I Hear The Siren’s Call: Q&A with Tiffany Reisz (That’s Mistress Tiffany to You)

18 Oct

Madeline here!

photo by RV Suvan, cc

Super-thrilled to be chatting with Tiffany Reisz today.  Here are some questions she answered for your delight. (Warning, we were dropping f-bombs left and right. Brace yourself, Nelly.)

Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and YOU, yes, lucky YOU could win a signed copy of The Siren from Mistress Tiffany.  Check back at this post on Friday when we will announce a winner!

MADELINE IVA: How’d you get your agent?

TIFFANY REISZ: I found my agent, Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency, on querytracker.net. I’d sold SEVEN DAY LOAN, a Spice Brief novella, on my own the year before and it gave me the confidence to start querying. She was in my first batch of agent’s I queried. I picked her because she said she was looking for erotica. I didn’t (and still don’t) consider The Siren “erotica” per se but I knew I’d need an agent with, let’s just say, a high tolerance for pain. We’ve been a beautiful team. She believed in me from day one and has sold what should have been an unsaleable (hardcore S&M with underage sex, multiple partners, a kinky Catholic priest, a heroine who’s a Dominatrix…) book to a massive mainstream imprint.

MADELINE IVA: How’d you get your first sale?

TIFFANY REISZ: I started with seven agents and only one of the seven wanted anything to do with me. Same deal with the editors. Seven editors were sent The Siren, six said no. Quite frankly, the book scared the shit out most of them. It wasn’t erotica, wasn’t romance, was “too cerebral” according to one editor. Nora made another editor nervous (she’s a Dominatrix, that’s her job). But then…Susan Swinwood of Harlequin of all imprints was looking for something different. Susan has gone on record as saying she likes taboo subject matter in books and complicated endings. She fell in love with Nora and bought book one, The Siren, and book two, The Angel on September 1st of 2010.

MADELINE IVA: A friend once said: “A MIRA heroine owns a vibrator and may wave it around occasionally, but you’ll never see her actually use it.”  Were you shocked that MIRA ended up buying your trilogy? Is MIRA (a division of Harlequin) headed in a new direction? Does 50 Shades of Grey have anything to do with this? (But it couldn’t with your book could it?–because they accepted your book before that phenomenon broke out, right?)

TIFFANY REISZ: In 2011 Harlequin did away with its erotica imprint Spice. The market for erotica had seemingly dried up and most Spice writers were doing nothing but writing romance novels with a couple extra sex scenes. The majority of the Spice writers got moved to HQN, the romance imprint. Once again, The Siren scared too many people. No way could it be marketed as a romance novel. I got sent to Mira where the expectations would be different. Mira is for women’s fiction, general fiction, mysteries and suspense. All my books are erotic (and Gothic) thrillers.

Now that you ask, you don’t ever actually see Nora using a vibrator. If she wants something phallic in her vagina, she just uses somebody’s cock.

On the other hand, you do see her using…





-spreader bars

-scalding candle wax

-a riding crop

Compared to all that, a vibrator seems pretty vanilla.

MADELINE IVA: What has been your response to all the “deeply conflicted” reviews you’ve been getting from authors and readers? They seem to be very moved by the emotion in your work, but oh-so-troubled that you’re breaking all these ‘rules’.  They warn each other constantly to remember that this is erotica–not erotic romance. This tells me that a) your readers are erotic romance readers, not erotica readers and b) you fucked with them pretty good.  Did you mean to break the erotic romance ‘rules’ on purpose? By having an under age virgin in the story, for instance? –Or did your story just come out that way? Let me be blunt here: do you like messing with erotic romance reader’s expectations?  Do you think they need to loosen up about some conventional standards?

TIFFANY REISZ: The reviews crack me up. First of all, I’m utterly floored by how overwhelmingly positive the response to The Siren has been. Go to Amazon and see how many five-star reviews I have. It’s ridiculous. Harlequin says The Siren is the best reviewed book they’ve published in years.

That being said, some readers are conflicted. That’s okay. They’re supposed to be. The whole series is a mindfuck. And I’m saying that in the same tone of voice Morpheous used when explaining to Neo about the rabbit hole he choose to fall down. You won’t even know the mindfuckery I’m pulling until the very end of book four. So in a way, the response to the books was what I intended. I wanted to fuck with minds. Shockingly people are reeling. Readers who hated Søren in book one are madly in love with him by the end of book two. Readers who come into the book thinking monogamy is the only right way to conduct a relationship, cheer Nora on when she follows her heart and her libido into one bed after the other. Readers who think that underage sex is horrifying and male-male sex is gross are falling madly in love with my male-male subplot in The Angel.

I don’t have readers. I have submissives. You can call me Mistress Tiffany Reisz if you want to play.

