I'm always delighted to meet new people on my blog, and today it's the turn of Dany Sirene.
Over to you, Dany.
How did you get started writing?
A long time ago I started school and they taught me all those letters and words. It was a love affair. Seriously, though, I mainly wrote for myself and a few close friends until a couple years ago, when I gathered my courage and sent a short story to a magazine. It got accepted, and things just took off from there.
Was there a particular author or book that made you decide you wanted to write in the genre? If so, who or what was it?
It was a serial story I stumbled upon online. I didn’t think I was much of a romance reader, but I started reading it and just couldn’t stop until I had finished. After that, the first thing I did was look for more like it! That was how I found, among others, Dreamspinner Press, and with it, all the M/M romance I could ask for. Meanwhile, my own writing projects were not going anywhere, and after yet another story stalled, I realized I had just gotten bored with the genre I was writing in. And then one day a pair of characters popped up in my head and nagged me until I wrote their story down.
Where do you write? Does your environment have an impact on what or how you write?
I wish I could say that every morning I take my seat at my ginormous polished oak writing desk facing a floor-to-ceiling window with a breathtaking view of some exotic locale. The reality is that I sit down at my tiny Ikea desk, at a laptop that has seen better days, brew a pot of Earl Grey and write. Oddly, this is the environment I work best in. I’d like to be able to write in coffee shops like the trendy people with their Macs, but I’m embarrassed. In the heat of the writing process I tend to make faces and murmur to myself like a crazy lady.
What do you love most about writing? What do you hate about it?
What I love? I love that moment when you suddenly see your future story clearly from beginning to end, and your hands start to itch for the keyboard. I love it when I write emotional or tense or sweet moments and my heart races. What I hate? Hmm. The achy eyes. That’s about it.
How did you come up with the title?
I find it really hard to come up with a good title. I usually don’t title my work until after it’s finished and edited. Well, Lau is a fire demiurge, so I wanted something to do with “playing with fire”... which is fitting, given his personality.
Can you tell us about your main character?
Lau is a demiurge who is punished by being reincarnated as a human. He doesn’t cope too well with the loss of his powers. He is kind of a bastard in a lot of his words and actions all the way until the end, and sure, bad stuff happens to him—but he comes to realize he brought most of it on himself. And by the time he is ready to change his ways and learn from his mistakes, it may already be too late.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
Thing is, I was writing an entirely different story (I think it was for NaNoWriMo) where a fallen demiurge was one of the secondary characters. So a couple of chapters in, it suddenly hit me that the demiurge character interested me more than my central plot! I realized I was writing the wrong story. So I started over, focusing on Lau. I love the theme of pride before the fall and all its implications, so I just worked from there.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m in the middle of a novel set in Moscow, about a New Russian golden boy and his (much) lower class love interest. Also, there is an outline of another deity-themed paranormal in the works, but we’ll see how that goes.
To date, what has been the best advice or words of encouragement you've received?
Butt in chair, hands on keyboard! From Brandon Sanderson’s podcast Writing Excuses. It’s a bit... simplistic, sure, but in the long run it’s the only advice that really works.
What are three things about you that would surprise your fans?
Technically, English is my third language. For some reason, I don’t write too well in the other two.
For all my interest in the dark and spooky, I’m utterly terrified of horror movies.
Initially, my program in college was... finance. That didn’t last very long, since I am completely inept where numbers are concerned.
Where can we find you on the web?
There’s my official blog: http://sirenesong.blogspot.com/
I am still working on the website, so in the meantime this is where all the news, buy links and other official business can be found. Also, there is about a kiloton of excerpts and free short stories, and the occasional contest.
I am on Goodreads more often than not:
I have a Facebook:
And finally, a very informal (you’ve been warned!) LiveJournal:
Dany Sirene is an aspiring writer who lives and studies in Montreal, city of horrible winters and beautiful cemeteries. She is an avid reader of dark fantasy and horror, and loves a (not so) good anti-hero. She's been writing since she learned to hold a pen (and later, a keyboard), and can spend days immersed in entirely fictional worlds, her own or someone else's, emerging only to check her email and feed the cat. Some people find it a little strange. Sometimes she agrees.
Blurb:Fire demiurge Lau had it made until the Mother Goddess banished him for his cruel treatment of humans. Now he’s stuck in a mortal life, trying to cope without his powers—mainly by partying hard and seducing anything with a heartbeat.
Then he meets Jesse Warner.
College student Jesse is new to Montreal. Out from under his parents’ thumbs for the first time, he can’t wait to begin to discover who he really is. He has no idea what’s really at stake when he falls in love with the former demiurge... until a powerful being with a grudge shows up, ready to destroy them both.
Jesse could feel Lau watching him from the bed and didn’t even need to turn around to picture that sly little smile of his, the narrowed eyes, biting down on his lower lip, probably. It made a very pleasant shiver run down his spine, and his cock stirred in his boxer shorts. Come on now, he reminded himself, this stuff was due tomorrow, and he hadn’t even started. He could let Lau have his way with him once he was done, as a reward. A little delayed gratification was good for your health, right?
