Here is another interview from 2013. Enjoy!!
Welcome CD REISS to Wednesday’s Writer Interview! Please forgive me and my giddiness at having you here with us this week! I’m very excited to be featuring the Songs of Submission series so I have to warn you, this interview may be long and detailed. Fortunately, I have lots of wine so I think all will be right in the world! So, you may all be wondering how I came about reading this fantastic series and even if you are not, tough…I’m going to tell you! On one fateful day, friend and author Karli Rush suggested I pop on over to this author page…CD Reiss. Now, I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover or its title but really? I mean the first book in the series is called Beg… The title itself is a Tease, how am I supposed to Resist the temptation? I could not, I could only Submit to the urge and one-click my way on amazon. By the end of book 1, I had lost all Control, reading my way through all five books within two days. Of course, by this time I was on fire, the crash and Burn when I read the last scene of book 5 was too much, holy mother of all cliffhangers. I may have turned into a bit of a stalker but then I blame it on CD and her incredible writing, not to mention the amazing characters she has created. No shame for me, although now I find myself waiting, not so patiently, for the seventh and final book: Sing. So, there you have it, the chronicles of a book addict, hooked on Jonathan and his Monica. My advice? Do not start reading this series, right? Wrong! Get your book junkie butts over to your nearest book dealer and start reading today…life is short and these stories are too good to pass up. On that note…let’s get started!
First and foremost, we all want to know about YOU. What makes CD Reiss tick? As an author and a person?
Girl, I’ve been in the fashion industry for 25 years and if I look at another freaking armhole I’m going to wig the fuck out. So one, getting out of the rag trade gets me up early to write.
Two, my husband and I want to downsize to one car, kill our commute and pick up the kids before 5:30pm, which means one person working from home. If I can get this shit going, that one person will be me.
As an Indie author, did you find it difficult to get the word out about the Songs of Submission? In retrospect, would you do anything differently?
My launch was pathetic.
See, a friend of mine who writes hardcore, smutty erotica said, “Write porn novellas. Do like ten of them. You’ll sell one a day and make the mortgage.”
So, I wrote Beg, uploaded it in the middle of the night and went to bed. The next morning I’d sold FOUR. I was THRILLED, and started planning the rest of the books.
I realized later she was talking about something completely different, and I’d written books that should have been properly launched, not uploaded without warning or fanfare. If I could do things differently, shit, I’d do everything differently. My experience is that if you botch the launch, it’s near impossible to get that momentum back.
Where to begin….? Oh, I know! How about, Monica? Let me just say this, first…I love, love, love Monica. Here is a strong, independent, focused and true to herself woman, trying desperately to live out her dream as a singer. She has a beautiful voice but her fierce loyalty has not always worked to her advantage. How much of Monica is a reflection of you?
Monica speaks her mind whether it’s the smart thing to do or not. People have suggested she has brown hair and eyes because I do, but the fact is, most people have brown hair and eyes. So, get over it.
In trying to answer this question, I’ve realized all the characters have some of my traits or traits so opposite of me that they could only be a reaction to things I want to change about myself. Writing is therapy.
As we read this series, we realize that the details you have put forth on Monica’s musical inclinations are rather spot-on. Was this based on in-depth research or do you share the same passion as your character?
I have zero musical talent. I know what I know from sitting next to my son, trying to get him to learn piano, and hanging out with musicians. I tend to pick up stuff here and there. I’m like one of those rolley lint thingies. I pick shit up.
Just so the readers do not get lost in the order of things, the series begins with Sequence One that includes the first three novellas: Beg / Tease / Submit. We introduced to the main characters, Monica and Jonathan who are only interested in scratching an itch but it ends on an observation that Monica is a submissive. Oh, yeah…that goes over really well with her. NOT. When you first started writing this series, did you already know how things were going to go or did your characters throw you for loop somewhere along the line?
These fuckers are always throwing me.
I know the general outlines of the story, but I’ve dropped subplots and created others because you never know what works until you’re in a scene.
For instance, there was a whole subplot with Jessica’s half brother Thomas Deacon that was meant to be present in half of book 7 and all of book 8, but guess what? It was stupid and “plotty” so I dropped it, which is one of the reasons there are only 7 books now.
Speaking of off-the-charts-hotness, let me introduce you to Jonathan…the man of the hour, year, hell…the century. Mr. Drazen is honest (well, except for his definition of little white lies), a Dominant (albeit in the closet) and a control freak (no doubt about it). Straight off the bat, he informs Monica that he is still in love with his ex-bitch…sorry, I mean wife, Jessica…and only looking for a short-term arrangement. When you worked on character background and description, did it all come to you in one thought or did you mull over him for a while?
When I built Jonathan, one of the things that was important to me was that I break the mold of the emotional virgin so common to book boyfriends. This was a risk (remembering of course, my low expectations for this series, I still wanted to make it as commercial as possible). But I couldn’t deal with the idea of a man in his thirties who never loved before. Because…really? How could he be good at it? I mean, I was sure he could be great in the sack, but how can he be good at loving without having opened his heart before?
So I gave him an ex-wife, and she took on a life of her own.
Like any dignified novel, the twists and turns in these books are, for a lack of a better word, dizzying. Ms. Reiss, are you a sadist? Because, really, you almost drove me to drink.
I think at this point in time, our readers deserve a little teaser from this sequence…I cannot choose, it’s too difficult!
“Jonathan.” My voice was husky. Breaths without a voice. I didn’t know what I was trying to say. Just his name, as if that would tell him what I wanted. As if that would connect us to my pleasure.
As if him binding my hands wasn’t enough for me to feel possessed, owned, protected.
He stopped rubbing my clit, pulled my ass up, and put the head of his cock at my pussy. I felt as if it would be sucked inside me by the sheer force of my desire. But no, he let it hover there, just touching the skin. I pushed back, but my tied hands held me. He kept himself just out of my body’s reach.
“Go,” I said with a squeak of desperation.
I thought I’d have to beg him to fuck me, but I didn’t. He slid in easy and sweet, pulling my ass up. The slow slide was good, the wet inches rubbing inside me and pushing against my hole. He moved so my wrists felts trapped and burned, the feeling of being held still almost stronger than the feeling of his stomach hitting my ass. He was doing everything right. He was fucking the hell out of me. But something was missing. He was holding back.
“Jonathan,” I said.
“Do it so it hurts. Break me apart. Make it hurt so I scream. I want everything. All of it.”
He paused and slid his hands down my back. “Say it again.”
“Hurt me, Jonathan. Hurt me. Please.”
After a long exhale that sounded like a decision being made, he started moving faster, but that wasn’t the half of it. He gripped my ass, a hand in each cheek, and spread me apart until I thought he’d rip me. When he pummeled me then, he was in my pussy so deep I felt the head of his cock hitting the end of me. But he didn’t ease up. His fingers dug into my skin. My ass became dough in his hands. My wrists kept me steady against him. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t, or he’d stop. I didn’t want him to stop because the pain was exquisite, focusing me on his pleasure as it peaked my own.
He took a hand off one cheek and grabbed my hair. I moaned so loud it came out as a bark. He pulled my ass up again, his fingers digging into my skin, as he fucked the shit out of me. I was damp all over from sweat and juice.
“Say my name,” he gasped.
“Jonathan, Jonathan, oh God, Jonathan.”
He came as if he’d hurled himself off a cliff, with a long grunt and a longer groan. He pumped at me from behind, still groaning, going on forever. Nothing had ever given me more satisfaction than hearing him come so hard.
He stopped and fell on top of me, his chest to my back, his dick falling away from me. We breathed together for a minute, our bodies still in tune.
“Are you okay?” he asked, brushing the hair away from my face.
“Give me a minute. You’ll be even better.”
He kissed my neck, then between my shoulder blades, down my back, then to my ass cheeks, which hurt. I groaned and arched my back.
“Stay still,” he said. I dropped down. “Very still.”
The skin of my slit was sore and bruised from his fingers. The sting felt wonderful as he licked the insides of my thighs, then my soaking pussy, which throbbed with the hurt and pleasure of him. His tongue went up and down my snatch, landing on my clit, teasing the tip with tiny, imperceptible motions. Then he drew his lips around it and kissed, ending in a light sucking.
“Please let me come when I’m ready. Please don’t make me wait more.”
“Only if you stay still. Move, and I take you out for coffee.”
He spread me apart, which hurt until he slipped his tongue inside me, then drew it out, along the slit, which was so sore, and over my clit, slowly. Then back, into my hole and down until he sucked on my clit one last time. I went rigid, crying out with everything I had. My back wanted to arch, but I couldn’t let it. My hips wanted to thrust, but my mind overrode the impulse. I became a vessel for my pussy and my clenching ass and the pressure on my wrists. My body’s stillness drew out my orgasm, because I couldn’t surrender to it until the final moment when I lost all sense to his touch and tongue, screaming his name at the top of my lungs. He sucked gently on my clit until I was a shuddering mess, way past the point of agony.
Sequence two includes the novellas: Control / Burn / Resist. Drama, drama, drama… (I refuse to give spoilers, it will KILL your SOS experience).
In this sequence, you have mastered the art of cliffhangers leaving us hanging from a thread and watching the phenomenal drop into the Pacific ocean. Tell me, did you have fun knowing you were going to make us scream when we reached the last pages?
I mean, okay, let’s break this down.
This was meant to be a TV show. Meaning, “tune in next week” is an absolute necessity. Did I enjoy doing the epic, brutal, cliffhangers for Burn and Resist?
Yes, Eva. I enjoyed the fuck out of it. 🙂
As far as secondary characters go, there are a lot of them and all are interesting in their own right. I have to admit, Lilly is one of my favorites. Is she based on anyone in particular or just a pure figment of your imagination?
I went to USC film school, and there, if you’re paying attention, you learn how to make characters three dimensional in a few words or gestures. Lil was the recipient of some of those skills.
Because you love your readers, I hope, we were able to ease our frustrations with some of the intermediate short-stories explaining the “holes” in Jonathan’s sometimes half-assed explanations. They are part of the Songs of Dominance and include: Jessica/Sharon (to be read after Submit and before Control) and Rachel (to be read between Burn and Resist). These events are in Jonathan’s POV and recap what happened when Monica was not around. Do you have a preference of voice when you write? What do you like about writing each of them?
Monica and Jonathan have totally different rhythms, but similar vocabularies (outside Monica’s musical metaphors). Once I’d developed Jonathan, I could fall into his voice right away. It’s actually a little weird. But as far as a preference, I don’t have one.
How about rewarding our readers with another little snipped, this one from Sequence two?
I glued my eyes to Darren’s screen when the plane evened out and I could swallow again. I’d heard the music for the B.C. Mod piece a hundred times, but in only a few minutes, I was listening with my whole brain for a click that may or may not have been there. I watched the wavy lines flow across the screen like heartbeats until my phone buzzed and lit up. A text. From the guy sitting across from me.
—Is it hot in here? Or are you just gorgeous?—
He was looking at me over his computer screen, lips curled in a smile.
—That’s so unpoetic. Even for you—
—Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?—
—In Los Angeles? Yuck. Is there a shower in this tin can?—
He leaned back, a smile creeping across his face. He ignored his computer in favor of the phone. The cold, electronic blue lit his face while the soft light from above warmed his brow and hair.
“Mon?” I barely heard Darren through my headphones. “Did you hear the click?”
“Uh, no. Can you run the loop again?”
—I feel your hands on the phone—
My heart skipped a beat. Or stopped. Or did the thing where I felt its presence in my chest.
—As if they were on my body—
—We have a no touching rule in effect—
—Only until you commit yourself to me—
I knew where this was going, and I wanted it, dangerous as it was.
—What if I don’t commit myself?—
—Then I’m going to take those touchy little hands and tie them to your knees—
—No kissing first?—
—Not even your cock?—
He pursed his lips and looked at me. His hands slid over the glass. Fuck that, he was not taking control of this conversation. I put my elbows on the table, leaning over it toward him.
—What if I crawled at your feet, kneeled before you, looking up at you as you pulled out that piece of meat between your legs—
He glanced at Darren, who sat in the dark, eyes glued to his computer screen and unaware of our bloops and dings. Then Jonathan leaned forward, mirroring my position on the table, as he texted.
—When I’m done tying your hands, I’m going to bend you over and press your cheek to the mattress. Then tie your ankles to the bed’s legs, holding them spread for me as you stand—
—What if I kissed the tip of your cock? And you took me at the back of my head while you rubbed it along my closed lips, and I opened them—
Our forearms rested on the table, lateral, not touching, as we watched each other and our little glowing screens. Our phones dinged and blooped and buzzed rapid fire, like electronic jumping beans.
