Monday, October 8, 2012

Giveaway & Interview with Skye Warren

HiSkye and welcome to My Secret Romance! We are very excited to have you heretoday.

Yourwork has been called many things, most notably "dark erotica" by you. It certainly does give the correct impression.  Thankfully youalways provide a HEA or HFN ending.  How do you keep the balance betweendark and twisted and just plain crossing the line?
Thanks so much for having me, Taryn!That’s a great question.

Having an HEA is important to me personally,so it’s not a struggle to include one or make that promise to my readers. Ithink that’s because, in my mind, I write romance. It just happens to occur ina dark world, where violence and violation is the norm, where power exchange isbuilt into every interaction, and where the hero and heroine are not immunefrom the dangers around them. So I am content to call it dark erotica, in orderto warn away people who don’t want to read that and attract people who crave it.

As for crossing the line, I hope Ido.

I think that’s a big part of whatdraws people to dark erotica—they want their boundaries to be pushed, they wantto really feel and experience the darkness, and perhaps in the case of mybooks, with the comfort of knowing there will be peace at the end.

Whatdrives you to write dark erotica?
I have always been fascinated byissues of power exchange, particularly where consent is concerned. I thinksociety wants consent to be this concrete thing, that makes us feel moresecure, but it never really works. Its nature is fluid, and by denying that, wearen’t doing anyone any favors, least of us all victims.

For example, the heroine in Hear Mewas abducted and trained to be a sex slave. But when we meet her, she hasescaped. She finds refuge in the house and arms of a stranger. The questionthat the characters (and the reader) struggle with is… can she truly consent atthis point? It’s easy to say no. She’s too confused, too messed up, too weak.But in doing so, we are actually stripping her of her rights, to think forherself, to choose. And how is that any better than what her captors did toher?

Doyou ever struggle with controversy over your work?
Definitely. At the beginning, Isuspected no one would want to read it. But I put it out there, and washonestly shocked at the level of interest, both the negative and the positive.

The first book was Keep Me Safe,which opens to the hero having sex with the heroine… with dubious consent.Right there in the first scene, and it only gets worse. This is very darkstuff, and yet that books stayed on the Amazon Erotica bestseller list for avery long time. It wasn’t my best book from a technical point of view (firstbooks rarely are) but the commercial success of that book told me that peoplewant to read about this.

And yeah, Keep Me Safe also pissed alot of people off. In later books, I have increased my warnings A LOT, to helpward off these unsuspecting readers. In fact, I’ve had several people ask mewhy my warnings are so extreme, saying that they are unnecessarily so, but I preferthem too harsh than too lax. Still, there will always be readers who don’t readthe warnings or take them seriously. Sometimes we don’t know where ourboundaries are until we are past them.

Whichof your stories would you say you're most proud of or is your favorite (if youhave one) and why?
I think every book is my favoritewhen I’m writing it. Similar to how a reader connects with the characters of abook, a writer must be completely connected to a character they’re writing, sothat’s how I feel about Hear Me right now. But Trust in Me will always bespecial to me. It was a book that I wrote very quickly; it pretty much pouredout of me. And despite the extreme sexual content, it has been well receivedeven among more traditionally romance readers. I’m proud of it J

Ifsomeone were completely new to your books, but very interested, what book wouldyou tell them to start with and why?
Definitely Hear Me. It has thepsychological aspects of dark erotica but the physical/sexual violence is muchless extreme than the previous books in the series, so I think it will appealto a wider audience and be less of a shock to new readers. But don’t worry, it’sstill pretty shocking J

What is something people wouldn't knowabout you?
I am classic conflict avoider, whichmay be surprising since I write controversial books. But I can’t control whatinterests me or turns me on. My intention in writing is to share that withlike-minded people. I don’t want to horrify people… unless they want me to ;-)

What is romance to you?
I mentioned earlier that in my mind,I write romance. To me romance is about two people coming to know and love eachother, and choosing to live their lives together. It’s a joining, and that isthe core at the center of my stories, even dark erotica.

What are you currently working on at themoment? Can you share a little with us?
In the first two books of the darkerotica series, the villain is a man named Carlos. He does some trulyatrocious, horrific things to the heroines and other people in those books, reallysome of the worst things you could imagine.

..and he’s going to be the “hero” ofBook 4 in the series.

Earlier we talked about crossing theline. Well, that’s about as far past the line as I can even see, and it mayvery well be too far for my readers—or for me. I’m looking forward to it.

