once told me that it’s not really about physical pain, though. What role does pain play in your stories?
The main characters of my books are mostly kinksters. My female lead is a quirky, funny Dominatrix named Nora Sutherlin. She’s a Switch, which means she tops people (for money) and bottoms/submits (for fun and love).
I’ve said before that I like writing BDSM because it’s the outward expression of an inward reality – love hurts. Writing BDSM gives me the chance to play with ideas of pain. Is there good pain? Is it there a difference between bad and good pain? Is there a difference between hurting someone and harming someone?
My characters often face emotional situations where they admit they’d rather take a physical beating than deal with emotional pain. Also, I myself am kinky and enjoy pain play so it’s fun to write a different side of sexuality that people don’t see as often in mainstream fiction.
3. You dropped out of seminary and your erotica explores how BDSM and religion can be closer than most people imagine. Can you tell us more about your Catholic faith and how it influences your writing?
One reader who was defending THE SIREN against criticism that it exploited Catholicism said, “I’ve been Catholic all my life. Catholicism and sadism make perfect sense to me.” She was referring, of course, to the ugly history of religion—the Spanish Inquisition, etc. But for me, the point of the story of Christ is that God loved the human race so much he was willing to suffer horrible pain and humiliation to save us. In BDSM, submissives experience pain and humiliation for a greater good, a higher kind of pleasure, a different kind of love.
4. You shared some very exciting news recently about what’s next for you—you’ve been contracted to write four more novels for MIRA! Congratulations! What can you tell us about your next novel?
Book four – The Mistress – is the conclusion to a plot arc that begins in THE SIREN. Nora finally, once and for all, figures out who she is and what world she belongs in. Only takes her four books to do it. What can I say? She’s complicated. After The Mistress, I’m writing book five, the first ORIGINAL SINNERS prequel. It’s the story of young Nora meeting the man who change her life forever and it’s called THE PRIEST.
5. From the things I’ve seen you say in other interviews and on Twitter, I know that you’ve had Dominant/submissive relationships like the ones you describe in your stories—which not all erotic writers have. Do you have any pet peeves about how other authors portray BDSM sex and relationships?
I’m a big fan of the philosophy “your kink is not my kink”, which is a BDSM way of saying, “your kink and what you’re into is different from my kink and what I’m into but it’s all kink and it’s all good.”
So if someone writes a spanking scene and treats it like it’s the most hardcore S&M out there, I might giggle a little but I don’t thing they’ve done anything wrong. They just don’t want to go into the harder areas of S&M, and that’s fine.
What does bother me is villianizing BDSM. My characters are damaged and dangerous but they’d be damaged and dangerous even if they didn’t do BDSM. It’s superfluous to the things that make them interesting. Kink is good for them and makes them stronger, saner, better people. A lot of my characters find healing through kink. When an author “saves” a character from his or her kinkiness, it’s aa insulting as “true love” turning a gay character straight.
6. Okay, time for a random speed dating-style question: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Butt sex with Daniel Craig!
Tiffany is giving away a signed copy of The Siren and an early signed copy of The Angel (which other people will have to wait until September 25th to read) to someone who leaves a comment here. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday September 4th. Good luck!
Plus, anyone who subscribes to my blog and leaves a comment by August 31, 2012, will be entered in my Bookstravaganza! giveaway.
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz (Original Sinners Book 1)
The Siren is a modern-day retelling of My Fair Lady with uptight English literary fiction editor Zachary Easton as an unwilling Professor Higgins and well-known wild child Nora Sutherlin as his erotica-writing Eliza Doolittle.
Zach only has six weeks left at Royal House New York before he heads to Los Angeles to take over as Chief Managing Editor at Royal West. When his boss orders him to help Nora Sutherlin rewrite her latest novel, Zach agrees to work with her only if he is given complete control over the fate of her book. If Nora doesn’t rewrite it to his satisfaction in six weeks, Royal won’t publish it.
The Angel by Tiffany Reisz (Original Sinners Book 2)
No safe word can protect the heart…
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren–whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin–is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.
Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.
But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.
I finished The Siren last night and I loved it. It was dark, emotional & beautiful. There were parts that made me want to pull my hair out, one was the cliffhanger ending. lol I loved Nora. She was awesome. I can’t wait to read The Angel.
I would LOVE to win! <3
I’ve been dying to read both of these books but between school & work it’s been hard to pick them up! Winning would sure help me bring these babies home and get me going!! I’ve also gotten the chance to speak to Tiffany on twitter! Totally epic!
Voyeurism is totally my kink so I will sit over here with popcorn waiting on the Daniel Craig buttsex. Great interview!
In all honesty The Siren is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The emotions carried through the storytelling, while depicting a true lifestyle without judgement and full of acceptance is remarkable.
Everything makes sense and makes you wonder how/what will it be like.
I told Tiffany this, but I’ll say it again: “It doesn’t matter who wrote it first, what matters is who wrote it best.” I don’t think there’s a question here.
Great interview! I am now terrified to read THE MISTRESS… I want it so bad but I know it’s probably going to break my heart. Miz Reisz is the master at manipulating my emotions!
Thanks for the giveaway. I’m dying for a copy of my favorite books signed by the Mistress herself.
“It’s not erotica until someone gets hurt,”
That pretty much sums it up for me too.. is there any other kind of erotica?
Love the interview and the books sound amazing!
Every review I have seen of this book (or any book by the author) has been great! I can’t wait to see more about Nora and company. I would love to have signed books from Ms. Reisz and hope to be able to meet her someday (considering I only live about an hour away from her, that could easily happen).
