Hello, Rhys! Thank you for inviting me to talk about my series.
The Apollo’s Men series is set in ancient Greece. With a twist. The gods and all their lesser brethren are real, just as the ancient Greeks believed them to be. Apollo’s Men is a historical series after the fashion of Homer. Remember the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as all those myths about the gods sneaking around and stirring up trouble or starting epic battles? That’s the kind of stories I’m writing.
Whether he’s dispensing justice or saving lives, Apollo is the one character that can be found in every story arc in the series. The Lord of Light is the thread that ties the other characters together as he gathers warriors and their lovers to his service.
The Greek gods weren’t omniscient, benign beings. These deities are personifications of forces of nature and aspects of human nature. As such, they have all the foibles and flaws their worshippers did: anger, jealousy, envy, covetousness and lust.
Alexios and Galen from Alexios’ Fate are the foundation pair as Apollo sets out to collect a band of warrior-lovers at his sacred precinct at Delphi. Both young men catch Phoebus Apollo’s attention for their kindness to a young prophet Apollo had been searching for.
Alexios’ Fate was written in response to the above photo. I’m sure the classical history buffs can figure out the story line from the photo. Apollo is forced into the dilemma of punishing Alexios for his father’s hubris after planning on taking the young prince under his wing. Needless to say, the god of prophecy is not happy about this.
Mature King Lykos has a sexy confidence that turns Alexios’ head. Seduced by Lykos, Prince Alexios discovers a world of men he’s never known before.
Meanwhile his slave Galen has gotten tired of waiting in the wings. He sets out to woo Alexios and win his heart.
Even Apollo can’t leave Alexios alone. The young prince finds himself pursued by a god and in danger of a perilous love.
How will Alexios follow his heart when he unwittingly wins the favor of a god? Can Alexios escape the fate of Apollo’s past lovers and have the man he wants?
Alexios’ Fate holds a special place in my heart as my first novel. Until then, I had only written a few short stories, most of which are still unpublished. So I was just beginning to consider myself an author at this point. I had rather strenuously denied any such status until I signed the contract for Alexios’ Fate with Breathless Press. At which point, it seemed kind of silly to keep denying I was an author.
Once I embraced my authorship, I decided to continue Alexios and Galen’s story. I was about 2/3 of the way through the rough draft of Tempting Fate when I received a submission call for the Lust in Time anthology. The short story, 496 BC, is told from Galen’s POV and takes place as they sail to Delphi with Apollo’s prophet.
496 BC in Lust in Time
Alexios and Galen set sail with King Lykos on his way to deliver Cyrus to Delphi. Galen must find some way to come to terms with his feelings for Alexios, his new status as a recently freed slave, and his antipathy toward his lover’s mentor. Will he be able to do all this and keep the love of his former master?
I started a second short story, originally titled Taming Theron. Taming Theron was intended to be a prequel to a novel entitled A Spartan Love. But this story would not stay under the 7,000 word cap. So I finally gave up and it morphed into the 77,000 word novel, A Spartan Love. The planned novel A Spartan Love is now two novels, A Tested Love and A Shared Love.
What can I say? I’m wordy. Can’t write flash fiction to save my life.Can barely write 7,000 word short stories.
Andreas and Theron from A Spartan Love arc are the second pair Apollo recruits. Apollo sees the chance to add a Spartan warrior to his band and being the typical Greek deity can’t resist acquiring them.Another Spartan warrior, Coridan, joins them for a while in A Shared Love, before developing his own story arc. Coridan will probably only have one story as I shouldn’t have as much ground to cover with him.
A Spartan Love
Alone, Andreas toils on a remote farmstead for a Spartan overlord. When a kryptes enters his world, Andreas fears for his life. The dread warriors stalk and kill helots—like Andreas’ father—as part of their training.
Andreas sees only one way to save himself: he must tame the fearsome warrior.
But what began as self-preservation develops into attraction. Yearning for the company of someone other than his ferret Ictis, Andreas decides to trust the Spartan warrior and risk the fate that claimed his father.
Born to rule by the sword, Theron sees the world as his and acts accordingly, taking everything Andreas offers and reaching for more. However, love between men in Sparta is considered shameful and requires either exile or suicide to redeem Sparta’s honor. Now, only the gods can save them from the terrible price Sparta extracts from men who desire other men.
Body Language is a free download on Smashwords. This short story is a prequel to the series and follows a young Lykos while he was still only a prince. While traveling to Sardis through the Persian Empire, he meets and rescues Kas, a young Persian.
Prince Lykos of Aenus is travelling incognito through conquered Lydia with one of his father’s trusted friends Narses. Hearing cries for help, they intervene, but only manage to save Kas, a young Persian man travelling with a merchant. Now his protector is dead, Kas would like nothing better than to remain with the handsome warrior, but how can he explain that to a man who speaks little but Greek?
I’ve tried my best to give a sense of the ancient world without overwhelming the reader with too much history. I’ve read science fiction and fantasy all my life and think I have a handle on how to achieve world-building without world-inundation. The biggest problem was giving a sense of the cultural mores while keeping the characters recognizable/identifiable for the reader.
People in the ancient world had a vastly different world view and morality. Getting across their views on slaves or women without offending readers or completely rewriting history to suit reader sensibilities is such a challenge that I sometimes wonder what I was thinking when I conceived of this series. But the people who either read it with an open mind or educate themselves on ancient man make it all worthwhile.
If you’d like to learn more about the Greco-Roman world and m/m stories in that setting, join Lisa Henry, JP Kenwood, ClodiaMetelli and I at The House of Dionysus. We look forward to discussing the ancient world with you.
Kayla Jameth grew up on the family farm in Ohio. An unrepentant tomboy, she baled hay, raised cattle, and her father taught her to weld before she graduated from high school.
She attended Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and later, Texas A&M University in her pursuit of veterinary medicine, taking her far away from her rural roots.
But it wasn’t all hard work for her, her sojourn as the princess of the Celestial Kingdom left her with the title “Sir” and a costume closet the envy of many knights, lords, and ladies.
After declaring for years that she was not an author, Kayla now finds herself writing m/m erotic romance outside of Houston, Texas. While you can take the girl out of the country, you can’t turn her into a city slicker. Kayla would still rather be outside getting down and dirty with the boys.
She shares a full house with her favorite animals: a cat, two guinea pigs, a gerbil, three guppies, as well as her husband, son, and daughter.
Find Kayla at
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KaylaJameth
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kayla-Jameth/e/B0054SNO4C/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1363308908&sr=8-2
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/kayla-jameth