An interview with Kay Berrisford

Well, I’m pretty blogged out about my own novels but that’s OK because today I have Kay Berrisford aboard, talking about her Greenwood series instead. Darker and sexier than mine, if you’re fond of m/m fantasy with a bit of sizzle these may be just your cup of tea.

Over to you Kay:

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What upcoming project of your own are you most excited about?

Right now, I’m pretty excited to get going on my third Greenwood novel. I’m going for an Iron Age winter setting this time, and want it to have a darker, grittier (and colder!) feel from the first two novels. The dynamic between my two protagonists is going to be very different. I’m having fun brainstorming the characters right now and have a feeling these two are going to be less willing to get down to the romance side of things than Brien and Scarlet, or Tam and Herne, although I’m hoping they’re going to oblige on the mansexing front ;) Like ‘Bound to the Beast’ and ‘Bound for the Forest,’ it will be set in the same universe but be completely stand-alone.

While doing research have you ever done anything really exciting or
strange?

I’m very lucky, in that my whole life has been a project of historical research, which I constantly feed into my writing. I used to work for the National Trust and go behind the scenes at a lot of beautiful properties. I once spent the night in one of the best bedrooms in a stately home, on a sleeping bag on the four poster bed and gazing at a rather stunning portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson! I’ve also uncovered a Roman meat cleaver on an archaeological dig. Imagining the kind of person who held it last was rather special. These, and many other wonderful experiences, have triggered story ideas (I haven’t got around to writing them all yet.)

More directly related to the Greenwood novels, I spend a lot of time taking pictures of gargoyles and trees!

Who is your own favourite character?

Right now, definitely Herne the Hunter. I’ve had great fun creating my own version of his legend for ‘Bound to the Beast.’ My Herne was a tribal leader toppled from power at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, and gifted immortality and his crown of antlers by the Mother Goddess. Ultimately, he’s a good guy, but by the time we get to 1588, the age in which the rest of the novel is set, he’s brooding upon a very dark past as the leader of the Wild Hunt. He’s the ultimate tortured hero.

How long have you been writing? What made you start?

I’ve written most of my life, apart from when demands of university and work have got in the way. I took up writing seriously again about six years ago, and wrote fanfic vociferously until I finally took the plunge back into my own original fiction.

What was your first book and what was it about?

My first book was about a creature called Ogog, who lived in a cave. I wrote it when I was four. The illustrations were quite, uh, blobby, but the narrative structure of Ogog’s tale was sound. Honest.

What are you enjoying reading at the moment?

I’ve just started ‘Game of Thrones,’ by George R.R.Martin. I’m enjoying the setting and world building so far – and it’s certainly getting me in the mood to write some gritty sword and sorcery fantasy of my own.

Do you do anything to summon up inspiration – write to music, have a special writing hat etc?

I wish I had a good answer to this one, but I can’t write to music. I need silence. When I get stuck, I kind of bash my head against the wall till I get through, as it were! I use ‘muses’, I guess – pics of people who have inspired characters, my favourite band members, actors etc. Looking at pretty pics doesn’t always help, but it usually cheers me up!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love travelling, and partially thanks to my husband’s job, we get to see some amazing places. Over the past few years, we’ve spent time in Melbourne and Milan, and later this year we’re off to Montreal and Dubrovnik. I write a bit when I’m on my travels, but I also like to take time to absorb the feel of new places and refresh my imagination. I tell my husband it’s *all* work, because writers have to have interesting experiences to draw upon, right?

When we’re at home, we love walking in the New Forest and visiting castles and other sites of historical interest. Once again, it’s all work really. Honest.

What works in progress have you got on the go at the moment?

I’m just polishing up my first contemporary supernatural story, a novella about an elf who busks on the London underground. In this universe, elves are persecuted beings – but Kit, my elf, is hardly a defenseless, retiring violet, and is about to give the elf catchers as good as he gets, and a little bit more.

Have you seen those ‘author’s cave’ photos that show the office/study/corner of the table where famous writers work? What does yours look like?

Actually, I’ve not seen many, but I’d like to. My study is a mess. There’s books all over the desk, notebooks on the floor, scraps of paper covered in my illegible handwriting, a dirty coffee cup. It ought to be censored, but I’ve attached a pic!

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Bound to the Beast, a Greenwood novel, is out 10th April, published by Loose Id.

Genres: m/m, paranormal, historical, fantasy, BDSM. Novel, 67,000 words.

Short blurb: The Greenwood, 1588. When a ritual goes wrong, Tam is bonded to legendary warrior, Herne the Hunter. As Herne’s mastery awakens Tam’s darkest sexual fantasies, will Tam beg for his freedom or to be bound to the beast forever?

Blurb: England, 1588. When a fairy betrothal ritual goes wrong, village lad Tam is bonded to Herne the Hunter. Warrior, legend, and Greenwood spirit, Herne once led the terrifying Wild Hunt, an army of the undead who rode as harbingers of doom. When his passions are stirred and his blood is up, Herne sports the antlers of a mighty stag.

Herne could be the lover Tam secretly craves, but Herne’s past makes him fear the brooding warrior will enslave or kill him. While Herne admires Tam’s toughness and humor, he has rejected love—as he has sworn off leading the Wild Hunt—and wishes only for solitude. To break their betrothal, they must travel into the Greenwood, a realm of magic and bondage where their desires for each other grow dangerously irresistible, and the Wild Hunt bays for their blood.

As the threat rises, Herne’s mastery and compassion realize Tam’s darkest sexual fantasies. Soon he’s no longer fighting for his freedom, wishing to be bound to the beast forever. But can Herne’s tortured heart be reawakened? And if so, will their love destroy them both, or prove Herne the Hunter’s greatest weapon?

Bio: Kay is a historian who realized it was even more entertaining to make stories up and add a ton of fantasy, sex, and BDSM fun. She loves writing stories set in any time and place where she can indulge her love for research, while imagining two hot guys getting it on, but has a particular passion for English folklore.

She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her beloved ‘other half’ Chris. When they aren’t both madly working, they enjoy drinking wine, visiting castles and gorgeous countryside, and stalking cats and greenfinches.

Her first novel, Bound for the Forest, was published in September 2011 by Loose Id.

More info and links to amazon etc.: http://kayberrisford.com/bound-to-the-beast/

Buy it now link: http://www.loose-id.com/The-Greenwood-Bound-to-the-Beast.aspx

For more about me, visit: http://kayberrisford.com


Comments (2)

kay berrisfordApril 11th, 2012 at 10:36 am

Thanks so much for having me Alex :) Always an honor to be on your beautiful blog :D

Alex BeecroftApril 11th, 2012 at 10:54 am

Oh, you’re too kind :D

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