Jen: Today we welcome D.K. ffrench to Romancing the Book. D.K., will you share a short bio with us?
D.K.: Lost in space, yet still boldly going, D.K. ffrench returned from the forbidden planet a long, long time ago to live a quiet life in a small town called London.
The minimal research he’d done lead him to the conclusion that his identity would best be protected if he masqueraded as a business analyst by day and a writer and musician by night and at weekends.
Available for musical soirees at the drop of a hat, he writes steamy SF romances on a MacBook Air and plays a Gibson Les Paul too loudly while he waits for a set of replacement dilythium crystals for the broken warp core on his ship.
Jen: Tell us about your newest release.
D.K.: L’Wren, Hawk and the Doves is my debut SF novel for Breathless Press and I am really excited! The story started rumbling away in my head when I thought about old episodes of Star Trek and Captain Kirk having constant romantic encounters with alien females – if they actually were alien how could he be sure they were female? So the story took off from there and I found myself exploring gender and sexuality within an SF arena. There’s a twist in it and I am really interested in hearing how it goes down with readers. Please read it and let me know!
The silence of the inner tent greeted her ears as her eyes grew accustomed to the subdued lighting, again from candles and lamps but in here even softer. The air was suffused with a heady mix of fragrances from discrete oil burners—jasmine, an undertone of a muskier, more sensual smell, akin to sandalwood, and a hint of being in a deep forest, of leaves and mosses.
“Cytheria of Turacoena, welcome. I am Sarkare Khanome.” From the shadows, a woman, not so tall as the guards but matching Cytheria in height, emerged. Her silver-white hair flowed free over her shoulders. Her eyes were a striking blue, as bright as a sunlit, clear summer sky. She was older than the guards, but her body was young and fit with lean, taut muscles. Only the lines around her eyes spoke of anything other than youth and power. Her long, softly flowing robe in a myriad shades of blue celebrated the same figures and scenes from the tunnel friezes and the outer tent. Her confidence hit Cytheria like a wave crashing on the shore but one that broke over her rather than crushing her. It was followed by a depth of compassion and caring that almost brought tears to Cytheria’s eyes. There was fear as well, but not borne of doubt. A fear that was aware of itself and knew its boundaries.
Then it hit her—the intense depth and power of sexual allure and hunger that all but defeated Cytheria’s self-control. Her pussy reacted suddenly, getting wet and even hotter. Her clit almost throbbed with an ache to be touched. Her breath was suddenly rapid and shallow. She’d learned that this might happen from the briefing on Halo Five and from her extensive reading of Ouranian culture. The Naranari bonded and shared sexually as a way of formalizing their status. She had to play this situation correctly or her credibility, and hence her bargaining position in the peace talks, would suffer, or worse, be blown out of the water altogether.
“I greet you, Sarkare Khanome, from my mother to your mother, sister to sister,” she managed to get out.
Sarkare Khanome smiled and nodded. She walked around Cytheria and looked her up and down. She came back to face Cytheria and stroked her hands over her hair then held her chin in her long, slim fingers. Cytheria knew, like a physical presence, that this woman was sexually in charge and was used to being in total control of those around her.
I am Cytheria.
“And you are here to help us, sister, to aid our struggle against those…animals.”
It wasn’t a question. Cytheria’s pussy was wet and clenching, her clit almost buzzing. If she could just touch it, she’d come in a second.
I am not you.
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
D.K.: I’d always thought I was a writer really. Even as a child, I knew that was what I was. But then I wrote a book and realized I wasn’t – or, at least, hadn’t been.
Writers write. All the time. And writers have readers. And publishers. And editors.
Writing in an echo chamber – tweeters tweeting to tweeters about tweeting, bloggers blogging about blogging to bloggers – isn’t being a writer. It’s avoiding writing.
And I was excellent at that. I was one of the many in the “I’m going to write a book one day” brigade.
Those who can do; those who can’t… well, they’re going to write a book one day.
No, you’re not. Really, you are not, unless you stop it now and do it – write a book.
My call/kick was meeting a writer who sat by a pool drinking a chilled glass of white wine with her Macbook on her lap. I asked her what she was doing, she said she wrote erotic romance. And I thought, I can do that. I really, really can do that.
And I did.
So can you.
(That lady was Raven McAllan by the way. Get onto Amazon now and buy at least one of her books. Tell her I sent you, she might bake me a gluten free biscuit.)
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
D.K.: Pants, oh dear yes pants… My characters drive what I write – which is as it should be. If I had a clear plan and a worked out plot arc I wouldn’t be able to write a word.
Sometimes you just have to let your characters have their head and hang onto the reins. I usually have an idea where the story might go and a couple of pivotal plot points I need to hit but even the starship and the planet in L’Wren, Hawk and the Doves went off on their own for a while.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
D.K.: Not there yet.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
D.K.: L’Wren is petite and feminine – so I’m thinking the actress who was brilliant recently in Ex Machina, Alicia Vikander. She’d look great green and with feathers instead of hair.
My Hawk is your standard star fleet issue starship captain – hunky but not overly. Probably a half way house between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.
The Doves… well, mysterious, but sexy, enigmatic – imagine a slightly androgynous couple based on a version of Jeri Ryan as 7 of 9 in Star Trek:Voyager. I’m thinking Jennifer Lawrence could pull off the female Dove, Cytheria and Jared Leto as Anchises, the male Dove.
As for some of the Ouranians (the planet divided by a gender war)…. Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren spring to mind, plus Russel Crowe and a younger rising male star to be Srey Chanda… I need some input on this one. Any ideas? Please…
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
D.K.: Well, funnily enough, for L’Wren, Hawk and the Doves the names came first – well, at least for L’Wren and Hawk. In fact, the whole book started as a title that fell out of my head straight onto the page.
After that, as the story developed, I spent ages in Greek and Roman mythology, as well as Malaysian, Indian and Cambodian names and folklore to track down real names that in some way reflected who the characters were and where their story was going.
I also like to think that by having some characters derive from Greco-Roman myths with others from Indian, Cambodia and Malaysia it might give each a feeling of being from different worlds.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
D.K.: A previous book, which was very steamy, elicited this review from a good friend – “it’s plotless filth. I love it.”
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
D.K.: Getting published!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
D.K.: Guitars… I play the guitar, and bass and ukulele. I have six guitars, four ukuleles, just one lonely bass and far more guitar effects pedals than any one person could reasonably claim a use for. And three Marshall amps…
Jen: What’s next for you?
D.K.: Next up I’m working on another SF but with a paranormal aspect AND a slight historical twist. I’m mashing up genres…