My guest today is Ciaran Dwynvil, personal scribe to characters living in a world of demons and vampires with a taste for kink. His third novel, “In Blue Poppy Fields”, is the third in the Guardian Demon series and was published on the 20th of March.
Boro da, Ciaran! Sut da’chi?
Bore da, Elin! Da iawn, diolch. Beth amdanoch chi?
(Don’t worry, folks, all the rest is in English)
Elin: Just a personal question to kick off with. When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?
Ciaran: I quite enjoy drawing but am not very good at it. So, I prefer to have my benefactors (characters) painted or drawn by artists who do them justice. And I paint them and for them in words. When I write, I write for them, so it’s their artistic inclinations that matter. In our stories you can meet theater actors, painters and singers… so quite a few of them gravitate toward muses and arts.
Elin: The illustrated covers of your books are spectacular. How long did it take to find an artist to suit the characters?
Ciaran: Thank you, Elin. Actually, I’ve always known who the best illustrator for my books is and there has never been a question about having the covers done by anybody else. I didn’t have to look for a cover artist as I know my illustrator in real life and I saw her drawings long before I wrote my first book.
Elin: Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?
Ciaran: When my benefactors come to me, they already have a tale to tell. As I always say, I’m just their bard and scribe. I don’t try to convince them to fit my ideas. I just listen to their words and write them down. But when we meet, a part of their story has already happened and a part perhaps not yet. So, if they change their views over time and arrive to different conclusions than they made in the beginning, I take it as a natural process of gaining life experience. Nobody’s life is static and it would be silly of me to expect it from theirs.
Elin: We all love a sympathetic protagonist but it’s the antagonists who add conflict to stories. What is your favourite type of villain?
Ciaran: That is quite an interesting topic. In some of our stories there is an antagonist but in many of them, there isn’t one. Each of my benefactors has his or her motives for his or her behavior and I’m not there to judge what is right and what is wrong. Everybody gets a chance to tell his/ her part of the tale and I often hear from my readers that a man who they considered to be a villain in the beginning of the story won them over as the events unfolded.
And when I read or watch a movie, I like antagonists who act with conviction and have their own moral code. Not the same as the protagonist and maybe a mistaken one but one that still guides them to act with honor. Like Javert in Les Misérables for example.
Elin: Which of your characters do you enjoy writing most and whose voice did you find most difficult to capture?
Ciaran: I hope it won’t sound strange but I enjoy writing for all of my benefactors. Unless they have truly horrible character streaks but such beings do not come often to me. Though I hear about them from my benefactors quite a lot. Our world is a dark one and not always fair.
As my men and women come to me as real as my neighbors, I do not really find it difficult to write for any of them. I just listen to what they say and then write it for them.
Elin: Okay, here’s a silly one 🙂 but just for fun – of your characters which ones would you snog, marry or avoid?
Ciaran: It’s not as silly as it sounds. I keep saying that I live in a happy relationship with more than a hundred men currently. Excuse me, I lost track of the exact numbers. And any of them is welcome in my bed anytime.
While I do enjoy writing for my few female benefactors as well, I certainly wouldn’t snog or marry them. When it comes to the bedroom games, we politely avoid each other. 🙂
Elin: While exploring the darker side of kink, do you find yourself curbing your invention to stay within the bounds of the safe, sane and consensual or, since you’re writing fantasy, is it anything goes?
Ciaran: Actually, it is impossible for me to fully describe the world of Guardian Demon series by terms of modern BDSM, which were mostly coined only in the 20th century, just like the acronym BDSM itself. Our reality in Guardian Demon series is ages and worlds away from the one readers of our books experience every day around them in their real life, and its rules are different. For example we do not consider dominance and submission a sexual kink. For me and my benefactors… it’s a part of how our world works. In Arga, Lyncesta, Caris, Cerbeden or Cherson (countries of our world)… and even in the realms of Darkness and Light… if you aren’t able to support yourself and defend yourself against enemies, submission to somebody who can do it for you, will keep you safe and will make sure that there will be food on your plate every day is a life necessity that reaches far beyond the borders of your bedroom.
To understand our world, one has to taste it in our books. But with that said, if somebody is uncomfortable with the idea of dominance and submission present in almost every decision taken by men and women in our world, or with reading about both pleasure and pain, we are not the right companions for him/ her.
Elin: Are there any other genres that you would love to write if you had the time and an unlimited budget?
