Ainslie Paton Talks to AA Paton about The Bliss King
Ainslie: You really think there is room for both of us.
AA: Have you looked at what’s on Amazon? It’s not like one more author is going to tip the ship over.
Ainslie: What does the other A stand for. It’s so pretentious.
Ainslie: You’re not serious?
AA: Meep, meep. It was good enough for Wile E Coyote.
Ainslie: Oh, my God. Let’s get this over with. You have a new series and you say it’s an Asian Gothic. Is that even a thing?
AA: Oh, and you with your hyper-real contemporaries – are they even real?
Ainslie: If I was to type Asian Gothic into Amazon’s search field what would I get?
AA: Yeah, maybe don’t do that.
Ainslie: It’s not a thing is it?
AA: I’m making it a thing.
Ainslie: Okay then. Genre of one. What does it mean?
AA: It’s like a Southern Gothic but it’s set in Asia.
Ainslie: Sookie Stackhouse does Patpong Road.
AA: Um, close.
Ainslie: You’re going to tell me more aren’t you?
AA: Can’t stop me.
The Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood series is considered a Southern Gothic. A Southern Gothic is often about exposing the problems of society through stories involving complex characters and peculiar situations.
Southern Gothics have plantations, and old slave quarters, struggling towns.There might be poverty, racism, violence and supernatural elements. There are always complex characters who are messed up, broken and have questionable morals. They’re might also be characters who are handicapped, mentally or physically, or are deeply innocent in the ways of the world.
But whether mentally unstable, dark, or innocent, the characters in a Southern Gothic try to make sense of the world around them and the society they live in.
As to plot, a Southern Gothic can be a bit out there whack ass and is generally about the harm that people can do to each other.
Oh and heat. The weather is like an extra character in a Southern Gothic, and there’s often a strange animal or two thrown in for threat value.
AA: So my series all that, but it’s not set in the American South, it’s set in an imaginary country snuggled between Thailand and Myanmar.
Ainslie: Of course it is.
AA: Oh what would you know? You write this carefully considered contemporary bullshit.
Ainslie: Language. Does this mean you’ve written something careless and ill-considered?
AA: No. I’ve written something fast paced and super cool.
AA: You have these life-like situations and you embed all this sneaky social commentary like when your rock star was a chick instead of the journo, groupie, girl next door. Like your male nanny, and your female CEO in waiting. And you have the hide to call it hyper-real. I’ll show you hyper-real. I made up stuff and everything.
Ainslie: So it’s urban fantasy. Yawn. I thought that was dead.
AA: Nope. It’s not urban fantasy, it’s not even urban, there’s a tropical island and a lot of drug use. It’s a cracky Asian Gothic.
Ainslie: So it’s dark.
AA: You could say that. You’ll hate it. And readers who like your stuff might not like this, that’s why we have me so they know. I’m like a warning sign.
Ainslie: You’re a harbinger of whack ass, and I can do dark.
AA: There are cliff hangers.
Ainslie: You’re kidding me?
Ainslie: But readers hate cliff hangers.
AA: Some readers hate them. I’ve made mine less hateful because you can read the whole series in one gulp if you want to, so it’s the cliff hanger you have when you’re not having a cliff hanger.
Ainslie: This is just a money grab isn’t it, a grubby little money grab.
AA: Talk to me about that when I’ve quit my day job.
Ainslie: You will never be able to quit your day job.
AA: And I’m supposed to be the mean girl.
Ainslie: I suppose you walked away from a happy ending, and have pretensions to literary fiction.
AA: I do not have pretensions. I HEA with an ever-loving vengeance.
Ainslie: In each book of the series?
AA: Not telling.
Ainslie: That’s not fair.
AA: Oh, live dangerously. Jesus. Okay the main couple, Lek and Greer, eventually get their HEA.
Ainslie: Eventually what kind of word is that?
AA: It goes with cliff hanger. The other lead couple, Aran and Tasanee they get a whole book of their own for their HEA.
Ainslie: And their book is a novella and it’s the middle of the series. Like anyone does that?
AA: Like I care. That’s how the story works best.
Ainslie: So, let me summarise, you’re me but you’re not me. You wrote a series called The Bliss King and there are four books and you’re going to release them close together this year.
It’s an Asian Gothic because there is a plantation, slaves, a broken down town, a witch, dragon legends and things that go bump in the night. It has cliff hangers, but it also has an HEA.
AA: You forgot to say it’s an adventure read and it’s awesome.
Ainslie: You are a shameless self publicist.
AA: Bite me. Look it’s epic.
Ainslie: Sounds vaguely ridiculous.
AA: It might be epically ridiculous, but some people might like it.
Ainslie: There is no accounting for taste.
AA: That’s right – wait, what?
Ainslie: Get over yourself. Plus you totally stole my jail sex scene from Detained.
AA: I did not steal it. Thai jails and Shanghai jails are completely different.
Ainslie: Is that a spoiler?
AA: It’s impossible to spoil.
Interview degenerates into incomprehensible snarling, hair pulling and rolling around on the floor.
Ainslie will release three contemporary romances this year featuring strong male leads; the IT geek, the voice-actor, and the homeless hermit, and the women who challenge their ideas of life, the CEO in waiting, the sound engineer and the community relations manager.
Insecure in March, Inconsolable in August and Incapable in November.
They all have HEAs and no cliff hangers.
AA Paton will release the four books of The Bliss King: Captive, Stolen, Lost and Found from April-July.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.