My guest today is Anna Mayle, a talented young author, best known for her “Stolen Child” series of novels.
When her name was brought to my attention by a mutual friend, I read “Bedtime Story for a Stolen Child” and was very much impressed. The descriptions are just enough to set the mind working without stopping the action, the world building is beautiful but bleak and the sex scenes are seriously creepy yet appropriate to the plot.
Good day, Anna, and thank you very much for agreeing to answer some questions about your work.
Elin: I see from your bio that you were brought up in an isolated rural environment. Did this isolation contribute to your writing or would you have become a writer if you have been brought up in the busiest of cities?
Anna: The physical isolation was actually more distracting than the larger towns we moved to later, there was just so much fun to be had! I think social isolation played a bigger role. When I was nine something bad happened and my mom was forced to steal my brothers and I and run. We ended up in New Mexico, a whole different kind of wild, but one further away from a man who was hurting us. Not to go into any more details on the reasons, but the result was that it broke my confidence both in my-self and in others. I clung tight to my family, protected my brothers as best I could, and the outside was the enemy. You can probably guess I didn’t have many friends. In lieu of that lost social interaction, reading and writing became my window to other worlds, worlds I could control and places where no one would hurt me. It might have been healthier to focus on happily ever after stories, but the darker side of things still was comforting, maybe because the supernatural dark was so far from what I’d been through. I’m no psychologist. ^_^
That answer took on a mind of its own. Back to the original question, I think I would have been writer anywhere I lived, but the setting I grew up in does tint my writing and I am much more comfortable writing a book set in a rural area as opposed to the urban ones.
Elin: If you hadn’t gone for writing, is there any other creative field that you would have liked to or do indulge in?
Anna: Oh definitely, and I do indulge them still, just not on a professional level. I love to sing, draw, act and dance. The wall of my office is filled with random sketches of different characters and the margins of my notebooks are full of doodles. I sing and dance constantly, even if just for myself and with friends and family. On the acting side of things I used to do community theatre, but since I don’t have the time for it now, I am a member of a few different LARP (Live Action Role Play) groups which while less structured than a play, offer a lot more improvisational acting which I enjoy. The characters I get to play range from vampire to wraith to human, timid librarian to barbarian warrior to madam of a prominent whore house to drug dealing chemist to utter sociopathic killer. Let no one say I lack variety, hahaha.
Elin: With the popularity of paranormal stories what was it about the road to Faerie that particularly appealed to you rather than going down the vampire/shifter route?
Anna: The first time my aunt brought Resplendence publishing to my attention, I was in the middle of writing a book about demons, she told me they were looking for horror based romance novels and she knew I liked to write darker things so she thought it would be something new and old all at once for me to try. It really was. I thought of vampires, shifters, and demons especially since that was my forte at the time, but all of them seemed to be missing something. Demons were too fresh in my mind, and if I was trying something new, I wanted to go all out. The others, well because of the popularity of vampire and werewolves, people know them. Readers have already formed their opinions of the legends and know to some extent what they should expect from them. I like working with the unknown. Thinking of what would be horribly terrifying and twisted, I settled on changelings. But of course, to write changelings, you are writing Fae. Fae are so changing and the stories are so numerous that they can be and do practically anything for any reason. They aren’t human and never were so that alien feeling is always surrounding them. I like that. I like that my only limit is my imagination and my own too human mind. To tell you the truth, there are times I don’t think I did the Fae and their strangeness the justice they deserve, but the other challenge was the romance aspect (and trust me, it was a challenge, just ask my editor) and it’s hard to spark a personal and romantic connection if you go too far “other”. Balancing the two was tricky and I got pulled back from leaping over that line quite a few times by people telling me that romance needed to be romantic. So, all in all, I like Fae because of all they can be, and that one thing they traditionally can’t quite grasp…human.
Elin: I have only read one of your stories so far, but I was fascinated by your references to the land of the Fae. Why did you choose to depict them in that particular way?
Anna: As I’ve known them, Fae is such a broad term for the creatures placed under it. They can range from sprites and spirits of the forest, those connected to our wilds, the Fae shifters like Selkie (the seal people), to elementals like Jack Frost. Then there are those such as the Seelie high courts, completely held apart from our word, to the unseelie, the dark ones, fallen Fae as some stories go. Some Fae are born of laughter and some, of fear. They can meet in a vale in our world or be separated from it by the Veil. They can be addicting or terrifying, or both. So I had a lot to choose from. Though any of them can be changelings, I wanted to focus on those less connected to humans and human kind, so I went with the courts. I did tweak some of the legends to fit that otherworldly image and my own interpretation of the old tales. Other than those few initial changes, the characters formed quickly. They became so real to me that they honestly wrote themselves in my mind faster than I could put them on the page. At times I found myself trying to talk my own characters out of the horrible life choices they were making, out loud, at my computer screen. So my initial reason for portraying them in the manner I did was to show the strange and inhuman side as well as the similarities that exist between us, warped as they may be. I wanted the darkness and horror as opposed to the earthy kindness and playfulness of some of their other kith and kin. Beyond that, blame the characters who have now taken residence in my head, they finished it.
