Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Interview His Cemetery Doll by Brantwijn Serrah
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
I'm mainly a writer of supernatural erotic fiction and fantasy. I like to call myself a slave to the sexy world of vampires, succubi, werewolves and witches. My genres have expanded, lately, and now I'm working in fantasy as well as contemporary. I really enjoy the experience of exploring the layered concepts of sexuality and identity, as they coincide with character development, plot and conflict. So I really like to try my hand at new angles in the romance genre, both in the realms of erotic content and non-erotic content.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
His Cemetery Doll is my favorite book so far. There are elements of this story that are deeply, deeply personal to me, elements I've been carrying for years in the back of my mind, and also there are twists and plot elements that fell into place brand new, but so very well. Everything came together
beautifully, and of all the books I've released, this one has made me the happiest.
The story is set in the fictional country town of Whitetail Knoll, in England. It's been about ten years since the end of World War II in Europe, and Conall Mackay, an old, injured soldier, is living at the edge of the Whitetail Knoll cemetery, where he works as the groundskeeper.
Con is a single father raising an adopted girl, Shyla. Despite being very, very different, the two are extremely close, and there's nothing Conall wouldn't do for his girl. That is, until the Broken Doll appears in the graveyard.
She looks every inch like a living china figurine, down to the joints of her limbs and flawless ceramic flesh. At times she moves with perfect elegance; at others, with discordant, almost painful motions, like a marionette on tangled strings. Con can't decide if she's a ghost, a monster, or a sign of his own mental breakdown. She calls to him, offering him something he desperately longs for, fulfilling a wild need he hasn't felt for years...but she's also dangerous, and Conall knows as long as the doll walks the cemetery, Shyla is in danger. Because Broken Doll doesn't seem to like his child...and if Con lets his guard down, both doll and daughter might disappear between the tombstones forever.
Are you a mom ?
I'm not a mum, myself, but I have four younger brothers of my own and a niece on my husband's side, and I've always been a bit of a mother wolf to all of them.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
I do this quite often, actually, and the characters in His Cemetery Doll are very dear to me for exactly this reason. I really enjoy crafting characters after people I care about; I find it hard, though, to create characters after people I don't like. Sometimes I very much want to! People who've wronged me in the past, or those who've simply annoyed me...but I just can't do it. I have to really want someone to be in my story to base a character on them.
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
I usually find themes begin to emerge in my works, and some of my favorites are ones dealing with the "underdog" or the "misunderstood", working to be seen for who they really are. It's difficult to talk about this message as it appears in His Cemetery Doll, without giving away spoilers, but I found myself saying a lot about single parenthood.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
People are always surprised to discover I am an avid fan of Disney movies and My Little Pony.
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
My other major artistic outlet is sketching and painting, or other kinds of art. I customize My Little Pony toys as a hobby, and I've even created some specially themed ones to have them autographed by celebrities. For example, I have a Weird Al Yankovic pony, signed by the man himself.
Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?
That's really hard to say, because I know I couldn't have written my favorite series in the same way as the original authors, and the way they wrote it is what I fell in love with. I guess I would have to choose a series that disappointed me, in the hopes I would have written it better. In that sense, I would choose the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Of course, I'd write it so differently it wouldn't even be remotely similar!
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
I'm very interested in writing steampunk erotica. I have yet to find just the right plot to pursue, but steampunk really, really excites me.
I'd also like to write Western erotica. I've written Westerns before, but not Western Romance, and that really appeals to me, too.
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
Broken Doll is my favorite. She represents about a thousand things for me, moments in my creative development, my storytelling; characteristics I aspire to find within myself. I have incredible sentimental feelings for her.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
His Cemetery Doll is not part of a series, at the moment. I don't have any intention of closing the door on possible sequels, but the story has to be there. Right now, I don't have that. This tale ended just the right way, for me.
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
I have a novella coming out in December, tied to my Blood and Fire series. It's a holiday paranormal romance titled Angel's Keeping. After that, all my focus is going towards National Novel Writing Month, and a power exchange erotic story I've been wanting to write for years.
