Before anything else, Happy Birthday, Emily!
I live in Southeast Asia with my husband of twenty-plus years, three sons ranging in age from teenager to young adult, and one beloved Shih Tzu who’s treated like a member of the family. Consequently, she believes she’s not a dog, but a four-legged human.
My professional writing career got its start when I worked as an advertising copywriter. I met my husband at the ad agency and, in true romance novel fashion, fell in love even though we were pretty much opposites in just about everything from our personalities to preferences. I eventually left advertising, but continued freelance writing such as brochure copy, corporate reports and feature articles for local publications.
I also enjoy cooking and baking. I’m partial to Asian, French and Italian cuisine and my sons’ favorite baked goodies are my Apple Meringue Torte, Cream Cheese Brownies and Pastel de Tres Leches, a sponge cake that’s soaked in a mixture of three kinds of milk and frosted with whipped cream.
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I wrote for the sheer pleasure of it way back in high school. Writing is also a wonderful stress-buster, as well as an efficient way to stimulate the imagination. Curiously enough, a good number of my stories turned into homoerotic romances because my male characters had more chemistry with each other than with the female leads. But I kept these stories to myself—I couldn’t imagine letting anyone else read them.
Then I discovered fan fiction, started writing The Lord of the Rings stories, and posted them on random LotR fanfic sites. I suppose it’s very telling that the first fanfic I put out was a multi-part epic called Greenleaf and Imladris that paired two male canon characters. Looking back, I can’t believe I wrote such a long and involved piece for my first fanfic attempt.
Eventually, I discovered digital books and wondered if I had what it took to get something published. I did have a story percolating in my mind that I thought it was too much outside the box. But I decided to give it a try anyway. That story was accepted by Liquid Silver Books and became my first published work—Sacred Fate or Book One of the Chronicles of Ylandre series. Three more books followed: Hallowed Bond, By Chance Met and Heartstrings. A fifth is slated for release in mid-July.
I love the world of Ylandre that you’ve created. Was it difficult creating a different world and language?
Thank you! No, it wasn’t too difficult creating Ylandre. I got a lot of practice when I wrote LotR fanfic. What I find harder is keeping all my characters’ personalities distinct and consistent, maintaining an accurate timeline and not deviating from the rules I established for this universe, which can be quite tempting when I want to write myself out of a corner. But that would be cheating, not to mention lazy, so I resist the temptation.
What was your inspiration for the Ylandre series?
Aside from romance, I also read a lot of fantasy (JRR Tolkien’s books top this genre for me) and historical fiction, romantic or not. The Chronicles of Ylandre series is something of a blend of my favorite elements from these genres.
So, I’m a huge fan of mpreg, which for those of you who don’t know, is male pregnancy. How did you discover mpreg and why did you decide to write about such an unusual subject?
I didn’t exactly “discover” mpreg—I didn’t even know there was such a term the first time I wrote it. This was for a short sequel to Greenleaf and Imladris wherein I had one of the protagonists (a male Elf) making a wish for children and unexpectedly getting it granted when TPTB allow his mate (also a male Elf) to get pregnant. It was a tongue-in-cheek romp intended to lighten my readers’ moods after all the sturm und drang of G&I. Surprisingly, a lot of readers liked it and some even expressed frustration that there were very few mpreg stories out there!
That first time I wrote mpreg was for the humor. But then the idea stuck and my fascination with it grew over time. I did worry that a fantasy story featuring hermaphrodites wouldn’t be accepted or even considered m/m. But the idea refused to go away and took on a life of its own even before I set down anything in writing.
What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I write whatever inspires me so I haven’t any specific preference at the moment.
Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I avoid horror stories. I once read a compilation of Edgar Allan Poe stories. I couldn’t sleep that night. As for writing horror, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I can’t write erotica either. I have to incorporate a love relationship somehow, which eventually edges out or tempers the sex and I wind up with erotic romance or whatever instead. Consequently, I also won’t write ménages. I can read a ménage story if it's done well, but I’m too uncomfortable with the concept to write about it convincingly.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
My latest book Cross Purposes is now in edits and is slated for release in mid July. It’s Book Five of the Chronicles of Ylandre series.
Alright, one last question. Do you have a favorite memory
from your 21st birthday?
My first trip to Europe. It was my parents’ graduation and 21st birthday gift to me. I toured the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain and Austria in the space of six fantastic weeks.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Thank you for allowing me to help you celebrate your birthday. It was a great pleasure.
The Chronicles of Ylandre:
Most bonds evolve with time. But a precious few begin even before birth.
In the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, the great divide between the high-born True Bloods and the lower-ranked Half Bloods is deemed impassable by most. Rohyr Essendri dared to cross it when he took young Lassen Idana from his provincial town and made him his paramour.
