Character Interview of Eros (aka Christos Erosou) from Cupid’s Conquests, book 1: GunShy by Seleste deLaney
Eros, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a god. Well, I was a god. I’m not really sure what I am now considering Zeus took a decent chunk of my powers away when he cast me out of Olympus. And my hair! The bastard took my hair. I mean, I’m rocking the bald look, but seriously? He took my hair and made me short and chubby. It really isn’t fair.
So anyway… I’m the god of love and I’ve been banished to the surface to fix the sorry state of affairs here. And the affairs! I swear, you people get busy more often than I did up on the mount and, trust me when I tell you, the muses were awfully fond of me. But yeah, I need to get you people to screw around just as much but to do it with the person or people you love.
Zeus did kind of go to an extreme, changing your entire physical look. And then banishing you…
Can you give the readers a couple of random thoughts about yourself, something that will surprise them?
First, I don’t miss the wings, at all. Those suckers were a bitch to keep clean, and they totally got in the way during sex if we weren’t doing it flying. Plus—it took me years to find this out, but—they apparently change color when I get excited. It doesn’t matter how good a poker face I have if my wings blush when I have a great hand at cards.
Second, I’m not sure I want to give everyone a happily-ever-after. Some of the people on this planet are not worth the effort. Like that jerk that dumped Kira? He’s a piece of work. No one should have to put up with him for life. And, I have a horrible feeling that attitude is what Zeus wants to beat out of me. Don’t think it’ll happen.
Wow! Your wings changed colors? Yes, I can see that would be awkward at times.
Can you share something about your ordinary world before the upheaval to your life?
The thing you need to understand about Olympus is that it’s not this stodgy place. Sure, the “grown-ups” like things all lined up and orderly, but most of us avoid them like the plague. Most of us work, but we’re all about having a good time. Dionysus provides the booze, Apollo brings the tunes, I bring the ladies… And Hades, that man is the best. He’s like the wild and crazy uncle everyone should have.
Nice and orderly is good, but your version about Olympus sounds more interesting.
What was your immediate reaction to banishment? What did you first think of your quest?
My first thought was along the lines of “Where the hell is my hair?” But after I more-or-less got over that, all I could think about was getting back home. No offense, but this mortal plane thing isn’t really my cuppa, you know? No nectar of the gods and all that. But… then I found Jesse at that tattoo parlor and something sparked. I realized that maybe I’d been missing this just a little bit. Then it was just a matter of finding him the right person.
It sounds like you finally settled in a bit…after the first shocks from the change.
Were you annoyed that Jesse and Kira’s careers were getting in the way of obtaining your goal?
Annoyed? Yeah. That’s putting it nicely. It’s love, people! When faced with a choice between love and a J-O-B, you always choose love. Always. It was freaking ridiculous the lengths I had to go to before they wised up.
Being from the mortal plane, I understand the problems we face when dealing with love. You just have to be patient with us.
Were there any other people who seriously interfered in reaching your goal?
The lead singer of TriggerHappy wasn’t too much help. But in all fairness, the guy just wanted Jesse to be happy. He went about it all wrong, but he did try.
When did the heat between Jesse and Kira first start firing up?
Right away. One good thing about these bad boys (pats his arrows) is they’re still pretty damn potent. Zeus didn’t take that away. One poke and you’re open to true love. Of course, since it’s me, that often comes in the form of lust. It definitely did for Kira and Jesse. They were like a couple of randy teenagers. It was beautiful.
So the arrows are real! And clearly potent.
What led to the moment when you thought everything was lost?
Technology. I really wish someone would have warned me about online videos. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know they existed—I’ve made quite good use of some bits of the internet since arriving here—but I never thought one little grainy video would make Kira freak out like she did.
Now that’s a teaser! Have to read the book to find out what you’re referring to.
You managed to make things work after some ups and downs, some frustrating decisions. Would you go through all of that again?
Like I have a choice? Zeus said I couldn’t come back until I’d fixed “enough” of the issues with love in the world. There’s no sign yet of what “enough” is going to be, which means I’m on the hunt for another pair who deserve true love.
Hey… are you single? You seem like a pretty worthwhile person. I’m sure I could find…
Sorry, but I’m married. I wish you luck with your next pair of love-challenged people.
Thanks, Eros, for sharing some of your thoughts and obvious frustrations. Now you can sit back and contemplate your next adventure while I talk a little with your author, Seleste deLaney.
Seleste, do you use a pen name? If so, why?
I do use a pen name. I write adult fiction that tends to be very sexy in nature, but I also write young adult. Since the YA is more “family friendly” it is published under my maiden name (Julie Particka), and the adult fare is under my pen name.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere. Cupid’s Conquests started as a story about a summer fling, but as I wrote, it became bigger, and then I couldn’t resist adding magic. I have one paranormal romance that isn’t finished yet that was inspired by a storm on the ocean when we were on vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC. Of Course I Try was inspired by a song. Badlands by a piece of artwork… Inspiration is truly everywhere. I have more of a problem with too many ideas and not enough time.
Yes, inspiration is all around us. I’m like you, I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all.
Do you have a regular writing process?
