Hello Katherine! 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?
I literally dreamed it. The first spark for the story was a dream I had one night, of a Victorian painter who was in love with his model, who also happened to be a prostitute (I do have weird dreams, I know). Of course the story grew in the telling, and borrowed some things from my own real life, and became a lot more complex, but the core remained almost unchanged.
Q) Is this book part of a series? If so, can you tell us about it?
Not exactly a series, but it is part of what I call a “loosely interconnected trilogy”. This is three books (duh! Wyvern can count to three!) all featuring transgender characters, more exactly MtoF crossdressers. The first two books (Woman as a Foreign Language and Spice &Vanilla) are contemporary, and have two characters in common, although they can perfectly be read as stand alones. The connection to the third book is more tenuous… and it’s a bit of a game I play with the readers, to find those thin threads, so I will say no more. 😊
Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?
When I was writing this story I began making some more detailed research about the life of one of my all-time favorite painters, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and was blown over to find some really strange coincidences between things from his real life, and things I had already written in my story, culminating with a sentence we both used to describe our muse’s absence… it was wonderful, and a little bit creepy.
Q) What do you think is your strongest asset as a writer? …what is your weakest factor as a writer?
My strongest asset? Possibly my voice, which is very lyrical in parts, and very… well, very “voicey”. It’s the thing people immediately remark upon. My weakest factor? My voice, again. It’s a love or hate thing. Some readers find it vivid and engulfing and are enchanted with it. Others find it antiquated and distracting. You can’t please everybody.
Also, I write densely descriptive, highly emotional stories, and that too tends to polarize the readers.
Q) Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I really have no clue what readers want, and most popular Romance trends do not interest me much, so I am not much of a people-pleaser in that sense. But I don’t actively strike for originality either. I write stories and characters that are attractive to me, and since I am a bit of an oddball, I guess they ultimately come across as original. But I am happy to weave old tropes in my stories to if they are relevant to the plot or the characters. Good stories always bear retelling, as long as the telling is fresh, and brings something new to the theme.
Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I am really crap at planning anything, really, especially where writing is concerned. When I began writing Muse (which took a very long time to finish) I didn’t even know if Nathaniel, the main character, was male or female. Although the original concept was that of a male painter and a female muse, once the transgender angle came in I seriously considered making Nathaniel a woman. It would have made for a very interesting story, but very different of course. Imagine a female artist painting a male model, before the days of feminist emancipation, and at the same time a partnership that could have been seen as a lesbian relationship… unless this female artist was also a crossdresser, a FtoM crossdresser... It was quite a while before Nathaniel crystalized in his final form.
There were so many possibilities for bending gender roles and expectations, and setting up really unusual plot-twists . It was really hard to settle on one set of identities.
It might be worth rewriting the whole thing just to see the fireworks!
Q) What are your upcoming projects?
I am a little burnt-out to be honest, right now, but I hope to get to work on a very thrilling sci/fi story I conceived last year (and wrote a few pages of). It was supposed to be a cooperation with my husband, but he chickened out and I am on my own now. It is a time-traveling story with a slightly heart-breaking twist on the concept of fated mate. If the muse helps I’ll try to get to work on it in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for hosting me!!
"This is one of the most beautiful romances I've ever read."
An artist lives to create. When Nathaniel’s urge to paint died, so did his will to live.
Until the night he meets Gabrielle.
Gabrielle may be just a poor prostitute, but she has the beauty of a Pre-Raphaelite stunner and the otherworldly aura of a fallen angel. She also has a secret. Gabrielle is Gabriel, and when Gabriel’s dark past comes knocking and Gabrielle must abandon her new career as an artist’s model, Nathaniel’s whole world comes crashing down again.
Better to die than living without her love, and the breathtaking creative drive she brought him. But it’s dead easy to die for a woman. Any fool can die for love. To live for it, that takes altogether more courage, doggedness, and imagination.
Be Warned: transgender romance, queer romance, cross-dressing, m/m sex, anal sex, rape
I am not sure how to touch Nathaniel. I want him to kiss me again, I want him to hold me, I want him to look at me that way he does in his studio, when he watches every line of my body and sees a woman. And at the same time, I wish he would see me for what I am, all that I am, once and for all, so I don’t have to hide anymore.
So I shed my jacket, and the blouse underneath. I shiver a little in the cold when my arms are bared, and he runs his warm palms on my goosebumps, soothing them.
Then I stand to unbutton my skirts and petticoat, and untie my bustle, and I let it all swish down around my knees, and I stand here naked, in my small chemise, and stockings and corset, and my boots.
