Sierra Simone writes with a sensual, poetic elegance that is literally breathtaking, effortlessly taking readers on a journey into the most taboo of desires.
It will either come as a shocking surprise, or shockingly not at all, that as a young girl Sierra Simone had aspirations of becoming a nun. The bestselling author known for her elegant and erotic prose, was enamoured of religious life and saw herself in a convent garbed in robes.
“Once I got old enough to apprehend what it was I’d actually be giving up – I realized I probably wasn’t cut out for the nun life!” she says. “So for a long time, I planned to be a theologian. Somehow I ended up writing erotic romance instead…”
Once Sierra broke into the romance genre, she realised she’d been chasing its signature across all the other genres she’d read. “Sex and power and angst – my favourite things – are distilled into this one arena, and then that arena happens to have a rule I think we should all live by, which is that everyone deserves a just, hopeful, and happy outcome,” she muses.
Her writing style is atmospheric and she writes primarily from a feeling; “Some writers have a premise in mind when they start or a character’s voice – but I start with the feeling I want the book to have. Every line, every movement of the characters, all of it, is to serve that feeling, so that (hopefully) reading a book of mine feels immersive and emotional.”

This depth is then extended to narratives that are typically taboo and/or boundary-stretching, something Sierra is adept at handling.

She admits that writing taboo and edgy romance is terrifying; “I’m constantly filled with fear, and I think that’s essential. You can’t write fearlessly unless you’re willing to be friendly with fear – fear insists that you interrogate your motives and methods, and fear clarifies your purpose. So I try to befriend my fear as much as possible and walk hand in hand with it.”
It’s a technique that has garnered mass appeal. Sierra believes there are three kinds of stories – ones that ask questions, ones that give answers, and stories that do both.
“Taboo falls mainly in this first category – it asks questions we think we already know the answer to. What happens if a priest falls in love? What happens if two brothers fall in love? Or step-siblings? Or cousins? These are dangerous questions because they’re asking something deeper about our society and what it means to be human – and what it means to be human is the essential question that every good story asks.
So the appeal of the edgy or taboo or dark romance is that underneath the subversion is the real work of asking things that matter: What is right? What is wrong? Who gets to decide? And what does it mean to be human and have dignity? With taboo, readers get the double pleasure of indulging curiosity and fantasy and also getting to see humanity affirmed even in the darkest and most provocative situations.”
Erotic romance pushes the boundaries, with sexuality becoming one of – if not the – central paradigm for the characters to act within. “So all the hurt, all the healing, the conflict and resolution – all of those foundations happen in the sexual landscape.

It doesn’t mean that social or emotional landscapes aren’t extremely important, but it does mean that everything is bound together in sexuality in some way.

The beautiful thing about humans and sex is that we’re all different and we all experience that sexuality differently, which means that erotic romance is a hugely varied and rich subgenre, and every book feels different.”
For Sierra, setting is one of the most crucial elements in every story or scene, so she usually starts by asking, “Where’s the most evocative place this can happen? And how can I make the space inform their interaction?”
For example, when she wrote the sex-on-the-altar scene for Priest, she thought a long time about what that scene needed and what the characters needed.
“Having something so carnal and human happen on such a ubiquitously holy feature was about asking questions – why is one thing holy and another thing not? Why are symbols more important than people? Do we really believe there’s a difference between the sacred and the profane? And if so, what actually makes consensual, fulfilling sex unsacred? The series I’m writing now has a holy place that invites sexuality, and that place asks some different questions of my characters. What is the power of pleasure? And should that power be shared?”
Who, or what, lights you up? I love, love, love reading. I mean, love it. There’s something about a drink and a blanket and a new book that sends gets me all ramped up – even though I start a new book almost 200 times a year. It never fails to make me happy and content-feeling.
Do you have a favourite of your characters? Ash Colchester from the New Camelot series for sure! He’s the perfect man in my eyes. He’s powerful and dominant and just utterly wrecked with how much he loves the people in his life. Swoon!

You like to learn new words daily, what’s your current word? Callipygian. It means having well-shaped buttocks.

 

Talk to me about your naughty cats – what makes them so mischievous? Ugh. The thing is, I used to pride myself on liking both lovers and animals to be emotionally inaccessible, so cats were perfect.They were fickle and aloof and disrespectful — unlike dogs, what with their artless and unconditional love. GROSS. What kind of morally weak person would like a pet like that?! Except then I got a dog and realized, “Oh, me, I’m the person who wants the artlessly happy pet and needs to be followed from room to room by something that adores me.” So now I’m a total dog convert. Which, of course, the cats couldn’t care less about.

 

You have a hot cop husband… I do have a hot cop husband! So many of the best parts of my heroes – loyalty, discipline, sacrifice – come from him. But he’s never read any of my books! I think he’s a little afraid of what he might find…

What are you reading? I just finished up The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan, and it was stunning. Just a masterpiece of love, heritage, and what we choose to change about the world. It was one of those books that I had to reread the moment I finished it, just so I didn’t miss a single thing.
Authors you admire? GAH, so many! In fact, readers can go to my website to see a periodically updated list of amazing books I come across. But right now, hands down, the author I admire most is Kennedy Ryan. She tells stories so powerful that they’ll shake you right down to your marrow, and she tells them with language so beautiful it’s practically poetry.
Authors you admire? GAH, so many! In fact, readers can go to my website to see a periodically updated list of amazing books I come across. But right now, hands down, the author I admire most is Kennedy Ryan. She tells stories so powerful that they’ll shake you right down to your marrow, and she tells them with language so beautiful it’s practically poetry.
Most people don’t know I… Have narcolepsy! Juggling an autoimmune disorder with a family and career is sometimes a mess, but I keep muddling along somehow. It helps to have a good partner and also readers who are very forgiving of my timetables. ♥
#blushmagazine #sierrasimone

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