Editor’s note: This post contains content unsuitable for people under the age of 18 due to sexual content.
Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Rhyll and congratulations on the release of ‘Unrestrained ’. Can you give us the blurb, please?
When the reclusive Holly Unthanks finds some very naughty photos, both the star—a muscular Teutonic god with some serious ink and a knack for knots—and the way he’s tied his lady friend to his four-poster bed, make her more than a little curious. But to get to know the big, built stonemason better, she’ll have to overcome his vengeful ex and her own inhibitions—and pray that the walls she’s built around her guarded heart and dark secret remain safe from a man who has a way with stone.
Can you tell us the differences between erotic romance, erotica, and sexy romance, please?
Different authors might disagree with my definition of the differences, but to me a ‘happy ever after’ or ‘happy for now’ are optional in erotica whereas they’re not in romance. And in erotic romance sex is an essential plot element (e.g. trigger for character development and conflict) whereas this isn’t the case in sexy romance (no matter how much heartfelt boffing goes on). For example, because Unrestrained is an erotic romance, whether Holly can move past her inhibitions is an important plot element (and a happy ending depends on it).
Erotic romance has certainly taken off as a genre in recent years, why do you think that it has taken so long to become mainstream?
My theory is that once e-books and e-book readers such as Kindle became ubiquitous, this allowed women to consume/purchase what they wanted without being slut-shamed at the library or bookstore.
Some readers hold the perception that erotic romance is just about sex, but it’s more than that. What else will a first time reader find in an erotic romance?
Because sex is an important plot element (i.e. either a trigger for character development, relationship change, conflict, or a crucible – something that prevents the couple from leaving one another) I often find the sex scenes in erotic romance a lot more meaningful (story-wise and for characters) than those in stories where they’re inserted to spice things up or for pacing reasons. In other words, because sex is an important plot element, the sex in erotic romance is emotionally charged rather than mindless bonking.
Also, human sexuality is such a highly emotive and fascinating subject, with a million different facets and variations with every individual—the character and dynamics possibilities are endless. Good erotic romance explores that variety, and the highs and lows of sexuality, and—most importantly—the vulnerability people experience when it comes to sex. Sexuality issues also seem a very realistic and natural romance plot conflict to me, and less artificial than say, for example, a secret baby or mistaken identity. I think erotic romance also offers writers a lot of freedom in terms of genre boundaries, which means there are some really unique characters and stories out there.
You write about heroes and heroines with unusual occupations. Which has been the most interesting and why?
I do love unusual occupations, it’s true. I think stonemason is the most interesting one I’ve written about so far, and I really enjoyed researching the different types of stone, tools and techniques involved. To me it’s a type of craftsmanship close to art (sculpture) and because I’m a hobby artist learning about materials and methods appealed.
You’ve lived in many different countries, do you have a favourite? What was it about that place that made it endearing to you?
Prague was my favourite city to live in because it’s so very beautiful, cultured and historic. I don’t know that ‘endearing’ is the right way to describe the Czech Republic but I certainly enjoyed my time there.
I love that you write about things that don’t always happen in real life, but should, such as the plain looking girl getting the hot guy. How have your readers responded to this change of character stereotype?
I think readers have always loved that sort of thing, think of Mr Rochester and ‘plain’ Jane Eyre. It’s pretty common in popular culture, too, and I’ll confess that I’m totes waiting for Oliver to fall for ‘plain’ Felicity in the TV series Arrow. I don’t see anything wrong with authors or scriptwriters offering their audience a bit of wish fulfillment. After all, who else is going to offer it?
You are the co-founder of the Naughty Ninjas. Can you tell us a bit about being part of a ninja group?
Being a ninja is awesome as I can always count on my fellow ninjas for tips, ideas, shameless pimping, merkin discussions, encouragement and support. Being a writer/author can be tough at times, so it really helps me to know that a half dozen ninjas have got my back. Plus they’re all funny, creative and filthy—my favourite kind of friends.
What is your current WIP about and what does the future hold for Rhyll Biest?
I’m currently writing book two in a saucy fantasy series about demons. My spiritual guide assures me that writing about sex and demons will keep me young forever, so I feel that’s the way to go.
Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Unrestrained’, please?
Carving headstones for a living didn’t make him the Grim Reaper. He was just a man, a man being blackmailed.
To call or not to call? She hated that the very idea of doing it immediately made her skin prickle with discomfort, and that it wasn’t just the thought of the man himself that made her uncomfortable, but the physical act of calling him. It was hard to pass for normal, to be normal, with her almost pungent aversion to phones. Landlines, cell phones, business and personal calls, she hated them all and it wasn’t unusual to catch herself pretending she couldn’t get to the phone in time to answer it, or deliberately letting her cell phone batteries go flat, sometimes for weeks at a time. It had lost her many editing clients and yet still she did it. Because she remembered the shrill sound of her cell phone ringing and ringing while she was busy dying.
Don’t be a pussy, Holly. Man up.
She had to force herself to do it, to take out her phone, which actually had some charge left. Poor planning on her part. Her fingers misdialed twice on the suddenly too-small keys before she nailed the third attempt. Three rings, four rings, five. No answer. Maybe he’d changed his number to dodge the stalky, threatening Luisa. Maybe his hands were full of tombstone. Maybe he was busy tying someone up. Or perhaps he was ignoring the phone like normal people did now and then. Except there was nothing ‘normal’ or ‘like most’ about Herr Stein, the butcher of stone, and now there was no hiding the truth from herself, that his looks, his very being, intimidated her. Thoroughly. As well as everything else about him. His job. His name. That stare.
She hung up, the rich baritone reverberating in her ears. She focused on her hot chocolate as she replayed the sound. His voice was subterranean deep, wrapped in a harsh German brute of an accent. He’d uttered a single word, yet it had transformed him instantly from a picture to a flesh-and-blood man, a man she didn’t know, a man who didn’t look at all friendly, and who more than likely had an attitude to match his insanely powerful body.
Sweet splicing semicolons, Holly, you would have to be out of your gourd, bat-shit, flesh-eating crazy to get mixed up in this.
Author Bio: I’m an Australian writer of erotic romance published with Escape, Ellora’s Cave, Momentum and Mischief. Living in Prague, Shanghai and Germany as well as studying Russian and German have given me a taste for the exotic, and I populate my writing with sexy Soviet men, Teutonic hotties and alluring Aussie vixens. Yes, I’m host to the United Nations of Hotness (in my writer’s imagination, at least).
Rhyll is kindly gifting one Ecopy of ‘Unrestrained’ to one lucky reader. To be in the running, all you need to do is leave a comment below.
This competition is open world wide and will be drawn one week after posting.