Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Dreamspinner Press author Grace R Duncan for stopping by to talk with us today.
It is your 1 year publishing anniversary. It all started with Choices. So can you talk to us about the Golden Collar series?
The Golden Collar series sort of surprised me. I hadn’t intended it to be a series when I started but as happens so often, some of the secondary characters started demanding their own story. And before I knew it I had plans for a mess of other stories.
What inspired it was simply a picture of a pleasure slave. The idea of a world of them sparked my imagination and I started out to write an alternative universe for fanfiction. Then a friend challenged me to write original characters – which I was still quite afraid of then—but I decided to try. Then, Teman introduced himself and I knew I could do it. It would take a while, I knew. Choices took over a year for me to write and polish and, finally, submit. But I fell in love with the world I’d built, the characters that became part of me and I haven’t been able to let go of it yet.
What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?
It really varies from book to book. Sometimes, like Choices, it’s a picture. Sometimes, it’s a song. Both Celebrating You and its upcoming companion Healing came from my love of all things post-apocalyptic. But in the end, it really depends. They come from lots of places.
What do you think is the most rewarding thing about writing M/M versus other genres?
Working out different types of problems. Romance is romance, yes, but men approach situations much differently than women do and I love to explore those dynamics and find a way to make it work out.
Do you read your reviews, and if so do they influence the way you write the next book at all?
I try very hard not to. I actually have a lovely, wonderful supporting husband who reads the editorial reviews before I do. He knows what to take from them and what wouldn’t help me. When I hear of something helpful, I definitely take it into account in my current project. But in the end, I have to remember that not all books are going to appeal to everyone. And the best stories tell themselves. I have a mantra that I have taped to my monitor to remind me of this: Write the story that needs to be written.
On the same token, what’s the best thing you’ve ever had someone say about one of your books in an email or review?
I have actually had more than one person tell me that they don’t “usually read that kind of book” (referring to m/m) but that they really enjoyed it and can’t wait for more. That’s been an incredible boost for me.
If you could have a conversation with any famous author, who would you want to get writing tips from and what skill of theirs would you like to emulate?
Ohhh, this is a tough one. There are so many. I write erotica and very graphic erotic fiction. I think I’d love to talk to a couple of the more famous romance authors like Nora Roberts and perhaps see how better to infer the sex, rather than graphically describe it. Not that I won’t still do that! But there are definitely times that it would be better to skirt around it than to fully describe it (like in the YA novels I am planning to write).
Okay I have a few reader questions for you:
If you were a piece of farm equipment, what you would you be, and why?
Well, now, this one’s taken some real work. I suppose I could say “stripper” but that brings frightening images to mind. So, I’ll go with “plow.” There is, of course, the dirty reason for wanting to be able to “plow,” but I’ll be good and give you the… other dirty reason. When I was a kid, I came home from playing outside every day covered in dirt from head to toe. At one point, my mom finally made a spot by the front door to leave my dirty clothes. So, I’ll go with plow because I’d get to play in the dirt. 😉
If you could get one thing from a sex toy store without question, what would it be?
As a total kinkster, I buy the weird stuff all the time, already. LOL! We have a paddle, a flogger, some really nice cotton rope… all that sort of thing already. So, I’m not sure anything would raise an eyebrow.
If there world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
Surrounded by my family. The kids, my hub… all of us just being close.
What is next, what are you working on?
I am currently in edits for my first full-length contemporary novel. It’s a long one, entitled No Sacrifice about an actor who is forced to recognized his heretofore ignored bisexuality when he reacts to his male costar on the set.
I am also currently writing another short in the Golden Collar series I’ve tentatively called Firsts as well as the third full novel, Jealousy featuring Darius and Salehi from the rest of the series.
Where can readers find more about you on the web?
I’m currently working on revamping my website, but in the meantime, the current version can be found at http://www.grace-duncan.com (the new one will replace the old). You can also here here: Facebook ◊ Twitter ◊ Youtube (for readings of excerpts) ◊ Goodreads
Blurb for Choices
Born and raised a gypsy in the late eleventh century, Teman values freedom over everything. He and his best friend, Jasim, are thieves for hire—until one night they’re caught and their precious freedom is revoked. Given the choice between the dungeons or palace pleasure slavery, they become slaves, but Teman vows to escape someday.
Bathasar doesn’t want the throne. He supports his brother instead, which suits their sadistic father, Mukesh. When Teman, the handsome slave Bathasar has secretly been watching, saves his life, Bathasar requests a slave for the first time. Before long, Bathasar and Teman fall in love. But all is not well. One day Mukesh brutalizes Teman before the court, angering the empress of a neighboring nation. To appease her, he then offers her Jasim as a gift, and Teman decides to stay with Bathasar for now—despite the abuse he may suffer.
The peace doesn’t last. Mukesh plans to invade Jasim’s new country, and Bathasar must find a way to stop the destruction. But if he succeeds, he’ll ascend to the throne and have the power to grant Teman his liberty. Then Teman will surely leave him. What other choice could a gypsy make?
Blurb for Deception
Cyrus and Nadir first met as hungry orphans on Behekam’s streets at twelve years old. They became friends, then partners in the thievery that enabled them to survive, and as they passed their days together, they fell in love. When they are both taken as pleasure slaves in the opulent palace of the Malik of Neyem, love becomes more complicated.
Rumors of an attempt on Malik Bathasar’s life put Cyrus and Nadir’s relationship to the test—they must pose convincingly as intimate slaves to the young malik as part of a plan to lure the assassin into the open. Teman—Malik Bathasar’s real personal pleasure slave and true lover—was once trained by Cyrus for the same duties, and the attraction and care Cyrus developed for him then still remains. The Malik of Neyem proves an easy man to love and Nadir’s feelings for him grow while they’re pretending to love each other.
Cyrus and Nadir care deeply for each other but they’ve forgotten the first rule of love: communicate in honesty. Their love remains strong enough to weather the changes—if they have the courage not only to face the coming dangers, but to put aside deception and find their truth.
Grace Duncan has agreed to give one lucky commenter an eBook and some surprise swag 🙂
Contest ends 9 Mar 2014 @11:59pm CST.
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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