Welcome, one and all, to the latest MDM author interview. Today, we’re talking to the excellent, Rian Durant.
Rian, welcome to the site!
Hello, Matt! Thank you for having me.
Today, we’re going to be talking primarily about your upcoming novelette, Midnight Twist. The book follows Jaydon who, after breaking up with his ex, makes a deal with a demon named Eluin. Now, Eluin is not going to be the only demon the book. Are the demons your own creation, or do they have roots in older tales?
The demons in the book are completely my creation and if there are any similarities to any other entity in the demonology, where as far as I know there are like fifteen zillion of them, it was not intentional.
What inspired you head into demon territory for this story?
To tell you the truth, I do not remember at all. I wrote the original short story years ago (we’re talking around 6 years ago) and at some point I submitted it to my previous publisher for an anthology. They liked it so much that they wanted me to expand it. Unfortunately, the publisher closed before I did and…the expanded version is coming now from Nine Star press
The book is described as a M/M paranormal romance comedy. Where you ever worried about the demonic nature of some of the characters moving the story closer to horror than paranormal romance?
Absolutely not. My demons are mischievous, confused, and stubborn but they are not scary at all although Jaydon might see it otherwise from time to time.
How hard was it to balance the comedic and romantic elements?
It was easy. To be honest, I think comedy, being romantic or not, is my thing. I believe in the comic relief. Even in the most angst-filled book/movie there should be a moment of laughter. I don’t know if the romance is romantic enough but I’ll leave the readers decide that.
I enjoyed the excerpt you sent me. Tw things really stood out for me: Eluin’s tail thumping on the floor, and his ability to become distracted by cookies. So, two questions: First, do you prefer your demon tails to be more dragon-like, closer to the Satan-esque tails of modern times, or something else? And second, do all demons love cookies?
Fun fact: Eluin’s tale is fluffy. J I imagined it like cat’s tail. It might have to do with the angry thumping, which is a cat’s thing or maybe because as a whole he is very neko style. I think they all have different kind of tales depending on their character.
Not all demons like cookies. (Ha, that sounded like a decent story title, no?). However, my demons in the novelette, they all have something that is exactly “their cup of tea”. For example, one of them likes eating honey straight from the jar.
If you could see the story adapted into another for of media, be it manga, film, or something else, what would it be and why?
It should definitely be either manga or anime. I was actually “seeing” it as in an anime while I was writing it (as well as many other stories I’ve written). A two-part OVA will be fun! It can make a very nice manga as well.
Midnight Twist was signed by NineStar Press. How did you come to work with this publisher, and how have you found the experience thus far?
After I my previous publisher closed, I was looking for something fresh and I chanced upon NineStar Press. The site gave me good vibes and I decided to submit my novel there. So far I’ve had only good experience working with them. I especially love working with my editor, Stacy Jo.
Midnight Twist is not only a different genre than your previous release, Honey and Heat, but also shorter. Was the switch in genre and size easy to accommodate, or did it prove difficult?
Short stories were my first love so it was more like the other way around. Now I’m working mostly on novel WIPs and I’m trying to rein them in. Seriously, they sometimes drive me crazy.
Speaking of Honey and Heat, that was a seasonal contemporary romance that was released back in September last year. What can you tell us about this tale?
It has never been my intention to write a Christmas Romance but in a conversation with a friend the idea popped up and it was unstoppable from there. Another interesting fact about it is one of the MCs, Brice, turned out to be pain in the delicate parts of lots of people. My editor expected it and asked me to soften his edges a bit. I loved Brice, though. He was every bit of slightly immature control yielding seme you can find in a lot of manga. Think Asami from Viewfinder but without the mafia. So I didn’t change him and lost few stars for that but I can’t say I’m sorry. I guess my characters will always come across a bit different from those of traditional romance. Again, blame manga and anime for that. As well as magical realism, but that’s a different story.
You also previously appeared in two anthologies, with ‘When I Love Thee Not’ in A Summer’s Day: A Shakespearean Anthology With A Twist, and ‘Exploring Heaven’ in Three’s Not A Crowd: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology. How did you come to appear in these books and what can you tell us about the stories?
A Summer’s Day: A Shakespearean Anthology With A Twist was actually an idea that came to me on the eve of the 400th year of Shakespare’s death. It seemed so crazy that it took me some time to share it but when I did, few other authors met it with enthusiasm. So we took good old Will’s plays and turned them to MM stories. Some of them we did twist to make romance from tragedy. Mine is based on “Othello” so I could not let anyone be strangled or stabbed, right? It’s an interesting anthology, very eclectic so anyone who likes Shakespeare or MM romance or both can give it a shot. It’s also a charity anthology with all proceeds going to It Gets Better project.
I have some plans for “Exploring Heaven” so I’m leaving it for now. Maybe one day there will be special interview about it. 😉
What would you say is the best piece of advice you could give to an aspiring author?
It’s not an author specific advice per se and yet: Do everything with passion or not at all.
Moving away from writing for a moment, do you have any interesting hobbies?
Unfortunately, I don’t have much time for hobbies. I have a full time job which is quite demanding. When you add writing and quality time with my partner there’s not much left given I have to sleep from time to time. One thing I like doing is taking pictures, mostly of flowers, which I sometimes post on Instagram.
How about book, film, or TV recommendations?
Hmm, I’ve been in a book slump lately. It usually happens after a book leaves me fascinated, which in this case was “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” (I’m late to the show, I know). I can recommend it whole-heartedly.
As for the movies, I’m a fan of Korean cinema. The movies are so close to what life is – there are real people, day to day drama and that comic relief part I told you about earlier. Some of my favourites are Secretly, Greatly (although I hated it as much as I loved it), The Gifted Hands and New Trial.
Finally, I wanted to thank you for stopping by. Did you have any final messages for readers? Where can they go to find out more about you? Feel free to link to anything you want.
Thank you for hosting me. These are some of the best questions I’ve received and I enjoyed answering them. I hope the readers will enjoy my little novelette as much.
If you want to know what I’m up to you can find me on any on the below and contact me if you feel like it. I’d love to hear from you and I’m ready to answer (almost) all kinds of questions.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rian.Durant (yes, you can friend me, I don’t bite)
Twitter: @rian_durant (twitter is not my forte, though)
Instagram: rian_durant (flowers, cats and coffee anyone?)
Blog: https://riandurant.wordpress.com/ (what the blog says: Eclectic Wor(L)ds)