Friday, February 9, 2007

Casting GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM... or something like that




Eek! Agh! I’m supposed to write something about GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM today and I don’t really have the first idea what to say. I’m rubbish at promo and I don’t know how to write articles, so all that leaves is just yattering on about stuff, the way I do on my own blog

Right, GOTHIC BLUE then…

Would you believe that this was supposed to be a vampire erotic novel? I was all set to have a brooding, handsome vampire living at Sedgewick Priory, but when I proposed this to the editor at the time she said, ‘ooh no, vampires are old hat in erotica… Anne Rice has done it all already…’ or words to that effect. Now, lovers of sexy vamp novels today are probably thinking ‘What!?!’ It doesn’t seem possible, given the truly world conquering popularity of vampire erotica nowadays, that a decade or so ago, the subgenre could have been deemed such a no-no. Anyway, I had a bit of a rethink and came up with a new paranormalness [paranormality?] for my hero Count André Von Kastel and made him a sort of semi benevolent sorcerer by default. He’s had the mockers put on him by an evil sorceress and he’s cursed to languish alone in near immortality, pining for his true love, who's trapped as an incorporeal spirit in a blue crystal bottle. There's a way out of this dilemma for both him and his beloved, involving a bit of sex magic, but he's just waiting for the right 'participant' to come along. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it sounds pretty bonkers, but it did seem like a good idea at the time! J

It wasn’t difficult to ‘cast’ as Count André. I already had a perfect ‘template’ guy in mind, and I built the character around him. And who better to make into a pale, spooky, semi supernatural being living in mournful seclusion than a tanned and healthy world class super sportsman? Yep, I’d been watching Wimbledon not long before I started writing GB, so Count André is modelled on a young, long haired André Agassi… LOL


As it’s ten years since I wrote GOTHIC BLUE, a lot of brain cells have flowed under the bridge since then, so I can’t remember much about some of the other characters in it. The heroine is Belinda Seward [a slight Dracula type homage, obviously, with the book showing its vampire roots] and she has a steady boyfriend and travelling companion called Jonathan [another Drac ref]. I don’t think I had a template guy in mind for Jonathan, but looking back at him across the years, I seem to see a young, fresh Tom Hanks, much as he looked in movies like 'Splash' or 'Big'. Jonathan is a straightforward, uncomplicated sort of chap, passionately in love with Belinda, but a bit befuddled by all the hokey erotic goings on at the Priory.

Reading the above [if you’ve not fallen asleep by now] you’ll have gathered that I always tend to use my current ‘lust object’ of choice to create the heroes in my books. I see it as a fine and harmless way to have a wild sexy fling with an otherwise completely unattainable guy such as a pop star, a film or movie actor or a sportsman When I came to write CONTINUUM, I had a passionate ‘thing’ for Kevin Bacon – stemming from films like 'He Said, She Said', 'Flatliners' and 'Tremors' [oh, those long lean legs in those tight blue jeans!] So one of the principal men in CONTINUUM is a geeky but quirkily handsome boy next door/sex maniac called Kevin Steel. Heroine Joanna has a spiky and sometimes combative relationship with naughty Kevin, but he’s always there when she needs him, for sex or otherwise.


But Kevin isn’t the only template bloke in CONTINUUM. Around the time I wrote the book, I’d also been avidly watching reruns of Twin Peaks, so some of the men from that rather peculiar series got supporting roles. Agent Dale Cooper himself aka Kyle Maclachlan is Halloran, Joanna’s stern but sexy boss, and the role of Denis Davidson, the sly and provocative human resources supremo at her firm is ‘played’ by Mr David Duchovny in an off beat and titillating pre Fox Mulder guise. Denis has a delicious habit of becoming ‘Denise’ now and again, so I drew on the image of David looking rather fetching in high heels, lipstick, a glossy wig and a power suit when he appeared as a cross dressing DEA agent in the second series of TP.


Well, that’s all I can really think of to say about GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM for the moment. It's not much, I know, but I did warn you. The best way to find out more about the books is to read them. I hope you'll find them fun and entertaining... ;)

If you want to try before you buy, you’ll find an excerpt of GOTHIC BLUE here, and excerpts of CONTINUUM here and here.

You can now buy the newly reprinted and gorgeously rejacketed CONTINUUM from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

GOTHIC BLUE has an equally spiffing new cover and it’s currently available from Amazon.co.uk. It’ll be available from Amazon.com on 3rd April.

Thank you for your kind attention...

Love

WendyPortia aka Portia Da Costa
First Lady of Black Lace [© Tilly and who am I to argue?]


19 comments:

Mathilde Madden said...

Ha ha. Great post Wendy.

And, no, you don't want to argue with me. I'll just cough all over you.

*sniffles*

Also, didn't Gothic Blue win some kind of award? Did I dream that?

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Tilly

THE STRANGER won an award once. Best Erotic Novel of the Year 1997, no less. It was only a small comp though, and most of the judges were my mates, so I don't think it means a great deal. LOL

Love

WendyPortia

ps. might be absent from commenting for a bit 'cos I'm having my roots done this morning!

Because I'm worth it...

Madelynne Ellis said...

Hi Wendy,

Don't know what you're worrying about, it's a good post. But then, I love knowing about other people's inspiration.

The Stranger is a very good book and deserved to win that award.

Olivia Knight said...

