Blaine D. Arden talks Bedtime Stories and Twisting a fairytale into a Bedtime Story ~ Guest Blog, Excerpt

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Blaine D. Arden for taking the time to talk with us today.

Bedtime Stories - a Wilde City Press anthology

Title: Bedtime Stories
Author: Blaine D. Arden, Tia Fielding, Liam Livings, Anna Martin, MJ O’Shea, Kit Mullender and B Snow.
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Thank you, Brandilyn, for having me here 🙂

waves at the audience Hey, Everyone. I’m Blaine, and I’m here to talk about Bedtime Stories, a Wilde City Press anthology meant to be read at bedtime, a story a night to last the week. 🙂

Twisting a fairytale into a Bedtime Story:

I felt a bit like a deer in headlights when Anna Martin grabbed me at the UK Meet last year to ask me if I wanted to do an anthology with her and other authors. While I was having a lot of fun at the meet, I’d been struggling with tiredness since the beginning of that year, and had been very proudly announcing that I’d been going four weeks without afternoon naps to basically anyone who asked me how I was doing.

So, between hugs and my brain in overdrive, I said yes, if I could come up with a story. Even though my tiredness hadn’t stopped my brain from coming up with ideas, the actual writing and concentration part had been seriously hampered by it. I didn’t want to promise something I couldn’t deliver on.

Back home an email from Anna was waiting with the following words: “What we’re trying to create: A collection of short stories designed to be read one at a time, at bedtime. The feel of the book will be decidedly sleepy, easy to read, something to help the reader drift off.

It sounded good, sweet even, and it immediately filled me with warmth and cosiness. But then she followed it up with prompts like “Twists on classics” and naming a couple of fairytales as examples.

I’d never done fairytales before. Well, that’s not quite true, I’ll always consider The Fifth Son a fairytale, despite it being my version of gun porn. 😉 But that one wasn’t inspired by a specific classical fairytale or any tale but an anthology call. Still, it was an intriguing idea to take elements from a story I knew and give my own spin on things.

But which fairytale should I choose? There were so many. And that’s when the what ifs started flowing through my mind. What if my character found himself trapped with no way out? What or who did he want to get back to? Why was he trapped? How did he get there? Or… who put him there? And how would he get home again if there was no way out?

One by one, the answers came and my little story took root, and pretty soon, was writing a story inspired by Dorothy clicking her heels to get home… and a fluffy little rabbit. Don’t ask me where that one came from. I’m not sure I’ll ever find an answer to that. It just appeared out of nowhere, the way it happens sometimes when I’m writing. And sometimes it’s better not to ask too many questions. lol

Of course, if things were as simple as clicking heels, then there wouldn’t really be a story to tell, would there? No, Theo—Prince Theodorin—my main character has to work a little harder on getting home. Especially since the place he finds himself trapped in turns out to be a magical island. And, like Dorothy, he needs some help along the way. There are no red shoes, tin man, or scare crow in my story, but there is a lion—and said rabbit—and there might just be a way home, after all. You’ll have to read it to find out how that happens, though. 😉

Excerpt:

Excerpt of Click Your Heels Three Times, Blaine’s contribution to the anthology:

“You have never met my youngest, have you, Your Highness?” The general motioned his son to come closer. He shuffled forward a hesitant step or two and performed an awkward bow.

I bowed my head. “Never had the pleasure.”

“Munkin came of age last week,” the general continued. “He is now old enough to be wed, and I’d like to offer him to you as your consort.”

Shaking my head, I took a step back. I should have seen this coming, I really should have. He’d offered me his eldest daughter when I was barely twenty-one, not realising I wasn’t into women. He hadn’t liked me refusing him then, and he wouldn’t now, judging from the way he narrowed his eyes at me. Of course, he found excellent matches for his three daughters among members of council and their families. And now he wanted a perfect match for his son. In some ways, I could understand. As revered as his title was, it didn’t garner him a place on the council. No soldiers allowed on the council. A conflict of interest, Mum called it. Our neighbouring country in the east had declined quickly once their military grabbed the leadership.

I was sure Munkin was a lovely young man—and a gorgeous one—but I had my heart set on Wystan. I turned to Munkin, opening my mouth to utter an apology, but then he gazed up at me, and I caught a hint of relief in his eyes. I closed my mouth, gave him a quick nod, and turned back to the general. “I have no doubt you’ll find him a good match, General, but it won’t be me.”

“You dare refuse your general?”

Munkin flinched and took a step back, and another one.

I took a step forward, straightened my pose and squared my shoulders. What I lacked in width, I had in length, bringing me in a position to look down on my general—inadvisable under different circumstances. “Our ranks have no place in this conversation, General. Not our military ranks, at least. My birthright, on the other hand, seems the very reason you requested my presence, and in that light, I’ll remind you my proper title is still Your Highness.”

A flick of a wrist, a “No, Father!” followed by a loud snap, and everything around me turned dark.

Blurb:

From supernatural tales of intrigue to a curious modern romance, a thoroughly British relationship and a classic fairytale all twisted up, Bedtime Stories is a collection of short stories designed to be read one at a time, at bedtime. Let us wish you goodnight with gay romances that are sure to leave you ready for a night of sweet, lingering dreams.

Authors: Blaine D. Arden, Tia Fielding, Liam Livings, Anna Martin, Kit Mullender, MJ O’Shea, and B Snow.

About the Author:

Blaine D. ArdenBlaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of gay & trans* romance mixed with fantasy, mystery, and magic who sings her way through life in platform boots.

Author Links:

Blaine can be found on her website, twitter, facebook, goodreads, and by email: blaine@blainedarden.com.

Buy Links:

Wilde City

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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