Wulf Francu Godgluck on Author Confessions and his release The Wulf Chronicles (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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 The Wulf Chronicles Tour Banner

The Wulf Chronicles

Wulf Chron Book 1

Wulf Francu Godgluck

Gay Fantasy

Release Date: 06.11.18

The Wulf Chronicles Cover

 

COVER DESIGN:  KELLIE @ BOOK COVER BY DESIGN https://www.bookcoverbydesign.co.uk/

 

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2tTz2jo

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2KI5uPo

1 THE WULF CHRONICLES 3D Image of Book Cover

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Wulf Francú Godgluck here today talking about his release The Wulf Chronicles.  Welcome, Wulf.

♦︎

10 Author Confessions from Wulf Francú Godgluck

Hi everyone, I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the opportunity of a guest post.

Em Denning tagged me in a FB post of #authorconfessions. Though I think it calls for me to post five confessions of me as an author, I’m gonna bump it up to ten for you guys.

So without further ado, here is my ten author confessions, or more correctly, it’s time to get real.

ONE

While writing a book, or self-editing (revisions) it, before I send it off to my editor, I look up similar book with the same tropes and story lines to compare them to my current WIP. With the last one, The Wulf Chronicles, I looked up a lot of werewolf books (not shifters, because there are no #Shiftershere in WulfChron) I wanted to see and compare the actual transformation. Now this has always bother me about werewolf, lycan and shifter books, why the transformation from human to beast is always brushed off or written in such a short line or paragraph, with very limited or no description. I wanted to do this right, because ultimately the transformation is as much part of being a werewolf/lycan/shifter as is being the beast.

TWO

Death carries very prominent and heavy themes throughout most of my books. Why? Because ultimately it is my biggest fear, something I spend way too much time pondering about, it’s both fascinating and terrifying. Not so much a death in itself, but the question of what happens afterwards, do we stay conscious, where do we go, are we reincarnated or do we all join some linked celestial consciousness, or the more scarier possibility; do we just become nothing after death, no thought, no conscious?

THREE

I cry while writing my characters’ death scenes. Because I know I’m saying goodbye to these characters, and it’s not a factor of but “you only met them a few month ago,” no, most of my books that are out, the characters have been with me for years and years before I even write their story.  So writing their death, hurts a lot. These aren’t just characters to me, they are in some strange way friends, almost family. And there was one character’s death that still haunts me to this day, and probably always will. All I will say about them is, we have yet to meet the man responsible for thinking that character’s life.

FOUR

I need to write in absolute isolation, I can’t write while my husbaer is around, nor while anyone else is around. I get totally grumpy and growly, my creative process feels disjointed and I struggle to find my mojo while I know there’s someone else in the apartment. Even if the husbaer was to sit in the bedroom with the door closed, I still can’t focus, but strangely enough, background noise, like cars in the street, sirens or dogs barking doesn’t bother me.

FIVE

I listen to dark, very dark ambient sounds and music as well as dark chanting and ritual industrial music while I write, even during sex scenes and fluffy scene, I need something by Cryo Chamber or Marilyn Manson playing in the background. And Cryo Chamber is one of my go to writing music to listen to while working, I should probably start paying them part of my royalties for it.  What is dark ambient, for those that don’t know?

Dark ambient is a genre of post-industrial music that features an ominous, dark droning and often gloomy, monumental or catacombal atmosphere, partially with discordant overtones. It shows similarities towards ambient music, a genre that has been cited as a main influence by many dark ambient artists, both conceptually and compositionally. Although mostly electronically generated, dark ambient also includes the sampling of hand-played instruments and semi-acoustic recording procedures, and is strongly related to ritual industrial music.

SIX

I have major issues with how dark romance seems to be portrayed these days in the romance genre in general. Many authors and readers believe that grotesque, vast amounts of violence, rape, dubcon and noncon as well as taboos means that they are writing dark. It’s not.

