Today is a special day in the clubhouse. The whickering could be heard far and wide when Lyn Gala a.k.a.
Agreed to stop by, answer some burning questions about the Claimings universe, GIVEAWAY the first two books to one lucky winner AND MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!! I wonder if you'll notice it...
1. How many pillows are required for a proper pillow nest?
A proper nest is going to have a lot of pillows, more as the Rownt gets older and the weight of the body starts to cause stress. So a youngling might be happy enough to sleep on the ground, and older Rownt are tough enough that a few nights won’t bother them, but as they age, they are more and more hedonistic with their beds. Ondry is still fairly young, so he’s going to have three or four enormous pillows at the bottom of the next, a half dozen medium sized body style pillows and maybe a dozen smaller pillows. Liam could swim in all the bedding.
2. Was there any particular experience/person/people who inspired Ondry &/or the Rownt?
I was having a conversation with some Livejournal friends about the fact that so many popular stories feature attractive alphaholes. I have a friend, Shawn, who is a real caretaker dom, and he was bemoaning the overrepresentation of aggressive dominants. I certainly know more doms who either want to take care of subs or challenge subs than I know doms who are the aggressive control freaks that are all over literature, including my own novel, Fettered. We started talking about what we would really want in a Dom and Ondry’s personality started to come clear. Part of that conversation was a discussion on the fact that aggressive doms were forgiven because they were attractive. So then I decided that Ondry wasn’t going to be attractive. When Liam fell in love, it would be love—not lust. So I decided to base the Rownt off turtles, and that is history… and the source of a freakishly large penis and long life.
3. Why tails? Tentacles seems to be a popular choice. So why tails? (Also thank you for the Rownt tail)
One freaky appendage is sexy in a controlled sort of way. Multiple tentacles seemed far more aggressive. Now aggressive can be sexy at times, but I knew from the first word that Liam had a past. He wasn’t going to react well to aggressive, so I decided to go with the tail instead of tentacles.
4. If Claimings was adapted into film, who would you choose to play Liam and Ondry?
With Ondry, I’m not sure it matter all that much who plays him as much as it would matter that the film had a really good makeup artist. He’s not human and I would never want him to lose that. As far as Liam goes, I would like to see Craig Olejnik from The Listener in that role. He is very good at playing the beta male—the sort of guy who starts by ducking his head and putting out sub vibes and ends up putting the bad guy in jail. Liam has that same sort of hidden strength.
|I had to Google so I figured I'd save you all.|
5. Will the D/s elements in their relationship be explored further?
I think these two will always be exploring new aspects of each other. I like the fact that both of them are so invested in each other that they don’t bring their needs to the table, leaving the other to explore the hidden sexual triggers. But the fact is, as long as Ondry is happy, Liam is going to feel pretty damn successful because he’s made his dom happy. Luckily they have a lot of years to discover each other’s hot spots. There will be experimentation and exploration in the future.
6. What can you tell us about the life expectancy of the Imshee and Anla, and the history of their interactions with the Rownt?
The Anla are a species with two very distinct forms. The ones with independent thought have life expectancies close to humans at fifty or sixty years. However, most Anla are followers, almost like worker bees. They live for twenty to thirty years. The Anla are very unpredictable and the groups are highly competitive with each other. Humans didn’t understand that, but they learned the hard way. The Rownt were slower about initiating contact, and they withdrew and put out a “no contact” order when they realized they couldn’t predict the Anla’s behavior. They are not comfortable with the unknown, which is why they really have not explored much of their universe. They will not have any contact with Anla.
The Imshee are completely different. They are a very old species that is more insectoid. They have skin so dark it almost appears a dull black with white mottling down the arms. Their eyes resemble glass that has been shattered—white with deep red veins traveling along it. Imshee have multiple legs and arms and have an exoskeleton. They don’t actually age, but they do eventually get tired of living and just stop. That means they always seek new challenges. The Rownt enjoy trading with Imshee because they have excellent technology and they are logical. The oldest Imshee may be as old as ten or twelve thousand years old, but that is remarkable rare. Many just get bored with life and die within the first hundred years or so before they develop enough skills to find interesting challenges.
