Today I’m delighted to welcome Primula Bond to Me, My Books and I:
Primula Bond is an Oxford educated mother of three boys and has lived in Oxford, London and Cairo. She currently lives in Hampshire and works part time as a legal clerk for criminal defence lawyers as well as writing freelance features under her real name. Her erotic novels include Country Pleasures, Club Crème and Behind The Curtain and dozens of short stories published by Virgin Books. Her novella Sisters in Sin and various short stories are published by Mischief Books, and Xcite Books at Accent Press have published a solo collection of short stories Random Acts of Lust , and her novella Out of Focus. Primula also offers a critique service for aspiring erotic and romantic writers through Writers Workshop.
To find out more:
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Where did the idea for The Silver Chain come from?
I had made a start on an indie novel under my real name, where a murder was committed on Halloween night. I loved the idea of the masks and costumes, the strange noises and activities that go on, even in a big city like London, and in fact it started off as a contemporary vampire story. When I was asked to write an erotic romance I decided to adapt it to the genre but keep the London setting and the mysterious, Gothic characters. I also wanted to bring in one of my other interests, which is portrait photography, because it has such creative potential and gives her the perfect excuse to be a voyeur.
Who designed the cover and why did you go for that particular design?
The publishers’ design team designed the cover, but they asked me to send images of what I had envisaged. My sister is a silversmith and I had one of her braclets and chains in mind. The addition of the ribbon is a welcome burst of colour.
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
I enjoyed writing Serena best and I hope it shows. She is a little like a fictional, younger version of myself. Although she had an unhappy, isolated childhood, which I certainly didn’t, she shares my love of travelling, art and food, and there are external aspects of her character and feistiness which I wish I had had at that age. I enjoyed getting into her head, too, living the encounter and developing relationship with Gustav through her eyes, and going a lot further than I ever would dare in real life.
What makes The Silver Chain stand out from the crowd?
I have tried to take a well-used genre and elevate it from the norm by being free with my language and references to make it literary, almost poetic sometimes. Although it revolves around the archetypal love affair which is the basis for any romantic novel, I have embellished it with cool locations such as London or more escapist places such as Venice, but they are places where I have actually lived and so can really let rip with the descriptions and atmosphere. I have also taken care to draw the secondary characters in 3D so as to add a little bit of humour to relieve the intensity of the central action.
Can you give us any clues about what is going to happen in the next book?
I have left a cliff hanger at the end of The Silver Chain where Gustav’s long-lost younger brother Pierre, who betrayed him five years earlier with his ex-wife, reappears unexpectedly. Or is it a concidence? In the second book the action moves to Manhattan and explores the reconciliation of the brothers and how it threatens Serena’s place in Gustav’s life. Serena also finds Pierre’s resemblance to Gustav, and his connection to the hostile ex-wife, as well as his disconcerting flirtation with her, very confusing and very dangerous.
Sounds exciting! Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?
I started off trying my hand at romantic fiction, but when Mills and Boon rejected a submission because the sex scenes were too explicit, I decided to turn this to my advantage and rewrote the sex scene into a short story, which was accepted (and paid for!) by an erotica magazine. Four novels, two novellas and numerous short stories later, I seem to be quite good at it!
Do you think your writing style has changed since your first book?
You keep learning, or you should, every time you write anything. My first novels were perhaps more flowery in language than now, and my plots not as tight, but what’s great now is that I feel less hedged in by the genre, and with my editors’ confidence in me, I feel freer to write what and how I like.
Do you have any amusing writing stories to share with us?
Back in 1995 there was only one shared computer in the solicitors’ office where I worked. My first ever published short story was so fresh and fizzing in my head that I bashed it out in the space of the lunch hour which was when the computer was free, and I wanted to use the office post to send it off (before emails) that very evening. But more pressing than the time element was the fact that my boss, whom I fancied rotten and had had more than one dirty dream about, was working just a few feet away and could at any moment have glanced over my shoulder. To this day he reckons that I owe him a share of the fee I was paid for that story. But at least he got me, as his wife, a few years later!
The only other thing I can share, as this is a pseudonym, is that the inspiration for my more outrageous cougar stories came from the stream of gorgeous young men who used to come to the house when my eldest son was still living at home!
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of promoting your book?
I really enjoy writing blog posts and taking part in interviews, as it can make sense of my own existence as a writer which helps when you spend so much time in isolation and who doesn’t like writing about themselves? I didn’t enjoy getting to grips with the social media aspects of Twitter etc and am also nervous about upcoming public readings and workshops, but I daresay I’ll get used to them and could certainly not have had the confidence when I first started writing.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for a book where would it be?
I would love to visit the safer parts of South America perhaps to write a more thriller-ish book with elements of kidnap and danger, and also a langorous Caribbean fantasy!
Paperback or eBook?
Paperback. Looks pretty on the bookcase, is lighter to carry, doesn’t matter if you drop it or spill wine on it.
Very good points! Tea or coffee?
I only drink tea when I’m hungover or ill. Otherwise I can’t start a day without a strong Americano – and two or three cups of coffee!
Telephone or face to face?
Face to face. I have become a telephone-phobe since the advent of texts and emails, and find it very intrusive. Face to face is still a firm, memorable connection, even if you are not going to be friends for life.
Pen or pencil?
Pen, but although I try to keep my writing looking neat, I barely ever compose anything without a keyboard nowadays.
Vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate, and the darker the better.
Any last words for your readers?
No writer would exist without readers, so I want to thank the people who buy and read my books and I hope that they feel, with each one they read and each blog post like this, that they know me a bit better, because everything I write comes from somewhere pretty personal.
Thank you so much for being here today, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about how your first published story came about!
Now check out the book:
“‘Being needed by someone is different from having power over them, and far more alluring, and I’m a fool for not recognising that. I’m a fool for not recognising you.’
Twin souls colliding? Or was Gustav waiting for her?
Young photographer Serena Folkes believes she’s struck gold when the tycoon Gustav Levi offers to showcase her debut exhibition. But there are strings attached. Serena must move into Gustav’s London town house and agree to pleasure him in any way he chooses. Patron and protegee, they are bound by the silver chain that symbolises this contract until the last photograph is sold.
As her work sells and Gustav’s demands increase, Serena surprises them both with her feisty character and eager participation. It’s not such a tough ask. Gustav is exotic and intriguing. She is hungry and willing to learn. Gradually she learns what demons have driven him to strike bargains rather than to trust. And when Gustav discovers that Serena’s abusive past has almost destroyed her ability to love, he realises they are not so different after all.
Can they plan a future together, or will a single act of betrayal return to haunt them?”
The Silver Chain is published by Avon Books, the eBook was released on 4 July 2013 and the paperback is released today. They can both be purchased from Amazon.co.uk. For Amazon.com customers you can get a free sample here.
The publishers have kindly sent me an e-copy of the silver chain and i will be posting my review in September so watch this space…