Lassen perforce learned how to navigate the intricate byways of life at court. What he never expected, however, was to fall in love with Rohyr, a most inadvisable and impractical thing to do when one’s lover is sovereign ruler of the land. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, both figuratively and, as Lassen discovers, literally speaking.
Time and circumstances may force true lovers apart but the tie that binds them can never be fully severed.
When Dylen Teris and Riodan Leyhar meet one harsh winter in the
dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, neither expects the encounter to lead to a fast friendship and abiding love. The chasm of vastly dissimilar social stations lies between them and not all Deira could imagine, let alone accept such a relationship.
Circumstances eventually separate them for what seems forever only to conspire to bring them together once more in the most unlikely of places—at the court of Rohyr Essendri, Ylandre’s powerful monarch. Complicating their situation is the attraction that still lingers between them, waiting to flare once more into love. But when one is unwilling to venture his heart again or wholly forgive its breaker, it may take a king’s interference to reunite these star-crossed lovers for good.
A chance meeting heralds the convergence of two heretofore wildly divergent fates.
From the moment he laid eyes on the handsome Lord of Ilmaren, Naeth Orosse fell head over heels in infatuation with him. And after that first meeting in the middle of a tavern brawl in the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, Reijir Arthanna did not forget the orphaned youth who came to his aid unasked. When fate brings them together anew, Reijir becomes Naeth’s guardian, which proves both blessing and bane when their mutual attraction is guilelessly nursed by one and distrustfully downplayed by the other.
Between attempting to ignore Naeth’s artless overtures and suppressing feelings he had long disavowed, Reijir has his hands full. But more than a title and duty were forced on this enigmatic cousin of Ylandre’s king. A less than benevolent past has left its imprint on Reijir who is as known for his cynical outlook on life as he is for his exotic features and proficiency between the sheets. Convincing him to risk his heart in love is a battle more experienced Deira than Naeth have waged and invariably lost.
When all else comes to naught, a steadfast heart is the only thing that stands between hope and despair.
Scions of the most powerful House in Ylandre, Ashrian Mithani and Eiren Sarvan were more than just cousins. Lovers of long standing, theirs was a bond that would have been the envy of all were it not for one glaring flaw—Ashrian’s inability to commit himself wholeheartedly to Eiren. Despite the dismay of some and the derision of others, Eiren bore his inconstancy; displaying a loyalty Ashrian seemed incapable of returning. That is, until Ashrian crossed a line and the transgression proved one Eiren could not forgive.
In the wake of grief and remorse, Ashrian seeks to make amends and win Eiren back. But something stands in his way. Or rather someone. And the irony of it all is that Ashrian can neither hate nor help befriending the Deir who is his rival for the heart of Ylandre’s most beloved physician.
Book Five: Cross Purposes (to be released in July)
With love, the line between happiness and heartache is all too easy to cross.
One of Ylandre's most prominent nobles, Keosqe Deilen may have had it all in terms of wealth, power and social rank. But in matters of the heart, he was nigh impoverished. Such was the consequence of falling in unrequited love. But though he hides that love and his sorrow well, a few inevitably see through his masquerade.
Young Tristen Marante is quick to discern Keosqe’s pain. His blunt sympathy is a balm to Keosqe’s wounded heart as much as his beauty is an effective distraction from the noble’s hopeless yearning. But Tristen is a skittish would-be lover whose reluctance to express his affection is as much an impediment as the lack of reciprocation from Keosqe’s first love had been. Whereas Keosqe seeks intimacy, Tristen shies from it, suspicious of the motives behind his pursuit and unwilling to yield his heart so easily or soon.
With such different perspectives toward lust and love, is it any wonder their path to a common goal is strewn with stumbling blocks and paved with false impressions?
Eressë is giving away one copy each of a backlist / coming soon title of their choice (pdf, mobi or epub) to two commenters. Don’t forget to leave your email with your comment. Contest ends May 7.
Also, don’t forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!
As far back as her college days, Eressë enjoyed writing historical fantasy. A good number turned into homoerotic romances because many of her male characters wound up having more chemistry with each other than with the female leads.
Whether Eressë subconsciously wrote them that way even she does not know. In any case, this penchant for fantasy M/M romance became the wellspring of her ongoing series Chronicles of Ylandre.
Eressë lives in Southeast Asia with her husband, three sons and one dog. She started her writing career as an advertising copywriter and is now a freelance writer and contributor to a number of publications. She also enjoys cooking and baking and is a professed chocoholic. But her first love is and always will be writing stories.
Find out more about Eressë at her Website and Live Journal. Her books are available at all the typical distributors as well as at Liquid Silver Books.