The Bad Boy of Romance, Sascha Illyvich is one of the few male authors who proudly calls Romance his favorite genre. Starting as an erotica author back in 1998, Sascha released several short stories before finally being published through Renaissance E-books (Renaissance E-books) and later through Total E-bound (Total E-bound). Recently, he's released work through (Decadent Publishing). In March of 2013 Sascha was signed by Red Sage publishing, one of the oldest and most prestigious e-publishing houses with a traditional market in print still around.
The transition from pure erotica to erotic romance was one he recalls fondly. "I realized all of my erotica stories had more than a simple happy ending. The couples or multiples got together afterward. Going from erotica to erotic romance was not a hard transition."
In February of 2010, Sascha pulled his work from Red Rose Publishing, citing that his style of writing did not fit that of what with Red Rose Publishing They split on amicable terms.
Currently Sascha is represented by the Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Sascha Illyvich was born in 1978 in Webster, Texas. He attended League City elementary, League City Intermediate and finally graduated in 1996 from Clear Creek High school. Sascha also earned his Letterman's jacket as a long distance runner for the school's Cross Country team. He also ran track. Fastest 5k: 19:45, Fastest Mile: 5:19 in Track his senior year.
Moving to Dallas shortly after a stint in college, Sascha picked up the pen and started writing small snippets that would later become the first of many stories to be closeted. At that point Sascha entered the workforce as an IT professional, working for Stream International on a Microsoft contract for the MSN Network. A brief stint at Microsoft Corporation in Las Colinas, TX had been his last traditional job. Health and personal issues led Sascha back to Houston where he lived with his ex while trying to find work in a struggling IT industry.
Sascha resumed writing shortly after being laid off in the computer industry. Taking the advice of his hair dresser, and Mistress Koi, Sascha pursued a writing career that has since taken off. Submitting to various e-zines and anthologies netted him a slew of successes and a few key learning points in his first year as a writer of both erotic fiction and poetry Sascha had been published by the now defunct Cyber-Mistress magazine, ENE, ERWA and others. His first royalty paying publication, "Erotic Flowers" came out through Renaissance E-books in the winter of 2000. To his chagrin that "piece of crap" still sells.
Shortly after, Sascha penned his first full length contemporary romance along with picking up a gig writing for Males in Slavery Stories featuring his romantic BDSM tales between Mistress Kitty and Trent. The stories had a different flair from traditional BDSM in that clear cut lines between erotica and romance had been drawn in each story.
About a month after amassing 50k worth of stories for M.I.S.S. Sascha submitted the collection to eXtasy books along with "A Christmas Favor," his first contemporary romance written for his sister during a tumultuous time in both their lives.
In 2001, the two stories were accepted, edited and released shortly afterward. A Christmas Favor was nominated for a Cupid and Psyche Award from The Romance Studio and is a recommended read at Fallen Angels Reviews.
The following summer, the new owner of Renaissance E-books asked for a Female Dominance story entitled "Her Male Slave" from Sascha and two months later the story was born, finished and released. Featuring more female dominance and male submission along with a corporate twist, the story was an instant yet short lived success.
"Female Dominance is a powerful thing but does not capture the market share in erotica or erotic romance. It never has and sadly it never will." - Sascha on lackluster sales of Her Male Slave. Mentor Morgan Hawke had good things to say about the story but pointed out that Sascha's technique in story telling needed some extra help.
Numerous other stories had been written and submitted, only to be picked up by publishers that disappeared. "Fuckers probably owe me money I'll never see but the work I put out wasn't bad. In fact, the reading community will see some of it in the coming years as I develop stronger stories and better characters. I'm proud of all my work."
The fall of both Venus Press and Silk's Vault led Sascha to adopt a policy of never sending work to publishers with less than 5 years of experience. An article written for (Authors Promoting Authors) details his stance on this.
Having released 7 titles in 2008 for REB And Total E-bound, and put out several short stories on sites such as Literotica and others, Sascha saw his first print release in August of 2009.
