Message From The Author

Author's Message

Strength in Submission


Talk about literary serendipity. The day that Maya Banks' first e-book was released by Samhain Publishing in 2006, the erotic romance author received word that print publisher Berkley was interested in another manuscript. It sounds exciting, but the married mother from Texas wasn't sure how what she dubs "that first New York book" would be received.

"The whole erotica genre was still a little new in New York publishing," says Banks, who also writes under her real name, Sharon Long. "I didn't know if I was too lame or went too far or didn't go far enough. I finally quit tormenting myself, and I wasn't asked to change anything in my first two books."

That second print book, Sweet Surrender, out this month from Berkley Heat, features a heroine on a quest to find a strong man to whom she can surrender. Some might consider this concept too old-fashioned for a 21st-century heroine, but Banks considers Faith Malone's journey -- and her steamy relationship with Dallas cop Gray Montgomery, who needs her to find the person who killed his partner -- a story of empowerment.

"A lot of people think this is about BDSM or control," the author says. "But she wants to be taken care of. She's been in the position of a caretaker her entire life, and she resents that. She wants a man that she can trust to take care of her."

Banks thinks this philosophy is something many women could live by. "If more men were able to take on the role of a strong, dominant head of the household and lived up to their responsibilities, more women wouldn't mind ceding that power to them," she maintains. "But a lot of men abuse that position of power, and women aren't going to stand for it."

Banks started to write furiously in 2002, when she made a pact with a friend, Amy Knupp (now a Harlequin series author), that they would chase their writing goals. Now, 13 print and e-books later, Banks, despite her conservative background, even has the support of her family.

"They ask me in general about my writing but nothing specific," she says. "My sister is a preacher's wife, and she's probably the most excited about it."

-- Diane Snyder

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