My guest today is Phetra H Novak, another author from my side of the pond though not from the UK, who is best known for her books combining the legends of Scandinavia with those of the Caddo people of North America.
Welcome, Phetra, and thanks for answering my questions.
What led you to pick your source material for your story?
I love the play and the movie ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, it is a comedy and has all these amazing characters like Benedict the slightly flighty groom but who also has a very strong sense of loyalty. You have the awful and yet very well written villain in Don John and Borachio who is just bitter and angry period no need for any explanation or why he just is. Then of course you have the couple of love (Shakespeare always had to have one of those) Hero and Claudio.
It was easy for me to choose this play because I wanted something fun and this play gave me that and a fantastic story to re-create.
Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?
I haven’t read the actual play in years but I remember loving the part where Benedict goes a little bit bananas about getting married. Maybe not exactly as bananas as he goes in my version but still that is the part that I remember laughing mostly at and humor is my thing. That is what makes me love books, dirty humor, dark humor, sarcastic humor anything goes.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on 4 different projects, the first, is a Christmas story, about a transgender muslim woman, Ayla Aylin, and how she deals with coming out to her parents and even though her parents are third generation Swedes, the manners and practices are still very rooted from where their family comes from, which is Iran, and it play a big part in what type of values they and shows in what they expect from their children. The book takes place over the first 24 days of Christmas and how she finds friend in the investigating officer, Per Andreasson, and that is also the name of the book. For this book I am waiting to get edits back.
Then I have my second book of my Caddo Norse Novels that I am almost done with, I just a couple more chapters to write and the first draft will be done. Good things and bad things will happen, love is in the air for two other people other than Haven and Alexander. Then of course the war between the Asa Gods and the Fenrir Ulv/shifters is culminating, Colonel Gustav is taking a stand and Anthony well he sure show’s what side of things he is on. Haven, of course, is as charming as ever and we will see plenty of him and Alexander both! My short story Fated Future is free and you can find it here for download: http://www.phetranovak.com/fated-future.html
My third book, is the first book of my political series: Silent Terrorism, and this one with the subtitle Saudi Arabia. This book is about how a correspondent team, Ebbe Skoog and Mattis Andersson, who works mostly out of the Middle East. They are in Saudi Arabia to do a political piece about the county itself when things don’t go quite as planned. We get to follow Ebbe and Mattis, together with a bunch of other people (mostly politicians) in a political dirty game where human life isn’t always a first priority. We get to learn how LGBT people are treated in countries in Saudi Arabia and what happens if you find yourself in the position of helping a gay man from being stoned to death.
And finally my fourth and last story, for now anyway, is an alternate lifestyle/ ice hockey book called Love of the Game. It is about a, not yet out, hockey player going to the NHL and just as his career takes off so does his love life. The man he meets, Charlie Morin, isn’t the easiest man on earth and comes with his own set of values and baggage. Charlie, is also a man who comes from a lifestyle which has always intrigued the young hockey playing Johannes but that he just started exploring and Charlie as since years back left because of a manipulative and psychotic ex-lover. It is about two in two very different periods in their life who somehow can’t stay away from each other, and who together will have to learn what trust really means, what it means to listen, what needing another person means and how you can only live life to please yourself and those you care for.
I just recently gave out a short story through one of my author friends website called the Train Station, you can find it here: http://carterseagrove.weebly.com/the-envelope-collection.html/ , there you can meet Johannes Alm, an ice hockey player with the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) one year prior to when Love of the Game takes place.
Could we please have an excerpt?
A Hero’s Last Battle:
“Hello,” a large hand was held out in front of him, “I’m Claudio, best man to the groom, and I don’t’ think I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you before?” He smiled.
Hero slipped his hand into his, heart thundering in his chest, his eyes lowering to watch as he curled his fingers around the large palm.
“Oh,” he gasped as electricity shot through him, making his hand twitch in Claudio’s who only gripped it tighter, not letting go. Instinctively, his wide eyes flashed up to meet Claudio’s who simply beamed.
“I’m…” he cleared his throat “I’m Hero, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Claudio. Benedict speaks so highly of you. I heard you just got deployed and that you are a hero…” Oh god, he was babbling. He snapped his mouth shut but it was too late, those amazing eyes were already zoomed in on him. Laughing. Laughing at him. That damn mouth of his; embarrassed, Hero lowered his face, once again letting his long hair shield his face.
“Please, don’t be embarrassed, ask anything you like.” He started pulling out a chair but stopped, “May I please sit with you, Hero?” His name on Claudio’s lips made his stomach flutter with butterflies, it felt like a caress. Nodding instantly, before he could change his mind, his eyes followed Claudio as he sat down next to him, pulling his chair a little closer than was considered normal. In any other situation Hero would have been intimidated but the kindness in Claudio’s eyes was mesmerizing and for some reason he wasn’t scared. Nervous, but not intimidated like he normally would be.
“I’ve never met you before, how is that? I know I would have remembered you.” Claudio asked, letting his arm rest on the back of his chair. It was nice, rather than intruding, because it was natural with the way they were sitting. Heat poured off his body and so did his scent; he smelled good, of warmth, cologne, and man.
He couldn’t help it: he had to turn his head some to get his nose closer to him, only so he could breathe in his scent some more.
“I… I don’t come to these things often. I’m too much of a loner and don’t like large crowds. But Beatrice is my cousin and… so, here I am.” The smile Claudio gave him made his heart flutter, and the way all his attention was focused solely on him was somewhat dizzying.
“Well, I’m glad you found your way here today. I would love to be your company for the time you’re here, if you don’t mind me being forward to ask for it.” A humorous laughter sounded, making them both turn in the direction it came from. Benedict was watching them with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
Release Date: 12th of August
Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art
Genre: MM Mixed*
We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.
There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.
We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.
There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.
Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.