The Dublin-based BDSM and romance novelist discusses what it's like to work in the steamy side of love lit

Sherri Hayes didn't even consider penning a novel until a publisher emailed her in 2010 asking if she would be interested in expanding upon her fan fiction they had found online. The publisher was The Writer's Coffee Shop, which also famously found and published E.L. James, author of "50 Shades of Grey." Today Hayes has four fiction books to her name, including the romantic thriller "Red Zone," which TWCS released last week (find it at

When did you begin writing romance stories?

I didn't write my first story until I was 30. I wrote my first story out of frustration over the television show "Prison Break." The main character Michael had a love interest named Sara, and the actress got pregnant during the second season and they couldn't figure out how to write that into her character and they were going to kill her off. I was so upset about it! I wanted to give them their happily ever after so I wrote an alternative ending and put it online.

What do you like about "Red Zone"?

I have soft spots for all of my characters, but Gage and Rebecca really took hold of me and didn't let go. Their story was supposed to be 80,000 words and it ended up being more than 90,000. There's something that happens toward the very end of the book that I had not planned at all and it was pretty major. It just kind of happened. I've learned to just let my characters lead. As I'm developing the characters I've learned to just go with it.

You do not practice BDSM, so how and why do you research details like that?

I have several friends in the lifestyle I've met over the years and I don't want to misrepresent because I find it rather fascinating, the connection that happens relationship-wise. The ones that are in actual relationships, there tends to be a more intense connection in their relationship because they have to have an increased level of communication and trust.

Has writing romance and BDSM affected your relationship with your husband?

We'll have been married 10 years this summer. I think researching BDSM has helped us with our communication. I think it's helped me realized the importance and the priority that needs to be placed on making sure that we're talking.

Find Sherri Hayes' new book and other novels at