September 01, 2014

L.M. Brown: Forbidden Waters

Please help me welcome L.M. Brown back to the blog with her new release Forbidden Waters.

Title: Forbidden Waters
Release Date: 29 August 2014
Author: L.M. Brown
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Paranormal romance (MMM)
Blurb: To save his clan from ever-increasing shark attacks, merman Kyle seeks sanctuary for his people in the sunken city of Atlantis, even though he knows that as a homosexual merman, he will be sacrificing his own chance for love. Love finds him anyway in the form of Prince Finn, the rebellious young heir to the Atlantean throne.

When their relationship is discovered, Kyle is the one to pay the price. Banished from the oceans, he seeks shelter in England and finds a new love with human, Jake Seabrook.

For Jake, Kyle is the chance to move on from the crush he has on his straight best friend. The strange man he found naked on the beach seems to fit into his life with ease. If only Kyle weren’t keeping secrets from him, Jake could see them having a future together.

Things are not what they seem for either of the men and when Kyle discovers the truth about Finn, he knows he must return to Atlantis.

Three men, a tangled relationship, and one chance for happiness—if they can trust enough to take it.

1-Welcome LM Brown! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your release.

Hi Chris! Thanks for letting me visit here today. For those who don’t know me, I’m L.M. Brown and I am a writer of MM and MMM romance fiction. My latest release is a MMM paranormal romance with elements of fantasy. I just can’t seem to write in one genre these days.

Forbidden Waters is the first novel in my new Mermen & Magic series and tells the story of Kyle, Finn, and Jake, three very different men who each find their lives completely upheaved during the course of the story. I do like making my characters suffer and these three are no exception.

2-In what locale is your book set? Why did you choose this setting?

Forbidden Waters has two main settings, the first being the sunken city of Atlantis and the second being a coastal town in England.

England was chosen simply because that is where I set most of my books and I am far more comfortable writing about my own country than others.

Atlantis I was torn between using because it is a very popular since it is the most famous city to sink into the ocean. What sealed my choice to use it was when I decided to expand the mermen story to include other elements, namely the Atlantean gods and goddesses.

It is because of the two such different settings that the story seems to be part fantasy genre and part paranormal.

3-Mermen seem to be very popular at the moment, why did you choose to write about them?

When I first started this story, back in 2009 mermen weren’t anywhere near as popular as they are right now. They were just starting to come into their own last year and that reminded me of this story which had been lingering in my folder for a long time. Since the story wasn’t going anywhere I intended it to, I scrapped it and started over last November and Forbidden Waters is the result.

I have always been fascinated with the ocean – ironic since I can’t actually swim – and the undiscovered depths. New species are always being discovered as we explore the waters of the world and I don’t think it is such a stretch to believe there might be mermen and mermaids lingering in the depths.

As a reader I have always been disappointed in the lack of mermaid/merman books out there in the romance genre, at least compared to vampires, werewolves and the other popular paranormal species. They say you should write the book that you want to read yourself, and that is exactly what I have done here.

3-How long have you been writing?

I have been writing on and off since I was in school, though only seriously, and for publication, in the last few years. I am still very much a newbie to the publishing world.

4-What compelled you to write this particular story (other than the merman aspect)?

This story is actually nothing like I intended it to be when I started it, so I can’t really say that I was compelled to write it.

The story I wanted to write was about two mermen, twins, one good and one evil. I intended to have some magical means cause them to switch lives. Forbidden Waters doesn’t contain any of the plot I really wanted to write. My characters decided they were going to go their own way and I just clung on for the ride.

One day I may end up writing a story that does have the plot elements I initially intended this one to have, though I don’t think any such story would be part of the Mermen & Magic series. The twins may not even be mermen at all when that particular story gets written. I will have to wait and see.

5-What gave you the courage to submit your story to a publisher?

The first story I ever submitted I did very much on the spur of the moment and without any real hope of it being accepted. Myself and my colleagues at the evil day job had been talking and several of us said we would like to write for a living. The whole time we were having this discussion I was aware that there was an open call for stories at a publisher and that I had a story that would fit that open call. I went home that night and told myself that it was no good talking about wanting to write and then doing nothing to actually achieve that. I put together a synopsis and hit the send button on that email without ever considering it might actually be accepted.

The next day I arrived home from work to find a contract in my inbox. Stunned doesn’t even come close to my reaction.

Since then I have submitted a lot more stories to various different publishers. Some have been accepted, some rejected. Each time I have to pluck up the courage to hit send. I haven’t resorted to alcohol yet, but each time I submit a story I do have to steel myself to actually get it sent.

6-When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

I don’t normally have models for my characters, but have made an exception with my mermen series. Partly this is because I have been writing in Scrivener and you can attach pictures into the research section. I couldn’t resist the temptation to play with that along with many of the other functions.

7-Why did you start writing m/m? Is there something special that draws you to this genre?

I started writing m/m when I was writing fan fiction. I was mostly writing general stories without romance elements at all but after J K Rowling outed Dumbledore I wrote a very short Dumbledore/Grindelwald story. Back then I had a lot more time for reading and I always tried to read stories of people who had written reviews of my fan fiction pieces. I noticed that while there weren’t many Dumbledore/Grindelwald stories there were a lot of readers who wrote Remus/Sirius stories. Before much longer I was writing that pairing almost exclusively.

My fan fiction stories got longer and longer and several people pointed out to me that they were novel length and they loved my original characters. Since OCs are often frowned upon in the world of fan fiction it was a great relief to me to find mine were accepted so well, even to the point that some people have questioned whether my characters were canon as they fit into the world so nicely. With original plots and original characters both being accepted it was only a small step before I turned my attention back to my original stories too, something I hadn’t touched in a great many years. After writing slash fan fiction for so long, it seemed a natural progression to write m/m.