Elin: Have you written any other genres? If not is there any other that appeal?
Anna: Nothing published, but I used to write children’s stories when I was younger. My mom wants me to write and publish a children’s book (after the romance/erotica, I’ll probably have to go with a pen name). So I’ve been working on some sketches and a possible outline for one. I write songs and poetry, and some straight horror. But I’m open to trying anything once. For now, romance is fun, and I’m enjoying the sub-genres of it. My contemporary/crime story, In The Shadow of a Hero , was published last year. I tried to keep to an old noir style. I don’t usually write in urban settings, so it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed it once it stopped chewing on my brain. I’m also working on a ghost/war story now, and have a post-apocalyptic and zombie story stewing about in my mind. Who knows, maybe I’ll try my hand at vampires or demons in this genre. There’s lots of room to play ^_^.
Elin: Tell us a little about your latest release “Daybreak for a Stolen Child”.
Anna: Daybreak is the direct sequel to a story I didn’t plan to have a sequel for. Honestly Bedtime Story was originally written knowing that the characters would probably kill each other after the book ended. My editor and fellow author told me that romances needed a happily ever after, or even just a happy for now, to make them romances, so I worked a little extra hope into the ending and called it good. Then the reviews and responses came. Readers started mentioning that they wanted to know what happened. I was already planning another Fae story and in passing mentioned I could possibly do a sequel at some point and my editor (who was apparently a fan) jumped at it with an enthusiastic yes. As we talked about the possibility, I got so excited that I agreed to a bookend series of four, hung up the phone and then stared at it blankly wondering what had just happened and how I was going to wrap up a story I had considered finished. It was an amazing experience and I would say yes if I had it to do over again, but there were many times I closed my laptop or put down my pen, held my head in my hands, and wondered if I’d bitten of more than I could chew. Luckily, the characters were very insistent that they wanted their stories.
Elin: Thanks Anna for answering my questions. One last thing – could we please have an excerpt from one of your stories – published, WIP, latest idea – whatever you like?
Anna: Sure, since it’s the latest, and the focus of this blog tour, here’s Daybreak…
Nearly a year since the nightmare at the cabin. Life for Daniel and Leinad hasn’t gotten easier, but at least there is something to say for familiarity. They fight, they threaten, but they love each other and in the end, that should be enough. It isn’t. When the shadows start stealing closer, and the past begins catching up to them, how long will the two lovers have before the Fae in Daniel emerges, and before Leinad has to face his own demons once again? Until the harsh light of reality engulfs the fragile world they’ve built for themselves? How long will it be until daybreak?
“Daniel.” The soft, trilling voice sent shocks of agony straight to his temples.
A thick band of tension tightened around his head. He closed his strange new eyes and begged silently for it to stop.
“Daniel,” Leinad whispered again. The words were barely there, breathy. The soft, downy inside of his lover’s wings folded around him from behind, and he sighed as Leinad lowered both of them carefully to the bed. “Do not fight it. Don’t try to understand it. Whatever it is you see, it is not something humans are meant to process. You do not think like a Fae. Trying to grasp their worlds and ways will hurt you.”
“My head is killing me,” Daniel mumbled.
Leinad nodded against his shoulder and rested his face in the curve of Daniel’s neck. “I know.”
“Reading my mind now?”
Leinad chuckled. “You squint when you get headaches.”
Daniel tried to smile, but it felt brittle and impossible upon his lips. “I can’t… I’m terrified, Leinad.”
A soft mouth moved against Daniel’s neck, softer feathers caressed his chest, belly, thighs. “I am here.”
Long, tapered fingers slid slowly around his sides, teased their way to brush over Daniel’s chest and pulled him back harder against his partner. Daniel could feel Leinad’s interest pressed insistently against his tailbone. One talon tipped finger flicked the delicate nub of a nipple. Daniel gasped, Leinad moaned and nipped at the tender skin of Daniel’s neck.
“What are you doing?” Daniel asked stupidly. When did my mind and mouth lose their connection?
“I’m making you forget,” Leinad said calmly, and rolled his hips into Daniel’s ass. “I’ll make you forget your own name.”
