So take it away, Anna!
Sum up your story in five words.
Can Fae learn to love?
What is the story about?
Daniel and Leinad met in “Bedtime Stories for a Stolen Child”, the book that started this series. This is their conclusion.
Leinad can’t control the gifts the Fae gave him.
Daniel can’t control the Fae inside of him.
As memories start to creep forth and the Fae who once became Daniel begins to awaken, Leinad has to choose between being there for the man he’s come to love or claiming his freedom from the monster that man is becoming. He can’t have both.
What inspired you to write it?
The first book had a blatantly HFN (happy for now) ending. When I first submitted it, the reader was left knowing that there was a high chance either Daniel or Leinad wouldn’t survive the relationship. Before publication I changed it a little, but not enough to erase that doubt. Several readers mentioned they wanted to know what happened. My first editor, a great lady and friend, was apparently also a fan. During a random phone call I mentioned that I might do a sequel she got very excited, as we talked the idea was built up more and more until I was all fired up to write three more Fae books, the finale to be Daybreak for a Stolen Child. When we said goodbye I was left staring at the phone and wondering when my muse had taken over my mouth, because honestly I wasn’t sure how to write a sequel to something I considered over and done with. Luckily I had two books in between to work it out.
In your opinion, what makes a good fantasy story?
There are two big musts in fantasy for me.
Character connectedness is the first. Fantasy can get too otherworldly (or in the case of romance novels, degrade into nothing but porn) very easily. I’ve always noted that the best fantasy book I’ve read are full of in depth character connections, whether to the past, each other, their country or an ideal, the characters are sparking with those precious links to their world and giving us something to relate with them about, no matter how strange the world around them gets.
The other big issue for me is originality. There are so many fantasy books out there now that they all start to blend together sometimes. A writer has to stray from the black and white of common lore to make a real impression. Sometimes authors have gone too far and changed so much that I spend the whole read glaring at the pages in annoyance. I made some changes to the classic Fae tales myself, in my own books. Hopefully readers aren’t glaring at my work over them, but it is a fine line to walk, and you can never be sure what one point or issue will be the one readers cling to as solid and unchanging (for example, the people up in arms about sparkly vampires), so who knows.
Who is your favourite character in the story?
Ooh. Tough one…
I think Daniel this time. He’s so very human, trying to deal with Leinad’s strangeness in human terms, and he tries so hard, but in the end he isn’t human and he knows it, deep down. His Fae self on the other hand is very cool, and detached, but for the occasional glimmer of something deeper. He’s a complex character with his moments of dry humour and stark viciousness, a monster and a man. I enjoy those kinds of characters.
What can we -- the readers -- expect? Do you go in for the Happily Ever After?
I like Happily Ever After, but I also like making the characters work for it. Hard.
Also sometimes, my idea of happily ever after is a little skewed. Take Lullaby for a Stolen Child. That ending was a happy one for me. I’ll admit one of the hardest parts of writing romance, for me, is finding a happy ending that is suitable for romance readers. Generally I like the grey area of ‘what-might-happen’. I do pay attention to reader reviews though, and like with Bedtime Story, when they ask to know what happened, I try to accommodate them as best I can.
Pet hates in the fantasy genre? (Books, film, etc)
Blatant disregard for history, not little anachronisms but big black holes of WTF placed in the middle of a story. Plots revolving around nothing but sex for sex sake. Great series that slowly degrade until the last book seems like they just stopped trying and threw in random plot device B to wrap things up. These are a few of my least favourite things.
If Hollywood came knocking, would you let your story be made into a film? What would be your specific demands? (Director, cast, setting, etc)
Definitely, I would want to be a part of it and have a decent amount of veto power if need be. Colorado or Michigan’s UP would be the first places to film it that come to mind. As for director and cast…I wouldn’t insist upon it, but I would love Leonard Nimoy involved in the creative process. He is a true renaissance man and a softly sung genius outside of the Star Trek scene. Beyond that…I don’t know who I would cast for the actual roles. My biggest must would be no overdone and obvious CGI, and no CGI people. I prefer movies that stick with make-up and physical effects and CGI people never look quite right to me. They move just that bit oddly.
Would you use CGI or real 3D models/actors? What would your film budget be? (Modest, astronomical?)
Hahaha, I didn’t read these questions before I started answering them, so the answer to the CGI question is already taken care of. I think that my story could be done with a modest budget honestly. Some simple camera tricks and a good setting is all it would really need.
What's next in store for you?
I was working on a Prequel to my contemporary crime novel “In The Shadow of a Hero” but my editor recently told me it won’t be accepted since the main characters are two men who are dead when the published book begins. It was a little known rule in the company and my idea slipped through the cracks somehow. I’ll still finish it in time, offer it as a free read.
Until then I have a ghost story I’m working on about a young musician who is very down on his luck. He finds a journal in a used book store, hand penned by a soldier in WWII. As he reads he starts to dream about the war, things he shouldn’t know let alone remember so vividly. There is a soldier in most of his dreams, a handsome dream man to help the musician forget the bad in his own life, but the more he reads, the more real the soldier becomes, and soon…it may be too late to simply close the book.
I’m hoping to have it done by Halloween. ^_^ it seems fitting.
About Daybreak for a Stolen Child
Nearly a year since the nightmare at the cabin. Life for Daniel and Leinad hasn't gotten easier, but at least there is something to say for familiarity. They fight, they threaten, but they love each other and in the end, that should be enough.
When the shadows start stealing closer, and the past begins catching up to them, how long will the two lovers have before the Fae in Daniel emerges, and before Leinad has to face his own demons once again? Until the harsh light of reality engulfs the fragile world they've built for themselves?
How long will it be until daybreak?Learn more about Anna Mayle and her books here. The entire Stolen Child series is available for purchase here (just click the cover images on the right hand side of the screen).
