Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Guest Post: Princess in Chains

Yay, peeps - today the very wonderful and best-selling Justine Elyot has popped in to talk about her new release Princess in Chains. It's a proper fantasy/erotica novel so I jumped at the chance of featuring it here. We need more good erotica authors like Justine writing fantasy!

Here's the official blurb:

"Leonore, heiress to the Kingdom of Ystra, is promised in marriage to Corvin, unpopular monarch of the neighbouring Kingdom of Vala. When their first meeting ends in disaster, she is tempted to take her handmaiden, Asta, out of the castle to sample an evening of common delights in the city - but forces she hasn't reckoned with are against her, and Leonore finds her destiny taken from her hands.
She must embark on a quest to undo the wrong she has accidentally done, accompanied only by a handsome cooper's boy and the address of a mysterious alchemist whom, she hopes, will be the key to her success.

But nothing is as it seems, least of all Leonore's own heart."

I've bought my copy :-)
So ... over to you, Justine!

In A World Of My Own

Hello there! It's brilliant, if slightly intimidating, to be here at Janine's blog today, because I know that Janine is one of the very best writers of fantasy erotica working today, and I am a mere novice. So it's very kind of her to have me and I'll try not to spoil the look of the place too much. [Seriously? Have you seen the piles of dragon poop around here? - Janine ]

As a child and teenager (and, if I'm honest, an adult), one of the things said about me most often was, "She's in a world of her own." Yes, I was, and I still am, and I make no apology for it. When it came to writing, though, I was tentative about creating my own imaginary spaces. I started in fanfiction, where they are provided for you, and then moved on to stories set in the 'real world', albeit a heightened version of it.

This was odd, though, because a great deal of my fantasy life occurs in made-up places, so eventually it was inevitable that some of that would inform my writing. The world of Princess In Chains is both foreign and familiar, owing a lot to the cod-medieval world of Grimm tales, but I tried to make that landscape my own, and that was the fun part.

Leonore and her friends and foes exist in a place divided into different kingdoms, each kingdom having its distinct culture, aesthetic and philosophy. Ystra, Leonore's homeland, is an idealistic Ancient Greece – sunny, airy, tolerant of all beliefs, interested in the furthering of civilisation. Vala, where she travels to meet her betrothed, the King, is more rough and ready, living in a comparative dark age. The people there are practical and no-nonsense, unlike their neighbours in Thren whose heads are stuffed full of odd superstitions and rituals.

To write about completely made-up places is freeing and has given me a chance to think about how characters unconstrained by certain elements of our world culture might be different from us. There is one character, for instance, who comes from 'the southern lands', where men and women have always been equal and same sex relationships have never raised an eyebrow. I can't wait to tackle her story in more depth – but that might have to wait until book 3…

Princess In Chains is available now in both paperback and download format at Amazon UK and Amazon US


Janine Ashbless said...

It's lovely to have you on my blog, Justine - thank you! I'm intrigued by your confession that so much of you fantasy life occurs in made-up spaces ... yet you've always written contemporary erotica to date.

When I started writing erotica, it did not occur to me to write anything BUT fantasy settings - partly because that was what was going on in my head, but partly because I felt I just didn't have enough real life experience to write about the real world. What did I know of offices and fancy restaurants and spas and sports centres and ordinary people? I was a geek! So writing contemporary/non-paranormal erotica shorts for Black Lace and Cleis was totally nerve-wracking for me! I felt out so of my depth, and wanted to be back in a world where I set all the rules ;-)

I'm really interested that you, Justine, took exactly the opposite tack - you shied away from fantasy that you loved and went for the realistic settings, which strikes me as much harder!

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