Author Interview with Annette Gisby
I’m hosting an interview today with romance author Annette Gisby, the author of fantasy romance novel “The Chosen”. Thanks for answering my questions, Annette!
1) Can you tell us a bit about your latest novel, The Chosen?
The Chosen is a fantasy novel set in an alternate world where magic is real, with some political and court intrigue, but most of all it’s a love story between two men. Prince Severin is the only surviving child of the king and queen and they want him married off so that he can sire the much needed heir for the kingdom. His parents betroth him to a princess of a neighbouring kingdom, hoping to cement the tentative peace between their two nations. Unfortunately, Severin doesn’t care for princesses, but he’s been brought up to put duty before all else and so he agrees to marry her, despite his own inclinations.
Things become a bit more complicated when he falls, first in lust, and then in love with the freed slave, Havyn, who is the royal wizard’s new apprentice and is around Severin a lot. When Severin’s would-be bride disappears, it is up to Severin to find her and bring her back, but the quest only puts him further into Havyn’s path.
One reviewer called the whole book, Severin’s seduction of Havyn. There is a lot of yearning from afar as the two men fall in love but people and circumstances try to keep them apart.
2) Where did you get the inspiration from for The Chosen?
I wrote it a few years ago as part of National Novel Writing Month. Of course, it’s been through a few re-writes and lots of edits since then! For my story, I wanted to write a fairy tale for adults. Prince Severin was in my head for a long while before I started writing his story down and since it was a fairy tale, I thought I needed a princess in there somewhere, someone for him to rescue. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a handle on the princess at all. Then I started getting visions of a handsome dark-haired, violet-eyed young man and Severin was in my head nodding eagerly. That’s who he wanted to rescue, this young man, he wasn’t interested in princesses, he was interested in men.
3) How did you come up with the title?
The Chosen was an alternate name for a long-lived race in the book, but their official name is Aldari. It had been The Chosen for son long in my head that I couldn’t change it, despite their being quite a few fantasy books with that name already!
4) Who was your favorite character to write about?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I loved Severin and Havyn, both so different, but both damaged in their way; Havyn by slavery and Severin by his father’s lack of affection. Kelandra, one of Prince Severin’s female bodyguards was also one of my favourites, she’s a bit of a tomboy and very feisty (nothing at all like me, LOL!)
5) What was your editing process like?
All my editors used track changes in word, so I could see what they thought needed changed or improved etc. I must be one of the few writers who has been asked by editors to add scenes, not cut them! There were no drastic cuts, just slight word changes, sentence structure that sort of thing. I write in a very narrative style with not a lot of description, so The Chosen must be one of the shortest fantasy novels going. An editor is essential, no matter what way you publish. You are too close to your own writing, you might never see the mistake – you’ll see what you think is there.
6) What was the hardest part about writing The Chosen?
Writing the scenes set on the ship where Severin and Havyn both come down with terrible seasickness. I suffer terribly from travel sickness and I have a vivid imagination, so writing those scenes it was like I was feeling the nausea too!
7) What are your writing goals for 2013?
I don’t know if I’ll have a novel finished this year, but I’d like to think I will get a few more short stories done, depending on my health and the Muse.
8) Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I have a few different irons in the fire, some short stories, a couple of novels and maybe a novella. Well, it started out as being a novella but once I started it just kept growing, so it may end up being another novel after all! All of them will be either Male/Male romances or erotic romances.
Thanks for answering my questions, Annette!
About The Chosen
Author: Annette Gisby
Genre: M/M fantasy romance
The neighbouring kingdoms of Oscia and Arcathia have been at a tentative peace for three years after centuries of warfare. Prince Severin of Arcathia has been brought up to put duty before all else and as the only son of the King and Queen, it is his duty to marry and produce an heir. His parents want him to marry an Oscian princess to cement that tentative peace. Unfortunately Severin isn’t interested in princesses. Now, if he had his pick of princes that would be another matter.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his aptitude for wizardry is discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by Prince Severin and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong, but his feelings for Severin sorely test his resolve.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, magic in the air, and outside forces trying to keep them apart, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. Being a very small town there were no bookshops and a small library. When she’d devoured every book she could get her hands on in the library, she started writing her own stories so she would always have something to read later.
When not writing she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre, walks along deserted beaches or wandering around ruined castles (great places for inspiration!) New Zealand is her favourite place and she hopes to travel back there one day. She’s a fan of Japanese Manga and Anime and one day hopes to learn Japanese.
She currently lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls and stuffed penguins and enough books to fill a small library. It’s diminishing gradually since the discovery of ebooks but still has a long way to go.