Welcome back to my blog my fellow Loose Id author, Kay Berrisford. Kay writes red hot BDSM fantasy and historical fantasy. Really hot. I once emailed her to ask if a sexual position described in one book was actually physically possible. (Answer – yes, if you’re limber enough!)
Today Kay is answering questions about her new book, Bad Slave, coming 28th January from Loose Id. Keep on scrolling to find a link to enter a contest to win a copy! And keep on scrolling some more for an excerpt.
When the king commands former war hero Captain Jay Ghair to find him the perfect royal sex slave, Jay’s quiet new life as a librarian is shattered. Jay discovers the boy he’s looking for in Alix, a lowly miner and wannabe court scientist, whom Jay can’t help but secretly adore. However, teaching the rebellious Alix to be a docile slave is difficult. Alix will behave for just one man, and it isn’t the king. It’s Jay.
Standing by while the king’s treatment of Alix becomes cruel is torturous for Jay. He longs to return to his library, yet he can’t bear to leave Alix, or his people, unprotected. To rescue Alix—and save the realm from the increasingly tyrannical king—Jay must confront the demons of his military past and take up the sword again. But his most important battle must be won through returning Alix’s love and learning to master this bad slave who submits only for him.
1) What was your initial inspiration for this story?
I played with the characters for Bad Slave in my head for so long before I wrote the story that I don’t remember the initial inspiration!!! However, two things propelled me to sit down and write it.
The first was reading Lyn Gala’s “Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artefacts.” In the preface, the author wrote something along the lines that she felt slightly dissatisfied with typical Dom characters in many BDSM fantasies and she wanted to try writing a new kind of Dom. I loved Ondry, the alien in Claimings… who she created to fulfil this role. Ondry doesn’t really comprehend humans and yet proves he understands what Liam needs as a sub more than anyone else. After reading the story, I was desperate to bring to life my own “different” Dom character in Bad Slave, a story I’d been toying with for some time.
Jay, my warrior-turned-librarian-turned-reluctant-slave-trainer is extremely different to Ondry. However, he also ends up being perfect Dom (for Alix) by coming to the role from a very different angle to most. In Jay’s case, he’s extremely reluctant, and if it wasn’t for his growing affection for Alix, the “bad slave” he’s been forced to gift to the king, he’d rather go back home to his books. Because he thinks about everything very hard—he probably overthinks—he is extremely sensitive to the kind of discipline Alix wants and needs (and that Jay discovers he enjoys giving) as opposed to the cruelty that is doled out by the king.
The other inspiration was the lovely J.A. Rock, who I told about the idea for Bad Slave when we were chatting on email. She told me to write it, so I did.
2) Was it an easy one to write and edit, or a “sweating blood” job?
Because I was already so “involved” with my characters, this story was pretty much a breeze to write…until the very end. I always find the final third of books the hardest, because you have to tie up all the disparate plot threads. In this case, the pressure was on, because I was due to go to Australia in August, and was desperate to wrap the story before we left. In my rush, I plowed ahead with a version of the ending which just didn’t work and had to scrap a whole chapter and start it again *sobs*. It was worth it, though. I rethought the ending and was way happier with it, plus I did get the draft finished before Australia…just!
3) Who is your favourite character in the story?
Because I’ve already waffled on about Jay, I’m going to have to choose Alix. If Jay is a “different” kind of Dom character, I hope that Alix is atypical among subs. He’s bratty, but he’s also deadly ambitious and will stop at nothing to develop his science inventions, even if it involves putting himself in immense danger. He’s like a modern speed freak, and he’s certainly bit of a pain slut, but to an extent, that’s all part of his drive to succeed. He even becomes a sex slave in the hope it might be a springboard to becoming a court scientist. Though he’s passed a miserable life down the mines, it takes a hell of a lot to break his spirit. However, though he might not realize it, he *does* need somebody to slow him down and take him in hand, before he ends up injuring himself or worse…
4) What’s your favourite scene?
I really enjoyed writing Alix’s opening scene, where he’s careering downhill at breakneck speed in one of his inventions in order to impress his mates. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong…
5) Why did you go for a full-on fantasy setting, rather than your usual historical fantasy for this story?
It was a nice change, to be honest. I love writing historical fantasy, using real historical settings to bring myth and folklore to life, but it was pleasant to have the freedom to create a whole new world. It meant I could bring in “fun” invented science for Alix to play with, which has no historical precedent, against the backdrop of a medieval(ish) court. There’s quite a lot of humor, too, and I could make the dialogue a little more knowing and fun than is sometimes possible in an authentic historical setting.
Also, I think some readers are put off by the label historical fantasy. Those who like historical, sometimes don’t like fantasy elements, and vice versa. You might end up pleasing very few! I hope with Bad Slave, fantasy BDSM fans will enjoy the undiluted ride (and maybe some historical fans too. There are certainly plenty of knights in shining armor!!)
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ADULT EXCERPT from Bad Slave
Jay leaned forward so his brow nearly touched Alix’s. Hot breaths mingled. “Listen. I’ve been charged this night with finding the king an attractive young man. Somebody ready and willing to, uh, well—”
“He wants to know if you’ll suck the king’s cock,” interjected Gareh, coming to the rescue, albeit in a crude fashion.
Alix’s jaw dropped. “You want me to become one of the king’s sex slaves?”
It seemed everybody knew more about Lyam’s lifestyle than Jay had. His stomach clenched.
“King Lyam’s a good-looking chap,” added Ned, who’d warmed to the task of procuring Alix, probably because time pressed on. The sun had sunk beneath the horizon, and evening dew beaded the grasses and cooled Jay’s blazing visage. “From what I’ve heard, his boys live a coddled existence.”
“The choice must be yours, Alix,” said Jay. “But Farmer Derren might find you and kill you if we let you go free, and we can’t take you back to the palace with no reason. You must face trial or elect to serve the king.”
Jay’s conscience stabbed like an ice pick, because there was little choice, really. He wished the lad, who remained motionless, would say something to put him out of his misery. Alix raked his fingers through his short brown hair. Then, sudden as the first morning cry of a cockerel, he laughed. And sweet mother of all the starlords, it was the dirtiest and most charming sound that’d ever blessed Jay’s ears. Alix’s smile was delicious too, though he couldn’t disguise his trembling or the gleam of fear in his eyes. Jay suspected this unforeseen mirth to be an act, so it didn’t make him feel any better.
Nevertheless, Lyam had asked for a man with some spirit. Alix indeed possessed that.
“All right, I’ll do it.” Alix dabbed away the last of the blood. “Um, should I thank you? I mean, yes, I really should. You just saved me from—”
“No. That’s not necessary at all.” Any decent man would’ve done the same thing.
Without requesting the rescued party become a sex slave.
Jay rose, then took Alix’s arm and helped him up. Once upright, Alix hissed in pain, then balanced on one leg. Jay clamped the lad’s shoulders. “Are you badly injured?”
“Just a minor sprain.” Alix mustered a faltering grin. “Doesn’t hurt.”
“We’ll tend to your wounds when we get back.”
It seemed the least he could do. Then again, he had saved Alix’s life. Serving at court, even as one of the king’s pets, could well be preferable to laboring in the mines, let alone languishing in prison or facing the chop.
Not quite reassured, Jay scooped an arm about Alix and supported the lad in hopping over to the horse. He helped Alix up—involuntarily confirming that Alix had a firm and rounded butt and sinewy thighs—then sighed and nodded to Gareh and Ned.
“Lead on back to the palace.”
Want more? Read chapter one at Loose Id