Love bytes says hello and welcome to author Xavier Axelson joining us today to talk about his release “Lavender”.
Xavier talks about writing this story and brought with him a giveaway for our readers.
Welcome Xavier 🙂
As a writer of horror you can imagine my surprise when the first thing I had published was a romance, not just romance, but a holiday romance! I did it to challenge myself and see if I could pull it off. Somehow I did and then I wrote a Valentine’s Day story and that got published! Then came Father’s Day.
The theme was something like, “dad’s need love too,” and they wanted stories about father’s facing the difficulties of raising children while struggling to find love. I’m trying not to gag as I write this and again I’m not entirely certain what the exact theme was, but you get the idea. I’m not a HEA person and I’d rather have my eyes sewn shut then watch romantic comedy. I saw Pretty Woman when I was a kid, young enough that I saw it with my grandparents. My grandmother was a hopeless romantic. God, I hated that movie. Even at the age of 12/13 I couldn’t understand why the fuck this woman would go back to such a prick. I literally wanted to get up and throw something at the screen. I didn’t understand. The movie would have been so much better (in my mind), if she had walked away and lived her life independent and doing her own thing.
So when it came to the Father’s Day story my first idea was to have this man dealing with the loss of his child. At that moment a story surfaced in L.A. about a little girl being dragged off her swing set by a coyote (thankfully she was saved, uninjured) but I saw that as the ultimate terrifying moment in a parents life. I changed the coyote to a wolf and hence ‘Lily’ was born. She would come back to him once a year on Father’s Day but she would be “different.” Now that’s a father struggling to find love in the middle of dealing with a were-child. Doesn’t that scream Father’s Day?
I thought so.
My publisher on the other hand thought otherwise and decided to publish ‘Lily’ as a stand-alone. I firmly believe ‘Lily’ is a Father’s Day story…sort of.
Horror always finds a way into my writing. If not horror, than haunting imagery and somehow birds always end up being features. I didn’t realize this until a reader brought it to my attention. Oddly, my husband just pointed out how many birds we have in our house (artwork, sculpture, etc) I have no idea why except that birds are symbols of life and death. They are messengers of good and bad omens depending on whom you ask and what symbolists you consult.
Having recently released what will most likely be my last erotic title ‘Lavender’ and getting reviews I am fascinated by the focus on the sex in the story. I honestly didn’t realize how gritty it was, or how harsh. There is death (there always is) and the haunting pull of memories and the pain of moving on, but there is also the light and the strength love sheds in the darkest moments. The main character “Law” is deeply flawed and desperately trying to fill the void death has left within him. He will fill it with whatever is handy, and men are what’s available. That void is hungry and it is the demon in the story. That emptiness is vicious and nearly destroys him, and it isn’t pretty. That angry, hungry demon doesn’t want pretty sex. It’s violent, cruel and ugly. That’s the truth of his character and his reality. Ultimately ‘Lavender’ has a HEA ending and is true to my belief in romance, love and horror. There are frightening moments when loss can consume you, so you are unrecognizable. One of my favorite moments in ‘Lavender’ is when he sees himself in the mirror and is scared. He is looking into the abyss and it’s staring back; a gaunt, hungry, entity. Law finds his way, and his journey was a fitting end to what started as a whim but turned into a 7-year learning curve.
I don’t thing there is a huge gap between horror and romance; both can be equally filled with the other. They are cousins and can look at each other across a crowded room and see a little bit of themselves staring back.
Enjoy ‘Lavender’ and read on, write on and create whatever scares and excites you!
But when a stunningly handsome and passionate Spanish soccer player named Garbi suddenly crosses his path, Law discovers light in the possibility of love. Does Garbi have the ability to heal Law’s shattered heart, provide him with purpose, and help him fully embrace the joy of living once again amidst the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields?
About Xavier Axelson: Xavier Axelson is a writer and columnist living in Los Angeles. Axelson’s work has been featured in various erotic and horror anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2016 Volume 2, Best Gay Erotica 2015, Men of The Manor from Cleis Press, The Bears of Winter from Bear Bones Books, Tricks of The Trade from Bold Strokes Books and First Time Dead from May December Publications.
Xavier generously brought with him a copy of Lavender
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