Author: K.L. Noone
Page/Word Count: 13K words
Categories: BDSM & Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Gay Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2018
Publisher: JMS Books
Daniel Rose should be having a good night. He’s a bestselling author; he’s had film adaptations of his books; he’s met movie stars. And there’s a storm outside tonight, electric and wild. Dan’s always liked storms.
Tonight, though, he’s stuck staring at his computer and suffering from writer’s block, out of ideas and inspiration. But when an adorable young man knocks at his door, asks to borrow Dan’s kitchen spices, and announces witchcraft’s real and their apartment building needs an exorcism, Dan’s dark and stormy night takes a turn for the magical.
Hi, I’m K.L. Noone, and in honor of my new release, I’ve been thinking about magic and the word “elemental” – hence the title!
We tend to use the word to mean something obvious, something distilled down to the pure plain clear core—the, well, elements—but also as something magical: the components of a spell, the language of alchemy, the heart of a star or the world or a story.
In “Elemental,” I wanted to play with both of those ideas. Sterling is a witch and a psychic, and he’s very good at what he does, and he definitely needs ingredients for spellwork—but there’s also a component missing in his life, and that’s someone who looks at him with delight and excitement about what he can do, rather than the powerful family he comes from, where he’s actually one of the less remarkable members. And Dan is a writer who, at the beginning, is having difficulty writing, despite previous success—he’s lost that spark, that joy, that inspiration. He needs something, or someone, to re-enchant his world. A missing element, as it were.
“Elemental” is part of the JMS Books “Dark and Stormy Night” themed releases, and as such, it opens with this line: “The night stormed. The dark got darker.” And on this particular stormy night, Dan and Sterling find each other (and some ghosts, both friendly and not, in a haunted building), and magic happens—both literally, and emotionally, as they discover those missing elements in each other.
I hope you enjoy the discovery along with them!
The young man tipped his head to one side, and crossed arms, and lounged, evidently content to continue propping up Dan’s door until it gave in and opened. He might’ve been a pocket-sized and cuddly James Dean, a lazy kittenish rock and roll star, a stray bit of celebrity come over to pop hypothetical pink bubble-gum and literally experimentally nudge the door with one sock-foot.
He looked tired, Dan thought, and then wondered why that’d been the thought. Weariness in that posture? In the slump of those shoulders against the doorframe’s support? In the faint lines around those eyes, the smudges under pale color, like bruises threatening opals? In the glance back down the hall, and a defeated sort of shift of weight?
He became aware that he’d been staring creepily through his own peephole for far too long.
He swore at himself. He yanked the door open. Too fast, too fast and clumsy, though those pretty grey eyes didn’t even flinch—
“Hey,” said all that insouciance, tossing a glorious worn-out smile his way, not moving, “you wouldn’t happen to have any feverfew or curry leaves, that’s the plant not the spice, or at least some cumin or garlic, would you?”
“It’d be really awesome if you did. I’m kind of out of everything, my fault, I didn’t realize how much I’d need in this building. And I’ve got the universe’s worst headache.”
“Are…you…cooking something? Come in,” Dan added belatedly, and shuffled a step back, making room. “I mean, um, I think I have aspirin or something? Somewhere? I also think I have garlic. Um. Hi. Seriously please come in. What was that about this building?”
“Let’s say I said yes to the cooking question. Is that a spice rack? Can I look through it? Oh, wow, that’s totally a picture of you with Tom Sloane, right? Is that from the film premiere of Stone Heart? He’s seriously the best-ever possible casting for Johnny Stone, with those shoulders and that super-heroic social media presence. Are those proper steel knives? Can I borrow one?”
“…what,” Dan said again, helplessly trailing sunny worn-out excitement into his own kitchen. His young man moved as if even breathing required energy and occasionally paused to rub a temple, wincing, but apparently was one of those people for whom exhaustion transformed into verbal rambling. Either that or some amazing drugs were in play, which was a distinct possibility.
Somehow he didn’t think so, though. Those pretty eyes were tired, but clear and focused. The fingers now investigating his spice rack—he’d barely looked at it, a housewarming gift from his agent, who occasionally tried to get him to be an adult and not live on pizza and frozen waffles—were swift and steady. “Oh, good, you do have cumin…and rosemary, awesome…dried, but that’s okay, I can work with that…”
“I do? What did you mean, let’s say yes about the cooking?”
About K.L. Noone:
K.L. Noone teaches college students about superheroes and Shakespeare by day, and in her not-so-secret identity writes romance – frequently paranormal or with fantasy elements, often LGBTQA+, and always with happy endings! She also likes cats, tea, and the sound of ocean waves.
Interview with K.L. Noone:
- What was the inspiration behind Elemental? – I love magic and fantasy in romance, and when the JMS Books “Dark and Stormy Night” themed call came up, I knew I wanted to do something with magic and ghosts, on a stormy night! And then I thought about unexpected knocks at the door, and a young man showing up and claiming to be a witch and asking to borrow some herbs, and Sterling and Dan basically wrote themselves, after that!
- What is your writing process? – I tend to start in the middles of stories – with an important scene or a conversation between the main characters. And then I have to figure out how they got there, and where they go afterwards, and how they’ve both changed as a result of that pivot point.
- What advice would you give an aspiring writer? – Read widely. Read the sorts of things that look like the things you want to write, so you know what those things look like; and then read things that look like something else, in other genres or media or scholarly fields, so that you can find new words and ideas and combinations of things. And read with attention and imagination. What is this writer doing with words that works so well, or doesn’t work well? What can you do?
- What do you think makes a good story? – Good characters. Interesting characters, people I want to know more about and spend time with. That doesn’t mean they’re one hundred percent flawless people, of course! But I need to care about what happens to them. Otherwise, well—I won’t care what happens to them!
- What can readers expect from you next? – “Fire and Ink,” the second story about Colin the cat shapeshifter and David the white witch, will be out from Less Than Three Press in November – it’s actually already available for pre-order, and it’s the one that made my editor get teary-eyed! And then in December I have “Revelry” out with JMS Books, in which I exploit my random knowledge of obscure classical Roman holidays for winter-themed falling in love, with a historian and an adorable bartender.
5 Fun Quickies
- Least favorite endearment: Oh, gosh, I don’t know! I’m not a fan—personally—of anything derisive or demeaning or belittling, though.
- You’re auditioning for a singing competition, what’s your song: I can’t sing, but “Name” by the Goo Goo Dolls has always been my favorite song. So probably that or something by Green Day.
- If you were ice cream, what flavor would you be: Mint chocolate chip!
- Sleep with your socks on or off: Off. Most clothing off, really…
Where to find K.L. Noone: