Author Interview: Taryn Scarlett, of the Sin & Honey Series

Today I'm interviewing an author who takes us away a little from the kind of story that's usually featured on this blog. Through my blogging partnership with Paper Lantern Lit I learned about a series of novellas they're releasing that is their first adult work and I have some info on the series straight from the author.

First, here's a bit about the newest novella in the series:

For the Love of the Enemy by Taryn Scarlett

Sin & Honey #3
Published: September 1, 2015.
Published by: The Studio by Paper Lantern Lit.

Since the first day he saw her, he had been waiting for an opportunity to seduce her. –Judith 12:17

Judith fought for justice.

Bagoas reasoned for peace.

Holofernes thirsted for blood.

In this third Sin & Honey novella, Taryn Scarlett explores the provocative story of Judith, a woman tormented by the war in her country—and the war in her heart.

A young widow living in devastated country, Judith is forced to watch as the ferocious Assyrian general Holofernes slaughters her people. Desperate to save her family, she decides to take matters into her own hands: she will seduce the general and get into his bed—where she can kill him, and end the war.

But once Judith steals into enemy territory masquerading as an Israeli defector, she meets Bagoas, a soldier on a mission for peace. Aroused by his honor, Judith has a terrifying choice to make: let her people suffer and die, or sacrifice true love for the greater good.

Now, welcome Taryn Scarlett to the blog!

Jess: Hi Taryn, thanks for joining me! 
First off, I must admit to being curious: what draws you to writing erotic romance?
Taryn: I've always been drawn to the romantic aspects of books and movies, even from a very young age. I remember watching Phantom of the Opera, the musical, when I was only 4 years-old, and being utterly captivated by the passion and drama of that dark romance. I grew up reading Little Women, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice—some of my first 'ships' were couples from those books! (Jo and Professor Bhaer 4ever.) Writing romance has always made sense to me, and romance READERS are some of the most supportive and passionate in the industry. It's a community I'm proud to be a part of!

J: What prompted the use of the bible stories as inspiration for this series?
T: I read The Red Tent when I was very young and I've spoken before about how that book influenced my life—I even went on to write my thesis in college on Biblical women, using Lillith (Adam's oft-forgotten first wife) and Leah (one of the characters in the first SIN AND HONEY novella!) as my primary examples for the two ways we categorize women in literature: as lovers, or mothers. I've always been fascinated by Biblical depictions of women: they get these fascinating stories, bring down nations, save entire civilizations, fall in love, fall in lust, get betrayed and abused...but their stories are all told via a male perspective. I wanted to bring some humanity to their stories, as well as some passion. 

The first novella in the series, Seven Years of Longing

J: Is there a certain bible story you're especially looking forward to reimagining? Why that one in particular?
T: It's so hard to pick just one! I will say that the first 3 novellas take place in uber-ancient times and in mostly rural areas; I'm talking they only had wool, oil lanterns, and lots of goats. The latter 3 novellas (coming Spring-Summer 2016!) take place later in history AND are all royal-themed so there's been some evolution in what we have to work with: fine silks, gold jewelry, beautiful marble columns and candlelight, lavish feasts...I'm excited to have some freedom to describe the luxuriousness and sensuality of the later time periods. :) 
J: What was the experience like working with the Paper Lantern Lit team on these books?
T: Amazing. I love the team at PLL so much. It's a great place to come into your own as a writer while also allowing yourself to be challenged: from nuanced Editorial letters from Lexa Hillyer and the sharp and tactful notes from Lauren Oliver to my own editor Rhoda Belleza's compassion when dealing with a story that obviously means so much to me–I really couldn't have asked for a better team to shepherd this series into the world. (Also shout-outs to Alexa Wejko and Kamilla Benko, who have done so much behind-the-scenes for SIN AND HONEY!)

J: Can you give us a sneak peek at what else is coming from you for this series?
T: The next novella, FOR LOVE OF THE ENEMY, is one I am extremely proud of. It's the story of a widow, Judith, who goes to great lengths to save her people from a violent war: seducing and killing the enemy general. But, of course, she falls in love with a soldier behind enemy lines and has to choose between the fate of her entire people or true love. It's got Game of Thrones levels of drama, the romance is suspenseful and high-stakes, and I can't wait for you all to read it!

Wow, sounds really intriguing! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Taryn!

The second novella in the series, The Touch of Betrayal

Make sure you go check out the Sin & Honey series if some erotic novellas sound like a nice little break from the usual YA fare!

About Taryn

Taryn Scarlett holds a B.A. in Theater and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Her weaknesses are chocolate, floral sundresses, soapy TV dramas, and anything purple. SIN AND HONEY is her first series. You can visit Taryn at www.TarynScarlett.com.

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