Dark was once use to refer to the emotional psyche, question ourselves and our morals, enticing and exploring our darker nature, it had more to do with the psychological aspect and the darker corners of the mind, soul and heart than it had anything to do with sexual acts, physicality or the depravity.

Am I saying that violence, rape, dubcon and noncon and taboos etc. can’t be considered dark romance?

No, that’s not it, the issue I’m having here is, it’s the lack of focus on the emotional side and the destruction of character’s morals or the stripping away of their humanity that is causing the confusion among readers and authors. But genres are constantly changing, the romance we read and write today was not the same type of romance that was being read and written ten, twenty, fifty, years ago.

I think the bigger issue here is with me, myself; struggling to accept how the genre is changing.

SEVEN

I don’t plot, I don’t outline, I know as much about the characters as the reader does when they first open the book, sure the characters have been by my side, whispering into my ear for years but I don’t know the story of them until I start writing. Yes, I understand their personalities, quarks and mannerisms that makes them them, but even I don’t know their deeps secretes until I put them down into words. What I do know before hand is how each and every one of these characters’ story will end. I know the ending of every manuscript or story arch I am working on before I know the beginning.

EIGHT

I hate being interrupted, especially once I’m in my flow of writing, or trying to get into my flow of writing, it can for example pull me out of a whole day of writing. I start early in the morning, and that is a very crucial time for me, if I don’t find my flow and mojo in the morning I know beforehand if words will flow from me for the rest of the day or not, (this is maybe one of the major factors why it takes me so long to finish a book.) And when I do have my mojo going being interrupted can spoil my entire flow, so much so that the rest of the day is lost, because getting into that flow and mojo is not an easy thing.

NINE

I hate, HATE having to write sex scenes, I hate it more than most authors hate to write the evil blurbs. It’s exhausting, frustrating and annoying to no end. I cringe every time I have to write one, it’s one of the things in writing that also takes up most of my time, one sex scene took me an entire month to write, because I am so anal about details and showing instead of telling. My sex scenes tend to be a whole chapter long, between 7-10k words. If I could get away with fade to black or even no sex scenes in my books I would, but I think readers would crucify me for it. I also hate books that have sex scene, upon sex scene, upon sex scene, I mostly skim over 90% of those while reading.

TEN

I rarely take photos of myself anymore, its way I have the same damn photos circulating my profile for the last six years, the reason? I suffer from severe plaque psoriasis, it’s so bad that it’s on my face now, and about 85% of my body. It’s not a fact that I feel insecure about it, I’ve been living with it for twenty four years, I have accepted it, it’s more a fact of making other people feel uncomfortable around me.

I can’t move without flakes of dead skin dropping off of me. In high school the comments I use to get from kids ranged from; AIDS boy to scale kid to reptile. Then being gay on top of that, in a community where beauty standards are so vain was hard. I can’t wear white because if I do, I risk the chance of blood staining the material, and if I wear black, well flakes, flakes of dead skin everywhere. I also have to be selective of the type of material and the thickness. If it’s too rough it will irritate my skin, if it’s too thick, it’s like I’m wearing four coats of thick wool; see, psoriasis is not a f*&^ing skin condition or disease.

Screw every doctor and dermatologist that says so. Psoriasis is an immune disorder, my immune system is basically on overdrive, hence why I very rarely get sick, and when I do I tend to recover quicker, cuts and bruises heal faster and my nails and hair grow quicker than a normal person does.

Psoriasis is identified by scales and itchy, dry patches on the skin, hence why so many associate it with a skin condition, the reason for this is, my skin cells reproduce quicker than normal, so the patches of flaky skin is basically just dead skin that needs to be shed.  What’s that got to do with too thick clothing, well the patches I do have are on fire, see when we are sick we get a fever, the fever is basically a sign that your immune system is responding and fighting back, If I were to place my hand on a patch of Psoriasis and a normal aria of skin is next it, one can clearly feel the different temperatures between the two, so yeah, thick textiles is just gonna make me feel hot.    