A second of Heavenly Bodies was released in April of 2010.
Taking the advice of mentor Morgan Hawke, Sascha's stories on Literotica.com showed him that he needed to write more BDSM. In December of 2008, The owner of Renaissance E-books suggested Male Domination stories featuring female submissives, and thus "Gift of Her Submission" was born. Three stories about three different female submissives who become beholden to Ronan, the book received positive reviews from Coffee Time Romance, achieving a Four Cup Review. Review from Coffee Time Romance Released in April of 2009, "Gift" continues to outsell all of his previous releases at Renaissance E-books.
Music played an extremely important part in the early development of Sascha's career. The angry, loud musics of such artists as Cold, Mudvayne, Metallica and Soundgarden influenced his writing habits along with a developing drinking habit.
Sascha became immersed in the Fetish lifestyle as a way to escape from the demons in his head that writing couldn't cure. It was shortly after that point when he found the mother of his soul, online. They developed a loving relationship and she continues to be one of the biggest reasons none of Sascha's suicide attempts ever succeeded. To this day she continues to cheer him on, along with his sister.
In 2010 Sascha took up an editing position for Sizzler Editions, co-editing the Intoxication line as a way to help the company expand into the ever growing erotic romance market. With a definitive goal of bringing some of the newest and hottest talent to Sizzler Editions, Sascha's editing skills have helped launch the careers of a few new up and coming authors along with helping a few older ones regenerate momentum after hiatus.
Notable anthologies include: Bound for Love - BDSM Erotic Romance in short story form. Bound for Romance (With Em Petrova, Sarah Bella, Michael Mandrake and Daisy Harris) Riding the Rocket - A Gay Science Fiction erotic romance short story collection.
In August of 2012 Sascha released his fourth title through Sizzler Editions entitled Dark Sensualities and Primal Instincts. This paranormal erotica collection features five stories ranging form his extensive catalog of work at Sizzler. Prior til that, Sascha's latest Decadent Publishing release Menage Bound continues to do well, earning 4 and 5 star reviews across the internet and on Amazon.
Sascha strolls into his office at around 10:30 AM each morning, answers email, is on twitter and grabs something resembling breakfast. Around 1 PM, the internet is no longer a distraction and Sascha writes for a few hours or until he hits his word count for the day, whichever occurs first.
Plotting a novel is intense because Sascha plots with an extensive plotting pad developed by his mentor. He frequently uses her site Dark Erotica when he's stuck on a plot point or issue with character development. Each book teaches him something new about the craft and each story is a new lesson for him to learn in the art of story craft.
If Sascha is teaching, he gets online a little earlier to post lessons, play catch up and teach, then back into the crypt for writing.
Due to his atrial fibrillation, Sascha is often forced into working half days or taking at least one day off, at the "request" of one of his agents. A section on health may appear in future versions of this Wiki.
Involvement in BDSM
Sascha discovered his passion for kink first through a woman who he admittedly was trying to sleep with, and ultimately called his bluff. The reality came when the two of them hooked up after she discovered he wrote erotica and a relationship was established. While things did not last, Sascha stepped into the Lifestyle of BDSM for the first time ever, jumping head first into online groups, discussions and devouring everything he could to learn about the ins and outs of BDSM as not just a writer but as someone who found a part of himself and thought a potential solution to the problems caused by the demons in his head.
The folks at HPEP taught Sascha a lot, letting him volunteer with them to set up and work the HPEP BDSM Ball, two years in a row. This BDSM event lasted a weekend in Houston and was one of the largest kink friendly events in the country at the time. Sascha learned a lot about basic skills such as topping, bottoming and throwing whips, along with working security and sharing his newfound skills with a flogger on a submissive who came down just for that event.