Ciaran: Not really. But then, it depends on my benefactors. If they come with a a life story that will have a very creepy atmosphere, maybe we could put the book under a horror label. Similarly, if they come with a tender love story with a happy end, perhaps we could consider romance category. But fortunately: such stories will always take place in our world and as such will find home in fantasy genre that allows for the stories to be told as they are. I find the other genres rather restrictive when it comes to expectations on plot, behaviors of the protagonists etc.
Elin: What are you working on now?
Ciaran: Right now I am writing In Blue Poppy Fields Part 2 that will be published this summer.
Elin: Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Ciaran: Of course. It will be my pleasure. Here is a short snippet from In Blue Poppy Fields Part 1, and while readers hopefully enjoy the sneak peek, let me thank you for having me over as your guest today and for our delightful talk.
In Blue Poppy Fields
A victim to another man’s cruelty, talented and beautiful theater actor Adhemar Lebeau learned not to trust and not to love anybody but himself. Falsely accused of his master’s murder, he has to accept assistance of mysterious Count Sanyi Arany to later discover his savior is a vampire. Forced both by a fatal illness and aftershocks of torture experienced during his unjust imprisonment, Adhemar agrees to the only possible cure. Rebirth.
Healed in body but not in mind, he guards his independence, free will and heart. He is not able to give love, only the fulfillment of lust. Yet, satiation of sensuous longing is not enough for his Sire and he knows it. When an eerie malady strikes and seems to deplete Sanyi’s life energy for unknown reasons, Adhemar understands his fears and agrees to keep a street boy, Reyach, as a pet for both of them in hope it will soothe the unspoken worries.
Out of necessity he finds himself in the role of the only hunter in their company, and out of attachment he accepts the responsibility readily. Indulgence in blood and carnal pleasures fill his nights and vampiric powers give him the feeling of safety. Until the evening when he carelessly falls prey to High Demon Belial’s plays that quickly turn into more than either of them has bargained for.
In spite of a hard start, Adhemar feels burning urge deep in his heart and no matter how much he denies it, the cause of the strange sensation is a budding seed of affection brought to life by the insufferable demon. But letting Adhemar learn to love somebody other than him is not what seemingly innocent Reyach plans.
Driving his pet’s lividity to the peak, hoping it would morph into turbulent lust there, he clicked his tongue and said calmly: “My dear, aren’t you a slow learner? We have been through this before. Haven’t we? How shall I punish you? Hm?” Intentionally, he fired one question after another, not really wishing for an answer. He just wanted the vampire to see that resistance was futile. But the beautiful man, wrestling with him and panting furiously, wouldn’t see anything like that. And even if he could see a million pieces of evidence, he still wouldn’t give up. Not in fight anyway. Precious he was… Unique. But this wasn’t the time to caress him with any praise.
Shaking his head, Belial unceremoniously carried the vampire over to the cross and let tentacles of restraints reach his pet’s limbs and pull him against the oblivious wooden shape. Stretched well but still considerately, the raven-haired fury ensnared all Belial’s senses. His pants, his heaving chest, his hair moist with sweat, the beautiful color of blue poppies in his eyes, his muscles straining against the ties… Darkness, it all made Belial fight a hard inward battle not to touch him in passion. He craved it but the defiant man wasn’t ready for it yet.
And rape… had never been an option. He was the Lord of Lust and his chosen one would submit willingly. This… precious one. This mesmerizing, wild stallion. His world would change for better once he stopped bucking and rearing. Once he accepted a hand gliding over his twitching muscles. Once he learned to lean into caresses. But right now his hooves beat the dust madly in need to keep his freedom. His untamed entire struggled with all his might to keep his world intact. That he did.
Did the excerpt capture your attention? In Blue Poppy Fields is currently available at Amazon and Smashwords.
It can be read without being familiar with other books in the Guardian Demon Series but you now have an opportunity to win one of the twelve copies of Trails of Love I Crawl Part 1 that opens the beguiling world of this series. Participation is easy enough for anybody over the age of eighteen. The more you help others find the author and Guardian Demon Series books, the more chances to win you will have.
What can you do?
Recommend Ciaran’s books in reader discussions on Goodreads, Shelfari or other platforms you are active at
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Ciaran’s giveaway form will give you more suggestions. Enter it here. Winners will be announced on his blog on the 11th of April.