Is there an author who you would love tomeet? Who and why?
I would love to hang out with KittyThomas and Annabel Joseph. Luckily, there’s twitter.

Do you read books in the genre youwrite?
Absolutely. I love all the books bythe two authors above, and I think they definitely qualify as such, maybe Kittymore than Annabel, but both are fantastic. To be honest, “dark erotica” is asmallish subgenre, so there aren’t that many authors who write in it. Mainstreamerotica is starting contain darker elements that exemplify dark erotica, likeTiffany Reisz’ The Siren or even Bared ToYou by Sylvia Day.

Thank you so much for taking the timefor an interview.

EXCERPT from Hear Me:

 Even the earthconspired to keep her. Branches grabbed at her skin like talons; the beach wasquicksand, dragging her down. Hope was too abstract to compete with the soundof men shouting behind her. Even her fear was drowned by the ragged beat of herheart.

“Melody!” Thevoice sounded closer than the thrashing of leaves and branches.

Run, run away,don’t look back.

Her eyes,already stunted by lack of food, filled with grit and precious moisture. If shemade it to the water, she could float away. Even if only to drift down to thebottom, entombed in sand castles and chained by seaweed. They would take herprisoner; they would keep her safe.

A batteredperson was cracked soil, but dreams were like weeds. She could survive this.That was the goal she set for herself, huddled in the cold, damp cell. She hadclung to it as they touched her, beat her. Trained her.

The line offrothy water was in her sights but disappointment seared her. She was too faraway, the sand too thick.

An extra burstof energy propelled her two more stumbling steps. Her legs gave out. Sheclenched and released fistfuls of sand, not even sure she was actually crawlingforward.
Coolness lappedat her fingertips, surprising her. Her mind, tired and rusty, turned thatinformation over. She had made it. Water. Safety? No, freedom.

A slow, steady thwapping noise drew her gaze upward. Asmall green boat bobbed in the shallow water. Gentle waves flicked its hull,almost soothing, like the caress of a flogger. The rhythm thrummed through her.Even without the sting of impact, her mind began the slide.

No. Subspace meant security but not today.Right now it meant death, and she refused to die.

She blinked awaythe salt in her eyes and clawed through the water to the boat. With a strengththat surprised her, she climbed over the edge, tumbling into the grimy bottom.It rocked gently with her weight then settled back into the gentle bob.

The boat wasn’ttied down anywhere, but there wasn’t an oar. Not that she had the strength touse one or a place to go.

Never mind. Herwish had been granted. She would drift out to sea, like a message in a bottle.

Her head lolledagainst the rim of the boat. She breathed in the pungent smell of earth andmoss. Her last thought before she drifted off to sleep was fanciful. Sheimagined a giant plucking her from the water, unfurling her like a scroll, andreading the lines slashed into her skin.

She wonderedwhat they would say.

Author Bio:

Skye Warren writes unapologetic erotica, where painand sex and love collide. She has been called "a true mistress of dark andtwisted erotica" and her dark erotica series has reached the bestsellerlists at Amazon and been a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick.

Author Links:

Buy Links:

READ Buffy and Taryn's review.

Skye Warren is giving away a $100 Amazon gift cardand four $25 Barnes & Noble gift cards on this tour.  

Enter to win by leaving a comment below. What do you enjoy aboutreading dark books?
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amber said...

I enjoy seeing characters overcome terrible things and find strength within themselves to keep going.
amberdcline gmail com

Kelsey Summer said...

Even though I would never want to live the experiences in dark books, I love reading them and seeing how the characters deal with their experiences and grow stronger.

kesummer69 at gmail dot com

Maureen said...

I like reading them because the stories are so compelling.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Brandi Franklin said...

I like reading dark books and watching the characters evolve as they find strength and courage.

Joanne said...

I like seeing the characters in the stories overcome things that are haunting them and get their HEA or even a HFN.


Chrisbails said...

This sounds like a great book. This is a new author for me. I love to read and always looking for new authors to check out. Will be following with tour. Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

amandakgc said...

What I enjoy about reading dark romance is that the author doesn't give the readers all hearts and flowers and that the guy/girl can be a little fucked up. Excuse the language.



LoonyAlana said...

Ohhhh... why haven't I heard of these before? Sounds right up my alley!

Unknown said...

Sometimes I'm just in that weird mood when such books appeal to me. And I'm not a chick-lit, sappy romance kind of a girl, so.. dark romance is just up my ally... :)

papercutsie at GMAIL dot com.