“I already have.” Daniel choked.
Leinad’s motions stilled. “Damn you Daniel. The other Fae weren’t nearly as difficult to interest.”
“I don’t remember being Fae.”
The wings opened and Daniel yelped in surprise. Leinad grabbed, twisted, and straddled him all in quick succession until Daniel stared up at Leinad from his back. The cruel curve of his beak, wide golden eyes, round and knowing in a pale white face, filled his vision. Feathers flowed over his head and shoulders like hair. The hands holding him down were talon tipped and deadly.
Daniel’s cock danced at the proximity of the dangerous creature. It thickened, lengthened, the blood rushed into it in an attempt to make it hard enough to tear through the linen slacks the creature wore. Again, one taloned hand flexed, a deadly claw teased his nipple. Daniel squirmed and moaned. He needed pressure, friction, flesh. He needed Leinad, in all his terrifying glory.
“You feel it too, don’t you.” It was a statement, not a question. “The consuming pull, the want, your body craves mine as if you were made for me, of me. No matter what happens, you belong to me, my creature. So lie back and give yourself up to me. Fear me, need me, only focus upon me.” Leinad punctuated his command by rolling his hips and opening his fly to free his rapidly hardening need from the confinement of his pants.
Daniel trembled, a familiar yet strange moistness seeped from his puckered entrance as his body prepared itself. His anus opened and closed again and again, begged to be filled, to be brutalized, to be taken, owned, claimed. It knew its master just as his dancing cock did, just as Daniel himself did. Leinad glowed gloriously and Daniel wanted nothing more than to be the vessel to his need. He arched his hips up, and closed his eyes at even the slight friction that earned him. Without the strange visual world to distract him, the sensations were doubled and then some, and he keened at their strength.
“There, now you are ready for me, aren’t you.”
“Yes,” he whimpered. “Oh yes, please.”
“Please?” Leinad cooed. “You want me to please you, do you not?” He took Daniel’s hand and brought it to his huge, thick cock. The veins stood in stark relief against the magnificent shaft and the mushroom head leaked a thick, clear liquid that coated its length and pooled between them, made them slide smoothly against one another. “You want me to tear you open and live inside you, move in and out until you aren’t sure which you want more, the pleasure or the pain.”
“Yes!” Daniel begged and writhed for more, for the action those words promised. “Please fuck me.”
“I’ll fuck you into forgetting. Then I’ll go deeper. I’ll penetrate straight to your soul and saturate it with my seed. Body. Mind. Soul, all mine. You hear me? You’re mine!”
“Yes, sir.” Daniel trembled. Leinad stood and stripped quickly. Daniel didn’t even have time to feel guilt over the multitude of bandages revealed before Leinad was back. He tore Daniel’s pants from his body, scooped Daniel’s legs up to rest on his shoulders and surged forward until Daniel was bent nearly in half, begging in shallow, panting breaths, his opening wide and wanting. “Please Leinad. Please don’t be cruel to me, not now.”
“Never,” the creature promised and thrust with one hard jab, burying himself deeply into Daniel’s core.
Daniel cried out in perfect, blissful agony. “More!”
Leinad thrust again, and lights danced in the blackness behind Daniel’s eyelids.
“Mine. Say it,” Leinad ordered.
“Yours, I am yours. I am yours!” he sang brokenly while Leinad ploughed into him again and again. Daniel might as well have been praying, for the worship he could hear in his own voice. The thickness inside of him was unrelenting, claiming, unyielding. He had no time to relax, to calm or think, barely time to breathe.
The speed behind those deep thrusts increased, and he was bent so far that his knees met his ears while Leinad blanketed him with his weight and rode him hard, wet and wonderful. A scream built inside of him, but he had no breath to give voice to it. Leinad pounded into him so hard that he slammed into the bed. It still wasn’t enough. Daniel reached down to grasp his own cock, but the force inside of him shook. Leinad’s cock rattled like a snake against his prostrate and before his fingers even closed around himself he was coming, twisted and covered and owned. It wasn’t romantic, but it was love, thick and hot inside of him. It bent him, twisted his soul to its bidding. “I love you,” he breathed.
Leinad came and pulled out at the same time. His semen coated Daniel’s legs and crotch as he retreated to the far side of the room and stared at him with those wide, inhuman eyes.
“Damn you, Daniel.” He choked. “You weren’t supposed to say it.”
You can learn more about my books and myself at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4430205.Anna_Mayle
All of the previous books in the series are also available for purchase from Resplendence Publishing,
just click on the link.
Thank you ^_^