Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Kat Schuessler’s character last week, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting David Russell, the author of Self’s Blossom, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Selene, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to David in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Selene!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Selene. Please have a seat.
Character Selene: Thank you for having me, Marie.
Marie: Of course! It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Selene: I’m an upmarket journalist, and I feel I have proved myself by my brainpower and tenacity.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Selene: Rather stern, authoritarian and self-righteous, but with a strong sense of justice.
Marie: If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Selene: Very spick and span; they always made me tidy up my chaos.
Marie: I see.
Do you have any hobbies, Selene? What do you enjoy doing?
Selene: Lots of sports, writing, music.
So, what is your greatest dream?
Selene: To be free from material care, to have the run of a palace, to have a tryst with an intellectual, body beautiful.
Marie: What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Selene: I would like to be warmer, more outgoing, and more spontaneous.
Marie: I hear ya there! In real life, I have my introverted moments…
Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Selene: Someone I knew at university, with whom I was rapidly disillusioned.
Marie: Oh, I’ve been through that kind of thing. 😦
So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Selene: An abortion.
Marie: Oh, no! 😥 Sorry to hear you experienced that…
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Selene: I guess I wanted to be a tycoon or a megastar. I didn’t get that far, but I feel I’ve made a fair success of my life.
Marie: All right.
So, who is your role model, Selene?
Selene: I have several – Eva Peron, Hilary Clinton, Kate Winslet, Madonna, Virginia Woolf.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Selene: I have had associates and rivals in my working life whom I have had to admire, but whose vicious side is very apparent.
:/ That’s unfortunate…
Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Selene: For all humanity to hold me in loving memory.
Marie: And what is your greatest fear?
Selene: A crippling injury.
I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Selene. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author David Russell on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, David!
Author David Russell: Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀
So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Selene. Quite an intriguing character. Can you tell us about her?
David: She is the sort of woman who has always fascinated me – aloof, mysterious, reflective, inhibited.
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
David: A cool, clear, analytical mind, a sense of circumspection.
Marie: And your character’s greatest weaknesses?
David: She is sometimes unable to act spontaneously.
Marie: Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of Selene’s favorite foods?
David: Avocados and pasta dishes.
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
David: Psychic vision.
Marie: Wow, love it! 😉
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
David: Some readers have expressed the deepest admiration for her courage and determination; others have expressed a dislike for her apparent coldness and cynicism. Some have said they were fascinated by her fictional role, but would not like to meet her in real life.
Marie: (Chuckles.) She sounds complicated!
Now that we have a real taste of Selene, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Self’s Blossom?
David: A female writer friend of mine wrote a sizzling romance which inspired me. The title was evoked by the idea of a beautiful experience, through which a character could blossom forth.
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
David: Definitely a pantster.
Marie: How about another question?
Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Self’s Blossom or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
David: This work had several editions. The first was as a limited edition (50 copies) paperback. When that publisher folded, I still had the Word doc file, and had a succession of e-book publishers. The last of these went out of business, so I regained the copyright. All my titles are now online under my name.
Marie: Glad it’s working out now! ♥
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Self’s Blossom appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this erotic romance by David Russell, a very talented author!
A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be. Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an ethereal quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfillment. Sci-fi embraces ancient mythology!
David is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
Healthy fatigue, laced with a dash of depression, clouded over her. Maybe that first encounter with the ocean had been premature. Now, in sharp contrast to it, the “synthetic” warmth of the “artificially” fresh shower was really welcome. After changing into a pale-blue diaphanous negligee, she washed out and rinsed her daytime clothes. There were ample towel rails to hang them in the bathroom; they would soon dry in this heat. There was a sun ray lamp near the bed―somewhat gratuitous, she thought. But it certainly showed that they provided all mod cons here. Lying on the bed, she flipped through a few pages of her guidebook before partly dozing off.
