NaNoWriMo peeps are you still on track to reach your goal?
Now for today’s guest.
Affinity Rainbow author Jen Silver is here to chat about her latest novel Changing Perspectives.
Jen is giving away an e-book copy of Changing Perspectives to one lucky winner. More details about the book and giveaway are below.
Please welcome Jen Silver.
This novel had its beginnings by the river Thames. Mid 1980s, I was living for a time in a part of west London called Chiswick. My favourite walk was along the stretch towards Hammersmith Bridge, starting off on Chiswick Mall, behind the Fuller’s brewery (makers of London Pride), past The Black Lion, past The Old Ship onto the Upper Mall, then The Dove and finally The Blue Anchor with the bridge looming ahead and my return to the road to reach the tube station. (You might get the idea that pubs are an important part of my life…they were then, not so much now.)
As I passed the large houses on the first part of the walk, I would fantasise about who might live in them, what it would be like to live there…to always have the view of the great river (although it did smell at low tide). Listening to music on my Walkman, one cassette tape that was in danger of wearing thin was Eurythmics. Whenever the “Sweet Dreams” track came on, the image of Annie Lennox wearing a suit, swishing a cane came to mind, blotting out the scenery for those few minutes while the song lasted.
So a few years later when I started to write this story, it was clear that one of my main characters, Dani, was going to live in a house by the river…part of the tall terrace that had so fascinated me. It was also inevitable that Dani’s preferred drink would be London Pride.
I wrote a fair bit in the early 1990s, living in a different part of London, and much of my scribbling was done on a more mundane commute to work on trains and buses, using actual pen and paper. Transcribing these words onto my first AppleMac computer, I thought it had the makings of a full-length novel. But, as with all my other story ideas at that time, it went into a drawer and stayed there. Every now and again I would get the pages out and read them, thinking I should do something with it.
Changing Perspectives is my seventh published novel. Finding the courage to submit it to Affinity took a few extra years. The big question is: why did I want to tell Dani’s story in the first place? It’s a departure from my previous romances. I only touched on aspects of BDSM in the second and third books of the Starling Hill Trilogy when Jasmine Pepper discovers she enjoys a new dimension to her sex life. Dani, however, has always known what gives her the greatest pleasure. And she doesn’t care who knows it.
Rippling sensations from the cuts across her butt brought a smile to her face. The residual pain and memory of each stroke as it landed would stay with her for days; she just felt so good. Ripping open the cartons of food and emptying them onto a plate, she recalled Lisa’s parting words that morning. She had just managed to put her jacket on over her vest and was standing by the door ready to leave when Lisa came over to her. She was naked except for the black leather harness that outlined her generous pelvis and breasts.
“Hey, babe,” she said, leaning against Dani and slipping her small hands under her jacket. Dani had leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips.
Lisa pulled back and looked at her, “You know…I could fall in love with you.”
“But that would spoil the fun, wouldn’t it?”
“Don’t leave it so long next time. I missed you.” Lisa pushed Dani out onto the street and closed the door firmly.
Sad but true, Dani thought as she scooped up some egg-fried rice with her fork. Her relationship with Lisa was the longest she’d ever had. An introduction to the then-trainee dominatrix twenty years ago had been the beginning of her love affair with the cane. She didn’t love Lisa, and she knew Lisa’s words were just an extension of the pleasure she had given her. Their shared history had forged an unbreakable bond that, perhaps, was the closest to a real love either of them would ever find.
Cue the entrance of the other main character, Camila, who is so embedded in the closet, she may never find her way out.
Camila reached the sanctity of her office and sat down shakily in her chair. She had managed to keep it together as she walked away from the meeting room. Those eyes. They had drawn her in despite the bruising. The woman handled herself with confidence, as if she didn’t care how others viewed her.
Talking down the agency’s expectations had helped her regain her equilibrium. But try as she might to concentrate only on the numbers, she was aware of Dani’s presence throughout. It was ridiculous to think she was remotely attracted to such a woman. Camila took a deep breath. Her interest was merely fascination. The art director was a curiosity.
She looked at her diary and noted the next meeting in Eric Redmond’s office was in half an hour. He would want to talk about the upcoming conference costs, and she thought she would likely be making a trip to Berlin soon. She turned to her computer screen, opened the relevant spreadsheet and slowly regained the composure she would need to get through the rest of the day.
I love these characters and felt it was my mission to help them find their way to an understanding of each other…is a change of perspective really all it would take?
The story is embedded in 1993 because that was the world I imagined it in and I couldn’t see moving it into the present time…so much water has passed under the bridge in my life since then…a different river, a different perspective.
Art director, Dani Barker, lives life on the edge and getting into a fight in a lesbian leather bar on a Friday night isn’t an unusual occurrence.
Camila Callaghan, finance director for a large company, feels satisfied with her life in most respects. She enjoys her job and thinks it’s necessary to stay in the closet to maintain the position she’s worked hard to achieve.
When Dani and Camila meet, they both sense an attraction, but is it merely curiosity with each other’s contrasting lives? Dani hopes that Camila can be the partner she has longed for since her earliest forays into SM. The boundaries of Camila’s settled world start to blur as she questions her own feelings for Dani and what she represents.
Will their differences make a long-term relationship achievable? A change of perspective for both women is needed if they are to reach this goal.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jen Silver lives in West Yorkshire, UK. As well as reading and writing, Jen’s hobbies include archery, golf, boxercise, and taking part in archaeological digs. This year Jen and her partner, Anne, are celebrating thirty years of being together and when I asked what their secret was she said, “having a good sense of humour”. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but she’s not telling.
CONNECT WITH JEN SILVER
Enter here for a chance to win a copy of
All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box you aren’t a robot, and hit enter. You’ll also be added to the I Heart Lesfic newsletter.
Thanks so much Jen for stopping by today.
Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.