One day she said the magic word that gets my head spinning, tummy twirling and heart pumping. That word? MENAGE!
I was like, "Please please PLLLLLLLLLLLLLEASE can I pre-read for you?" She said yes... Let the dying begin.
The series is called Free Men and it is 3 glorious books long. Only 2 of them are complete and I have had the tremendous honor of reading them. YOU are ALL in for one hell of a treat.
She agreed not only to do an interview about this amazing series but is also doing the cover reveal for Book 1 and Book 2 RIGHT HERE!
Let us start with the interview, shall we?
You are currently in the process of writing a trilogy. Let's have you start off by telling us, as best you can, what the trilogy is about?
Well it's a slaveworld menage set in an alternate universe. Each book is narrated by a different character. We start with Tam, a pleasureslave in love with his master. The story opens the day he is ordered to purchase the man he thinks is his replacement. However, the story is bigger than the dynamic between the three of them. Their master is a powerful man in a nation at war, and his past is about to catch up to him.
It's focused around 3 main characters. So now let's talk about them. Each has a different personality. Describe them to us?
The first book is narrated by Tamelik. At twenty-seven, he's been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he couldn't help but fall in love with the master who treated him kindly.
Kai was a foot soldier before being captured and sold into slavery. He's strong and brave, and hides behind his quick temper because he doesn't want anybody to see how broken he is inside.
Their master... What can I say about him? Heh, the man is an enigma, even to me. He always tries to do the right thing, but the constraints of his position in society make him more a prisoner than either of his slaves.
How did this idea of a menage trilogy come to be?
I began writing the first book well over a year ago. Tam simply came to me and started talking. I got about 30k written and then set it aside for the longest time. Eventually I realised I was stuck because the story arc was bigger than his relationship with Kai and his master. That's when I decided to give them all a voice.
How are you releasing it?
I'm releasing the books fairly rapidly. Commencing in October, each book will be released in one-week intervals.
What has been the biggest challenge writing these books?
I think writing the same story across three narrators, because each character has his own individual voice. Then again, first person narrators are notoriously unreliable, so it's been fun playing with that, and having them discover each other's flaws.
Having pre-read the first book *Smiles big* and the second... I'm trying hard not to spoil much about it. I'll say that you give each of your MC's a voice in this trilogy. Can you explain why you chose to write the books this way instead of just 1 POV?
The way the story develops, I needed to switch the narrators in order to follow everything that happens. Each character goes through his own growth in his story, with their relationship as a threesome growing through the series. Different things break different men, and then they all need putting back together ;)
Where did Tam come from? He's unbelievably unique and I'm constantly drawn to him. You teased on your timeline about him by showing us all his picture, but his culture all of it. Explain?
I'm not entirely sure. There's different elements to his personality that have always fascinated me -- his inherent submissiveness, without being weak; intelligence combined with naivety. He's a mass of contradictions. Despite being a slave since he was twelve years old, in many ways he embodies what freedom really is, which is definitely an idea I wanted to explore over the course of these books. We think we're free, but we spend most of our lives as wage-slaves, owned by our possessions. With Tam, I stripped all that away and he's better for it. There's a saying I like, "Freedom is doing what you like; Happiness is liking what you do."
I wouldn't so much describe these books as a period piece though I get the whole Spartacus/ Gladiator feel about it. I never see a date mentioned as the readers will notice. Did you do that on purpose, and if so why? If I'm off base ignore the question.
The stories are set in an alternate universe -- the planet has two suns, and rings instead of a moon, for example -- but in many ways it does have an older-world feel to it. I didn't actually watch Spartacus until way after I'd started writing the first book, but it's not far off base with the desert atmosphere and slaves, which always seem to make people think of the Romans anyway. Really, I'm a big apologist for Alexander the Great, so if anything influenced me it was reading contemporary accounts of his life. I did use some elements of that in there, for example the battlefield where Kai was captured was Gaugamela, which is where Alexander routed Darius of Persia.
Let's talk covers. Do you design them? And what will each cover tell us before we open the book?
I found the models, but it was the immensely talented Elizabeth Mackey who designed the covers. I wanted something simple, which also referenced the darker elements of these stories. They're not your traditional romance novels, and they go to some pretty bleak places.
What fascinates you about menage?
I love the psychological aspect. How do you add a third to a couple without someone getting jealous? How do you cope with loving two very different people? Is there any guilt? It's just so much fun to write that kind of internal conflict.
Talk to me about the research you had to do for this trilogy... Just tells us, what did you have to do? How much did you already know?
It was more a case of keeping track of the world building than doing much research. What I did research, I can't really talk about without spoilers :P
Do you have a favorite of your three MC's?
I love them all. I like Tam's feistiness, and I love Master's noble suffering. But if I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be Kai. He wants so badly to be loved.
How will your readers be able to follow you and these books so they don't miss the releases??? Provide all your links!
People can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and my Website. Or sign up to my Mailing List and I'll contact you! (I promise, no spam.)
Make sure you follow Kate through these so you don't miss out on this series or any of her other future releases.
NOW!!! I truly am honored to present to you the covers of 2 of the 3 books in this series...
BOOK 1: The Slave
For information on book three, well, you'll just have to tough it out a bit :)
I want to thank Kate for this awesome interview and for showing off these GORGEOUS covers. They are a work of art. Having read these 2 books I can easily say it is already a top favorite series for me.