What book are you reading now?
I'm working my way through Timeless Night, by Torie James. It's an interesting mix of Arthurian Legend, urban fantasy and contemporary vampire legend.
What is in your to read pile?
Mercury Rising is next on my list, by Rebekah Lewis; Asylum by Dana Wright; Beyond Bridalveil Fall by Sheryl Seal; The Raven's Kill by Ella Grey; and When the Fur Flies by Kelliea Ashley.
His Cemetery Doll
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
Date of Publication: 10/24/14
Number of pages: 173
Word Count: 53,000
Cover Artist: Happi Anarchy
There's a woman in the graveyard.
Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.
When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/cKCkDLFP9KI
He hadn't slept long before he heard sounds from down in the kitchen below.
"Shyla!" he called gruffly. "Weren't you heading into town?"
No answer came from below, but the sounds of pots clanging told him his daughter toyed about down there. Perhaps she'd decided not to leave him after all and taken it into her head to now re-organize the house, since he'd so clearly wanted her to stay out of the cemetery. With a low groan, Conall rolled out of bed and stepped out into the hall.
"Shyla!" he called again, coming to the head of the stairs. If she had stayed home, she could at least do it without making a lot of noise.
He staggered then, as the hallway dimmed. Afternoon light flickered strangely, lightning cracking a dismal sky outside, and in the space of time afterward everything else darkened. Conall darted a glance around him as the house fell into shadow.
From the top of the stairwell, he saw the first whispering tendrils of white fog.
The heat of adrenaline shot through his limbs. Conall stumbled back into his bedroom, even as the fog pursued. His gaze shot to the window as the last gray light of day faded away and eerie darkness replaced it, like an eclipse sliding over the sun.
More cold mists veiled the glass, dancing and floating. Trembling overtook him as he spun to find another escape.
He froze, finding himself face-to-face with the broken mask of the cemetery doll.
"You—" he gasped. His breath came out white as the fog enveloped them both, leaving a space of mere inches between them, so he could still see her expressionless face. Gray ribbons wound and curled through the air around him.
"Who are you?" he asked.
The doll stared up at him. He sensed her searching, looking into his eyes even though hers remained covered. She held him there with her unseen gaze, until her cool, cold hand came up to touch his bare chest.
Conall let out a low breath. He closed his eyes, and a shudder of strange ease rippled through his body. The cool pads of her fingers ran down his sternum, to his navel. The silky ribbons brushed along his side.
Then he noticed her other hand. She lifted it up, to her own chest, and she held something tightly in her fingers: Shyla's stuffed dog.
"I made that...for my daughter," he whispered. The woman with the broken mask tilted her head down toward the small toy, studying it. For a fraction of a second, her fingers appeared to tighten around it. She returned her gaze to him, then, and the toy fell from her grip into the fog, forgotten.
"Wait—" he said, but she brought her other hand up to his chest to join the first, and he recognized eagerness in the way she pressed her icy skin against his. Her face tilted to him, and then came her lips again, ivory and flawless.
"I—" Conall breathed. "I...don't understand..."
Her fingers slid up, around his neck, but he pulled away.
"No, this...this can't real. I'm asleep. I must be."
Gray ribbons danced, pulling him back to her, and she stroked his face. He sucked in a breath at her touch and found his own hand coming up to brush hers.
"You're so cold," he said. "Like stone...but..."
Her cool touch thrilled him; it made his skin tingle and the heat of his own body sing. Her perfect flesh did, in fact, prove soft under his hands, as if the contact with his worn calluses infused cold ivory with yearning. She caressed his cheek, and Conall leaned into it. Before he could stop himself, he bowed his head to her and kissed her frozen lips.
About the Author:
When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.
In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology. She's also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work.
Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com
Brantwijn's Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/qf2bzwk
Foreplay and Fangs Supernatural Romance: http://tinyurl.com/q2cmnep
Brantwijn's Foreplay and Fangs blog: http://tinyurl.com/ljvvl6p
Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/n4rnjqx
Goodreads Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/mxv9bmr