Archive for December, 2007

Happy New Year!

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An interview with Peter Kenyon from ‘Captain’s Surrender’ by Alex Beecroft

I am surprised to find Captain Kenyon so young, until I remember that sailors in the 18th Century started their careers at age thirteen or even earlier. There’s a long habit of command in his eyes, which seem to always be looking towards a distant horizon. They are also a very attractive shade of green.

He rises to greet me and bows with that outstretched leg and flourish of the hand that looks so stiff and ridiculous in films, yet here is graceful as a swan. All at once I feel very uncouth.
“Let’s dive right in,” I say. “Tell me, Captain; your family is quite grand, so why did you decide to join the navy?”

“You’ll think I am… showing away,” he says, with a little head-duck of embarrassment. “But the truth is I wanted to do something of use. Not to rise at noon and dress at two and waste my substance in gaming and other debaucheries like my brother. I wished to defend my home and country against its enemies, and to see new wonders, from the silk markets of Cathay to the Sphinx of the Nile.

“And of course my father’s approval was much eased when Commodore Anson returned from his voyage with more gold in prize money than is in the Bank of London.”
“You were an adventurous boy?”

“Always,” he laughs, “I never could hear of a new thing before I desired to sample it for myself.”
“Which brings me neatly onto Lieutenant Andrews,” I say. “Joshua Andrews. You sampled him quickly enough.”

“Is it your purpose to insult me?” He has hardly sat down before he’s standing again, lips drawn thin as wire and his eyes gleaming.

“Peter,” I say, “As your creator, I know you inside out. I know you deserve the occasional insult.”

“I may,” flicking back the skirts of his coat he sits back down, slightly mollified, but still bristling. “But Josh does not.”

“I’m glad you realize that. But what on earth made you charge straight into a gay relationship with him, and then throw him aside the moment the girl came along? He was just something new you wanted to try?”

“I…” he has the grace to look a little ashamed, and doubtful. “I am a man of my times, Mistress, and I thought of sodomy as a vice one might indulge on occasion – like drinking or cards – and then put down when one took on the responsibilities of marriage. In my defense, Josh encouraged me in this view.”

“He did, didn’t he?” I laugh, “you’re both as bad as each other. Though I can’t help but feel his motives were purer. What do you think it was that finally opened your eyes to the fact that you couldn’t live without him?”

“Alas, I couldn’t tell you. Love? Death? Captivity? God? Who can fathom the mysteries of the human heart?”

“Not you, clearly!”

“It’s true,” he laughs again; beautiful, confident and unconcerned with his own flaws. “I have been called reckless, and even proud, but I don’t think anyone has ever claimed I was wise.”

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Before I did this feature, I hadn’t realized how difficult it would be to find actors who fitted my mental image of my leading men. Trying to imagine which actors would be my ideal casting choices, in the unlikely event of it being made into a film, was great fun, but daunting! In the end, I decided that I might have to give the actor playing Josh contact lenses and a bottle of hair dye, but that these are still the people I’d choose if I had that enviable choice 🙂 (more…)

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Nat and Ritchie from ‘Roses in December’ by Fiona Glass

Nat was easy. I’d already written about half the book and had a fair idea what he looked like when I came across a page of photos of Karl Urban in a film called The Irrefutable Truth About Demons – and suddenly I found I was staring at Nat!

If you’d prefer not to know who Fiona would cast as Nat and Ritchie, don’t click on the cut 🙂 If you’d like to know, but you have a very different idea of what the boys look like, why not tell us in the comments who you would cast instead? (more…)

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On the Casting Couch

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I’m sure most authors have contemplated, now and then, who they would like to see cast as their characters, should their books be made into Hollywood blockbusters.

With that thought in mind, I’m launching a feature called ‘On the Casting Couch’ 🙂 If you can find a picture of your perfect actor for a particular character, post it here! And tell all – why is this actor so right for the part? Where might he or she be improved, the better to match your hero/ine?

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Ciaran and Malik from My Brother’s Keeper

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Hi, my name is Denise Kendrick and today I’ll be interviewing one of the main characters from My Brother’s Keeper, which was co-authored with the wonderful RD Solange.

This character’s name is Ciaran and he’s–Oh, here he is now. “Hi, Ci! I’m so glad you came.”

He stops mid-stride. “You mean I had a choice?” Just as quick he’s turned on his heel and is moving away.

“No, wait!” I wave him back. This doesn’t make sense. Ciaran and I have always gotten along.

He turns around with a sigh, lifting his arms out to his sides in a helpless gesture. He looks more…manly…somehow. More filled out than he did in the book. Of course, he did do a lot of growing up. “Are you sure you don’t want Malik? He’s the one they all love to angst over. Or Dashi with his cute little smile?”

I roll my eyes and point to the couch opposite the chair I’m seated on. “I want you! Now, sit.” He takes his time about it, but he does it. The water and fruit I’ve set out the small table between us go ignored. “You know you’re my favorite,” I coo at him.

“Yeah… I know.”

“So what’s wrong?”

He sighs, rubbing his face with his hands. “It’s the stress. Now everyone knows I’m sleeping with my brother.”

“That’s stressful? Malik doesn’t seem to mind. Plus you’re imaginary…”

“But why? Why did you have to make us twins?” Gosh, he’s so handsome when he angsts.

“I didn’t,” I tell him, surprised at the question. “That’s just how you came. You don’t like it?”

