Please welcoming Emily Carrington to the blog this week! Emily telling us about her book from Changeling Press, The Prince & The Painter, today and we hope you enjoy!
Jason and Aaron would gladly spend all their time in bed together, but they’re haunted by their pasts, literally as well as figuratively. Death and destruction follow them — a rapist and a serial killer are stalking Aaron, and Jason’s growing love may not be enough to protect either of them.
Publisher’s Note: The Prince and the Painter Parts 1 & 2 are the prequel to Painter’s Pride (Prince and Painter 1). For everyone who wanted to know more about Jason and Aaron’s history, thank you. (Be careful what you ask for!)
Warning: The Prince and the Painter Parts 1 & 2 deal with issues of PTSD, M/M rape, hate crimes, stalking, kidnapping, and torture. Jason and Aaron’s stories may be triggers for some readers.
Q: Tell us about The Prince and the Painer. This is the prequel to Painter’s Pride, right?
Emily: It is. Painter’s Pride is light and fluffy though because it’s based around Christmas. Also, because the prequel was already written if not published, I wanted readers’ first introduction to Jason and Aaron to be softer. I wanted their love to shine through. My hope was that by giving them their HEA first, I could soften the blow of their past.
Q: Tell us about The Prince and the Painter.
Emily: I’m not sure how to talk about the darkest thing I’ve ever written. I read a lot of Stephen King but that’s not what gave birth to The Prince and the Painter. I used to read a lot of hurt/comfort fanfiction and that’s still my guilty pleasure, but Aaron and Jason are more than an outgrowth of that secret passion.
Let’s start here: with the love story. Jason and Aaron belong together. Their wounds perfectly match but, more importantly, their hearts are in the same place.
Jason has been tutoring other kids, both his age and younger, since he was four and his two-ear-old sister was trying to learn how to count.
Aaron has been drawing since he was three. His aunt on his mother’s side is an artist and she encouraged him. He started tutoring other kids in his art classes when he was seven, teaching the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors to his classmates. He once got in trouble with his teacher for whispering the answers to a test to one of his best friends.
But into every life “a little rain must fall” and: cue Vance Anderson, the man who is closeted even to himself. Vance’s past is pretty dark too, and although none of this gets into the book, it’s helpful to know where monsters come from. When Vance was nine, his father caught him kissing another boy. His father basically beat the crap out of him. What happens to us as children has a lasting effect on what we become as adults.
Q: Let’s talk about Painter’s Pride for a minute. What is the major struggle of that book?
Emily: Aaron is ashamed of growing up in poverty. Until he’s able to see beyond himself, thanks to jasons’ love, he spends years in that shame. It’s not overtly stated in either book but the small town Aaron grew up in is full of people who live high above the national medium income range. Aaron went without a lot of things and that left a mark that only true love can heal.
Q: You make Jason sound like a perfect prince. That sounds extremely boring. Is he perfect?
Emily: He started out just like Superman, but without the kryptonite weakness. But the longer I wrote about Aaron’s struggles, the more I realized Jason has a chip on his shoulder. He’s bisexual and he’s spent most of his teens chaffing against the constraints put on him by the straight and gay/lesbian communities. He spent years listening to people, even a couple members of his own family, tell him to just “make a choice already.” Christopher, Jason’s oldest brother, was one of these detractors. By the time we get to The Prince and the Painter, he’s Jason’s staunchest supporter but he needed to have his own growth arc before he could get to that point.
Jason also has a thing about helping people. He pushes himself beyond where he’s comfortable going and then complains about it afterward. For example, when he realizes he should go back to Besker and be with Aaron during the winter holidays, he refuses. He protests that he needs a vacation too. He’s still learning to have personal boundaries.
Q: Last question. Are there other books in the works starring Jason and Aaron?
Emily: Nope. At least, not yet. But depending on the response I get to this, my darkest novel to date, I may fill out the personal HEAs for the other people in Jason and Aaron’s lives. Griffin and Tim certainly need their own happily ever after.
For Teaser Tuesdays, where Emily spotlights other authors on her website, and other fun blog posts, visit: www.emilycarrington.com
Visit Emily on Facebook for daily jokes and book news: http://www.facebook.com/emily.carrington.370
The Prince and the Painter: https://www.changelingpress.com/search-results.php?keywords=The+Prince+and+the+Painter
Painter’s Pride (sequel to The Prince and the Painter): https://www.changelingpress.com/search-results.php?keywords=Painter%27s+Pride