MADELINE IVA: What is next? I heard you’re quitting your day job in the near future.  Shall we imagine you (a la back cover photos of Barbara Cartland) in a giant pink satin bed,  massive jeweled rings on your fingers, surrounded by frou-frou dogs and a fat box of chocolates?  Or is it back to researching in Gotham City dungeons? (How much do you tip a dungeon dominatrix btw?)

MISTRESS TIFFANY REISZ: All writers dream of quitting the day job. Hopefully this is something I’ll be able to pull off in the next year or two. All signs point to maybe! I think the future holds a move to the West Coast, a lot of writing, some walks on the beach with my ridiculously handsome boyfriend (author Andrew Shaffer), and finally putting Honeytoast, my sad kitteh, into therapy.

Oh, and you tip a Dominatrix  15-20%, just like your hairdresser. Remember, she has to pay dungeon fees.

16 Responses to “I Hear The Siren’s Call: Q&A with Tiffany Reisz (That’s Mistress Tiffany to You)”

  1. natashaisabookjunkie October 19, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Awesome interview, Madeline!! Mistress Tiff is a ROCKSTAR!! Can’t get enough of her books!


  2. Tammi G October 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    I loved this series. I cannot wait for The Prince to see what happens next! Great interview with Tiffany.


  3. Theresa Harrell October 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I truly love both The Siren and The Angel and frankly everything Tif has written!!! I’m thrilled there’s many books to come! I am #Team Nora…Talk about #mindfuck! HELLO! I’m in love with a fictional character!!!
    Looking forward to Tif being rich and famous so she’ll hire me to be her makeup artist!!!! Love her!!


  4. Megan October 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Everything I hear about these books makes me want to read them more! They sound like such an interesting mix of characters, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them.


    • madelineiva October 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

      She’s a great writer. Have you read some of the free reads on her website? A lot of them take place before The Siren starts.


    • madelineiva October 19, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Megan — you are our winner today! Congrats! 🙂


  5. Shoshanna Evers (@ShoshannaEvers) October 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Read and loved The Siren and The Angel 🙂 I didn’t know you had an EDJ Tiff! If you move to the West Coast, look me up, I’ll be in Los Angeles! 🙂 Can’t wait to read The Prince. Loving the mind f*ck, thank you very much, Ma’am. 😉

    Sorry, can’t seem to stop winking at you. It’s all that cuteness. I’m glad you’re *finally* getting Honeytoast therapy. Bean a sad kitteh iz hard. #sad


  6. Liz Everly October 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany and wow what an awesome interview! The book sounds fascinating. I have a heroine in my next book (CRAVINGS) who is a dominatrix. So kudos to you for helping to pave the way for all of us who may fit into those neat, orderly categories.


  7. Elizabeth Shore October 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Thanks for your time, Tiffany! Extremely interesting story about your journey. I can’t wait to read your work. I wondered what happened to Spice. I read several of their stories and thought, although well written, they weren’t actually all that spicy. Did Spice’s erotic romance dry up for Harlequin because other readers had that same reaction, I wonder? It’s an interesting question. Bravo to Mira and Susan Swinwood for embracing your unique work!


  8. Hope October 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    While I agree with 99% of this interview I do have to respectfully disagree. Tiffany’s books are erotic gothic thrillers but there is a hint of “romance” there. People are pulling for Nora and Søren as well as Mick and Griff. I admit it, I’m one of those people who don’t understand the male/male or female/female attraction. I don’t however find fault in people for their personal choices. Having stumbled across many writers that are writing outside the “normal love triangle” I guess my views have become a little more relaxed and people like Tiffany ease you into it, make you comfortable, show you the sometimes soft or harsh sides to things. Tiffany is the girl our mothers didn’t want us to hang out with and she’s also the girl I would have hung out with. 🙂 I look forward to reading more from her, will support her, and glad to be her reader.. (Yes, I’m her READER) because I’m far to dominating myself to be her submissive.


    • madelineiva October 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Hope your comment makes me laugh — oh yeah, Tiffany probably was the little girl who told you how babies were made and all that.


      • Hope October 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

        She would have told you how babies were made, where they came out, who Santa is and lit your first cigarette.

        Love you Tiffany. XOBBXO 😉


  9. Andrea @ The Bookish Babe October 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    “I don’t have readers. I have submissives.” <–Thats perfect! And totally accurate.

    I absolutely love how this series challenges me in my thoughts and beliefs. I'm absolutely in love w/this series and have started handing out the books as gifts.

    Great interview!



  1. Pictures In The Eyes Of The Beholder | Lady Smut - June 19, 2013

    […] Tiffany’s a writer we love here on Lady Smut. (see Madeline’s Q&A with Tiffany here). Tiffany also has a really cool website. It’s moody, all black, white, and grey, well […]


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