Thursday 4 December 2014

Dark and Light by Rhyll Biest - Guest Post

Last week I reviewed Unrestrained by Rhyll Biest, a seriously fantastic erotic romance published by Escape. I was impressed by so many elements of this novel: the witty narrative, the wonderfully drawn characters and the sex that had me both laughing and fanning myself. You can find my full review here.

Unrestrained is a dark story (no matter what Rhyll is about to try to convince you ;) ) but it's balanced with this fabulous laugh out loud humor that makes it a really special read. Today Rhyll Biest is here to tell us a little about creating that balance, and why humor plays such a role in her stories.

Thanks, Rhyll!

Dark and Light by Rhyll Biest

A big thank you to Helena who invited me to talk a bit about my latest release, Unrestrained, a story about a Teutonic god, a guarded recluse, some dirty pictures, and the spark of curiosity that leads to a dangerous attraction. While sexy times are guaranteed, the book also touches on PTSD, blackmail, rage, loneliness, violence and fear.

Helena was interested in the way I incorporated humour alongside the darker topics handled in the book.

And I said, “What darker topics?”

Just kidding.

But I never really intended to write a ‘dark’ book, and I guess I was a bit surprised by how dark the story was perceived by others. To me, so many people battle with mental health issues, alienation and past trauma that it seems almost mundane. But maybe it’s rarer to come across that stuff in romance, I’m not sure. I do admit to loving dark stuff (in the right doses) and absolutely love the tits out of True Detective and Hannibal, as well as noir, horror, suspense and crime writing (though I like them even better with some romance thrown in!)

As to why I mix the dark up with humour, well, lotsa reasons.

First, contrast works well both in art and writing. I like to fiddle around with contrast as a hobby artist and one of the things you learn is that putting one colour next to another is what gives each its definition. The same goes for story, if you want to make your dark moments look darker, wedge them in between some bright, fluffy banter and sexy times. Or, like Kurt Vonnegut, write about horrific topics in a slapstick way.

Second, I can’t help myself. I adore humour, especially inappropriate humour, and can’t write for very long without letting some spill out. I don’t think there’s a force in the universe strong enough to keep me from tapping out all my inappropriate thoughts for the world to share. So even if I was writing about the Great Depression I’d have to slip some funny in there somewhere.

Third, readers need a break. If they wanted a dirge of unrelenting doom they would have turned on the news. (Here’s a little secret about me, I don’t watch the news on television, nor do I listen to it on the radio, nor do I read mainstream newspapers.)

Fourth, to me, humour and darkness are tied in certain ways. I think of all the great comedians who battle depression. Besides having a medical condition, they use their understanding of human nature, and what’s ridiculous about our beliefs and actions, to make us laugh but there’s usually a dark edge to that sort of perception and understanding. Perhaps they’re able to analyse people and behaviour so well because they’ve developed an analytic distance that keeps them from feeling connected with others, or they’re so quick to see the artifice or flaws in beliefs that they have difficulty believing in anything themselves. And jokes and humour are often used to make the intolerable more bearable, there’s a long history of that.

Fifth, there’s nothing more seductive to me than humour. I couldn’t imagine a couple falling in love without it. Plus, playful sex, horsing around, role play, naughty talk and dirty jokes are just the best, most wonderful forms of intimacy. I don’t think I can really imagine intimacy without humour, so there had to be that in the story.

So, that’s my thoughts on light and dark, and why I swing between the two (no, not that sort of swinging).

Thanks for having me, Helena!
From the Blurb:

From the dark mind of Rhyll Biest comes a story about a Teutonic god, a guarded recluse, some dirty pictures, and the spark of curiosity that leads to a dangerous attraction.

When the reclusive Holly Unthanks finds some very naughty photos, both the subject of the photos — a muscular Teutonic god with some serious ink and a knack for knots — and the way he’s tied his lady friend to his four-poster bed, make her more than a little curious.

But to get to know the big, built stonemason better, Holly will have to overcome his vengeful ex and her own inhibitions...and pray that the walls she’s built around her guarded heart, as well as her dark secret, remain safe from a man who has a way with stone.

Unrestrained by Rhyll Biest is an erotic romance, released by Escape Publishing on November 8, 2014.

Find this book at: Amazon | Amazon AUS | Goodreads | The Publisher

About the Author:

Born in Australia in Brisbane (or Bris-vegas as it's known to locals) Rhyll Biest's first paid publication was an article on 'bus-tration' (the frustrations of bus transport).

Living in Prague, Shanghai and Germany and studying Russian and German have given her a taste for the exotic and she populates her erotic romance novels with sexy Soviet men, hot Aussie vixens and gratuitously handsome US Olympic athletes.

When not playing host to the United Nations of Hotness in her writer's imagination, she can be found painting or trying to pass for 'normal' at her office day job. Rhyll is also a naughty ninja at

Social Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website
More from Rhyll Biest on Love Reading Romance:

Unrestrained by Rhyll Biest - Book Review