I have grown a thicker skin than most people, living with Psoriasis. Employers won’t take me on for a job because of my psoriasis, hence why I threw myself and am trying to create a steady income from writing. Treatment is costly to keep it under control and manageable, and unfortunately it needs to come straight out of my own pocket, we do have medical aid (medical insurance) but most of the creams I use are considered cosmetic and beauty products, and not covered by our medical aid. Heliotherapy alone for one month’s worth of four sessions would deplete our medical savings for the entire year completely. It’s an ongoing struggle I have to live with every day and the itching, man, the itching. You know when you have a cut or wound or even sunburn and it itches because it healing, that’s basically your body trying to shed the dead skin cells, now try to imagine feeling that every second of every day over your entire body. It’s enough to make most people irritated or crazy.   

And there you have it, ten author confession for a crazy person.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

They come to me in the night, creeping into my head. Their voices are all different, their stories all dissimilar, but they keep saying the same thing…

“Show us, tell us to the world. Bring us into yours, and make us known.”

Then I sit and they take over. They tell their tales of love, loss and sinister misfortune, not all of them get a happy ending, but they are pleased when their part is written.

I sometimes find myself lost in my own mind; a world very similar to our own yet so different. Things don’t go bump in the night—they squeal, and crawl under your skin, making you grind your teeth, and your stomach turn over and put your nerves on edge. Then there’s the drama. Oh, the drama!

I write because I must! There is so much inside of me that needs to get out. So many stories to tell, characters that want to be heard, and hearts lost and won. Words and art are my way of bringing my world to others. I enjoy telling tales of the human condition but working in elements of the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, Zombies, Witches and the unexplainable all set against the human world or worlds of their own.

Wulf Francú Godgluck hails from South Africa. His work is not for the faint-hearted! In his books, you’ll find… all the beasties with their nasty claws and teeth, and some you didn’t even know existed. But the monsters aren’t all real. Some live inside us. Who knows what he will make you discover about yourself, lurking in your heart, behind the closed walls of the deep, black recesses where no light penetrates? Wulf will steal your heart and never give it back. More than likely, he’ll pin it to the wall with a bobby pin and sit there sipping his tea while you writhe and squeal on the floor… STILL sure you want to read a Wulf Godgluck book?

Contact & Media Info Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

The Wulf Chronicles. Now available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/pWWi65

SYNOPSIS

What if werewolves were real?

What if one of them was different?

What if you were a defective werewolf?

This is not the story of how one night I got bitten and my life changed. Nor is it the story of how I went on a savage killing spree that left me tormented with guilt and dread the next morning.

No.

This is the story of a boy, a boy who’s spent his life running from the shadows of monsters. A boy who never understood why the world hated him with so much odium. Why his mother would throw away her only life to protect his. Why he was never allowed to have friends. Why he never had the childhood every child should. Why he was never allowed to cherish happiness.

This is the story of a boy becoming himself, embracing his vulnerability and learning to accept and love.

This is a story about a werewolf, trying to find the answers to why he was born defective.

And maybe that’s the very reason I become the main course on the menu.

The Wulf Chronicles Teaser 1

 

EXCERPT

A lycan’s sexual orientation was a completely nonproblematic topic. Most lycans, before meeting and knowing the gender of their mates, tended to be bisexual, however, there were the few cases, as with Leo, where a lycan knew beforehand what gender they were drawn to. And, luckily, the mating call was never cruel in that regard.

Contrary to how prejudice and discriminatory the Council and lycan community’s views on females were, homosexuality had never fazed the lycan race. It was part of their ancestry, as natural and accepting as bleeding.

“Go,”she growled at him, “before you shatter my stoic façade and have me in tears. I’m honored to know this beautiful thing is happening in my presence.”

Leo smiled, turned, and ascended the stairs, his grin fading as he neared the bathroom the Beta occupied.

He clutched the doorknob, squeezing his eyelids and drawing in a shaky breath, willing himself to calm down.