Vampires? Go out of date? What part of 'immortal' do people not understand? Still, Count Andre did deliciously as a sorceror, so all's well that ends well!

Oh - poor Tilly! - just recovering from that nasty bug myself. I recommend lying on the sofa under a furry blanket watching endless episodes of Angel. (Confession time: my new project is catching up on the years of popular culture that I missed while living under a stone. Yes, this week introduced me to the delights of Angel, for which I have you lovely lot to thank.)

Mathilde Madden said...

Mmm, Angel. Watching that won't help you feel less feverish, though.

Portia has met David Boreanaz. I think there is photographic evidence somewhere.

Portia Da Costa said...

I was basically a James Marsters girl at the time, but yes, when I met DB, he was very charming and charismatic.

They both have copies of my novels... or they did have, briefly. I'm sure my poor old books went in the bin long ago, or where purloined by the stars' minions or something...

I did ask for feeback, but none was forthcoming, alas... Unless of course, James and David are amongst the 'anonymouses' at Amazon, probably the ones who've given me one miserable star!!!

Olivia Knight said...

I have an ongoing fantasy of my writing enamouring darling Johnny - but if I met him I'd probably just stutter and then ignore him out of embarrassment.

Charming and charismatic... So not at all brooding and laden with deeply ironic meaning? (sigh...)

Tilly - you could always try Jane Austen? A warm, comforting cotton-wool world of frivolity and happy chaste endings. I *do* think Adam should do a series where we undertake to write all the scenes the classic authors cheated us of... Austen, the Brontes, Dickens - all those untold scenes and premature endings. What say?

Portia Da Costa said...

Nope, not at all brooding! In fact, DB is a right laugh... with a tendency to clown about on stage and a v. broad and earthy sense of humour. I was most impressed. Especially when he did a shake your booty dance and wiggled his butt at us... :)

Madeline said...

Oh Portia you pick such hot dudes to use as templates for your hot dudes. Kevin Bacon - what's not to luv? He's even a rock star type as well as an actor, so he's got that whole thing going for him too. I even like his wife.
I'd never have imagined Tom Hanks as a template for an erotica character, but the early Tom is kinda cute. He has that whole 'earnest young man' vibe happening. David Duchovny, of course. He lived in Canada for the first few seasons of 'X Files', Vancouver to be exact. Unfortunately for him he complained about the weather (it rains most of the time in Van.) before he was safely out of the country and back in L.A. For that, he had to pay with nasty glares from irate Vancouverites. (are there any other kind?) He said he tried to 'run between the raindrops' but it didn't work. I liked the way his mind worked.
I have to admit I haven't used a lot of templates for hot dudes, but I sure do use them for hot duds! Straight from the glossy pages of Vogue to the pages of my work, by the magic of typing!
So, Benny - I mean Portia - thanks for the kicky post.

Sabrina Luna said...

Thx Portia! Wow --I love the 'stories' behind the stories! Always interesting! :)

Saskia Walker said...

I’ll be reading Continuum soon, and I’m so glad Gothic Blue is out again. It was my first PdC book and I still love it, but I loaned my copy to a friend and never got it back – she wouldn't loosen her grip on it, a testament to how good it is! ;) It’s still a firm favourite, although Entertaining Mr Stone is a close runner up.

Add me to the crowd who love hearing about how you write the books and who the characters are modelled on.

Nikki Magennis said...

Ah, I loved Twin Peaks. Julee Cruise (sp?) with that breathy, eerie voice, and those dark chords at the beginning...

Congratulations on your double whammy, Wendy! (And btw, I feel your pain re doing promotion. I usually get so wrapped up/obsessed with what I'm working on it's hard to think back to stuff that's been written already.)

Both books sound brilliant. Particularly the sorcerer and his blue bottle. If that's bonkers, I like bonkers. : )

Kate Pearce said...

They both sound fab. It is hard to believe that vampires were out of fashion 10 years ago because they are ruling romance here in the U.S, along with shapeshifters!
I'm fascinated by you having a template male character to work from-I just have imaginary ones and sometimes get a nice surprise when I see 'them' on the street or in a magazine. But, does it make it harder to accept the cover they give you? hmmm...

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh, definitely re. the covers... I mean the new BL covers are gorgeous, but I tend to make my own little faux covers that are the 'real' covers to me. Or I just imagine my own cover...

Also means that I'll never be in the market for these book trailers that are becoming so fashionable. Even if I was a zillion bazillionaire, I still doubt that I'd be able to get the relevant actors to do my trailer!

Can you imagine it...

Dear Mr D'Onofrio... How would you feel about having your Velocity of Gary hair extensions redone and appearing in a little film to promote my new novel SUITE SEVENTEEN? Obviously, you'll get a free copy or two of the book... Looking forward to hearing from you. Love, an avid fan.

LOL!

Janine Ashbless said...

*Sigh*

Now I'm going to have to buy Gothic Blue.

Stop it you lot! Stop writing interesting smut! I'm not getting any work done!

Janine Ashbless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debralee Daniels said...

Hey Portia-if you're still seeing this-great sounding stuff, I also think Tom Hanks had a great quiet sexiness.-debi

justjo said...

Count Andre has a mullet?

Portia Da Costa said...

Never thought of his hairstyle in terms of being a mullet... But I'd rather have had him with a mullet than most other blokes without one!

Andre was so sweet with his long blond hair... I like him now, but it was the be-locked version I fell for originally. :)