I’m halfway thru the The Siren and FLOVING it. This is such an incredibly well written book. I love Nora. I love characters who say brilliant things, things you just don’t expect but sound so natural that your head gets lost in the book. Oh, and I may be in love with Wes.
Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
I am very intrigued by what Tiffany said about the difference between hurting someone and harming someone. I love reading BDSM books, but I think not all authors have been able to explore pain as pleasure as well as Reisz has. Thanks for the chance to win! Would love to read more of Reisz!
The Siren was amazing. Been thinking about these characters for weeks.
The Siren is on my TBR list. I’d love to get the signed copies of both of her books! Tiffany Reisz is unbeilevable talented, not to mention funny as hell!
The Siren was fantastic! Love, love, loved it! Can’t wait for The Angel 🙂
Yes, please! I have been waiting to be able to buy a copy, but winning a signed one is ok, too! 🙂
Love the comment about villainizing, which has been my biggest complaint about the genre. BDSM isn’t something that should be “fixed” or that people need therapy to “cure.” Love these books. Can’t wait for the rest.
My reading partner and I are in the middle of The Siren right now and the writing is incredible! Will definitely be reading this entire series!
I have heard so many great things about this book! I’d love to win!!
I also subscribed to follow you through e-mail!
Thanks for the great giveaway!!
ehaney578 at aol dot com
I absolutely LOVED The Siren and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Angel. Just love Tiffany’s dark and witty tales.
I was cajoled into entering via Twitter. How DARE you offer up this wonderful book! The unmitigated gall!
You have no idea how happy I am that there will be five books in this series. SIREN was amazing, and I am SO looking forward to ANGEL.
Loved The Siren and so excited for The Angel! Winning a signed copy would be so fantastic!
I have had the pleasure to read both books and loved them! Having signed copies of them to place on my favorite bookshelf would be beyond awesome!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a book series. I can’t wait to read (and reread) every one!
THE SIREN was mind-bending and I loved it! Bonus: Tiffany is great on twitter and I love the shorts in THE ORIGINAL SINNERS world that she publishes on her website. I’d love to win signed copies!
Fantastic interview, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series, and am looking forward to finally being able to read them!
I want, I want! Finished The Siren last week. I’m dying to find out what happens to lovely Wesley. Nora is #bestheroineever.
Loved The Siren. I can’t get enough of Nora she is feisty, bold and humores. I am team Wesley all the way! Can’t wait for The Angel to have more of Wesley and Nora, and I want to get to know Soren more! Hoping on him being more exposed to us. Love your writing Tiffany a true mind F..k!
So much mindf’ery in The Siren. Totally ready for more in The Angel. Because, you know, it’s good to change up the ways in which one’s mind is f’ed. Or something like that 🙂
Looking forward to seeing where this series goes, especially with Michael making a return visit. Definitely one of the more controversial characters so far. 😉
I loved both books but would love paperback copies even more so I can keep them on my shelf and read them again and again until they’re all dog eared and have terribly cracked spines! 🙂
Can’t wait for THE ANGEL and the other books in the series!
I love Tiffany’s humor and style. Can’t wait to read both of these.
Great interview, love The Siren, can’t wait for more!
Ahhh, yes, would love to be tied up by Mistress Tiffany’s words over and over again with Siren and learn some new tricks with Angel!
Though it’s delicious torture waiting for Tiffany’s next book, I wouldn’t complain if I could end my suffering early by winning THE ANGEL!
I am loving reading The Siren and have loved your blogs x you definitely have a new fan for life!
Words do not do justice to how incredibly delicious & all-consuming The Siren is. Once I started it, I could not put it down. The wait for the release of The Angel is brutal & Sept. 25th cannot come soon enough … unless I am I lucky enough to win a coveted signed copy here!
I’m so excited to read The Angel. Tiffany has created a beautiful and haunting cast of characters and I can’t wait to know them better.
The Siren is the best book I have read in years. I am so happy that there will more books in this series. The characters are exciting and endearing. The writing is superb with great dialogue. I can’t wait to have all The Orginal Sinners on my shelf.
Great interview. I have heard such great reviews on this book that I really want to read it. A signed copy would be amazing to put next to my Joey Hill collection;)
If I didn’t already love Tiffany before, she would’ve had me at “butt sex with Daniel Craig.” I’d like to sign up for that as well 🙂 Loved The Siren, and I can’t wait for The Angel.
Great interview. I feel like I learned something and now have a new genre to consider.
I loved The Siren (loved it enough to read it aloud to my husband, accents and all) and can’t wait for The Angel! I’d love to win them.
Oh man! I am so excited to read these books!
I haven’t read either but I’m excited to read either and they are on my TBR list for sure!
I have read and love both books! They are amazing 🙂
I can’t wait to read The Siren! It’s up next in my pile as soon as I’m done with the series I’m currently reading. I’ve heard so many good things about it and I love reading Tiffany’s tweets. Great interview!
To say The Siren was all-comsuing is almost an understatement. I read it in just over 8 hours yesterday after seeing all the rave reviews on Twitter and Goodreads. I cried both happy and sad tears and the story and characters are still running through my head. I told the Other Tiffany 😉 on Twitter, I would shamelessly and relentlessly beg for The Angel. And I will until it comes out. Great interview! And an amazing must read.
(that should say all-CONSUMING…not whatever word I typed…)
I would love to read those books ! Thanks for the giveaway!
I love Siren. I was hoping at there is another book after the Siren. My prayer has been answered.