The knob ripped from under Leo’s grasp as the door swung open, the momentum of Cooler’s movements and of Leo’s stumble at the abrupt occurrence, sent them colliding into each other.

Cooler grabbed Leo by the throat and shoved him against the bathroom wall, his one eye glowing a furious blue fire as he glared up at him.

“If the pretty puppy wanted a kiss, all he had to do was whimper.”

Leo swallowed against the clutched grip squeezing his windpipe, any response stuck in his throat. Cooler leaned in close, released Leo’s neck, and cupped the back of his head, pulling him down before sealing their lips together.

Fire screamed through him, heat gnawed to the tips of Leo’s fingertips and toes as Cooler wrenched open Leo’s lips with nip of his teeth, shoving his fat tongue into Leo’s mouth…

No one said a lycan claiming his mate was a pretty event.

The kiss that followed was a soft and gentle devastation of sweet hunger.

Cooler’s lips were pure lightning against Leo’s, every hair on his body pulsated to attention. His growl simmered through their mouths, giving Leo ample knowledge of how much power resided within his mate, the vibration, a thunder, rattled him to his soul.

He didn’t dare touch Cooler. Just because they were sucking lips, didn’t mean the Beta had accepted Leo as his.

Cooler pulled back, his eye a bone-chilling dark as he glared up into Leo’s gaze.

Fat fingers slid from behind Leo’s neck, mapping their way along his cheek to brush over his lips, only to catch him by the chin.

Leo closed his eyes, both needing and dreading the words about to spill from his mate.

But time stretched, and it stretched, and it stretched as he waited.

His lips moved involuntarily, quivering, ready to speak, but only a whimper undulated through him. Cooler grunted, halting Leo’s tongue and washing hot air up into Leo’s face, reminding him of how close the Beta’s lips were to his own.

His insides squirmed, anticipating, hoping and wanting Cooler to bless him with another taste.

No kiss came, no words either. Only the scent of his mate. A spicy, intoxicating, rugged musk. Prime Bloods tended to have a heavier, far more domineering scent than half-breeds. That and, of course, the raw power they emanated were the only physical truths that set them apart.

Wulf Logo

They come to me in the night, creeping into my head. Their voices are all different, their stories all dissimilar, but they keep saying the same thing…

“Show us, tell us to the world. Bring us into yours, and make us known.”

Then I sit and they take over. They tell their tales of love, loss and sinister misfortune, not all of them get a happy ending, but they are pleased when their part is written.

I sometimes find myself lost in my own mind; a world very similar to our own yet so different. Things don’t go bump in the night—they squeal, and crawl under your skin, making you grind your teeth, and your stomach turn over and put your nerves on edge. Then there’s the drama. Oh, the drama!

I write because I must! There is so much inside of me that needs to get out. So many stories to tell, characters that want to be heard, and hearts lost and won. Words and art are my way of bringing my world to others. I enjoy telling tales of the human condition but working in elements of the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, Zombies, Witches and the unexplainable all set against the human world or worlds of their own.

Wulf Francú Godgluck hails from South Africa. His work is not for the faint-hearted! In his books, you’ll find… all the beasties with their nasty claws and teeth, and some you didn’t even know existed. But the monsters aren’t all real. Some live inside us. Who knows what he will make you discover about yourself, lurking in your heart, behind the closed walls of the deep, black recesses where no light penetrates? Wulf will steal your heart and never give it back. More than likely, he’ll pin it to the wall with a bobby pin and sit there sipping his tea while you writhe and squeal on the floor… STILL sure you want to read a Wulf Godgluck book?

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Review of Horse of Bells by Pelaam

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Rating: 3 stars

Horse of BellsPrince Donal and his younger brother, Caolan, are hunting in the royal woods when a mysterious stranger saves Caolan from a wild boar.  A case of love at first sight, the two make a pact saying that they will meet back in the woods as soon as possible, saving themselves only for each other.  But royal politics interfere with that promise as their evil stepmother is plotting to kill them and have her nephew seated on the throne. To interfere with her plans, the princes are sent away for their safety and Caolan never returns to the woods.

