AAD Interview & Contest: Cherise Sinclair

Author Spotlight Long

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today on Romancing the Book.  It’s an honor to be here.

I was planning to interview one of the Masters for my time at Romancing the Book, but—typical Doms—they refused to keep their language and innuendos at a PG level. (Why am I not surprised?)

So, since I’ve been getting email questions about writing, I thought I’d talk about a writerly sort of subject—the theme of a book. (Doesn’t that make you cringe with memories of book reports?)

And yet, now that I’m the one writing the books, I’ve found the odd concept quite useful. My interest began when an evil editor asked me, “What’s your book about?” Unfortunately, she didn’t want to know about the easily spieled-off plot. Nooo, she wanted the bones, the blood, the underlying basis for the whole thing.

I totally didn’t get it. (And trust me, it hurts to look like an idiot in front of an editor.)

Then one day, I read a Guy Gavriel Kay novel and got that joyous swishing noise indicating an idea was filtering down through the rocks in my head. Kay had constructed his plot, characters, and scenes around a simple question: What does a man leave behind when he’s dead? There was no right or wrong answer. Every character has his own ideas. But the beauty of the design left me stunned…and wanting to try the technique myself.

Of course, since I write erotic romance, my themes tend to be a tad different. I started simple. In Hour of the Lion, my question was: What is a person’s duty to herself, to her loved one, or to her country? The heroine was a Marine and a black ops agent, who learns of an hidden society of shifters when she saves a boy. She promises to keep the boy’s secret, but what if the creatures pose a danger to the country she is sworn to protect?

 ~ ~ ~

A grunt. “No, that’s not good. Your buddy’s name is…?”

“I’d rather not say, sir. I don’t want to betray a confidence.”

Silence. She knew what he was thinking. Duty to your country outweighed any other loyalty, including what you owed to your friends. But she’d made a promise to Lachlan. Unless the shifters were dangerous, she wouldn’t put them in Wells’  sights.

~ from Hour of the Lion

 ~ ~ ~

Of course, with BDSM erotic romance, the questions can get even grittier. For example, in Breaking Free, my theme was: What constitutes abuse? As with any alternative lifestyle, BDSM can attract unstable personalities—abusers—as well as honorable people. So when does a flogging cross from a fun kink into something else?

 ~ ~ ~

As the Dom turned the sub to face them, Nolan leaned forward. There were ugly, knotted scars on her right shin. The round shiny marks on her breasts suggested cigarette burns.

All the marks were white, so nothing had occurred within the last few months. Nolan’s gaze traveled up her body to her restrained arms. More scars. “How bad are her hands?” he asked Z, his gut twisting.

“About what you’d expect from the rest. Old fractures, old burns. Puncture wounds in her palms.”

Some bastard had played crucifixion games? “Hell, Z, have you killed the guy or are you saving him for me?”

~ from Masters of the Shadowlands 3: Breaking Free

~ ~ ~

Slowly but surely, I’ve learned that having a theme can (sometimes) keep me from wandering astray, as well as stimulate new ideas for scenes and subplots. In To Command and Collar, I planned to look at slavery from different angles. Of course, there were the obvious contrasts—involuntary slavery as opposed to consensual Master/slave relationships. But aren’t there other forms of servitude?

 ~ ~ ~

Her mother had been a slave as much as any woman with a collar around her neck. How strange that a housewife could have fewer rights than a submissive. And Mom had been much, much less cherished.

~ from Masters of the Shadowlands 6: To Command and Collar

 ~ ~ ~

While writing a book, sometimes I discover that what I thought I was writing about has morphed into something else. My newest book, coming out May 28th, was supposed to be about trust. (Gotta say, it sucks when a theme fades away right there on the computer screen). Well, it turned out the book was about accepting yourself. And thank heavens, the title came easily after figuring that out—This Is Who I Am

 ~ ~ ~

“Why are you here, girl?”

“I-I…” Her chin firmed. “I’m trying to decide if being…different…has a place in my life.”

“Different.” Pissed him off the way she saw being unique as being wrong. “Are you talking about being a masochist? Or being a singer? Or a submissive? Or smarter than most? Or maybe being talented at basketry?”

Her spine straightened. “It’s not a joke.”

“I’m not joking.” He curved his hand firmly around her nape as he’d done with Uzuri. Linda instinctively tried to take a step back. When his grip tightened, halting her, he enjoyed the hell out of the way she shivered.

Then he watched as she didn’t move, yet silently, internally fought his control.

And he watched as she surrendered. To him.

~ from Masters of the Shadowlands 7: This Is Who I Am

  ~ ~ ~

There you have it. If you’re a writer, see if using a theme can work for you. And if you’re a reader, see if you can figure out what the down-deep question was that the author was asking.


About Cherise Sinclair

Having to wear glasses in elementary school can scar a person for life. Dubbed a nerd at an early age, Cherise Sinclair has been trying to live up to the stereotype ever since. And what better way than being an author?

Known for writing deeply emotional stories, Cherise is the author of fifteen erotic romance novels, most with a BDSM theme. (Please do not mention the phrase mommy porn in her presence.) Her awards extend from a National Leather Award to a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nomination to a Goodreads BDSM group award for best author of the year. Called an “ascendant erotica queen” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Cherise spends her days writing, supervised by a sadistic calico cat.

You can find Cherise in the following places:

Website: www.CheriseSinclair.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CheriseSinclair
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2882485.Cherise_Sinclair
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CheriseSinclair

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31 thoughts on “AAD Interview & Contest: Cherise Sinclair

  1. Terrie Rayburn says:

    I think a theme i really enjoy reading about is BDSM with romance involved. I do not care for just sex books but ones with a plot. In Ms. Sinclair’s books I feel as I’m there actually watching the people as they reveal themselves or as a friend learning new things.