Kerry said...

I like dark erotica - this sounds intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway.

Chrissy said...

I can't wait to read this one! Loved Keep Me Safe and Trust In Me! Love the change up from the regular HEA romance.

Angie said...

I love reading dark and erotic books. I'm not sure why but I feel like the depth of the characters and the plot line are just much better and more intense.

This is one amazing giveaway...thank you!!!

Alex said...

I've never read a dark erotica story before so this should be very interesting indeed.

Skye Warren said...

@Amber I love that too! It's empowering... and hot ;-)

@Kelsey Great point. Thanks, Kelsey!

@Maureen It all comes down to story. Thanks!

@Brandi Thanks!

@Joanne Gotta have my HEA. Thanks for commenting!

@Christbails Thanks :) I love hooking up with new readers.

@Amanda Haha, no worries, I like things a little fucked up as well ;-) Good luck!

@LooneyAlana Awesome, thanks :)

@Papercutsie Yes! I love to read (and write) dark in a certain mood, then I flip over to an epic historical or something.

@Chrissy Yay! Thank you!

@Angie Yes, I love the intensity as well. Thanks!

Karla Doyle said...

Hear Me is such a great story. I literally couldn't stop reading once I'd started. But Carlos as a hero...I think you have your work cut out for you, Skye! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

erin said...

thanks for a great post and congrats on the release! Sounds fantastic!

Laurie said...

I think it's seeing people overcome obstacles and finding happiness in some form that works for them.

Maria D. said...

I don't read a lot of dark books but I do read some - mostly for the character development as I find that the character development in darker books tends to be more indepth.
Good interview!

June M. said...

I am very eager to see how you take the villain from the first two books and turn him into the hero of the fourth. I am always amazed when authors can make you love someone that was once a hated villain.
June M.

Sarah Handrich said...

Awesome giveaway!

BookAttict said...

I absolutely LOVED Trust In Me and I'mm looking forward to checking out Hear Me!

Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com

Chrisbails said...

I love dark books, but sometimes to dark makes me sad reading it. I enjoyed the post. Liked the excerpt, definately intrigued with it. This is also a new author for me. I love to read and always looking for new authors. Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

paige forrester said...

i like reading them because they capture me when i start reading

laceyblossom said...

Sometimes I get tired of the whole cute, romance thing, so once in a while, dark books appeal to me :)

Jyl22075 said...

The thing I love about dark books is watching the characters overcome the odds.

bn100 said...

Seeing how the characters transform throughout the book

Roxxii said...

I like reading them because they feel a tad bit more real. I like that it isn't all hearts and flowers. (although, I have nothing against those either) but it's good to have variety. I like the intensity and and character development.

Micha T. said...

I enjoy books where there is good character development and you really feel like you know the characters and can feel their emotions. If I can connect to them and their emotions it makes the read such a better, stronger experience.

Jennifer Singh said...

I haven't heard about this book before, but I'm definitely going to check it out. Awesome giveaway, I hope I'm lucky enough to win! =)

Sherry said...

I love all kinds of romance books it just depends on what kind of mood I'm in to which I read.
sstrode at scrtc dot com

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

I've recently gotten back to reading am loving it! I've been mostly reading romance, either YA, dark or whichever way I can get it. This is a fantastic giveaway!

Renald said...

I have to like the characters. If I'm not into them, I won't finssh the book. Deb P

Daniel M said...

the darker the better, but can go to far if everybody gets killed off - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Susan Shapley said...

Dark romances that push the limits aren't necessarily a bad experience for readers. I'm sure that Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker or my favorite of the bunch, D.H. Lawrence, didn't concern themselves with this criticism when they were creating their edgy, sexy masterpieces. If a piece is well-written, a certain creative moodiness is honestly evoked, and the characters and their situations ring true, the writer need not fear that he or she has written "trash" or defies all that is moral in the world. Rather, a reader can empathize and feel for the characters, whether they agree with their life decisions or not.
Susan Shapley

Ryan Snyder said...

all the books i could buy with that!!! :D:D:D:D:D this book sounds sexy. and i love me some sexy reads. :) thanks for the opportunity.

Maureen said...

I do like darker stories where the characters have to deal with tough issues.

laurie said...

I enjoy seeing characters overcome terrible things and find strength within themselves to keep going.

Sarah Handrich said...

Can't wait to read this book!


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