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Introducing Author K.A. Merikan!
I love co-authoring as K.A. Merikan. There's just something about the process of bouncing ideas off one another that makes me extremely inspired and productive. It took me years to find the right fit, someone whose sense of humor is similar to mine and who is interested in experimenting rather than playing it safe. Kat and I like pushing boundaries and turning tropes upside down. Our characters tend to be morally gray because neither of us enjoys reading about goodie goodies cast into a horrible situation, or suffering from the 'great misunderstanding'. Sometimes, good people do bad things, and bad characters do good things. We want our fiction to reflect that.
It's been almost two years since we started writing The Copper Horse: Fear. We wanted to write a slavery story that would be different than the books we read before. Both of us enjoy dub-con much more than non-con scenes, whereas the typical slavery/abduction novels tend to focus on brutal scenes, sometimes progressing to a hurt/comfort type of romance. While I understand what the readers/authors of such books like about them, I personally don't like reading scenes of sex where the sub/bottom doesn't enjoy himself. Also, I like something less black and white. Typical BDSM romance on the other hand, I don't generally find exciting or entertaining enough, unless there is an interesting non-relationship plotline. And sadly, books that contain those are scarce.
The main idea behind the power play in The Copper Horse trilogy is the fact that both characters are afraid to be sincere with each other. The book begins as an abduction story set in an alternative Victorian London. Reuben, a poor baker's son, is miserable, ashamed of his homosexuality and submissive desires. His life, however, undergoes a dramatic change after he's abducted and ends up as a 'pet horse' of a wealthy gang member. Despite initial shock and rage, he quickly adjusts to being pampered and enjoying guiltless sex with the most handsome man he has ever laid his eyes on. For the first time in his life, Reuben is the center of someone's attention, and being a human horse turns out to give his life purpose. Erik, the man who put a bridle on Reuben's head has very different reasons to hide his real thoughts from his pony. With time, it becomes clear he is not the only one holding power, nor is he just treating Reuben as a luxurious toy.
As for the pet play aspect of the book, it obviously has a big role in the plot. The Copper Horse is an erotic romance, so there were many opportunities for us to explore the various possibilities and types of pony play, which we wouldn't be able to do in a shorter book. As this is essentially a slavery story, we could immerse ourselves in Erik's fantasy world and show Reuben's fascination with it grow step by step. Moreover, pony play is unique in the sense that despite the 'pony' being a submissive to his master, it is not considered a 'lowly' animal in the way dogs, cows, and pigs are. Horses are proud animals, to be displayed and frolicked with, and even though people practicing pony play have various takes on it, that is a distinct way the horse as an animal is generally perceived.
We really enjoyed taking Erik and Reuben on the journey of highs and lows. None of them is perfect, but they are perfect for each other, and that is what counts. Although I believe it is a story that could resonate with many people on a strictly relationship-related level, the setting, the fetish, and the take on the slavery theme make it a bit obscure. I really hope it won't discourage readers, because at the core of The Copper Horse series is a love story, even if it's quite bloody and twisted. It is a somewhat risky book to publish, so we are very happy that Storm Moon Press saw its potential and took it under their wing ;) The whole story will consist of three books with titles that reflect Reuben's emotional journey as Erik's pet horse. We believe it is a different take on the genre, especially that it is a total of three novels dedicated to the exploration of pony play. It is something I always wanted to read, but couldn't find.
*** This post is part of Storm Moon Press' 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year! SMP's 4th Anniversary Rafflecopter Giveaway ***
Planned release date: March 7, 2014K.A. Merikan is a joint project of Kat and Agnes Merikan, who jokingly claim to share one mind. They finish each other's sentences and simultaneously come up with the same ideas. Kat and Agnes enjoy writing various kinds of stories, from light-hearted romance to thrillers. They love creating characters that are not easy to classify as good or evil, and firmly believe that even some villains deserve their happy endings. It is easiest to find them in galleries, good restaurants, and historical sites, always with a computer or notebook, because for Kat and Agnes, every day is writing day. Future plans include lots of travel and a villa on the coast of Italy or a flat in Paris where they could retire after yet another crazy venture, only to write more hot homoerotic stories. They love to hear from readers, who can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or find them at their website, Facebook, Goodreads, or on Twitter @KA_Merikan and @AgnesMerikan.