Hello Ian! Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today! It’s such a pleasure to chat with you. So tell me…
Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?
Good question, and not easy to answer! I first created two of them in a 200-word flash fiction story, which proved to be a niggling idea I couldn’t help but think about.
I decided to let them “out to play” in a couple of short stories, and these let my imagination loose on the characters. I decided it might be fun to have a nice guy with the sort of physique which would almost always make him a dominant or alpha, involved with two women he finds really attractive and who are actually calling the shots.
Q) Is this book part of a series? If so, can you tell us about it?
It’s the second book in a series called “Merely Players”. Yes, that’s knicked from Shakespeare! My idea is that their three-way relationship develops across the series. There will probably be six stories in all, each related to a TV show they’re all working on. The first three books have been published and I’m well on the way to a complete first draft of number four. I’ve tried to make each as stand-alone as possible, but the later ones inevitably refer to the earlier ones. This is the story in which their three-way romantic relationship starts, after some angst. You’ve got to have angst in a romance, haven’t you?
Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
It’s a mixture of both. I don’t write notes or outlines, but I do think about my ideas for a while before sitting down to write. As I write, I try to let my imagination take over. As I worked on the first story, my ideas about one of the characters changed and I let these shape the dynamics of this second story. It’s an interesting challenge sometimes having two female characters, as I want to make them both seem “real” and have different personalities.
Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
It varies a lot, but I’ve found that having a relevant “real life” experience to inform a scene does seem to help. For instance, I’ve been a keen horse-rider for years, so I can slip in details which make my character’s experience seem more plausible. My idea about the character being a jousting performer came from watching some genuine jousting displays, and I was treated to a “jousting 101” day as a birthday gift. I wanted my character to use a longbow, so I went along for a “taster day” and found a new hobby
Q) What are your upcoming projects?
Chipping away at book four in the series, but I’ve also got a completely unrelated draft 50k novel in revision, another half-written novel I want to return to, and another completely new idea niggling at me to work on it, and two other ideas for novels which would be developed from short stories Ive already written...
Paul is Hayley's lover and now her leading man. But acting and portraying a hero on a period TV show takes far more than a suit of armour. He's totally out of his depth, personally and professionally.
Help arrives with dramatic lessons in leadership and courage, when strange events put him and his friends in harm's way.
Hayley's happy when her best friend Becky books hotel rooms with a bed big enough for three, which confuses Paul. Sorting out their relationships is even scarier than acting, jousting, and stunt fighting in front of the camera.
Life doesn't imitate art. Life shoulders art out of the way. Discovering a secret threatens Paul's trust in Hayley and Becky, and forces him to face his doubts and fears. He must decide if it's braver to walk away, or ask for honest answers. Even if they may break his heart.
Excerpt (18 rated)
I slid my hands under her tee shirt and managed to undo her bra fairly slickly. Well, for me. She sat up, wriggled, and somehow removed her bra through one sleeve without lifting her top. She threw the bra aside, took my hands and placed them on her breasts. Through her soft cotton top, they felt lovely in my hands and her nipples were firm little buds. She looked down at me with something approaching open lust as I fondled her breasts. And she shifted her hips around, teasing my constrained erection.
"Can't decide whether I want to take you, or have you take me," she murmured.
"Suppose I get all overenthusiastic? You know, forceful and pushy."
She grinned at me. "You? Mister gentle and thoughtful?"
I pulled her down onto me and rolled us over so I was on top. I straddled her thighs and pinned her hands on either side of her head. "So? Who says I can't be thoughtfully pushy, too?"
She raised her eyebrows. "Prove it, big boy."
I pulled her arms up and held both her wrists with one hand, then tugged her tee shirt up. She wriggled to help me pull it over her head, but I left her arms in it, not quite trapped, but restricted. While she giggled and struggled with that, I unfastened her jeans and tugged them down to the top of her panties, then I rolled to one side and pulled her clothing down as far as I could.
"You're cheating," she grumbled, throwing her tee shirt to the floor.
"How am I cheating?"
"I can't put up a decent fight, but I want you be all forceful and overpower me. And I'm half-naked but you're still fully dressed."
"Well, let's sort that out." I jumped up and stripped quickly.
Hayley got into her bed and grabbed the duvet to stop me getting in with her. But she didn't try all that hard, and squealed when I won and threw the duvet back. We cuddled and giggled, then she stroked my face tenderly.
"Paul, I know you're very conscious of being a lot bigger and stronger than me, and I love it that you try to be gentle. And you're probably trying to avoid me feeling too dominated. But sometimes I want you to be a bit rougher. Like we were in that feed room last night. I know you won't hurt me and if I want to give in to you, that's not you dominating me." She kissed me gently and ran her fingers through my hair, all the way from my forehead to where it was spread across my shoulders. "Sometimes, I just want to feel that you're completely hugging me, every little bit of me."
I took both her hands in one of mine, stretched her arms up above her head and kissed her slowly and deeply. "Yellow and red, okay?"
She nodded and smiled shyly.
Universal Amazon link - myBook.to/KCMP2
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To date, 10 reviews have been posted on Amazon.com, all giving my book four or five stars.
I'm a professional scientist by day, madcap writer in my spare time. I’ve lived in various parts of England, and am now settled in Cornwall, in the south-west corner of England. Not far from Poldark country, and only a few miles from the real Jamaica Inn.
My education was obviously science-based, but I've always been a keen reader - thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, a few classics, and even some romances.
My writing started with scientific papers and technical reports, but one day I knew I wanted to do something different. I started writing general interest factual articles and giving public talks. Then I decided to try fiction and joined a constructive critiquing group, whose feedback convinced me to stick at it.
To date, I’ve had three novellas published by Fireborn, and six short stories published in anthologies.