Half asleep, she pondered on the aura she projected. She knew how good her body was, toned up by lots of squash and swimming at her health club. Yes, she should have worked in a bit of time at the solarium too. But the gadgetry was right there in her room to speed up the healthy, natural processes. Over the years, she had gone so far towards creating a magnetic but practically unassailable image. It had grown easy for her to deter any undesired approaches from civilized men while sustaining their admiration and their cooperation as safe escorts. And for those not so civilized, her implicit, ever-latent venom and a ready supply of other admirers to play off against the troublesome had always proved satisfactory. On this holiday, she was convinced that she would not be so safely and comfortably outnumbered. Strangely enough, this thought heartened her. It was essential for her to have some comparables, some implicit rivals around―women of beauty, grace and vitality―so that she could get a fair, clear sense of her own measure. That foursome had given her a taste of what she wanted. All fantasies should be put to the test with scrupulous honesty.
As the sky turned a deep purple, seared by the moon’s beaming clarity, Selene’s room expanded. The walls pulled back, the ceiling rose, and the floor lowered to make a gigantic suite, richly carpeted and curtained in the deep, late twilight. There were lots of tables and cupboards but plenty of room to maneuver. With a flourish of the deep-green curtains, her young, slim, tanned lover tiptoed in through the balcony window, wearing khaki shorts and a white singlet. Selene unbuckled the shorts and pulled them down, stripping him down to black bathing trunks so that he, in style, could help her off with her rustling, glistening, shimmering ball gown. With gentle, knowing hands, he undid her back zip and then turned to face her. He unclasped the waist to part the airy dress until gravity drew it down to caress the carpet as a parabola, a floral parachute. Two-way unrobing, active and passive interlocked by two pairs of deft hands, while in the background, in reverie, water lapped, linking dream and wakefulness. Dreams can be worked out and realized, she thought. If things are well prepared and drawn out, the most could be made of them. The way could be paved for every touch. Grateful for her full wardrobe, Selene could hold herself in reserve until the time was ripe. She knew how to take her time with what she did and what she showed, control it all completely. Full-dress, half-dress, undress―all the garments she had she could use to draw, to thrust, and to parry. Let nobody approach her who was not adequate, nor let anyone fail to respond to her or cool his response in a way she did not care for.
All these thoughts invigorated Selene, and a full-length mirror called her to practice her postures. The negligee fell aside. On went her dark-blue, lacy underwear, a pale-blue slip, and over it, her evening dress. She moved around gently, making the dress rustle, then swirled on her left foot. The skirts rose high; her shapely limbs feasted her eyes at three angles. After the rise and fall, she undid it with ease, stepped over it to avoid crushing and picked it up and returned it to its hanger. The underwear was laid neat and flat on the bedside chair. Irons and airing cupboards could singe and scald if turned up too high, but within their limits, they formed a prelude and a backdrop to the finest caresses.
As the neon-looking sun ray lamp played with her skin, thoughts of him wafted again into Selene’s mind. Whoever it was, she sensed that she had seen him already without fully registering him. At this very moment, he must be surveying himself in an identical mirror―slender, muscular and lovely, proud and supple in his new trunks, making ready for the hotel pool or for the private beach, to meet for their first tense introduction in undress. A telepathic answer must be given to that gesture. Selene snapped off the light―not wishing then and there to see herself fully nude in the mirror. She dived into the drawer, reaching for her mauve, one-piece bathing costume. This she pulled on, feeling an exhilarating double sense of revelation and concealment. On went the light again. Now she would be the adjudication panel of her own beauty contest. The costume smoothed the curves and magnetized what it covered. Her exercising had paid off. Her beauty was near completion in her own eyes. Tomorrow, maybe, the real process would begin. She changed back into her negligee, accepting its allure and functional comfort. Tomorrow she would appraise the selection. There were, perhaps, different standards of men fitted for affairs of briefer or longer duration―a sliding scale of transitory compatibility.
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/m0MKzy
Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7844461-self-s-blossom
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this erotic romance novella! ♥
About David Russell
b. 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times. Eco poetry collection, An Ever River, published by The Palewell Press, 2018. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Dreamtime Sensuality I & II: Explorations; Further Explorations; Pearlman, Self’s Blossom – all available on Amazon. Self-published collection of erotic poetry and artwork, Sensual Rhapsody, 2015. Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell’. Editor of online magazine Poetry Express Newsletter, produced by Survivors Poetry and Music.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing David Russell, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Russell/e/B0043NEBI2/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Selene, a female character from Self’s Blossom, and David Russell, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