The princes plan to stay in exile until Donal comes of age but a trick by their stepmother, Queen Doireann, sends the brothers on a quest to obtain the Horse of Bells from the Dark Prince, a mission destined to fail as all the others who have tried have been put to death after entering the Dark Prince’s lands. On their journey, the stranger from the woods joins them in their travels.  But the kindness is gone and in its place a bitterness towards Caolan that threatens to derail their mission before they get started.  In this fairy tale, two brothers must fight for their honor and for love if a happily ever after is to be theirs for the taking.

This story has all the basics of a fairy tale.  It has the princes in danger, the evil stepmother, the clueless  King, the dark strangers to the rescue, and even a magical horse.  What is missing from this tale is the charm to go with the Prince Charmings, the warmth and glow of a childhood tale reworked for adults.   I love a good adult fairy tale but unfortunately this one felt a bit flat.

I will skip over the two instances of instant love as that is certainly permissible in a fairy tale, but give me characters that make it even a little bit believable.  All of the characters that Pelaam delivers are pretty one dimensional people, from the princes to the Dark Prince to the King. Even fairytale characters must be fleshed out enough that we identify with them to some degree. How can we feel any angst at all that the prince will be torn away form his true love if we don’t care about the characters?  All have so little depth that it flattens out the story, wiping it of any gaiety and joy  associated with stories of this genre. It  did have one little bit of darkness in it but it felt out of place considering all that had gone on before.

I did like the magical Horse of Bells, a nice creation and the stepmother was suitably “evil” in her mechanisms but I keep waiting for the literary magic to begin, to be swept away into a enchantedl kingdom, where everyone is gay, and all good Princes wait for their Prince to appear.  That would have made a great fairytale.  But I can tell you after reading this, I am still waiting for that Kingdom to appear.

Review of Velvet by Xavier Axelson

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Rating: 4 stars

Virago is the son of the Royal Tailor and his best friend growing up is Duir, the heir apparent to the throne of King Killian.  When Virago’s father dies in an accident, King Killian appoints Virago to take his father’s place as the Royal Tailor, a  position which will exalt him into near royalty status, making friends with others close to the crown prince. This leaves his blind brother Sylvain to spend his time alone with his animals in their father’s house.  When King Killian is killed in battle, Duir goes about a personality change and becomes a cruel and capricious ruler.  But Virago continues to support Duir no matter the atrocities he commits until he meets a musician and his world turns upside down in the most dangerous  manner.

Seton wants nothing more than to play his lyre for the King’s coronation and he knows that the Royal Tailor has the ear of the future King. He manages a meeting with Virago in order to play for him so he can hear for himself how fine a musician he is. And while he accomplishes his goal, he also finds true love as soon as he lays eyes on Virago.  But  homosexuality is considered a high crime and brings the penalty of death with it.  And Virago does not want to accept the fact that he is falling in love with a man.  As Duir becomes more unstable, he asks Virago to make a coronation outfit unlike any ever seen and a mysterious package containing a material worth a kings ransom appears at Virago’s shop.  These events help catapult Virago’s normally reserved, careful manner into flights of obsessive behavior about the material called velvet that seems to whisper strange things in his head and the musician he can’t get out of his mind.

As the coronation draws near, a malignancy is in the air, bringing with it an edge of madness. His brother warns Virago of a coming plague and tells him that Duir is violent and mad, the kingdom corrupt. So Virago must decide where his loyalties and future lie, with his friend and future King or with his brother and the prospect of forbidden love with Seton the musician.