Fast forward to 2003 when Sascha first attended Folsom St. Fair and saw the myriad of kink, all while still writing BDSM stories for Sizzler Editions. In the beginning of Sascha's career, BDSM erotica was all the rage and when a market paid, Sascha found himself trying to write and find acceptance in that genre. It didn't take long as Sascha ended up writing for M.I.S.S. and Celebrate Male Submission. The new defunct CyberMIstress Magazine praised Sascha's work as did Sensuous Sadie in an interview conducted with Sascha online.
Digging deeper into kink lead Sascha to discover more ways to deal with the demons in his head left by the past mistakes of others who blatantly wronged him. The problem came to a head though when Sascha took hints from his sister and discovered cutting, not too long after his bad heart condition cropped up. There was something missing and even kink had failed to give it to Sascha.
The woman Sascha refers to as "Mom" was someone he found in the Lifestyle who recognized the bond he ignored stupidly for so long, until they finally met in 2003 before he moved to California.
He identified as a top but a submissive in order to let female dominants guide and fix him. That worked out well. NOT!
After a series of informal relationships, lessons clicked for Sascha and while he struggled with alcohol abuse, the lessons stuck. Sascha slowly found himself on the side of the fence known as a Switch. As time passed and Sascha's circle of influence and friends changed, Sascha began identifying as a definite Dom/Top/Alpha. There are rare exceptions but those are few and far between. Sascha's role as a Top is best exemplified at conventions where kink friendly people play and around the kink contingent at such cons as DragonCON.
"Being a Dom/Alpha/Top isn't about knowing it all, it's about knowing when to guide and when to realize you need to learn more." - Sascha Illyvich on Twitter.
Sascha's kinks include singletails, bullwhips, floggers and any general type of impact play, D/s themes, light roll play, cross dressing. Even wearing a dress, Sascha is still very Alpha.
The reinforcement of kink education only serves to enhance Sascha all around, including his writing and his classes.
- Stuck - An Erotic Romance
- Menage Bound
- Surrender to Love
- A Christmas Favour
- Night Owl Romance Reviews
- Gift of Her Submission
- Four Cup Review from Coffee Time Romance
- Caught in the Middle from Total E-bound
- Night Owl Romance Review
- Apollo's Choice
- Coffee Time Romance Reviews
- A Night Owl Romance Top Pick
- Siddella's Submission is also a Love Romances Cafe BDSM book of 2010.
With all that Sascha has done over the course of ten years, the one thing missing was a key ingredient that held it all together. Seeking the advice and publicity services of author success coach and PR person Deborah Riley-Magnus a solution was found in the birth of WriteSEX. Pulling together six experts in the field of erotica and publishing, Sascha was able to cement his position as an expert in the field of writing erotica and erotic romance. WriteSEX has taught to both Savvy Authors Online and Lowcounty Romance Writers of America.
Founding members include:
- M. Christian - His expertise as a multi genre author come across in his blog posts.
- Thomas Roche - The Sage of dark erotica, his posts deal with the unusual.
- Jean Marie Stine - Publisher of fine erotic and erotic romance with a varied and lengthy career in publishing
- Oceania - THE voice of an Erotic Goddess, founder of Radio Dentata and Pure Obsessions.
- Dr. Nicole Peeler - the newly published writer.
Former Members include:
- Dr. Nicole Peeler.
- Ralph Greco - The SEO guy.
The final WritSEX team includes:
- Deborah Riley-Magnus handling PR, author marketing and successful business planning.
In 2011 WriteSEX is now a solid, well rounded group.
The blog is updated every Thursday of the week.
Lately, JR Ward's been an influence in letting Sascha understand just how dark his characters can be with the help of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Sascha is fortunate enough to call Diane Whiteside, Kate Douglas, Morgan Hawke, and Rosemary Laurey friends.
Robin Schone and Emma Holly were encouragement. Rebecca York and an entire slew of e-book authors have been behind Sascha since the start of his career. Recently, Sascha was fortunate to spend time with Cecilia Tan, a new guide to his world, yet not a new author in his stack of books waiting to be read. Oh and that Ryan F. Macklin motherfucker, some guy, possibly from the Internet has been an inspiration in that he understands just how Sascha feels about the writing business. They might have met in Wyoming. Both were probably drunk when it happened. No one knows for sure.
