Wednesday, 3 December 2014
The next serial novel I plan on releasing will be titled The Alpha's Concubine, with part one and two likely arriving at the same time at some point in January. There are a few things I'll be doing to streamline this project and hopefully provide both a smoother release schedule and a more satisfying experience for readers going forward, but for now release details are quite tentative as I work on actually getting the first half of the story written.
As I'm sure is implicit from the title, The Alpha's Concubine will focus on the same paranormal, romantic, and erotic themes as my last couple of serials, but there's going to be a few distinct differences this time around!
While drawing from the same loose werewolf canon I established in Wild Instincts and Broken Moon, this story will not feature any of the same characters, focusing instead on the life of a young woman named Netya, and set roughly at the end of history's neolithic period.
Netya's people have long been enemies to a rival tribe they know only as the Moon People; a mysterious group of shapeshifters said to be half-human half-beast. Captured, taken far from her home, and claimed by the alpha of the werewolf pack as his concubine, Netya undergoes a coming of age as she begins to realise that her place may not lie with her own kind after all.
I shan't spoil too much, but I feel like this kind of story is one that's been a long time in coming for me. Throughout Wild Instincts and Broken Moon I always found myself most engaged with the more tribal elements of the werewolf packs and how they lived. Lots of crackling fires, sleeping rough in the wilderness, hunting, cooking, survival, and, of course, plenty of lusty, primal sex!
These elements draw heavily from some of my personal favourite books as a reader, most notably The Clan of the Cave Bear, which was by far my biggest inspiration for this upcoming novel. By setting Alpha's Concubine in the distant past, it allows me to focus more on the things I'm most passionate about, and also avoid the (rather cumbersome, in my opinion) task of reconciling tribal werewolf packs with the modern world. I also get a bit more creative freedom when it comes to creating social structures and moral values for my characters, particularly in relation to things like gender roles.
Unlike my previous novels this one will be more long-term, likely taking place over several years rather than a few weeks/months. This also leaves plenty of room for a direct sequel, which I'm already giving some consideration to. Given that the protagonist Netya goes through something of a sexual awakening during the story, there will also be a lot more room to explore the erotic elements of the plot than there was in something like Broken Moon -- but without straying into the sex-for-the-sake-of-sex territory that Wild Instincts verged towards many times.
Sex and sexuality will be core themes linked to Netya's development as a character and a young woman, and an important (yet sizzling!) part of the narrative going forward.
The book will likely be released in 4-5 parts, ending at around 100k words in total. The perspective will be third person with Netya as the viewpoint character for the majority of the time, with occasional forays into the thoughts of the supporting cast.
Oh, and despite being the alpha's concubine, he isn't necessarily going to be the one who wins her heart at the end of the day~