I always look forward to a new story from Xavier Axelson.  The author’s lyrical language, beautiful imagery and intriguing metaphors contained within Axelson’s tales have been hallmarks of this author’s writing.   All those elements are present in Velvet and are the strength of this unusual story. Axelson always seems to include a mystical component or two within his stories, and the material velvet with its sumptuous qualities  is a perfect vehicle to use to upset a tailor’s mien.  Virago is a complacent, overly amiable sort of a man, one easily self deluded.  He has been that way all his life, blinded to the truth of the man who will be king and the corruption that is the kingdom where he and his brother live.  Virago blithely disregards both his brother’s warnings and the manner in which his “friends” have abused his blind brother all his life.  So  it must take someting momentus to dislodge Virago from his complacency.  First, it comes in the form of Seton, a young lyre player seeking to play for the King to be.  Seton makes Virago think “depraved” thoughts of homosexual passion, and while he tries to suppress his feelings towards the musician, they keep coming back every time he is in Seton’s presence.  The second thing to ignite his passion is a strange, never before seen material that was delivered to his father but the package never opened until now.  The wondrous material calls to him, the sensuality of the cloth and the vibrancy of the colors overwhelm his senses, including common sense.   Both the velvet and Seton become obsessions in Virago’s mind and heart, a wonderful detail by Axelson to mingle the two together for a tailor deeply involved in his craft.

And I can always count in birds and bird imagery to figure large in any Axelson story.  Here is a sample:

“Would I never know peace? Or would memories chase me like the gulls chase one another, endlessly hungry and insistent?”

Or this one,

“Behind my eyes, I saw white peacocks, heard their shrieks, and felt the crawl of disease.”

All powerful images that linger after the book is done.  This is one of the reasons I look forward to each new story from this author.  There is a magic in his touch with his narrative and the flow of his language.

I also admire the way he builds a foreboding feeling of awful events to come.  There is a subplot that swirls around a whore/theatre player  named Therese.  The fact that I figured out early on what her intentions were in no way negates the power of anticipation that builds the closer it gets to the coronation, and yes, there are peacocks involved.  In fact there are so many fine qualities to this story that I wished the main character was worthy of them.  Unfortunately, Virago is not.

In fact I found Virago unworthy of just about everything that occurs.  It would have made more sense if his hubris, his self deception lead to his downfall instead of a voyage to freedom. No spoilers here as this is the opening paragraph and the story is being related from the deck of a ship.  I actually found him to be a despicable person.  Virago let others abuse his brother, ignoring his brother’s torment at the hands of his friends.  He hears and sees the cruel actions of Duir, the murders and the torture and dismisses them as the acts of a grief stricken son even as others tell him that this is Duir’s true nature.  Not until he himself is the victim of a member of the court, does “everything become clear”.  And even then it is not due to the victimization of others but of himself.  To my complete amazement, he continues with bouts of self delusion right to the end, weeping when action is needed, wanting to warn Duir who no longer deserves it and as it imperils his brother and lover.  One happenstance after another just demonstrates what a clod Virago is, instead of the hero he is needed to be. If there is a hero, it is Seton to rises to do what’s necessary when they are threatened or his brother Sylvain, who has lived as the object of scorn and bullying his entire life and yet still has made a life for himself and cares for the animals that he rescues.  I would have preferred this story to be about Sylvain instead of the less appealing brother, the narrator.

And of course, there is the instantaneous love Virago feels for Seton and that Seton returns.  In a story of obsession, where the feelings he has for both Seton and Velvet are comparable, it would have felt more realistic or authentic to leave it as an obsession instead of true love.  I never really understood that Virago was capable of such feelings.  Sexual obsession yes, love not really.

Ruth Marcus stated in her article “Hubris meets high tech“* that “classic tragedy, indeed classic literature, hinges on imperfect knowledge.” and that “ego tends to trump intelligence when sex is involved”.  That describes Virago beautifully as his ignorance and his ego blinded him for years right up until the very end. Had Velvet turned out to be the cautionary tale of Virago’s downfall rather than his successful flight from the disease ridden kingdom, it would have rated 5 stars.  But as a romance between two ill suited lovers? That is one illusion I cannot make myself believe.

*The Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2012

Cover:  Very simple yet elegant.