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us, Anna! Stay tuned after the jump for a sexy NC-17 excerpt from Daybreak for a Stolen Child!
"Daniel." The soft, trilling voice sent shocks of agony straight to his temples.
A thick band of tension tightened around his head. He closed his strange new eyes and begged silently for it to stop.
"Daniel," Leinad whispered again. The words were barely there, breathy. The soft, downy inside of his lover’s wings folded around him from behind, and he sighed as Leinad lowered both of them carefully to the bed. "Do not fight it. Don’t try to understand it. Whatever it is you see, it is not something humans are meant to process. You do not think like a Fae. Trying to grasp their worlds and ways will hurt you."
"My head is killing me," Daniel mumbled.
Leinad nodded against his shoulder and rested his face in the curve of Daniel’s neck. "I know."
"Reading my mind now?"
Leinad chuckled. "You squint when you get headaches."
Daniel tried to smile, but it felt brittle and impossible upon his lips. "I can’t… I’m terrified, Leinad."
A soft mouth moved against Daniel’s neck, softer feathers caressed his chest, belly, thighs. "I am here."
Long, tapered fingers slid slowly around his sides, teased their way to brush over Daniel’s chest and pulled him back harder against his partner. Daniel could feel Leinad’s interest pressed insistently against his tailbone. One talon tipped finger flicked the delicate nub of a nipple. Daniel gasped, Leinad moaned and nipped at the tender skin of Daniel’s neck.
"What are you doing?" Daniel asked stupidly. When did my mind and mouth lose their connection?
"I’m making you forget," Leinad said calmly, and rolled his hips into Daniel’s ass. "I’ll make you forget your own name."
"I already have." Daniel choked.
Leinad’s motions stilled. "Damn you Daniel. The other Fae weren’t nearly as difficult to interest."
"I don’t remember being Fae."
The wings opened and Daniel yelped in surprise. Leinad grabbed, twisted, and straddled him all in quick succession until Daniel stared up at Leinad from his back. The cruel curve of his beak, wide golden eyes, round and knowing in a pale white face, filled his vision. Feathers flowed over his head and shoulders like hair. The hands holding him down were talon tipped and deadly.
Daniel’s cock danced at the proximity of the dangerous creature. It thickened, lengthened, the blood rushed into it in an attempt to make it hard enough to tear through the linen slacks the creature wore. Again, one taloned hand flexed, a deadly claw teased his nipple. Daniel squirmed and moaned. He needed pressure, friction, flesh. He needed Leinad, in all his terrifying glory.
"You feel it too, don’t you." It was a statement, not a question. "The consuming pull, the want, your body craves mine as if you were made for me, of me. No matter what happens, you belong to me, my creature. So lie back and give yourself up to me. Fear me, need me, only focus upon me." Leinad punctuated his command by rolling his hips and opening his fly to free his rapidly hardening need from the confinement of his pants.
Daniel trembled, a familiar yet strange moistness seeped from his puckered entrance as his body prepared itself. His anus opened and closed again and again, begged to be filled, to be brutalized, to be taken, owned, claimed. It knew its master just as his dancing cock did, just as Daniel himself did. Leinad glowed gloriously and Daniel wanted nothing more than to be the vessel to his need. He arched his hips up, and closed his eyes at even the slight friction that earned him. Without the strange visual world to distract him, the sensations were doubled and then some, and he keened at their strength.
"There, now you are ready for me, aren’t you."
"Yes," he whimpered. "Oh yes, please."
"Please?" Leinad cooed. "You want me to please you, do you not?" He took Daniel’s hand and brought it to his huge, thick cock. The veins stood in stark relief against the magnificent shaft and the mushroom head leaked a thick, clear liquid that coated its length and pooled between them, made them slide smoothly against one another. "You want me to tear you open and live inside you, move in and out until you aren’t sure which you want more, the pleasure or the pain."
"Yes!" Daniel begged and writhed for more, for the action those words promised. "Please fuck me."
"I’ll fuck you into forgetting. Then I’ll go deeper. I’ll penetrate straight to your soul and saturate it with my seed. Body. Mind. Soul, all mine. You hear me? You’re mine!"
"Yes, sir." Daniel trembled. Leinad stood and stripped quickly. Daniel didn’t even have time to feel guilt over the multitude of bandages revealed before Leinad was back. He tore Daniel’s pants from his body, scooped Daniel’s legs up to rest on his shoulders and surged forward until Daniel was bent nearly in half, begging in shallow, panting breaths, his opening wide and wanting. "Please Leinad. Please don’t be cruel to me, not now."
"Never," the creature promised and thrust with one hard jab, burying himself deeply into Daniel’s core.
Daniel cried out in perfect, blissful agony. "More!"
Leinad thrust again, and lights danced in the blackness behind Daniel’s eyelids.
"Mine. Say it," Leinad ordered.
"Yours, I am yours. I am yours!" he sang brokenly while Leinad plowed into him again and again. Daniel might as well have been praying, for the worship he could hear in his own voice. The thickness inside of him was unrelenting, claiming, unyielding. He had no time to relax, to calm or think, barely time to breathe.
The speed behind those deep thrusts increased, and he was bent so far that his knees met his ears while Leinad blanketed him with his weight and rode him hard, wet and wonderful. A scream built inside of him, but he had no breath to give voice to it. Leinad pounded into him so hard that he slammed into the bed. It still wasn’t enough. Daniel reached down to grasp his own cock, but the force inside of him shook.
Leinad came and pulled out at the same time. His semen coated Daniel’s legs and crotch as he retreated to the far side of the room and stared at him with those wide, inhuman eyes.
"Damn you, Daniel." He choked. "You weren’t supposed to say it."