I am still silk-skinned and woman shaped.
Except for that one thing.
I steal a glance at his face—I can hardly bear to look at his eyes, standing here so naked—thinking he will wince, or frown. Or scream, what do you know. You can never tell, with a sensitive artistic temperament.
But he does none of these things.
Instead he goes to his knees on the floor, like a man about to propose in some play, and with a sort of mute reverence he strokes my thighs and my buttocks, and the back of my knees, through the stockings. When he lays a kiss and then his forehead on the hard of my hip, where the bone pokes sharply under my skin, I put my hands on his crazy hair, and hold him there, and with the barest, lightest touch of his fingertips he caresses the front of my corset, on my belly, and then down, down.
And to my acute embarrassment, the damn thing shivers to his touch, stiffening, rising.
Well. He has certainly seen me, now. He really has.
He is not screaming.
I pull him to his feet and I step out of my puddled skirts, and gently I undress him. Jacket and shirt and trousers and drawers, socks, everything.
He is as tall as I am, which I had never noticed, because he always stands with his head bent and his shoulders slumped. He’s not muscular, but there is no fat on him either. He has well-built bones under his lumpy clothes—he badly needs a good tailor—and he would be rather handsome if he held himself straight, with his chin up, and didn’t look so much at odds with himself. He’s pale, but not as pale as I am, and there is just the merest spray of hair on his chest.
I caress his skin all over as I undress him, and he looks transfixed, as if it had never occurred to him that it takes two to dance this dance. Perhaps he thought I’d make him spend the night on his knees adoring me.
The heat of his skin is like a deep current, and it draws me to him.
We stand here mute, the only sounds the drumming of the rain and the swish of falling clothes, and gently kissing lips.
When I push him to lie on the bed, I have a moment of dread that he might want to do that to me. I cannot have it. I will not be taken that way ever again.
I’ll make my living giving blowjobs for the rest of my days, I guess.
But I am not afraid of him. I do not believe he’d be capable of hurting a fly, let alone me.
“So, do you fancy that blowjob, finally?” I whisper in his ear, smiling, but he holds me close, too close for me to slide down along his body.
“I love you,” he whispers, his lips on my ear, so that words are made into a caress, “I love you, I love you.”
“Hush,” I whisper back, bearing down on him, grinding my cock on his. “Don’t say such things. It cannot be. It can’t.”
“This night, this once, please, let me say it. I love you, I love you, I love you.” His body rises to meet mine, and I feel those tears spilling now, with joy, and grief, and pity. Pity for him, for me, for both of us, lost in this narrow garret under the drumming rain, orphans in this storm, desperately naked in this terrible iron city.
“Only this once, then,” I whisper. “Tomorrow, you must forget.”
And before he can answer or kiss me again, I slip out of his arms, and down, along his chest and belly, so he cannot see me cry.
I have pleasured so many men this way, but never one I loved, and maybe it’s the same thing, and yet it’s something altogether different. He’s all silk and warmth and heaving life and fire pulsing, and his flesh matters to mine, so that my whole body loves his.
“You—don’t—have—to do this,” he whispers at first, but then he surrenders finally, and lets the pleasure take him.
I told him, the first time we met, that I’d do him for free. Who would have guessed, then, that I would end up doing him for love?
And I don’t know if he’s a virgin—but he is indeed quick. His cock grows even tauter on my tongue, and he breathes in short, hard gasps a few times. When his body arches and heaves and his hand fumbles at my cheek, I hold him, and hold him, and hold him… He comes with a broken moan, hotly. I swallow it all.
On the street I never do. But here, now, with him, I could not bring myself to spit.
Find A Muse to Live For at Evernight:
Or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NPXLQNH/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=A+Muse+to+Live+for+wyvern&qid=1550136673&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
I have entered that age when looking at beautiful male models in their prime makes me a cougar, ahem.
Almost all my heroines are short: that’s because I look at the world from hobbit level. Being so small I am three times more concentrated (read: obsessive) than anybody I know. I am exhaustingly creative in writing, arts, crafts... Sometimes my brain gets friction burns from hurtling at such speed from one universe to the next.
I love animals, plants, and occasionally even people.
Like the Highlander I come from a lot of different places. I was born in Italy but lived here and there and consider myself simply and deeply European. I love Europe passionately, its antiquity, its diversity, its quirkiness. All my books are set in Europe, or alternate versions of it.
I have been writing since I can remember.
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Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern