Jess Mahler, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Glamourhai.
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Self published
Heat rating: Moderate
Tagline: He bartered his freedom to save his sister, and got more than he bargained for.
When the fae lord, Oeloeff, takes his sister, Mattin seeks out Countess Jahlene n'Erida, a fae noble who is Oeloff's enemy, and begs her to help free his sister. In return for her help, he offers the only thing he has–himself. Lady Jahlene accepts Mattin's offer, and he finds himself an initiate of a strange world where pain is pleasure, cruelty is love, and nothing is as it seems.
Mattin hates being a slave, almost as much as he hates and fears the fae. But as he learns more about Jahlene, he finds himself drawn to her, and her sadistic pleasures. As they race to prepare their trap for Oeloff, Mattin fights to reconcile his desires with his fears. Until he makes a mistake that costs him everything...
Fantasy Romance Serial http://www.fantasyromanceserial.com
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Mattin is a 22 year old human. He is Jahlene's slave and personal attendent.
Jahlene n'Erida is a 50 year old fae. She is the Countess of Erida.
...he had time to think.
The lady and Brit were angry with Parlen for some reason, but that didn't concern him. He shoved his confusion aside to focus on what mattered.
The word still stuck in his throat, heavy with meaning. Why did it matter? As Parlen said, it was just a word. He couldn't say it.
If he could say it, he would be hurting her.
He didn't understand that. Didn't understand why his feelings affected the lady. He had heard her sorrow, but he didn't understand...
A voice echoed in his memory, "My people serve me willingly, Mattin Brenson. Each one came to me, and asked to be taken into my service. I do not use coercion or glamour on my family."
My family, she had said. He had derided it at the time, yet hadn't he been thinking the same earlier?
A flash of insight came to him. She wanted him as part of her family, and saw his resentment and fear as rejection. He couldn't explain to himself why they weren't. Why he could hate the collar, and her power over him, so much, and yet... love... his family here. Which included Lady Jahlene.
Some instinct interrupted his thoughts, and he started filling the bath. Just in time, she entered the suite as he turned the water off.
She started stripping off her clothes, not waiting for his assistance. Her hair, which had been neatly styled when he left, was a mess. He tried to pick out her hair pins without pulling. From her occasional wince, he didn't think he succeeded, but she didn't say anything. As he worked, he tried, somehow, to turn his confused thoughts into words.
After her hair was down, he got his first good look at her face. She was drawn and pale, her eyes glassy. Her smile, when she caught his eyes, seemed forced. He winced. Her sorrow earlier had been bad enough, but this? His chest grow tight—had he hurt her this badly?
"Are... are you alright, lady?"
She tipped her hand back and forth, like a see-saw.
Mattin bit his lip, and plunged ahead, "Lady, I know I have not—I mean—"
She looked up, "Oh. Not you Mattin. Yes, you cause problems at times, but isn't that part of being alive? Court and its protocol are annoyances. We'll find a way to deal with them."
"Will... will you tell me what upsets you?"
She shrugged, "I expect you can guess part of it. Parlen should have brought her concerns to me, in private or with Brit. Not ambushed both of us. She was trying to control me."
Mattin led her to the bath, and tried to absorb this sudden change in focus. He'd known Parlen had done something to displease the lady, but... "How could she expect to control you? You have all the power here." His normal resentment of her power didn't stand a chance against his astonishment. Thankfully—the lady was hurting enough without his adding to it.
Jahlene laughed, "You put too much stock in legends, Mattin. Nobles have been controlled by the humans in their household in the past. It will happen again. There is more than one form of power."
"That doesn't make sense."
Jahlene stepped into the bath and stretched. "To you. Don't worry about it. She won't try again."
Mattin didn't reply. Instead he began soaping up her hair. For a few minutes, neither said anything. Communal baths had been a part of Mattin's life for as long as he could remember. Being around a naked female was nothing new or uncomfortable. But there was something especially intimate about helping her wash like this. She preferred soaps scented of pine. Their crisp smell was a sharp contrast to her hair slipping through his hands. Most nights he hated himself for how much he enjoyed touching her. Tonight...tonight his fears and mistrust seemed small and foolish besides her pain.
Cautiously, he worked his hands down to her shoulders. She stiffened, but didn't say anything. He began rubbing at the muscles of her neck and shoulders, willing her to relax. Instead of pulling away as he feared, she gradually leaned back into his hands. He ignored the way his shaft grew hard between his legs, and pushed aside his self-doubts. For a few minutes, he focused on her needs.