“No, I mean, it’s good. I love him.” He shrugs. “It’s just…people are *staring*.”

“Um. No, actually, they’re not. I think we need to get you some Prozac.” I tap my lip. “Though, I don’t think they have Prozac where you come from.”

Moaning for effect, he turns and sprawls out lengthwise on the sofa. My attention is drawn to the way he crosses his ankles, dropping one foot like an anchor over the other.

“When did you start wearing boots?” I wonder.

“Right after I stopped wearing slippers,” he tells me.

“Huh.” Things have certainly changed in the few weeks since the book was published.

“Well, let’s start the interview anyway.” I consult my notebook and run my pen down the list of questions. “How did you like being Malik’s pleasure slave?” I put a little tease into it to try and liven him up. After all, he’d spent the entirety of the book trying to get out of that very circumstance.

The attempt at levity flops. He looks at me sideways, “How would you have liked it?”

“Ciaran!” I groan, “Come on! It was a great story, full of angst and true love and quite a good ending for you if I recall, so what’s with all this?”

He sits back up, throwing his feet off the couch and onto the floor as he turns to face me, “Fine it’s the sex.”

“It’s the wha?” This was an erotic romance, after all. Of course there was plenty of sex!

“It’s Malik, he wants to have sex all the time now!”

I nod, trying to keep up, “And that’s… that’s bad?”

“It is for me.”

“How so?”

“Well, it used to be easy to get him to do what I wanted. I’d give him a little at a time. A little sex here, a little there, always keep him wanting…”

“You’re unhappy because you don’t have to resist his advances anymore?”

“Well, when you put it like that–“

“What’s this?” Malik enters the room like a breath of fresh air, his black dress uniform crisped to perfection. His face is free of the somberness that frequently clouded it during the book and a warm loving glow lights up his eyes as he sits next to his brother, throwing an arm over Ciaran’s shoulder in a friendly hug. “Are we enjoying our little interview?”

Ciaran scowls at the use of the pronoun. “*We* are not. You talk to her, will you?”

“You’ll have to pardon my brother,” Malik says, lifting a glass of water from the table between us. “He’s been a bit grumpy lately.”

“I heard,” I smile, “all the sex.”

Malik chokes on his sip of water. “The sex?” he croaks.

“Been having a lot of it?”

“Well, it’s only fair,” he blushes, “after everything I–“

“Fair?!” Ciaran interrupts. “That stunt last night was not fair.”
 Malik scratches the back of his head. “Well, you did say if you lost the bet…”

Ciaran looks like he’s going to tackle Mal and wrestle him to the ground any second. I snort, fondly. This isn’t a usual lover’s quarrel. Nothing’s usual when the lovers are brothers.

“That’s not quite true,” Malik interrupts my internal musing, and I blink as I realize he’s talking to me. I forgot–muses are telepathic.

Ciaran snorts, reading my thoughts in turn. “They are when they want to be.”

“What?” Malik frowns.

“Telepathic.” He stabs Malik’s chest with his forefinger. “You know, doing what’s desired of them by their author?”

“Hey, I take plenty of direction,” Malik counters.


They look at me in unison.

“The interview?”

They turn to each other, pause and then their shoulders lift in matching shrugs. For fraternal twins, who don’t look alike, they still retain that uncanny sense of connection.

“What else do you want to know?” Ciaran asks. He reclines against the back of the couch, nestling close to his twin as if the argument never happened. He takes Malik’s hand in his and plays with his fingers. Malik is instantly distracted and, frankly, so am I. Ciaran clears his throat, smirking. “The questions?”

“Oh! Uh…” I flip through my notes to avoid looking embarrassed. I find a good one. “Would you do it all again? Overcome all odds just to be together?”

“Yes,” Malik says, resolutely. Just as Ciaran answers, “No.”

Malik gives his brother an incredulous look. “No?”

“Come on,” Ciaran waves towards me without looking away from his brother, “It’s not like she can’t put us somewhere else. A nice deserted island, maybe? No raving madmen trying to kill us?”

“Hmm,” Malik relaxes again. He giggles softly as he plays with Ciaran’s fingers, letting his eyelashes flutter upward. It’s obvious who the real pleasure slave in the book was. “You mean where I won’t throw you in jail?”

“That’d be nice,” Ciaran murmurs, “for a start.”

“And…where I don’t make you get naked in front of our friends?”

“That would be excellent,” Ciaran says, stretching and relaxing like a cat.

Malik’s leg curls under him as he shifts closer, smoothing Ciaran’s golden bangs away from his eyes. “I know a great little place.”


Their lips seem irresistibly drawn towards each other, for just … one … kiss. “It’s really…” Another another. “…really private.”

“Why wait till we get there?” Ciaran purrs. Malik only grins and starts with Ciaran’s neck.

I squeak softly. Just who was complaining about too much sex earlier? Clearly my boy Mal has been getting a bad rap.

Ciaran glances up and winks at me over Malik’s shoulder. “You can come back later if you want. I mean–ahhh,” his eyes roll back slightly as his fingers tighten on Malik’s sleeve, “we’re not going anywhere.”

“Oh, um…” I swallow back the nonsense excuses I was ready to utter. I don’t think they’d mind if I watched. I mean…it’s not like it’s anything I haven’t seen before. “You carry on,” I say with a nod, though it’s clear they’re past listening to me, “I’ll just wait right here.” And maybe take some notes. Who knows, I could always learn something new for the next book!



‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is available here

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