The Siren, Tiffany Reisz's Debut novel about an erotica writer with a stuffy british editor and a secret night job as the city's formost dominatrix.
(I'll consider that sentence forwarning of what you can expect to find in the following interview)
Represented by the amazing Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency, Tiffany has also published an erotic novella called Seven Day Loan.
Tiffany's prose is enrapturing and completely unforgettable. Her agent said of The Siren: "I wanted to put chocolate on the pages and eat it." I think we can all agree that is a glowing reccomendation.
She has three novels coming out in 2012!
The Siren - release date: August 1, 2012
The Angel - release date: October 1, 2012
The Prince - release date: December 1, 2012
ABK: Tell us a little about yourself to start off.
TR: I had a farm in Africa…
Oh, wait. That’s somebody else. My name is Tiffany Reisz and I am funky. Kentucky girl born and bred. Other than the fact that I’m a Catholic erotica writer who dropped out of a conservative seminary to become an erotica writer…there’s seriously not that much to say about me.
ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why?
TR: All-time fave protag? You ask easy questions. Hmmm…There’s a book by Iain Pears called An Instance of the Fingerpost. Four different men narrate the same events that swirl around the trial and execution of a woman named Sarah. I fell so deeply in love with Sarah as a person, as a flesh and blood human being, that I was in almost physical pain reading the book. I have never in my life read a more beautifully wrought female character in my life. I get chills just thinking about her.
ABK: Same question as above, but for your favorite Antagonist.
TR: I love Lestat in Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. There’s a delicious amorality to him. The best villains aren’t evil because pure evil is as cartoonish and unbelievable as pure good. I love amoral antagonists because they force the reader to make the moral judgments he or she won’t.
ABK: What inspired you to write your first novel or novella (published or unpublished)? What got you started?
TR: The book I ever tried to write was a young adult novel. As a kid growing up I read all sorts of fantasy novels—The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz…and what bugged me about them all was that the kid in the book always goes into the magic world and then almost immediately tries to get back to the real world. This disgusted me growing up. I wanted to stay in Narnia, stay in Wonderland. So I tried to write a book where the heroine gets swept into a magic world and despite having loving parents at home in the real world, chooses to stay forever. Subversive, isn’t it? If I ever get good enough to write YA, I might try it again.
ABK: What was the most difficult part of the novel writing process for you?
TR: I’m shit at plot. I always have to keep reminding myself, “You can’t just have funny people running around fucking. Something has to be going on. Up the goddamn stakes.”
The second most difficult part of writing a novel? Keeping my focus on the boohey look at the moth over there!
ABK: Your novel, The Siren, comes out in October. Are you feeling anxious about that? Or are you a cool cat who isn’t fazed by things like that yet?
TR: Well, now that they’ve moved my release date from October 2011 to August 2012, I’m much cooler about it. I asked the great and beautiful Toni Blake for some advice about what sort of marketing works to sell a book. She said, and I’m paraphrasing, your writing sells your writing. Just write more books. So that’s what I’m doing.
(Well! I'll just have to have you back on next year before it comes out - though I find this development personally tragic)
ABK: What book are you reading right now? Do you think that what you read effects how or what you write?
TR: I’m reading The Woman in White by Wilke Collins. So far there’s no BDSM in it so no major influences from it to report yet.
ABK: Do you think your life, as a writer, got harder or more simple when you signed with Sara Megibow?
TR: It got more complicated. But in nothing but good ways. Agent Sara or Boss, as I call her, isn’t just an agent, she’s one hell of an editor. Sara always pushes me to write better, dig deeper, make the story richer. I owe her a lot. I found out a few people cautioned her against representing me because of the controversial subject matter in my books but she took me on anyway. I love that woman!
ABK: As far as I can tell from your twitter feed, interviews and website, you’re a pretty open book. Is there anything you can think of that might surprise us?
TR: There’s a famous phrase that describes people like me — hiding in plain sight. I talk frankly about sex and other taboo topics which other people aren’t comfortable talking about. So people assume they know everything about me. But the truth is, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that I can’t and won’t talk about.
Now you’re curious, aren’t you? You should be. ;)
ABK: Your novella is not for the faint hearted – I’ll assume The Siren isn’t either – have your family members read your work? And if so, how did they react?
TR: Oh, I don’t know. What’s a little fisting between friends? It’s funny. Some people who I thought would be shocked by SEVEN DAY LOAN were all, “Cute story!” whereas some people who write stuff I consider fairly erotic were shocked by it. Different strokes and all that jazz. THE SIREN has some intense content in it, but it’s also witty and urbane, fast-paced and fun. If I do say so myself.
ABK: What euphemisms do you find nauseating? Which do you feel are over used?
TR: I really hate erotica that is filled with “cocks” and “dicks” and “pussies” and “cunts.” I don’t need all that. What makes a sex scene erotic is the dynamic between the two or three characters, not their interlocking body parts.
ABK: Do you feel Erotic novels are becoming more mainstream? Or are you and other erotic authors fighting an uphill battle against our prudish country?
TR: It is disheartening that in America, one realistic sex scene can earn a film an NC-17 rating while a movie full of gun play and murder can still be PG. If I had kids, I’d much rather discover they were having sex than murdering people. All I can do is tell my stories that take sexy kinksters and show what real, awesome, and fun people they are.
ABK: Do you have any advice for those of us looking to break into the industry?
TR: Have talent. Use it.
I wish there was an easier way. I’m not one of those Pollyanna’s who say, “Anyone can write if they try hard enough!” I’ve met a lot of writers who work their asses off and still can’t write their way out of a paper bag. But if you do have talent, have a good voice, have a way with words, then write until your hands fall off. Recently I asked my ex-boyfriend who is a track coach how I could improve my 5K time. He said, “Run more.” That’s kind of my advice. Want to be a better writer? Write more.
Follow Tiffany on Twitter: @TiffanyReisz (something I highly reccomend)
Visit her website
And Buy Seven Day Loan from Amazon!
(A quick thank you to Jenna - another fan of Ms. Reisz - who suggested the Black and Blue Color scheme. It is only appropriate for her books.)