Having already read and reviewed the first installment of the Savannah Chronicles, I had the absolute pleasure to find out more about the lady behind the writing. Deliza Rafferty is a new erotic romance writer (spicier than traditional romance without hardcore BDSM – always super hot!) located in Hollywood. She’s written all sorts of stories and poems for personal enjoyment since she was a little girl, but has spent most of her career in the music business. Creating her pen name, Deliza means “gives pleasure” and Rafferty means “rich and prosperous.”
Lady Pokingham: Hi Deliza, so let’s start at the beginning, what inspired you to write erotica?
Deliza Rafferty: I started writing dirty little stories about me and my boyfriends from the time I had my first kiss (my mom found one once in my math book – that was a bad day!). They were just for my own enjoyment – I didn’t even show them to my boyfriends – but I suppose that’s when it started. I’ve always written all sorts of things as long as I can remember, though. It was only recently, sick to death of my “real” career, that I finally gave in to my friends and family who’ve been telling me for years that I should write seriously. My creative juices were practially dried up, so I gave this a go hoping for a miracle. Thing is, it had been years since I’d written anything other than song lyrics…I knew writing sexy stories had always come easy to me, so I decided that I’d start there. I am really loving it, but I may branch out in the future, too. I don’t believe in limiting myself.
LP: It is inspiring that you see your future in writing as completely open and unlimited, especially as many authors find themselves restricted by expectations. I know from your biography that you have worked in the music business for most of your career. Is Savannah taken from real life?
DR: Absolutely…she’s an amalgamation of the best qualities of many of my amazing female musician friends and colleagues plus a whole lot of the kind of person I wish I had been at her age! She is fearless and confident in so many ways outside of her talent that I never was. She also had a family that raised her to be that way, which I didn’t. So in a way, I get to rewrite my life. Her gig experiences are absolutely pulled from my own and those of friends. I’ve been calling everyone I know to dig into details of their first recording or publishing deals, big studio bookings or live gigs they got, people they’ve met, etc. They all know they’re fodder now.
LP: Wow! I love the idea that not only is Savannah taken from real life, but she allows you to re-write your life, what an amazing opportunity for you! So, what can we expect from the next six volumes of the Savannah Chronicles?
DR: That’s a damned good question…I went and decided to do ten short stories before a novel without actually planning out the stories first, LOL! I thought, “Ten’s a good number!” Idiot. All I know right now is that in Volume 5 we will finally get to meet Leif, Savannah’s childhood friend, bass player and co-writer who was having a kidney transplant in Volume 2. As to whether they remain platonic or not, I still haven’t decided…he is her brother-from-another-mother and I’m not sure I want to risk that…
LP: That sounds like a big decision, I cannot wait to see what you decide! I have read the first Savannah Chronicle and completely loved the sexually confident, driven and intelligent Savannah. Did plan for Savannah to be more than a stereotypical romance heroine, or was it just a natural result?
DR: Oh I most certainly planned that. I am really tired of whining, whimpering romance novel heroines who lose their shit when their emotionally-stunted men (who may or may not sparkle) has a freak out and dumps them. I don’t believe in “you complete me.” Complete your damned self first and then you will have something to offer your partner! Sav doesn’t need to be saved, nor does she set out to save anyone. That’s not to say she doesn’t have her issues or her walls up, which is what I explore in Hound Dog, but I refuse to write about weak, stupid women.
LP: Haha! Well I certainly agree with you and your views on many female heroines out there in the literary world (not just in romance). I find it refreshing to read about a woman who is more realistic in her inner strength, sexuality but vulnerability as well. Do you have writing aspirations away from the Savannah Chronicles?
DR: Would I love to discover my own Harry Potter one day? Absolutely! I’m just not sure I’m that deep. 😉
LP: What do you want potential readers to know about your work?
DR: Not to dismiss it before trying it! I think a lot of people think of erotica as nothing but porn on pages and I am making an effort to make it more than that.
LP: So, what makes your erotic writing different from other authors?
DR: Two ways, I think: 1) My characters are fully developed and everything they do has motivation. Even in Rock & Roll, which is very short and straight up about the sex, Savannah’s got a reason that she goes looking for it and once they get together the power play hints at the characters’ personalities. Nothing irritates me more than reading a piece of erotic writing – any kind of writing, really – where there is no explanation or impetus for what they’re doing. Something I read recently for example: a woman lands her canoe on the shore of an island, where two men she has never seen before just happen to be hanging out and for absolutely no reason whatsoever they just start up a threesome right there. She literally got out of the canoe, walked over to them and they started doing it. Not even a hello…it was as if a 5th grader wrote it. Absolutely the stupidest thing I’d ever read. That’s porn and porn is for renting, not reading. 2) I also keep things between the heteros, there’s no hardcore BDSM and no multiple partners…which is why I tend to call myself an erotic romance writer as opposed to a straight up erotica writer. I kinda feel like to be truly an erotica writer I have to be willing to go there and – I say this with no judgement whatsoever – those things simply aren’t my cup of tea. Hmmmmm…does that make me an erotica prude?
LP: I certainly don’t think you are an erotic prude! Ultimately, everyone has different interests, desires etc and I know many readers and writers who feel that their writing does not need to contain hardcore sex to be sexual. How much research do you do before you start writing?
DR: For SRC not a whole lot so far because I’m drawing from what I already know well. But back in college I made my first attempt at writing a contemporary romance novel and my hero was a Mohawk Indian, so I had a lot of research to do about his people to find his story. If you’re wondering about researching the sex scenes…well…I’ll be pleading the 5th on that, thanks. 😉
LP: Haha. So what are the challenges you face when writing your erotica?
DR: Making the staging vividly clear in all scenes but primarily the sex scenes. Drives me nuts when I’m reading a scene and a character does something that’s physically impossible or they’re suddenly in another room (for example) because the author forgot to tell you that someone or something moved or scenery changed. I hope that makes sense…
LP: It makes complete sense. When I am reading I sometimes find that the anomalies in the scenes or writing can detract from the actual story. What truly inspires and motivates you?
DR: In relation to what I write, reading something that could have been great but falls short. It inspires me to do better and to never give a reader that feeling after they finish one of my books. In relation to life in general, mostly music and playing with babies and toddlers. Watching a little one experience life with no inhibition is a beautiful thing.
LP: What can we expect from your future full-length novel?
DR: Yeah…I don’t know yet, haha! Savannah’s gonna have to tell me that. I only know that she will finally find “the one,” as to who it is or how she meets him, I am clueless. It may be one of the men we’ve already met, it may be someone completely new. I may wait and see what my readers would like to see happen – take a poll as to who their favorite was and make it him.
LP: What advice would you give to an aspiring erotic author?
DR: Understand that just writing and being great at it isn’t going to work. You have to be a marketer these days, too. You have to learn to navigate social media. If you can’t you’d better find someone to show you the ropes or hire someone to teach you.
Also, don’t suck. At writing, that is. 😉