—I’m going to put my thumb on your clit, then move it up to your asshole until it’s wet—
— In one move, you put your whole shaft down my throat—
—I’ll lean my wet thumb on your asshole until it yields to me—
—I flatten my tongue on the base of you as you pull out of my mouth—
—My thumb will enter you and you’ll groan and strain against your ties—
—I look up at you and open my mouth for you to fuck it again—
—I’ll kneel and lick your cunt until you beg for me to fuck you—
—You tighten your grip on the hair at the back of my head—
—and press your cock into me until my tongue touches your balls—
—I’ll spank you until you can’t do more than sob—
—Cruelly, you fuck my mouth and I love it because it pleases you—
—When you least expect it I will enter you and fuck you. Hard. Two strokes, then pull out and rub my wet dick all over—
—Spit drips down my chin and onto my chest—
—Your asshole will be fresh and wet and ready for me to slide into it. You will scream—
—Then you will moan—
“I heard it,” I said, pulling off my headphones. “The click.”
“Me too,” said Darren. “Okay, all I have to do is—”
“Slide over, I have to get out.” I bumped him, and when he didn’t move fast enough because he was wound around the equipment, I stood on the back of his seat and climbed over him.
The bathroom was probably nicer than anything I’d ever seen, and I didn’t care. I didn’t have to pee. I slapped open the door and Jonathan was right behind me, closing it behind us. I put my arms around him.
“Behind your back,” he growled and laced my hands behind me. My back was against some kind of counter, I felt more than saw cabinets, a toilet to my left, and a tile floor. Mostly, I saw Jonathan. His hands were on the cabinets, his face an inch from mine.
“Touch me, Jonathan. Please.”
“Commit yourself to me.”
“Oh, God. Don’t—”
“Commit. Yourself. To. Me.” He said it softly and firmly, half whisper, half scream.
“I’m yours. Touch me.”
“You don’t even know what you’re promising.”
“I cannot watch you walk away again. If you commit yourself, you’re mine. You will set your limits, and I will honor them. You will be exclusive to me. You will submit yourself to me sexually. Completely.”
“People will know.”
I thought I would have agreed to do anything for him, but that stopped me dead in my tracks. “Why can’t we be discreet?”
“I want everything. I want to take you out. I want us to be tied without worrying about who sees us, and I don’t want men looking at you like you’re single.”
“Fine, then Carnival’s going to put me on stage in a collar.”
He raised an eyebrow as if he found that interesting, not repulsive. “You crossed that off your list.”
“Figurative collar. If everyone knows already, I might as well let them have their way and put one on me. But it won’t be your collar; it’ll be theirs.”
“Tell them that’s not acceptable.”
“I’m not in a position to negotiate.”
He bent his knees a little to get his face level with mine. “You don’t know the power you have.”
This entire series is set in Los Angeles, where I believe is your place of residence. Did you ever find yourself roaming around the city and thinking…Aha! I want a scene here?
Actually, yes. And even better, whenever I get invited to a party or something exclusive (I have awesome friends) I take notes in my head.
Now, for those of you who have read this series, you have to admit that the best scene EVER involves a glass of whiskey with a huge chunk of ice. Talk about anticipation! By the way, my husband thanks you for that…Anyway, how many cold showers did you need to finish that scene?
I have a husband and I attack him after the really good scenes.
On a personal note, I want to thank you for your daily interaction with your fans and often posting of delicious eye-candy quotations on your author page. Tell me, how does it feel to be adored by your fans?
Now this is for a little bit more fun! Please choose one answer that best describes you and you may explain if you want 😉
Monica or Jessica? I want Monica’s voice and Jessica’s poise.
Singing or Playing an instrument? Can’t do either.
Mulholland Drive or Echo Park? I love Echo Park. I wish I could have afforded a house there.
Blindfold or Handcuffs? Not since my twenties.
Darren or Kevin? Kevin. I always went for the intellectual badass who was ready to cut me down.
Truth or Dare? Truth, but I lie.
Vanilla or Spice? Yes.
Please name one author off the top of your head that you’d like for me to interview next 😉
Thank you so much CD for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us! It truly was an honor. I wish you the best of luck in your writing and cannot wait to see you on the top lists of authors out there!!