7. We've gotten some information on how the Rownt view those two species, how do they view the Rownt?
The Anla are fascinated with the Rownt. They would love to have contact with them because they like the idea of status coming through competition. It fits well with how they see the world. They also resent that the Rownt treat them like children. They hoped that with humans they had a second chance to make contact with aliens, and the fact that one of the clans kidnapped human children has caused a lot of internal conflict in the Anla ranks. The Imshee are fascinated with anything that’s different, and they are fascinated with Rownt, although they don’t understand the Rownt desire for slow progress. They find Rownt fascinating because Rownt are logical and yet, to the Imshee way of seeing the world, they are illogical in their resistance to change. Imshee like interesting things, and they see Rownt as endlessly fascinating. I also think they’re going to like humans, and Imshee will be perfectly willing to cross Rownt space since they understand that Rownt are not territorial. So humans may soon get a visit from new neighbors.
8. Any hints as to what we can expect from the next book?
The new book is the end of the story arc that I originally planned with Liam. The events in the books have changed as I wrote since I am a “pantser” who writes by the seat of her pants. However, I always knew where Liam’s emotional journey was going, and this last book allows him to finally heal. Without Ondry I’m not sure he would have been strong enough to face the parts of his past that reappear in this book.
9. When you first wrote Claimings did you have any idea it would become as popular as it has?
I had no idea. None. I thought this was going to be one of those weird little novellas that no one would read or at least that no one would admit to reading. But then I’m horrible about predicting what people want.
And on that note, I have an announcement. The book has proved far more popular than I expected. So many people have asked to see more of their early relationship and several people have requested a paperback version they can hold in their hands. So I’ve done a deal with Loose Id. I added another twelve thousand words, and Loose Id is going to put the first book out in paperback. I have hopes that if it sells well, we might see more of the series available in paperback later.
10. Is Prarownt your version of utopia?
It’s not. With my allergies, I’m thinking that a rural planet with dirt roads and lots of nature would be a breathing nightmare. When everything blooms in town, it would be impossible to escape the pollen. However, I would love to take a long walk through the unspoiled nature and the wildlife would be absolutely wonderful, as long as I didn’t run into a kawt. So Prarownt is a wonderful place to visit but it might not be the best place to live—at least not for me.
Did you catch the announcement? Maybe I should've made it bigger...
Lynsey "Lyn" Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists which eventually gave in to any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that’s where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy ending (or happier anyway), but it’s writing the struggle that inspires her muse. When she isn’t writing, Lyn Gala teaches in New Mexico.
She first cut her teeth on fanfic: gen, slash, het, and femslash. She prefers to focus on plot: mysteries and monsters and disasters, oh my, but sex can and does happen. Some of her stories focus on power exchange, bondage or bdsm. In her worlds, tops and bottoms are all mature, consenting adults. In fact, stories where they aren't squick her badly, so don't expect to find abuse stories in her journal.
Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. He won't risk letting anyone come too close because he won't risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age. This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him.
Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam's past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to love.
Ondry and Liam have settled into a good life, but their trading is still tied up with humans, and humans are always messy. When political changes at the human base lead Ondry to attempt a difficult trade, the pair find themselves entangled in human affairs. Liam wants to help the people he left and the worlds being torn apart. He also wants to serve Ondry with not only the pleasures of the nest but also by bringing human profits.
Ondry has no hope of understanding human psychology in general, he only knows that he will hold onto his palteia with the last breath in his body, and he'd like to keep his status and his wealth too. Unfortunately, new humans bring new conflicts and he is not sure how to protect Liam. He does know one thing that humans seem to constantly forget—that the peaceful Rownt are predators and when their families are threatened, Rownt become deadly killers. Liam is his family, and Ondry will protect him with his last breath… assuming that he can recognize the dangers in time to do so.
To enter to win ebook copies of these phenomenal books, please leave a comment with some means of contacting you (e.g. email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.)
The giveaway is open until 10 PM PST December 5, 2015. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hrs or we will choose another winner.