Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Marie Sexton for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Pride Publishing Song of Oestend (Oestend #1). Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed Song of Oestend (Oestend #1). You can find the review here.
Retro Reads Spotlight with Marie Sexton
We are here today to talk about Song of Oestend. What can you tell us about?
Song of Oestend sort of felt like the perfect storm of story ideas. I wanted to write about an artist and a cowboy. I wanted to write about a haunted house, and about these spooky wraiths that kept people cowering behind locked doors after dark. And I wanted it to have an old-world feel, but I didn’t want to deal with old-world prejudices. So in the end, I threw them all together and made it an alternate universe. It seemed a bit crazy at the outset, but it felt kind of magical by the end.
Tell us more about our main characters.
Aren is the artist. He’s running away from a past he’s ashamed of, and Oestend feels like his last option. He’s small and weak (in his estimation, at least), but Oestend is a rough, harsh land, and Aren is completely out of his element.
Deacon is everything Aren isn’t. He’s big and strong and absolutely in command of every situation. But he’s also incredibly lonely, and he’s happy to finally have somebody to confide in.
Why did you decide to write a paranormal/fantasy book when most of your stuff is contemp?
I’ve spent most of my life reading epic fantasy, and I love a good ghost story. I also hate the idea that as authors, we’re stuck writing the same thing over and over again. Most of the authors I admire write all over the spectrum. And Oestend was just a story I wanted to tell.
What makes this book so special to you as its creator?
Song of Oestend combines two of my favorite tropes: opposites attract, and friends to lovers. It also has a role reversal in the bedroom (another of my favorite things to do). And I loved how Aren finds his strength, and how his art ends up coming into play in the end. I thought for sure the story would kill me while I was writing it, but I absolutely fell in love with it by the time it was done. (And I love the sequel just as much. Maybe more.)
Why did you decide to have BDSM elements in the story?
It was all about Deacon. Initially, I only intended to have the role reversal in the bedroom, but I realized Deacon needed more than a confidante. Deacon’s whole life is dependent upon his ability to always be strong and in control, and that’s an exhausting way to live. What he needed more than anything was a safe place where he could give up control completely and let himself be human. Aren gives him that.
If you could change one thing in Song of Oestend what would it be and why?
Hmm. I can’t think of anything, actually. There’s a little continuity error in Saviours (the sequel) that I’d fix if I could. But in the first book… I guess maybe I’d show a bit more of Frances and Simon’s developing relationship toward the end of the novel. The only other thing I can think of is that I wish we’d put a cowboy on the cover.
Is there a genre of story (like fantasy or BDSM) that you haven’t written but would like to try?
Not necessarily a specific genre, but I want to write an NFL book someday. I have it roughly fleshed out, but it feels like it’s going to be a monster book, and I haven’t wanted to tackle it just yet (no pun intended, but it works).
How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?
I usually have an idea of the characters, and then I choose a name to match. I use a baby name book for the first names, and a phone book for last names. Changing a name certainly can change the character. Sometimes you get lucky and find a second name that matches as well as the first (and saves you from rewriting the character).
If you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?
There is no one right way to write a book. Anybody who gives hard and fast rules (i.e., don’t edit as you go, write start to finish, write every day no matter what, always have an outline) is talking about their method, but it is NOT universal. Go ahead and read everybody’s advice, then disregard everything that doesn’t work for you. The only thing that matters is that your method ends with a completed manuscript.
Tell us about some of your other titles.
Well, most people know me for Coda, but I have a lot of other books! I have kinky space pirates (Blind Space), and fairy tales (Cinder), and dark, erotic dystopians (Release). I have Tucker Springs and Between Sinners and Saints (all contemporaries). There’s also Family Man, which I wrote with Heidi Cullinan, and a fun little novella I wrote with Rowan Speedwell called Flowers for Him. More recently, I released a novella with Dreamspinner called Lost Along the Way. Honestly, it’s one of my new favorites of my own work. It’s about learning to let go of old things, so that newer, better things can take their place. I really have a soft spot for that story.
Rapid Fire Time
Favorite beverage? Sparkling water. And wine.
Cook or bake? COOK. I loathe baking.
Hugs or Kisses? Hugs.
Handcuffs or Rope? Not sure. How scratchy is the rope? Are we talking nylon, or jute?
Strawberries or pickles? Cheese.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Beatles
Spring or Fall? Fall. I love fall. Soup and pumpkin pancakes and changing leaves and FOOTBALL.
Coffee, black or doctored (can you think of a better word for this?)? I need cream, but sugar I can take or leave.
Any Tattoos or piercings? Two tattoos. Only my ears are pierced.
What are you working on? What is next?
I’m finishing up a novella right now that I think will be called Damned If You Do. It’s light and fun and a bit different from my usual stuff. I’m in that stage where I feel like saying too much will jinx it, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
My next release is Winter Oranges. It’s part of Riptide’s Love for the Holidays charity bundle (20% of the proceeds go to the GLBT National Help Center). It’s sort of a whimsical little Christmas story. It was another of those ideas that felt outrageous at the beginning, but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. It comes out November 30, but it’s available for pre-order now.
Title: Song of Oestend (Oestend #1)
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, BDSM, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance
Symbols have power…
Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths – mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around.
Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.
Reader Advisory: This book is set in an alternate reality and contains scenes of violence, mild D/s and bondage, and a M/M/M ménage scene.
About the Author
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
You can contact Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marie Sexton has kindly offered TWO lucky commenters each their choice of two backlist titles.
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,
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