Not really. I prefer to write at night, but that’s about it. Shorter pieces are more likely to be “pantsed” than longer works. I almost always “cast” my characters. But nothing is every time all the time.
Do you have some “words of wisdom” for other writers, especially new writers?
Read a lot and write a lot. Read both to learn and for fun. Write every day. Something. It doesn’t have to be part of your work in progress, but make writing a habit. Be realistic about your goals. Most of us will never make the kind of bank that JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Stephen King, and those people pull down, so don’t expect it. Realize the journey is a lot of work and a lot of rejection. And above all else, do it because you love it because that’s what will get you through the rejection and the depressing royalty checks and all the rest. If you love it, nothing will hold you back.
Excellent “words of wisdom.” I wish you the best with your sales!
Now let’s talk some specifics about this particular book, GunShy…
Genre: Contemporary romance with paranormal elements
Length: Novella, 17K
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Release Date: September 14, 2011
Buy Link: Evernight Publishing
Buy Link: Amazon
Did you have a favorite character in this book?
“All of them” is probably a cheater’s answer, huh? Seriously though, this is one of the few books where I liked all the characters, even the not-so-nice ones. I wouldn’t mind coming back to a few of them and sending them on their way to happily ever after.
Did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?
Jesse and Kira are apart for a big chunk of time. In the initial version, I didn’t go into detail on what went on then. I wanted to leave it up to the reader’s imagination, but then I realized that it worked better if I showed some of the difficulties they had to deal with during that time. Because GunShy is a pretty happy story, I didn’t like shifting gears to dive into how miserable Kira and Jesse were apart.
Will there be any sequels to this book?
Yes and no. Cupid’s Conquests is a multi-author/shared-world series. That means there will be more books, but each one is stand-alone, and they won’t all be written by me. The second book, Going the Distance, was written by a very talented author from my writing group—Angela Addams. There are several other authors on board with projects in various stages of completion. In fact, I have another one in the works, but I need to find the time to finish it.
Banished from Olympus with orders to restore love to the world, Eros starts with a match no one sees coming. No one but him.
Straight-laced principal Kira isn’t looking for love, especially not right after getting dumped. Then a chance encounter leads her to Jesse, and damned if she isn’t drawn to the bad-boy with a heart of gold. A night of reckless abandon leaves her confused. Was there something there, or did she imagine the connection between them?
Jesse knows lying to Kira is a mistake, but she’s the first woman in a long time to see the man and not just the rock star. When his plan to come clean goes terribly wrong, Kira bolts, leaving Jesse in the dust.
Now Eros has to nudge the star-crossed lovers together and prove to Zeus that love does exist, even among the gun shy.
As she staggered to a stop, the man peeled the card from his pants and held it out to her. “Lose something?” His deep, gravely voice sent a shiver all the way to her toes as she took in the six-foot-plus wall of muscle.
Kira wasn’t a small girl by any stretch, but in front of him, she felt tiny. “I… uh… dropped that.”
He read the card aloud. “Take a chance, huh?” Kira started, knowing those weren’t the words she’d read a moment before. With a shrug, he pressed it into her hand. “Better hold on tighter next time.”
When his fingers left hers, something pricked into her shoulder. She slapped her free hand against the pain and felt something. In her palm, she held a tiny golden arrow, but when she blinked, it was gone—replaced by a very dead wasp.
The guy in front of her, t-shirt straining against his chest as he moved, leaned close. His words belied the gruff tone of his voice. “That’s weird. Someone must have fucked with a nest. You aren’t allergic, are you?”
“N—n—no,” she stammered, staring at the arrow-wasp.
Gently, he gripped her wrist and tipped her hand until the insect fell to the ground. “Why don’t I take you to first aid anyway?”
The words on the card drew her gaze: Take a chance. They’d been different before; she was sure of it. Then Kira looked up at the man in front of her, his leather jacket and jeans such a stark contrast to Nolan’s polo and pressed khaki shorts, and the wasp sting burned. The strange, but not painful, heat traveled from her shoulder through her body to settle between her legs. She bit her lip, wondering where the feeling really came from. The guy in front of her wasn’t her usual type. Too big, too muscly, too rough around the edges right from his worn boots to the scruff along his strong square jaw.
In her mind, her teeth grazed that same jaw, and a shiver ran through her as she tore her gaze away. “Yeah. I think the pain is getting to me.”
Releasing her wrist, he rested his hand on the small of her back. The heat of his skin seared straight through Kira’s thin tank top. Her throat went dry within ten steps, and she had to swallow hard before she could speak again. “Thank you for your help, Mr.…”
He arched an eyebrow at her quizzically before answering. “Stanford. I prefer Jesse though. I killed the last guy who called me mister.”
Kira froze, fighting against the light pressure of his fingertips. “You what?” she squeaked.
He twisted his head and winked. “Kidding. Mister just makes me feel old. And you are…”
“Sorry. Kira Murphy.”
“Well, Kira Murphy, who needs to learn to take chances, consider yourself safely delivered to first aid.” He nodded toward the rickety trailer with the sloppily painted red cross on the side. “Have a good night.”
His hand fell from her back, and this time she shivered from the loss of his heat—heat she very much wanted back. But Jesse had already melted into the crowd. “So much for taking chances.”
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