Love Bytes says welcome to author Frances Gideon joining us today to talk about new release “Never Lose Your Flames”.
Hi everyone! I’m here to promote my latest release from Dreamspinner Press called Never Lose Your Flames. It’s an urban fantasy story involving a bounty hunter and a fire starter who end up going on a long road trip together across a new Canadian landscape where monsters exist, and have their own culture.
I had so much fun with these characters (who are in a slow burn romance the entire novel) and the setting has made me come back for more. Whenever I work on a story, I draw inspiration from whatever I can, and I wanted to take this post to talk about a few films and TV shows that really helped me to solidify what I wanted to get across with this story.
The Blacklist: Hands down, one of my favourite TV shows. My partner is the one to blame for my obsession with Red and Elizabeth, since he started to watch and wouldn’t stop showing me scenes. What I love about The Blacklist and what I tried to draw from in Never Lose Your Flames–was the concept of the Blacklist itself and the underground economy that Red uses. When building a world, you need to think about things like money, getaway cars, and how criminal networks work. This show was an excellent foundation to start thinking about these issues.
Similarly, the movie John Wick was another excellent primer for underground economies and the world of killers for hire. Though Gabe, the bounty hunter in my story is completely different than John Wick, it was still a useful film for the character study alone. I don’t want to give away anything with John Wick, but its plot is brilliantly simple: man wants revenge, so he gets it. When writing in a supernatural world, that already requires so much world-building, I can get overwhelmed with details. Knowing that you can tell a simple story in a big world, but still create a captivating movie was wonderful to see.
Supernatural. Of course. I’m thinking more of the middle seasons (especially season four) where they manage to have several monster-of-the week episodes but still tie in a larger story arc as central for my understanding of how to write a good supernatural story. When I was a kid and I grew up watching The X-Files (yet another good example), I was obsessed with the monster of the week ones. I love it when the cases are solved in one episode–but I also know that each week, people need to come back for more. I love it when all those small monsters of the week end up leading to a bigger reveal at the ending–which is what I attempted to do with Never Lose Your Flames and their side-quests. No adventure is random; they all have meaning that makes Gabe and Nat one step closer to happiness.
Finally, Tank Girl. I know, I know. That seems like such a strange thing to put down as inspiration. The movie is actually pretty bad and I’ve never watched it all the way through. But I adore the zaniness of the concept, the callous humor of the comic book, and the bright colour pallet. In the same way, I love Mad Max for its’ bright colors–though that material is really heavy. A lot of the things that happen in Never Lose Your Flames are heavy and traumatic–but I hate stories that dwell in trauma. I’m convinced humour is a good way to overcome the power that bad events have, so many of the characters in this novel are jokers or tricksters in some form or another. Also, I’m always a fan of incorporating women into worlds like these, and both Mad Max and Tank Girl have female leads. Though Gabe and Nat steal the show with their romance, there are many women characters in this book, cis and trans, and they also steal the show too. Or at least, I hope.
Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed any of the movies I’ve listed here, I hope you also enjoy my story.
Cop-turned-bounty hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.
Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.
Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.
Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He has appeared in Gay Flash Fiction, Chelsea Station Poetry, and the Martinus Press anthology To Hell With Dante. He lives in Canada with his partner, reads too many comics books, and drinks too much coffee. Feel free to contact him, especially if you want to talk about horror movies, LGBT poetry, or NBC’s Hannibal.