Friday, 14 February 2014

Guest Post: The Vampire's Concubine Blog Tour - Conflict & Angst in My Writing by Sophie Duncan

Thanks to Tasha for hosting me today and...


I thought that today there would be plenty of people talking about love and schmultzy stuff, so I'm going in the opposite direction, and in this leg of my Vampire's Concubine Blog Tour, I'm talking about using conflict and angst in my writing.

Now, if any of you have read my stuff, especially my fanfic, you'll know I'm a bit of an angst junkie ;P. There's nothing I like more than a little hurt/comfort, whether that's emotional, or physical. I suppose I can blame my penchant on my regular dose of 70/80's film and TV when I was growing up: the likes of Return From Witch Mountain, Blake's 7 and The Lost Boys had a significant influence me.

The threat and the thrill to the protagonists in these shows, was usually accompanied by emotional challenges, especially in the likes of Blake's 7 and even Dr Who (especially in the era I grew up watching, Peter Davison, who was always angsting about decisions and concern for his companions). I hooked onto this conflict both mental and physical, finding it exciting and engaging. So, naturally, when I started writing, both fanfic and then my own original fiction, this kind of tension began to feature in my work.

Rather than the distress, I find the emotional and physical resilience in the face of such a challenge compelling. I enjoy exploring how characters react in extreme circumstances and also how they recover from those events. My novel, Death In The Family, focuses on how a young man, Tom, deals with a series of revelations about his past and how he reacts as he learns more about his father, a vampire, and faces changes in his body and mind as his nightcrawler heritage emerges. Tom battles his own body, his mind playing tricks and dangerous instincts; it's a very personal journey for him, but it happens within a setting of threat not only to him, but also those around him. Tom's changes set him apart from his companions, as well, which adds a sense of isolation to his situation and I used these different levels of conflict, concern and separation to fuel the story.

The Vampire's Concubine stories, too, are based around a form of conflict: secrets. In, Rage. Umi, slave and newly made vampire, has not revealed his name, or anything about his past before arriving at the castle to Hieron, who is now his master and maker, and that secrecy, although Hieron had initially agreed to it in An Amusement, instigates the events in this second story. Hieron is dangerous and he is angry, and, in such a young relationship, that makes for a vicious reaction. Given that Rage is only the second story in The Vampire's Concubine sequence, Hieron and Umi have no in-depth relationship to cushion the antagonism Umi's secrets generate, so it is this that continues to drive the story. In future stories, their relationship will evolve, but for now, I am finding it fun to play with the mystery and it's consequences. :)    

However, even though I do occasionally, put my characters through the wringer, I'm also a happy ending addict ;). I remember being very confused and upset when I first saw The Empire Strikes Back - all that angst and conflict, and no pay off at the end?! It's the contrast I like, y'see. I enjoy reading, watching and writing challenges and difficulties for my characters and gradually moving towards resolution. Now, 'a happy ending' doesn't mean perfection to me, in fact, if everything is lovely and perfect and a bed of roses, I'll be looking for the thorns, because that's what sparks further stories, but there have to be some blooms along with the prickles (and yes, I know I'm pushing my metaphor way beyond its limits ;P).

So, there you have it, I am a self-confessed hurt/comfort reader, watcher and writer. Tie me up in knots throughout the story, but give me a satisfying (and yes, happy ending), please. :)

What about you, do you like angst, or does it drive you stark staring crazy? ;P


Rage & An Amusement Giveaway!

For a chance to win copies of Rage and An Amusement, check out the giveaway below.


About Sophie Duncan

Sophie Duncan is a UK author of genre fiction with Wittegen Press. She has been writing since she was a child and has been sharing her work with others since she discovered the internet in the 1990's. She has published original works in many genres, from contemporary fantasy, through crime and mystery drama, to erotic romance. All of her published books can be found listed at her author page on the Wittegen Press website.

Other places Sophie would love to connect with you are:

When, Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is approached by a mysterious young stranger, he finds himself tempted by the bargain his bold visitor makes: ninety nine years of absolute service in return for vampire power. With no name and no explanation of the reasons behind the offer, the attractive enigma becomes Umi, Hieron's slave, concubine and vampire childe. 

Yet, from the very first moments the bargain is sealed, Hieron discovers his concubine to be an erotic and obsessively maddening challenge.

The Vampire's Concubine is an erotic romance told in short-story episodes.

Rage - The Vampire's Concubine #2 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)

The bargain has been sealed, Umi is now a vampire and belongs to Hieron as his concubine. Yet, Hieron cannot reconcile himself to the secrecy behind his new slave, it makes him dangerously angry and the vampire lord lives up to his warning to Umi that he will be cruel.

Hieron's demands weigh heavily on Umi, who, it seems, cannot please his master. As Hieron's rage grows, Umi's time is running out. Desperately, he searches to find the key to salving Hieron's fury before the beast within his sire rises to destroy him.

Purchase 'Rage' and get 'An Amusement - The Vampire's Concubine #1' FREE - see inside the book for details.

Available at Amazon and Smashwords - for buying links, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website:

An Amusement - The Vampire's Concubine #1 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)

Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is unaccustomed to visitors in his private bedchamber unless he has expressly invited them. Such an unsolicited intrusion should mean the interloper's death, but Hieron finds himself unusually fascinated by the stranger who appears before him unbidden. Offering no name and no explanation of his reasons, the young man offers ninety nine years of absolute service in exchange for the gift of vampire power.

Amused and aroused, Hieron agrees to the bargain, names his enigma, Umi and decides he will become his newest concubine. The only thing left is to seal the deal in a bond of sex and supernatural power.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and iTunes - for buying options, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website:

COMING SOON - Dark of Mind - The Vampire's Concubine #3

Umi is no normal concubine. His master's gift of vampirism notwithstanding, there is much more to him than the Lord of Harkham has yet discovered. Hieron is no longer angry with Umi's secrets, but he remains intrigued and, demon-owned twice over Umi maybe, but it is his mind that interests Hieron the most.

Under Yan's tutelage, Umi is discovering the rites and skills to being a concubine, and Hieron is master when it comes to the night in his newest concubine's veins, mostly. That bond holds a limit that Hieron has never experienced before: his childe has resisted the most intimate of contacts, that of the mind to mind control that normally lies within a sire's remit.

There is power in his childe, power not of the vampire's giving and, before Heiron is ready to deliver Umi to the harem, he means to discover it.


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