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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: D. Renee Bagby

Smile! It’s Supposed to Hurt!

In high school, I was part of the color guard -- the girls who twirl the flags in marching band. Those were fun times. I learned a lot. Heck, I even remember some it and might be able to perform, though not very well.

One thing that stuck with me since that time was smiling. Always smiling. My instructor was always yelling for all the girls (we didn’t have guys on my color guard team) to smile since that was part of the performance.

After a particularly long practice, we were all hot and tired and sick of smiling. One girl complained that her face was starting to hurt from smiling so much. To that the instructor yelled, “It’s supposed to hurt!”

The lesson stuck with me. To this day, I smile even if I don’t realize I’m smiling. It’s a reflex, or more like muscle memory, at this point and not really indicative of anything. Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt anymore.

I’m always being complimented on my smile. That gave me the idea to have a character who smiles all the time since I like to incorporate part of myself, in some small way, into each of my characters. I wanted this character to be cheerful and happy all of the time no matter what life throws her way. What I got was Serenity.

The idea of Serenity and how she ended up in the book SERENITY (available in print and ebook from Samhain Publishing, Ltd.) are two totally different beings. True to my original idea, she does smile all of the time and is usually happy. Serenity is a princess of Cheslav, the largest human kingdom on Gezane, an alternate Earth within my Multiverse.

Even after finding out she’s to marry Melchior, the king of the bhresya, a people the humans refer to as demons, Serenity is still happy and smiling. The marriage is to solidify the peace between their two people but Serenity is determined to make their marriage one of love as well. Melchior is just as determined to keep their marriage distant and political.

Through all the hardship Melchior puts her through, Serenity is always smiling. Her smile is even present when she orders the deaths of those who try to assassinate her so the peace won’t last. I wanted her to be a happy girl. My beta reader told me I had written a sociopath instead.

I had to laugh when I realized she was right. Serenity is a sociopath. But at least, she’s a happy one. I started out with the best of intentions but in the end, SERENITY gave new meaning to the phrase “Smile! It’s supposed to hurt!”

SERENITY by D. Renee Bagby
(Gezane Universe Novel)
Fantasy Mainstream Romance, Interracial/Multicultural
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Their uneasy alliance could lead to love -- if the demon will allow it.

Melchior, King of the Bhresyas, is quickly growing tired of the war between his kind and the humans who view them as demons. He proposes a peace treaty with the most powerful human kingdom. His only stipulation? Once she comes of age, the human queen’s daughter must be his bride.

Serenity has spent her entire life preparing for her role at Melchior’s side. Other women might be frightened, but she embraces her destiny, knowing in her heart that she and Melchior have been twined together by fate.

While he wants cooperation between their two peoples, his union with Serenity cannot and should not lead to love. The more she tries to bring them together, the harder he pushes her away—until she lands in the arms of those who would do her harm.

Love is the answer. But before Melchior admits to his, it may be too late.

Warning: this title contains cursing, a sociopathic heroine, horny males, and copious amounts of gratuitous violence.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-59998-898-6

Print ISBN: 978-1-60504-093-6

Read Chapter One:

Building New Realms of Passion…


Michelle said...

I love hearing about the story behind the story! Has it happened very often that the characters wind up with a twist on what you origionally planned?


D. Renee Bagby said...

All the time. It gets annoying when I want one type of character and get someone else entirely. That's what happened with Malik from ADRIENNE. He was supposed to be completely badass. The take-no-prisoners type. He didn't quite come off the way I wanted. Sooooo, I tried again with another hero (that book is a little ways off from being published) and he's much more of what I wanted. He'll be the type of guy no wants to meet, period, dark alley or not. :P

- Renee