She relaxed a bit at a time. When he finished, she reached up and touched his hand. "Thank you."
Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place?
Glamourhai is set in an original fantasy world that is culturally a mash up of
Germany during the
Renaissance and colonial America.
The empire that is part of is made up
of humans and fae, but ruled entirely by the fae, who conquered the humans in what
for most people is ancient history. county
The fae have a power called glamour that allows them to sense the emotions of people around them and to control people by taking over their will. They need to feed on emotions to power their glamour. And, as Mattin eventually observes, it's a lot easy to create negative emotioins, like pain, fear and anger, than positive ones. Which has led to the development of some sadistic customs in fae culture.
Most humans live 'normal' lives and try to avoid the fae as much as possible, but fae nobles have the right to take humans from their lands as slaves. Which is how Mattin gets into trouble...
What inspired you to write this book?
I got an image in my head one day, of a man, on his knees and utterly devastated. He had just failed and betrayed his Mistress, his love, and knew that what he had done was so horrible, she could never forgive him.
Writing this story was really the process of discovering what had led up to that moment, and what happened after.
Why do you write?
Because I love too. I have stories in my head and I want to share them with the world.
I also hope, in some small ways, to help change the world. I remember the authors who shaped my view of the world, from Lackey, whose books helped me see past my family's rejection of homosexuality, to Heinlein, who challenged my ideas of what society is and can become, and many others. And I hope that in some small way, someone might read my books about a black fae woman, and a man who chooses to submit to her, and see the people around them a little bit differently.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
Water and music. On good writing days, I'm listening to Blackmore's Night, Voltaire, Trixie Pixie, Heather Dale and Rockapella. On bad writing days, I have a play list called 'energizing' that's all songs to get my blood moving and help me get past the doldrums.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
Somewhere in between. I actually start out writing a brief synopsis (about one page long) that covers most of the major plot points. Then I expand it, and expand it again, adding more details and subplots and scenes each time. About half way through I'll have a dozen fully fleshed out scenes, and a whole bunch of "this happens, and then this happens, and then this person needs to do this, but I don't know how yet..."
So I guess you could say I've 'plotted' the bones of the story ahead of time, but I make up a whole bunch of stuff on the spur with each expansion.
What's your writing schedule like?
Whenever time allows!
Any advice for new authors?
Keep writing, and watch out for Dunning-Kreuger. If you are a new writer and aren't seeing lots of problems in your work, you don't know enough to be a good writer.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
I have a folder on my computer labelled 'mason jar.' New ideas get saved in there with as much detail as I can come up with—usually the one scene that caught my imagination and synopsis of anything else i've come up with.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I've worked in massage therapy, customer service, retail, freelance writing and been a house-spouse.
What's the best gift you ever received?
It's not the usual sort of gift, but after sending letters and phone calls for a few years, I was going to meet my biological family and spend a week with them. I got of the bus, and my mother and sister met me. I think we were all feeling awkward—I certainly was! And I wasn't entirely sure that I wasn't making a mistake. We went to dinner and as we were walking out of the restaurant we started—I don't remember who started it or why, but suddenly we were all singing together, one of my favorite songs. In perfect harmony, no less. And I knew, just knew, that everything would be great. (I was right, too!)
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
Driving I usually listen to classic rock. Sometime folk, musicals or classical. Writing...I think I answered that already ;^)
Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano, but I'm horribly out of practice. I learned flute in school, but I've forgotten almost all of. I can still play a high C.
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
I'm the eldest twice over. I'm the eldest of both my adoptive and biological families.
What do you wish I had asked you?
So what's this I hear about a webserial?
I'm doing a bit of an experiment and releasing the entire novel as a free webserial. The Glamourhai webserial began posting on Nov 1, and the book will be released on Dec 1. Anyone who wants can read the entire story for free—as long as they don't mind waiting until June or July (and enduring multiple cliffhangers) to get to the ending.
Please complete the sentences.
I love pizza with chicken.
I'm always ready for a good book.
When I'm alone, I pace while working out the next road block in my story.
You'd never be able to tell, but in my own way, I am very traditional.
If I had a halo it would be hanging on a hook out of the way somewhere.
If I could never read again I'd go crazy
I can never watch horror movies because I'm a fraidy cat!
Find Me Here