Sunday, June 15, 2008

Myths. Timeless inspiration

My Knight's Fork cover flats arrived this week. This is a thrilling and flattering experience. It's hard to put into words the emotions I feel, but they are mostly positive.

What irks? The Keynote.

"An idealistic Knight, a jaded Princess determined to become pregnant, and a new-age chastity belt add up to a delightfully wacky and highly sensual alien-god romance."

Given my druthers, which I wasn't, I wouldn't have called my romance "wacky" on account of the mental image that "Wacky Racers" left with me.

I've learned to beware of popular culture. A lot of people associated the antagonist in FORCED MATE with an unattractive and large-mouthed member of the Clampett family.

Ah, well, I am sure the Marketing people know best!

Nevertheless, I would love to give a classic Graeco-Roman myth (or a Norse myth, or an Indian one) to a select few Romance editors and their assistants, and see what kind of Keynote blurb they'd come up with.


Imagine the myth of Perseus and his quest to bring home the Gorgon's head (but not the rest of her).

When I consider the classical myths, they are full of dark, nasty, and controversial issues. There's cruel and unusual punishments, abduction, rape, incest, bestiality, adultery, spouse abuse, child abuse, patricide, suicide, murder, theft grand and petty, scrumping, mutilation, hunting an almost extinct species to extinction, revenge, cannibalism... to name a few.

Is that what makes them timeless?

Knight's Fork (the chess position) is about tough choices in an impossible situation where you can only save one of two (or more) threatened pieces.

I love the official cover art for KNIGHT’S FORK (which you can see on Amazon). It captures a lot of the undercurrents and symbolism about the aloof and sexually unattainable Rhett.

Although Rhett’s quest story was inspired by the Greek myth of Perseus (including his encounter with Andromeda), the official cover is like the Greek myth of Tantalus... the hero who was doomed to be half submerged (up to his neck) in water that he could never drink. So, I created an imaginary Tarot card, which I called The Tantalized Male, but it is based on The Hanged Man. It draws on the ideas of still waters running deep, of everyone having a dark side, of the chess-like battle between the White Knight and his inner Dark Knight.

Why a Tarot card? Insufficient Mating Material ends with a violent scene in a fortune teller’s parlour. Knight’s Fork is what happens next as –too excited to go to bed— the rogue Royals turn on Rhett to discover the truth about his sex life, if they can.

In FORCED MATE (an abduction-of-Persephone-from-earth-by-an-impassioned-Hades story), I introduced Rhett as the ultimate altruist. He tried to stop one of his big brothers from having unwise sex.

(He does that a lot, that's partly why his brothers get mad at him.)

So, his big brother thumps him. As a result, Rhett is arrested, imprisoned and threatened with torture and death. He keeps quiet about who he really is, and risks his life to protect the bad-ass older brother who hit him.

In INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL, ’Rhett volunteers his unsolicited opinion to the exceedingly dangerous Tarrant-Arragon after Tarrant-Arragon has forcibly marooned Djetth (the wild brother) on a tropical island with the slightly overweight and bitchy Princess Martia-Djulia.

Tarrant-Arragon has his reasons for shooting down the unhappy couple, and they are mostly political. Martia-Djulia balked at the altar of her shotgun Royal wedding (to Djetth), but she needs a husband before she creates a bigger scandal as a result of a really bad choice of bed partner for a defiant one-night stand.

KNIGHT’S FORK is a quest story, but just as Jason and the Argonauts set out to steal a fabulous golden fleece, then discover that it's just a ratty old ram skin once it's removed from the magical tree, Rhett's quest doesn't turn out the way he expected, and he gets exactly what he went on the quest to avoid.

KNIGHT’S FORK will be released in October.

#1. Forced Mate,
#2. Insufficient Mating Material,

"I think Rowena's true skill is that she weaves this intricate world of aliens and sex just the same way J.K. Rowling weaves the world of Wizards."~ Des DiFabio,


  1. Rowena it could have been soo much worse, imagine what they could have come up with instead of 'wacky' think of the word 'zany' there instead...

  2. Sorry about the "wacky". Honestly, someone needs to put that word out of commission.

  3. I'm testing my login. I can't get my post up if I can't log in!