I don’t think I was particularly drawn to the genre, I just sort of stumbled my way and in haven’t left since.

8-What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author or genre?

I am currently re-reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. She had a new book out in that series in June and I had hoped to have completed my re-read of the series before it was released. Unfortunately I had too much on and am only now starting to catch up.

I read pretty much anything including sci-fi, horror, fantasy, historical biography, and romance of course. I go through phases of reading one genre or another. My list of favourite authors could probably fill a book of their own. My favourite genres are equally wide and varied, though I do seem to have a particular fondness for paranormal romances.

9-What are you working on now?

I am in the middle of pre-submission edits for book two of the Mermen & Magic series, which I hope to submit to Totally Bound by the end of the year. I wrote the first draft for Camp NaNo back in April and have been working on it on and off between rounds of edits ever since.

Tempestuous Tides is the story of Lucas, a merman who has been born and raised in Atlantis and Justin, a merman who has been raised on land and has rejected his mer heritage completely.

I am also gathering together all my notes for book three, Dangerous Waves, which is my 2014 NaNo project. This one is the story of Dax (who readers will meet in Forbidden Waters) and the Oracle he abducts from Atlantis in his quest to discover what has happened to Kyle.

10-When you're not writing, how do you like to spend your time?

Mostly I read. I also enjoy photography and often get quite snap happy with the camera. I am not much good with photographing people and my cats refuse to cooperate at all – they run like hell when they see me with the camera. But I do get some nice scenic shots now and then, enough to give my blog a bit of a personal touch anyway.

11-What are your writing goals for 2014/2015?

With another new release before the end of the year, along with three re-releases, I am not sure how much writing I will be getting done for the rest of 2014. That being said, I will be signing up for the madness known as NaNoWriMo again and will be hoping to get the first draft of book three of the Mermen & Magic series completed that month. That should put me well ahead of schedule on this series so I can concentrate on finding homes for some more of my orphaned books in 2015.

Getting Let Down Your Hair a new home is high on my list for 2015 as well as completing the third story in that world setting. Once book three is done I am hoping to get all three of those a home before the end of 2015.

12-Do you have personal goals for 2014/2015?

I definitely want to try to get myself more free time away from writing. The first half of this year has been very hectic and I seem to be constantly at the evil day job or doing writing related jobs. I want to get more free time to read if I can since I feel I have been seriously neglecting that in last six months or so.

Would you like to share an excerpt from Forbidden Waters?

Kyle passed Calder his trident back and once he was alone, he started to test the weapons for weight, length and sharpness. He had just picked up his fifth trident when he heard a movement behind him. He spun round on reflex and nearly speared the young prince through the chest.
That’s some weapon you have there,” the prince said with a grin, as he pushed the trident aside carelessly. Kyle hoped the prince realised how lucky he was the prongs on this particular weapon were blunt. “You insulted me when you left the palace.”
Kyle cringed. “I apologise, Your Highness. This is all very new to me.”
My name’s Finn.”
Kyle felt a little ignorant at not knowing the name of the prince and heir of Atlantis already. He wondered if he was in trouble for his not entirely unintentional insult.
You never answered my question, either,” Finn said.
You didn’t ask me a question.”
Finn rolled his eyes. “Fine, you never clarified just how many of those mer-babies are yours—or whether my guess was right.”
Kyle thought about lying and repeating King Nereus’ reason for not knowing the answer, but he was by nature an honest merman and he decided the truth was probably the best option. If he chose to stay in Atlantis, he would no doubt be caught in the lie anyway. “You guessed correctly,” he admitted.
Finn’s grin widened. “And how many of those pretty mermaids you’ve brought with you to Atlantis have you taken?”
I don’t see how that’s any of your business.” Prince or not, Kyle didn’t want to answer his impertinent question.
Finn moved forward and ran a finger down the centre of Kyle’s chest. “Would you like me to guess how many?”
Not really.”
Finn learned close, as though he might whisper in his ear, even though they spoke telepathically. “None.”
Wrong,” Kyle replied with a grin of his own.
One then,” Finn amended, “before you realised your preference for the males of our species.”
Kyle kept his expression blank as Finn summed up his entire sexual experience with mermaids in one eerily accurate sentence.
I’m right, aren’t I?” Finn stroked his hand over Kyle’s smooth chest. Most mermen didn’t develop excessive body hair. Although there were a few exceptions, Kyle was with the majority in being smooth skinned. “How many mermen have you taken as a lover?”
The prince was certainly persistent in his questioning. Kyle pushed his hand away irritably. “What do you care if I’ve had relations with a hundred mermen?”
Finn didn’t take a hint and put his hand back where it had been a moment before. “Have you known a hundred?”
Kyle could tell he wasn’t going to get away with evasive answers, so he decided to stick to the truth in the hope Finn would be satisfied and disappear back to his palace before Calder or one of the trainees came in and saw them.
I’ve taken just one merman as a lover.”
Is he here in Atlantis?”
Why do you want to know?”
I’m curious about my competition.” Finn smiled up at him through his flyaway hair. “Is he here?”
No. He chose to find a new clan where he could love who he wants without censure.”
Why didn’t you go with him?” Finn appeared genuinely curious.
I have a duty to my clan to see them safe. That comes before my own selfish desires.”
Finn finally removed his hand from Kyle’s chest and swam back a couple of feet. “There are options if you still desire the touch of a merman here in Atlantis,” Finn said. “If you know where to look.”

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