“Come back here,” Lau purred. Making it difficult, then. Jesse smiled to himself.
“Sorry. I have some homework I gotta take care of.”
“Homework?” Lau asked, mock indignation in his voice. “You’re ditching me for homework?”
“Sorry.” He could barely keep from laughing. “Some of us have exams coming up, you know.”
“Pfff. Exams. You’re way too pretty to have to take exams.”
“Too bad, but my professor is straight. At least I think he is.” He chuckled.
“You’d convert him in a heartbeat.”
“What? You wouldn’t be jealous?” He retrieved his backpack from the corner where he’d tossed it and took out his Theology 101 textbook and his battered notebook and pen.
“Me, jealous? Like there’s anyone at that school of yours who could compete with me.”
Jesse smiled, somewhat uneasily. “In fact, no one at that school knows,” he said. “At least didn’t, until you laid one on me in front of the whole humanities department.”
Whatever he was thinking, that particular memory instantly made him hard. He was angry at himself for it… but not too much, he decided, glancing over his shoulder at Lau who’d hopped out of bed, gloriously naked and without even a trace of self-consciousness. He’d said he’d meet him after class, and Jesse thought he was just teasing or would forget and flake out like he was known for doing, and put it out of his mind. Much to his surprise, Lau did turn up outside of Ancient Religions class, in full attack gear complete with low-slung army pants that sat just a quarter of an inch too low under his hipbones and the ubiquitous Flammable T-shirt that showed off his belly button ring. And before Jesse even had a chance to pick his jaw up off the floor, he’d practically dipped him in a classic old-movie kiss.
His first reaction was to get so hard it was a wonder his zipper held up. His second reaction was to wish the earth would split beneath him and swallow him whole.
“Watch it,” he murmured into Lau’s mouth, feeling himself turning red with both arousal and embarrassment. “Remember, if this gets back to my dad, I’m toast….”
Lau had laughed. “No one here cares. Get used to it.”
And now, his reaction was the same—a careless shrug. “Knows what?”
Jesse tried to focus on the text. “That I’m… you know.”
“Geez, do you people always have to categorize everything?”
“Most people do like to categorize, yes.” Jesse sighed impatiently. “And you live in their world, so as they say, when in Rome….”
Lau howled with laughter. “Some analogy. You study all this historical stuff. You should know what they were up to in Rome before the Christians got there and spoiled the party.”
Jesse raised his eyebrows. He didn’t think Lau had so much as a GED. Meanwhile, unfazed, Lau sauntered up to him and hugged him from behind, resting his chin on Jesse’s shoulder. “So what’s this thing about?”
“Theology.” Jesse had to admit he didn’t mind having him in that position. His soft red hair brushed against his cheek, his neck, and his shoulder. It was distracting but much too pleasant to tell him to stop.
“Lau, why don’t you go to school?”
“Me?” He chuckled. “What the hell do I need school for?” Teasingly, he nibbled on Jesse’s earlobe. “Are you saying I’m dumb?”
“No, exactly. You’re smart, I know it. You could do very well if you wanted to.”
“Bah. There’s nothing they can teach me that I don’t know already.”
“Oh, really? Then….” He quickly scanned the text in front of him. “Who’s Anubis?”
“Egyptian god of the dead, funerals and such,” said Lau, disinterested. “Typical invention of primitive humans. Satisfied?”
Jesse blinked. “Actually, yes. See? You could do anything if you put your mind to it.”
Lau carefully bit down behind his ear, sending shivers down his spine. “I already do.”
Jesse laughed, rolling his eyes. “Come on now, you have to have some kind of bigger aspirations in life.”
“Nah. Life’s too damn short.”
Jesse wasn’t sure what to say to that when Lau’s hand slipped down his bare chest and then traced the line of pale hair down from his navel. Blood instantly flowed away from his brain. Damn. How did he do that?
Having gotten the effect he wanted, Lau wrapped his hand around Jesse’s cock.
“I… really… should be doing my homework,” Jesse panted. But that was purely rhetorical at this point. Lau began to move his hand up and down, slowly tightening his grip.
“You can keep doing your homework,” he murmured into his ear. “Don’t let me stop you.”
“You’re… distracting,” he gasped.
“That’s your problem, not mine.”
Jesse relaxed, letting his head fall back on Lau’s shoulder. The smell of his hair enveloped him, shampoo and skin and soap and pure sex. He let his eyes close, giving himself over to the sensation. Lau took his time, and the orgasm felt like it would never end. When his muscles stopped contracting, an eternity later, Lau gave him a quick peck on the cheek and started to pick his clothes up off the floor.
“Where are you going?” asked Jesse, too disoriented to really think.
“Letting you do your schoolwork. Wouldn’t want to be a bad influence.”