There are non writer inspirations who know who they are but due to Sascha's rather private nature and penchant for purposely saying the wrong thing, the names shall never be released as to avoid incrimination of the innocent parties.
The heavy metal genre has been instrumental in inspiring Sascha's stories. Songs of anguish, love unrequited, feelings of hopelessness and loss, death, change, growth and anger have all played a part of how his stories are crafted from the character creation perspective. "People are fucked up. Seriously. They simply want to read about others being fucked up and learning they CAN change. They CAN grow. They CAN be happy. I'm not sure that's for me. But I can write about it and give someone else hope."
Notable artists include Devildriver, Cold, Tristania, Katatonia, Opeth, Megadeth (the later years) Slayer, Slipknot, Creed, Razed in Black, Assemblage 23, Soilwork, Soil, Dark Tranquility, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Combichrist, VNV Nation, Cloudkicker, Yoko Kanno, Sevendust, Pantera (in his earlier years) Disturbed. The metal genre deals with the feelings most of us go through and they deal with it in a way Sascha understands. EBM and Aggrotek provide scene and world creation guides through electronic music.
Sascha recently stumbled into the Djent genre, more on the progressive side. Miroist, Elitist, Vildjharta are on constant rotation along with Periphery.
"I owe so much to these great musicians. They've done wonders for me by playing music that carries me through my darker times while I try to get my characters through their darker times and onto the other side of conflict."
Hobbies outside of writing
Sascha spends his only true downtime with a fine cigar, probably something out of Ecuador produced by the ACC Cigars company. Being friends with the owner, the two talk occasionally and spend a bit of time in San Francisco's Occidental Cigar Club. When Sascha's not outside, he's usually at Occidental. Prior til the asshat landlord issues between Grants and the landlord, Sascha could be found at Grants Tobacconist in San Francisco, or by the lake where he lives. An avid cigar and alcohol enthusiast, Sascha prefers to slow down and enjoy the myriad of expressions put forth by fine producers of cigars, wine and pipe tobacco. He also plays the 5 string electric bass guitar, throws bullwhips and like most authors, an avid reader.
He's hoping to recreate a "Castle" like environment with a frequent get together with authors Ryan. F. Macklin and Kristina Meister as both are also avid alcohol and tobacco hobbyists.
Sascha speaks on various topics related to writing and kink at a number of different conventions every year.
- February 5th, Cal Writer’s Berkeley, CA. Teaching Male POV
- April 5th-9th Atlanta GA- Frolicon – speaking on writer’s track panels
- July 13-15 – Denver Colorado (tentatively) Thunder in the Mountains, BDSM topics
- July 25-28 – RWA Nationals – Speaking at Passionate Ink Meeting, doing BDSM demo, more TBA
- August 8-12th – NOLA BABY! Authors After Dark
- August 31st-Sept 3rd – DragonCON – Panels, workshops, TBA.
The current appearance list can always be found at Sascha's Site
Sascha has the unique advantage of being one of the few males writing traditional (or otherwise) romance novels and therefore offers his experiences, thoughts and information on the male mind in his Male POV - Creating A Better Hero course.
With almost 13 years in the Lifestyle, Sascha also teaches BDSM to romance authors. This week long class along with the previous one has received plenty of accolades from satisfied students who strive to understand BDSM in terms that writers can use to create stronger stories for a demanding market.
A soon to be updated list of classes Sascha teaches can be found (here)
The Future of Sascha Illyvich
The third 1Night Stand was released recently and the title was changed from "His Virgin" to "Menage Bound." The story centers around an extremely busy business woman who lacks passion in her life due to the few men she's ever been with being duds. Using the 1Night Stand service, she's set up with a pair of alpha males who threaten to knock her world off kilter with their passion, if only she'd accept them.
A new story based on a fantasy involving one of his former neighbors was added to an erotic collection upon an updated cover and re-release.
