Digging Deep to Create the Dark Hero with Sascha Illyvich (and W*n Torn to Pieces) #erotic #romance

And now for something completely different…Do you read erotic romance, or do you avoid it? For me, it depends on ratios of plot-to-sex, and, yeah, I’m relatively conservative. It has been interesting in the past year to see the explosion of erotic romance in all its flavors as authors and publishers respond to the success of 50 Shades of “That Professor Needs to be Fired.”

Today’s guest author was writing paranormal and erotic romance way before Twilight fanfic hit the mainstream, so welcome Sascha Illyvich. His most recent release is titled Torn to Pieces, which he published on July 1. In addition to being widely published in paranormal and erotic romance, he teaches workshops on writing the male POV and BDSM and hosts “The Unnamed Romance Show” on Radio Dentata. You can learn more about Sascha by visiting his website, and you can find him on Twitter, or on Facebook. 

ABOUT TORN to PIECES:  Iolite is a witch in love with two wolves, needing both to fulfill her life. Both of them are two halves of the same being. Jackob and Kerian are former lovers turned enemies by pack law, but without the witch’s solution for the disease ravaging them, both packs will certainly die. Both want Iolite, both want to love again but are uncertain of the consequences. Can Jackob and Kerian get past their emotional baggage to help heal Iolite’s broken heart as well as their own in order to save their packs?  Torn to Pieces also includes a bonus novella The Claiming.
And now, let’s hear from Sascha…
The Wicked Hero’s Rest

Writing paranormal romances for me gives me the added benefit of enjoying angst in my stories and as a way to get out my own aggressions because the world is sometimes a harsh place and I don’t always feel I have the support I need to deal.

This feeling lets me create heroes of a similar nature but since this IS romance, we have to have that HEA, with issues either accepted or resolved.  With my upcoming Red Sage release Endangered, we have Joséf Staganov, cop turned rogue, trying to take down a huge criminal organization.  I thought when I started writing him initially that his greatest flaw was alcoholism, and that factored into the plot, but the truth wasn’t that he was an alcoholic hero, but an addict.  A void in him needed to be filled and only Livía can truly do that (until the next book…), thus providing our weary hero with respite.

With my unsold yet agented story Burning for Derrick, I took a different route.  Derrick is a shifter with many secrets, thanks to his affiliation with a government agency involving three letters…but finds his demons dealt with through the melodic voice of his heroine, Sonja. 

Lastly, my USA TODAY-recommended read Torn to Pieces deals with a jaded hero named Kerian and his own biases against coming out of the closet as a bisexual alpha male.  Both his lovers, a witch, and another alpha male, have different ideas of what it means to have pride in who they are, and they try to influence Kerian’s confidence in himself. 

In each case to create the hero I dug deep into the human psyche, searching for the reasons as to why darkness would be a factor in their creation.  The journey wasn’t always pleasant, I learned a few things about myself as an author and it made me question why I did a lot of things.  But it was necessary to create a story you the reader will enjoy. 

Interestingly enough, the soundtracks for all three books varied.  To be honest, I have NO idea what I wrote Torn to Pieces to, probably The Gathering (The Anneke years) and maybe Geoff Tate’s first album?  But Endangered and Burning for Derrick received the intensity of Korn, Devildriver and Katatonia, along with older stuff I jammed years back, all in the name of digging deeper to create those heroes.  I’ve always believed in the magic of music.

I think part of the fun of romance novels lies in the fact that the woman gets to do something she’s (in a lot of cases) good at, comforting the hero. This may not come in the typical way we think of comfort, being the rules of the world can differ from our own, nor may it appear to make sense since my earlier statement was a generalization based on the romance novels I’ve read, but doesn’t it make you feel fulfilled on some level to provide aid and rest to someone you know needs it?

In the end, we’re all seeking such respite.  That’s why we read and that’s why we read romance!

Thanks, Sascha–I think we all enjoy the dark, tortured hero and seeing his journey to a happier place.

How do you feel about erotic romance novels? Who are some of your favorite authors in this genre and what are some of your favorite titles? I like what I’ve ready of Sylvia Day, and have liked some of Joey Hill’s vampire works. Leave a comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy of Torn to Pieces!

13 thoughts on “Digging Deep to Create the Dark Hero with Sascha Illyvich (and W*n Torn to Pieces) #erotic #romance

  1. There are some erotic novels I’ve read that sacrifice plot for sex scenes. In my opionion,some of the Anita Blake books by Laurell Hamilton are guilty of this. I don’t mind sex scenes, but I still need a logical story, good characters and plot!

    • That’s the rub with Hamilton and her muse. It’s a give or take thing and I think oftentimes only another writer will understand. But readers often surprise me, Susan. I prefer to give you a good, logical, plot oriented sex scene and story LOL!

  2. I like erotic romance where there is a full romance story to be read with the erotica. I like The Vampire Queen series too. Also Kit Rocha Beyond Shame and Beyond Control.

  3. I did read a few but so far i avoid BDSM and i do need a plot if there are steamy scene included in it oki but only sex with nearly no story just an illusionary one…; not for me

    I loved Mermaid’s kiss by Joey hill

  4. I like some erotic romance, like you it depends on plot to sex scenes ratio. I love Lora Leigh, Maya Banks, Shayla Black, Sharon Page, Carrie Ann Ryan, Lauren Dane, Kate Douglas. Thanks for sharing Torn to Pieces. Sounds good and I am looking forward to reading it. evamillien at gmail dot com

  5. I’m currently reading J. Kenner’s Stark trilogy which I am enjoying very much. I also recommend Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. I highly recommend Morgan Hawke. Joey Hill, Lora Leigh, Angela Knight also top my list. I will have to add your books to my TBR pile!

  6. OMG. Erotic Romance = Nicole Edwards. Everything by Nicole Edwards is a guaranteed hot time.

    I also enjoy TANGLED by Emma Chase–irreverent male POV.

    Just finished STRINGS by Kendall Grey. Comes with a NC-17 like no other…

    TORN TO PIECES sounds smoking hot.

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