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Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

WARNING

If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Xavier Axelson And Velvet

It's all about the sexy today as one of the coolest authors out there, Xavier Axelson , takes over the Imaginarium to tell us all about his first full length novel, Velvet, from Seventh Window. Take it away Xavier...



Velvet was meant to be a novella.  It’s odd that when I first started getting published, I struggled with the short story and novella, but as I continued, the reverse began to happen.   Novellas became easier and more familiar than a long form novel.  Once the story hit about 25,000 words I knew I was past novella territory and I either had to embrace the novel again or switch gears and rethink the idea.  Unfortunately for me, this is not how my muse works.  Once I am involved with a story I am committed to see it through to the end.  These characters also had a hand in forcing my creative boundaries to expand the story I once believed was meant to be a short. 

The “idea seed” for Velvet came from the last page of Vogue.  At that time I was devouring every page and word in that magazine.  Design and style has always been an interest and for some reason, at that moment, I found Vogue to offer a wealth of inspiration.  It was on the last page or as they call it, “last look” that the idea for Velvet was derived.  They were featuring a velvet shoe and upon seeing it, an entire story came flooding into my head.

The characters came fast and furious.  Virago, an obvious play on words, spoke clearly and directly to me.  He had a story to tell and somehow it involved the velvet shoe.  I also knew it would take place in a fictional world somewhere between Elizabethan and Medieval times.  I knew this because Virago’s voice was lyrical and poetic, Shakespearean even.  Through my research I discovered the laws of sumptuary of the 15th century and also the laws enacted by Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.  The further I read, the clearer it became what Velvet would be about.  I won’t get into the laws of sumptuary here, except to say that your position dictated what you could and couldn’t wear. 

This discovery began a yearlong furlough into 15th century, Elizabethan, Edwardian and Medieval culture, costume and language.  I spent quite a bit of time studying the coronation of Elizabeth I and also maps of castles to ensure I used proper words to describe the rooms within the Duir’s fictional palace.  So much of the story takes place within its walls that it really is its own character.   Sylvain, Virago’s brother, and also my personal favorite character in the story is born blind.  He is a strong and independent character and in being such, I wanted to make sure his abilities were accurate and described respectfully.  He also assists his brother in tailoring the fated coronation vest.  Through research I discovered an article where a blind woman described how as a young girl, learned not only to sew but cut her own patterns.  Velvet was and remains a turning point for me as a writer.  I feel it is my creativity at its most generous.  The muse shared with me, and it is my hopes I have shared with those who read this story.  

If you have read it, please feel free to contact me with your thoughts.

Here's a little bit about Velvet

The first novel from Xavier Axelson is set against a backdrop of decadence, privilege, and intrigue. Virago, the royal tailor, makes a discovery that will test the bonds of brotherhood, unravel the forbidden secrets of his heart and threaten the very fabric of his existence.

In a land where cruelty is disguised as allegiance, loyalty is masked by obligation and the laws of sumptuary govern the people, nothing is more dangerous than Velvet.

Excerpt 

I’d been staring at the vast body of water surrounding the ship when I was startled to find a woman, heavy with child standing by my side. She wore a red gown that gathered beneath her ample breasts. The gown fell freely, billowing against her in the brisk sea air. Her red hair hung in two braids threaded with crimson leather. Upon turning her head, small red jewels, woven throughout her hair, caught the light.

“The sea is dark as the grave, and as good at keeping secrets.”

“Who are you?” I asked. Since I’d boarded the ship the day before, I’d conversed only with Seton and my brother, Sylvain. I’d yet to earn my sea legs and everything seemed strange.
“I am Adis, wife of Doremme, the man whose ship you stand upon.” She came closer. “Secrets are only as powerful as those who carry them and the sea is a perfect place to bury what haunts you.”
“You talk as though you know me, and as I am a stranger on this ship, I know this cannot be.” I was about to bow and take my leave when she laughed.
“Fear is not your way, tailor. You were the royal tailor of the king whose land we left, were you not?”
Were the royal tailor… Her words struck at my heart. I felt this truth so keenly that I gripped the ship railings to steady myself.

Buy Link

Velvet  at Seventh Window
 



31 comments:

  1. Huh, it's so rare to see men reading fashion magazines let alone get inspired by them.

    Neat.

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    1. I love hearing how people get inspired. Sometimes it is so unexpected.

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  2. Xavier did his research. Not much for fashion, although I do know a good suit when I see one.

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    1. His research is wow! I love diving into a subject and finding out all I can. I'm not one for fashion, either, but I do love to read Vogue every now and again so I'm not completely ignorant. :)

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  3. oooh, he has a fluffy love carpet :)

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    1. I love that cover, too. :) It looks so sensual and inviting.

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    2. what cover, sister Melsy, me was talking about Xavier's hairy chest :)

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    3. I did learn from the queen of erotica :)

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    4. And I am a very good teacher. ;))

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  4. Thanks for being here, Xavier. Your story sounds wonderful and I can't wait to dive in. :)

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  5. Melissa, how was I not following your blog before???? Crisis solved! <3

    And really fun to read more about Velvet. It sounds very compelling... and proud of Xavier and all that he's accomplished!

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    1. Hi Morgan! No worries, I'm so happy you're here. :)

      I can't wait to read Velvet. I love richly detailed historical novels. I get transported. Xavier is a wonderful writer, his short stories and novellas are amazing.

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  6. Thanks so much for having me Melissa, this is truly one of my favorite blogs. I appreciate all the kind comments and support. :) If anyone has read Velvet I always appreciate review on Amazon and Goodreads, etc. Thanks again. XA

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    1. You are making me blush with such high praise, Xavier. I always love having you here. The welcome mat is always out for you. :)

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  7. Decadence-oooh I like it. And really, some me know more about fashion and design than women. Our dear Dezzy is one such elegant and graceful men.

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    1. me talks sweet like Shakespeare, and have a naughty mind like Don Juan, darling :)

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    2. I love the elegance of this story as well. The Laws of Sumptuary really make me start spinning decadent tales in my head.

      And yes, Dezz does have a style and taste. :)

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    3. Dezz, that's a lethal combination for sure. :)

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    4. it is, and so is the holy number three me also has within me - a friend in life, a cook in the kitchen and a slut in bed :)

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    5. Three is a magic number. ;) I must say I love that combo you have.

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  8. Great job Xavier. You set the mood perfectly. Melissa, great guest post.

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    1. Thank you, Maurice. I happy you enjoyed getting to know more about Xavier and his work.

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  9. First, Xavier is an awesome name. Second, I love the historical thing. I will have to read your book.

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  10. I've never met anyone called Xavier and have to say that is a pretty awesome name. Good luck with Velvet!

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    1. Thanks, Stephen. Xavier is a great name, isn't it?

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  11. Best of luck to Mr. Axelson with Velvet - you always have the most interesting guests here, Melissa!

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    1. Why thank you, my friend. Glad you enjoy all the wonderful people that visit here.

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  12. Hi, Melissa, Hi, Xavier,

    Terrific interview and what an intriguing premise. Sounds like lots of rich details which I always enjoy in a novel.

    GOOD LUCK!

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    1. Hi Michael! I'm happy you enjoyed Xavier's piece today. His novel sounds so exciting, doesn't it?

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