Featured Interview With Persephone Passions
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
First, Persephone isn't my real name, but it's the pen name of a real-life ginger who loves writing sassy, sexy romance novels and can't wait to connect with readers like you, who feel the same way!
A bit about me: Like the song says – I'm a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll! I was raised in the mountains, then moved to the beach. Why? I love being outdoors, but I hate cold weather! I'm lucky enough to live 20 minutes from four different, beautiful East Coast beaches, and that's where I go when my muse needs a little kick in the pants. I'm a huge animal lover. Currently my menagerie is small – just 50% dog and 50% cat, but they're 100% awesome. Those fur babies are my biggest fans and harshest critics (just ask about that time I forget the extra treats!) Outside of writing, I exercise my creative muscles by trying new baking recipes, nerding out on jigsaw puzzles, and watching every David Attenborough nature documentary or old-school, BBC Network murder mystery I can find.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I've been fascinated with the written word since before I could heft a dictionary. My first short story was written when I was about 4 years old – as I remember, it involved a unicorn, a missing horn, and ice cream. Clearly, not much has changed between now and then – I still love fantasy fiction and really enjoy a solid Happily Ever After.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite author, bar none, is definitely that king of the fantasy epic, J.R.R. Tolkien. Good ol' Tolks is followed closely by C.S. Lewis, Phillipa Gregory, K.F. Breene and Amir Toor. I love fantasy (urban, modern, historical…) and really geek out on any kind of history or mythology-based stories. I got started on sexy, steamy romance novels after reading a (frankly, disappointing) love scene and thinking "Hm…I could do better!"
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Ares Rising is the first in a series of short novels titled American Demigods. I started with a few basic questions – What if magic was real and the Olympians still around? How would that shape society? How would their relationships work? Who would they love? – and then spun that answer into a romance novel full of magic, mayhem, and unrestrained sexy times.
Speaking directly to the story: I had a lot of fun writing this one! It's definitely super-sexy (read: NSFW), but beyond the sex scenes (which I hope you *really* enjoy, wink wink), the story itself has some grit that I hope you'll appreciate. The main characters are Dionysus and Penelope, descendants of Aphrodite and Ares, respectively. As you might have already guessed, it's a bit of a gender-bender; I got tired of reading heterosexual/cisgender romance novels that always featured a demure heroine and a balls-to-the-wall alpha hero, or a super-dominatrix heroine with a meek, effete hero. My alpha in the book is a woman; her lover is both the beta in their everyday relationship, and the dominant one of the two of them in bed. He's her rock and her empowerment; ultimately, he's the one who saves the day and gets the girl, but it doesn't happen exactly like you'd expect.
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