Friday, January 5, 2007

Burning Bright: UK publication this week

Who are you, when everything that defines you is taken away?

How do you know how to act when you can’t even remember your own name?

How do you learn to be human, when you used to be a goddess and now you’re a piece of property?

Questions of identity form the core of my novel Burning Bright, the first release in Black Lace’s new Paranormal Erotic Romance line.

Or, to put it another way: Burning Bright is a swords ‘n’ sandals fantasy adventure crammed with malevolent were-tigers, rotting jungle palaces, snake-demons, insane ghosts, brutal fight scenes and lots of sweaty, sticky, scary sex. Its a bit dark. It’s a bit Bollywood. Its a bit Gladiator. If there was a Scarlet Award for ‘most deaths in an erotic novel’ Id win hands-down...

I took two characters from an earlier novel – two people deeply in love, who live only for one another – wrenched them apart, enslaved one to a group of psychopathic demi-humans and battered the other round the head until he lost all his memories and now treads a razor-narrow line between reality and the world of the supernatural. And I said to them: "Go on – how are you going to deal with that lot, then?"

Writers are mean like that.

The two of them deal with it magnificently, of course. Love conquers all …
Burning Bright is published on the 11th January in the UK, and in March in the USA.

I adore the cover they’ve given me, by the way (And believe me, that’s a first). Isn't he cute?

Burning Bright is just one of the books offered as a prize in our magnificent easy-to-enter Midwinter COMPETITION – see below. Even if you’re not a fantasy geek like me there’ll be something to your taste. You’ve only got today left to enter! Go on - do it now… What’s the worst that could happen?

All the best for 2007

Janine Ashbless


Nikki Magennis said...

Congratulations, Janine! 'Extravagantly filthy' sounds great...

Mathilde Madden said...

Sounds wonderful - what a great way to kick of the sub-imprint!

No one is happier than me about BL doing paranoramals. Now I have my werewolves, I feel like I am writing what I have always wanted to write. Although, when Adam was persuading me to write werewolves (not that I needed persuading - at all) he did email me a Jpeg of that cover as a lure. It is lovely. And OMG men on the covers. Rah-rah. Finally!

And now a question. I am very interested in the way you say you have taken characters from a previous book. I am writing a trilogy at the moment and one of the challenging things is how to break in new readers to the later books without boring the old ones. I know not many people will jump in with book 2 of a trilogy but some might. I am also writing novellas and shorts using the same 'world' - so this issue is very relevant for me.

So how did you go about filtering the backstory from the previous book? Are you assuming readers will have read the book or not?

(I'd love to hear what readers think about this too, btw)

Olivia Knight said...

Hi Mathilde,

I've written a few series of short stories, and read lots of series of novels. One trick is for the plot of each one to be self-contained - and if you know the previous ones, there's more resonance, sense of history, and you feel a little like you're in on the secret. (Orson Scott Card does this extremely well in his Ender series) Science fiction gives readers quite a difficult time 'finding their feet' in the new world - intimating at things without explaining - and it works extremely well. You could borrow that! Another way is for different novels to zone in on different characters; parts of their stories may overlap, but from quite different points of view. (Robertson Davies and Anne Rice both do this one) Least satisfying for the reader, I think, is the standard fantasy approach: one gigantically long novel cut into seven pieces, each bound as a book. Good luck - it sounds like a very exciting project!

Olivia Knight said...

P.S. And if you really need to give some back-story, then the prologue's a great place for it.

Michelle M Pillow said...

Congrats on the release!!!


Anonymous said...

I've been lucky enough to read it already.

It's a great fantasy read. It's got lots of hot steamy action, with most combinations of gender you might like to imagine (but not all).

Seems like a great way to launch a new paranormal line from Black Lace.

kristina lloyd said...

Janine, I haven't read any of your full length fiction yet but I'm a fan of your shorts in Cruel Enchantment. The writing's beautifully crafted and the scenarios are wild. Your dragon-straddle story stayed with me a LONG time and, on the whole, I'm someone who avoids dragons.

Good luck with BB. Sounds great. I do like a nice bit of identity angst. And, yes, excellent cover: Hurrah, it's a boy!

Janine Ashbless said...

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Mathilde, I confess that getting away with a sequel was dead easy for BB, firstly because of the amnesia motif - one of the characters has no more idea of the backstory than any new reader. Secondly because the characters have been shifted to a totally new bit of terrain where they are strangers to what's going on too. So the answer is that I cheated, basically: You don't have to have read 'Divine Torment' to make sense of 'Burning Bright'.

Of course the ideal outcome is that BB is so popular that readers hassle Black Lace to re-release Divine Torment so they can find out what happened last time... (Preferably with lovely new cover-art!)