There is so much variety in our world in terms of geography, culture, and peoples that it seems strange that we’d ever need more options. But sometimes, creating a completely new place can be a lot of fun and present us with variables that we don’t have here at home. It’s like traveling, but without the expense and time involved.
Rachel and I got to talking one day a few years ago and realized we loved a lot of the same books, like Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels. Rachel grew up reading Harlequin’s “white covers,” their series of romance novels popular at the time. Me, I adored fantasy, particularly where there was a blend of science and magic. Even better if the science explained the magic, like in Piers Anthony’s Apprentice Adept series. Rachel liked the tropes popular in Harlequin novels and the idea that one can take the same premise and come up with infinite variations depending on characters and setting.
As a joke, she said we ought to write a series about harem boys, since we were writing so much M/M romance.
We stared at each other for a beat or two as the idea sank in.
And thus, the Persis Chronicles were born – complete with harem boys, which became Keepers; magic in the form of energystones; and, of course, truffles. What’s a truffle, you ask? Well, it’s a cross between a cocker spaniel and an aardvark. Or, maybe a baby elephant and a large hog. Or…
Oh, here. See for yourself:
Excerpt (M/M Romance, Mild Heat Level [kissing])
“Now this is what I call dessert.”
Teeka wanted to giggle, but it caught in his throat. Instead, a whimpering sound emerged, embarrassing him. Quill unwrapped his turban and set it next to his boots, his dark braid swinging. The rubies gleamed even in the shade as the Hunter reclined next to him. Teeka watched as Quill propped himself on an elbow, his other hand reaching to rest on Teeka’s hip. He pulled, turning Teeka until he lay on his side, facing Quill.
Teeka’s breath caught as tanned fingers plucked at his silks. They seemed very dark against the pale yellow of the fabric. The front of his robes parted and Quill flicked the edge up and over to hang behind Teeka. The Hunter’s eyes roved over his exposed skin and Teeka could feel the heat of the other man’s gaze even with the cooling sheet draped above them. A long finger traced down his sternum, returning upwards to play with his nipple rings. Teeka panted but lay quiet, wanting to let his Intended explore.
That finger trailed downwards again. It began circling his navel, the emerald there winking with his breath. Teeka leaned forward, a steady pressure on his back pushing him towards Quill. He watched the Hunter’s lips lower, before they paused and quirked up in a grin. Teeka blinked as his mind cleared.
If Quill’s hand caressed his belly and he rested on the other, then….
He glanced over his shoulder and Sniffer jerked back, removing her trunk from the small of his back.
“Landing!” Teeka rolled forward and away from the truffle, grabbing his robes about him. Quill rolled onto his back, laughing.
Truffles are a lot of fun to write because they’re a cross between a working dog, a pet, and a basic sentient being. The ones in Emerald Fire and Emerald Keep are still young. What would an adult be like?
You’ll have to stay tuned to find out. ~grin~
What about you, Dear Reader? If you made up an animal, what would it be like?