His Burn Notice influenced series "Burning Desires" story "Burning for Derrick" is finished and resting. The story centers around an ex spy hired to guard the lead singer of a popular death metal band. With her vocal abilities, she can control people and animals, making her a very deadly yet sexy target. Agent Saritza Hernandez is nearing completion of the few edits left before trying to sell this powerful story.
Then there’s Covenant of Wolves: Stalker (Dub Mix) – Hot m/m sex, wolf on fae, and probably a foursome that’s getting pulled from the book. "Can’t say why yet, just trust me!" His original beta readers will recognize the story and be glad for the tremendous changes. The second Covenant of Wolves book has been started but Sascha must finish the edits and rework parts of the first story.
A new story idea involving a spy, two bisexual men and the “Road To” theme.
In September of 2011, Sascha was approached by a casting director with an idea for a sexy series aimed at the adult market. The details are being worked out. Screen writing has begun on the first episode.
Dark Desires - a menage story that Total E-bound rejected, needs a little reworking too. The heroine needs to be more feminine. Too bad her real life counterpart sees herself as more masculine! But that’s 17k right there to work on.
On The Web
Links to Sascha Illyvich's work, social media, etc:
- Author Page
- Fetish Stories
- - Blog for the Unnamed Romance Show at Radio Dentata
- The White Wolf Editing Blog
- Sascha Ilyvich Newsletter
- Sascha on Twitter
Interviews, past and present
- I Smell Sheep - DragonCON 2012
- Brenda and Steve
- Liz and Sascha sitting in a bar
- - Coffee Time Romance Interview
- 2010 interview at The Fox Hole
- - Fallen Angels Reviews Interview May of '05
- CataNetwork Blog Interview
- - Sensuous Sadie's BDSM Interview of Sascha Illyvich
There have been others and they will be added as time permits. Every now and then Sascha puts out calls for beta readers on his groups.
Rumor has it that the lesbian sex slave saved by the Vampire Queen in Endangered was based on a dear friend of Sascha's. There's absolutely no lie to that rumor. There's actually no lie to the statement that said woman made another appearance as a naked fluffer in a BDSM club in a story Sascha wrote for the Bound with a Bow Anthology edited by Beth Wylde. In fact, "She asked for it. Or her husband did. I don't know. I was probably drunk when I wrote that story."
Les from the Opeth Pack Saga is based on a financial genius who Sascha knows and almost killed (in the books) but found readers were curious about the man who should have died at the end of "Wolf Magic." Les's recurring character throughout the series will play an instrumental role in the plot.
Many of the characters from Sascha's books are in fact based on real people he knows. If they get a happy ending, Sascha loves, likes and respects them and wants only the best for them. If they were killed...chances are his website will have an alternate ending that's more brutal for the death those people deserved.
The recurring Trope in Sascha's upcoming works involves one of his neighbors, a "loud mouthed, sorry excuse for a rapper who is often inconsiderate, narcissistic, and a bad lay according to what's been heard late at night..." Said neighbor's initials are always the same JI and he always died because a plane crashed into his apartment, killing only him and doing no other damage to the rest of the entire building.
References to "The Church" in stories refer to the famous Gotch/EBM club in Dallas, TX. Sascha used to frequent that club in his younger days.
Sascha's fondness for Albuquerque, NM led him to center stories there as a real estate trip several years back gave him time to spend alone, exploring while living in his associate's loft.
Lyrics often creep into Sascha's writing and unless the editors catch them, it doesn't matter.
- "Fucking every other genre bores the crap out of me. That's why I write Romance! It allows m e to get deeper into the characters heads and into a harder, edgier plot where something real is at stake. If the love you give isn't worth dying for, where's the fun in that?" - Quote from an informal interview
- "I write for my loved ones. I write for me I write to make money."
- "I'll never support the artist mentality of being poor, broke, starving, sober and happy."
- "Bad Boy of Romance? Yeah, I'll take it. Come here!"