  2. Gail Campbellc says:

    I enjoyed each and every one of your books! read and re-read them several times. they are on my must keep shelf. thank you so much for writing such fantastic books!

  3. Alicia says:

    Cannot wait for Master Sam’s book. I love books about coming to terms with and/or discovering your true self.

  4. Tiffiny says:

    I can’t wait for Master Sam’s book~! A theme I’d like to see around would probably be a Domme. I think there would be quite a few readers who’d like to see a story with the main character being a Mistress~

  5. Jennifer Denys says:

    I love anything with BDSM in it but I am a sucker for the alien abduction plots, eg, hunky alien abducts earth woman to be his mate and they overcome obstacles of culture and fall in love. If the hero is Dominant and the heroine submissive excellent, and even better if other BDSM takes place!

  6. Last year, I took a wonderful workshop at NJRW with Michael Hauge and part of his all day workshop was teaching themes. I had heard about themes before but never really thought about using them with my own WIP. As he got started, he gave us various visual examples using Film and Television which he eventually wove into themes. As we started to work on our themes in class, I realized two things. My story needed help and that what I wanted my story to be about was completely different what what I actually wrote. I ended up scrapping the project but what came out of it was a fabulous new story with better focus and if I do say so myself, better characters.

    I beg to differ on your point of view regarding the theme for ‘This is Who I Am’. To accept yourself IS to trust yourself. Your theme of trust is still there. The ultimate trust that you are ever going to have is the one that you place in yourself. To know what is good for you, to know that the decisions you made were right for you. To be honest with yourself at all times. Without trust there is fear.

    I’ve been waiting patiently for Sam and Linda’s book and this teaser is just the thing I needed today. Can’t wait to pick up my copy.

  7. Angela Love says:

    I havent found a theme I didn’t like in your books they are just that awesome!!!! I’m so excited for Master Sam’s Book and will be waiting for my amazon Link to go LIVE!!!!! Thank You for the giveaway and the chance to enter!!!

  8. Charlene says:

    This newest book comes out the day before my sons
    Birthday. Guess what I’m getting me? HeHe

  9. Dawn Smith says:

    Many themes interest me. I like books about self discovery, the meaning of family and your books have these in spades! I love your work.

  10. Kelly says:

    Wow. Didn’t know this about themes of books, and I will most definitely be looking for the question in each of the books I read from here on out and reflecting on the previous books I have read and enjoyed to see if I can figure out there’s as well. I am in the very beginning stages of trying to write my own book, and believe this to be great advice for me as well thanks so much Cherise!

  11. Cherise Sinclair says:

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by, and for the lovely compliments!
    * Sarah, I can see you’ll probably enjoy Sally’s book when it comes out.
    * Tiffiny, eventually I might give a Domme a chance, or maybe run two storylines together to keep my M/f readers happy as well. 🙂
    * Jennifer, I enjoy reading alien abductions too. LOL
    * Lizzie, I love Michael Hauge–but I’ve only had the two hour workshops. I envy you the all-day one. And I agree with you about the underlying trust being there as well.
    * Charlene, I think that’s fair. Your son gets a bunch of presents–and you deserve one for doing all that shopping, right?

  12. Bethann says:

    Hi Cherise,

    Lizzie turned me onto to your books. I just want to say that you are one f*cking hot writer. My husband thoroughly enjoys your books too and he doesn’t read. I would love it if you chose me for any of your Shadowlands backlist book as I have read your others.

    Much success to you.

  13. OMG Cherise, my head was spinning after the Hauge workshop! I have a book filled with notes. He stayed after and answered any questions. We had lunch with him. Oh to pick his brain was like getting that inside track onto anything that is good for your writing. I wish you could have attended. I would have loved to have met you.

    Someday, you, me and Kally are going out for drinks and a rousing good time! *hugs*

  14. cathy hart says:

    That is a very good Ideal when writing a book or doing a report., I have not read anything of your I did not love !! Thank you

  15. Mary says:

    Interesting about the themes – as far as the one question. What a simple way to keep focused, yet it never occured to me – glad I’m not a writer lol

    I love so many different kinds of books, it’s hard to pick a favorite “theme” – as long as it’s a good story with interesting characters, I’m in 🙂

  16. Karen Haw says:

    I see the themes in your books, but they are woven so tightly into the story that they don’t hit you in head. I love everything you’ve written.!

  17. June M. says:

    I guess my favorite theme is to just be yourself and love yourself 🙂
    LOVE Cherise’s books and can’t wait for THIS IS WHO I AM to release!

  18. Cherise Sinclair says:

    Y’all are so sweet. Thank you!
    * Lizzie, definitely drinks with Kally. 🙂
    * Thank you, Romancing the Book, for having me here today!

  19. sheri says:

    I like the BDSM theme. I can get into almost any theme as long as it’s well written. I love Cherise’s books especially the Shadowlands and have been looking forward to the release of this one.

  20. Dawn Roberto says:

    I think the theme I love the most is a combination of a few things-trust and love…it can be about a person themselves or to the ones they need to trust and love but above all, acceptance as well.

    I can’t wait to read the next book. I think I need to finish up the last few books so I am up to date on everything. 🙂

  21. Jen B. says:

    I don’t have one theme that I tend toward. I like a little bit of everything. When I need something comfortable I go for historical romance. I enjoy a good m/m book. I would like to see a theme of a man and woman with a healthy, happy relationship who don’t have instant love and who decide that they want to grow together into the world of BDSM. I am getting a little burned out with the couples that are so broken and have to instant heal! That being said, I devour every new book in the Shadowland series and then wait impatiently for the next one!

  22. Tina Post says:

    I have read the whole series a couple of times while waiting for Sam’s book. I can’t wait for his book, I want to know about him.

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