Everett Washington 2016
We were thrilled to have the fabulously talented Tiffany Reisz join us as our Keynote Speaker in 2016. Below are a few questions we had for her to help you get to know her better.
Which authors inspire you?
That’s a long list. If we’re talking about kinky books, then it’s Jacqueline Carey and Anne Rice for sure. I fell madly in love with the Sleeping Beauty books in high school. That was my introduction to BDSM erotic literature. I’ve probably read those books a hundred times at least. Then when I was in seminary and desperately looking for something to distract me from homework, I stumbled across Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It blew my mind. It was the most wonderfully immersive glorious novel with a kinky heroine I’d ever read. That’s the book that inspired me to try my hand at writing kink.
I also love reading Mary Renault, May Sarton, Jennifer Egan, Madeleine L’Engle. My favorite novel of all time is probably All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. Best fantasy novel I’ve read recently is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. All these authors inspire me to write harder and better and to stretch my creative wings.
Where did the idea for the Original Sinners series come from. Did you imagine it as more than one book or did it just evolve that way?
I had a massive crush on actor Jason Isaacs in the early 2000s. I read an interview he gave where he said that while he played villains all the time, super-baddies like Captain Hook, he’d love to play a character a lot like himself and then described himself as being a sort of overeducated neurotic British Jewish guy. I remember thinking…” I could make that sexy.” I needed to give my stuffy Type A male lead a female foil. I originally thought of the book as Zach’s but Nora stole the show and then her life stole the show and then all her lovers stole the show until I realized I wanted to write about Nora’s erotic exploits forever. The reason the series is so long and so detailed is that I worked on book one The Siren for six years. In six years, you learn a lot about a character. One book couldn’t handle all the stories I wanted to tell in this world. So I had an idea for eight books—four in the present and four that tell the origin stories of my Sinners. Book eight The Queen comes out in October 2015. It’s the culmination of over a decade of work. I wrote the rough draft of THE SIREN in 2003. It’s a real dream come true to hold all these books in print.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter, I suppose although my plots never work the first time and I have to keep rewriting to find a plot that does work. I always know the ending of a book before I start writing. The ending of a book is everything. You don’t know what you’re writing until you know how it ends. Romance? Happy ending?. Tragedy? Somebody dies at the end. I often know the last line when I start writing even if I know nothing else. I had such a good last line for my book The Bourbon Thief (coming June 2016) that it kept me going when the entire book threatened to fall apart. I rewrote it about six times because I didn’t want that killer last line to go to waste.
Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you handle it?
I get plot block sometimes. I’ll be writing and something will just feel “off.” There’s nothing to do then but stop writing and give myself a couple days to think about it. Usually I realize I was pulling my punches, trying to write a kinder gentler book than I need to be writing. I have to work up the courage to write the book I really want to write. So it’s more like cowardice than writer’s block. Then I slap myself in the face a few times, yell “Snap out of it!” and get back to work.
What kind of feedback do you get from readers?
I have the best readers in the world. Not a day passes where I don’t get a tweet or an email from a reader thanking me for the books. A lot of readers thank me for writing a leading lady like Nora who is happily child-free by choice and who does what she wants without apologizing or making excuses. They thank me for Søren because he has gotten them back in church or praying again. They thank me for Kingsley because he makes them laugh so much. I got an email from a reader who said she was homophobic until she read The Angel and by the end she was dying for Michael and Griffin to get together. My readers give me a great deal of joy. Knowing I have this devoted wonderful readership out there keeps me going on days I’d rather give up and get a real job.
You’ve signed with Mira Books for a new series. What will this new series be about?
My next books aren’t in a series. They are all standalones. And—gasp!—they aren’t kinky. The first The Bourbon Thief, is a dark twisty Southern Gothic with a child bride in a marriage of convenience to steal her inheritance back from her mother.
Night Mark is a time travel romance with a widowed heroine discovering that a lighthouse keeper from 100 years ago looks exactly like her husband and then accidentally traveling back in time to meet him…
They’ve all been so much fun to write. I hope my readers love them as much as I do.
Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as “literary friction,” a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself.