Today we are featuring an interview with Brit Constantine, author of “The Tempest”!
Enjoy your read!
‘The Tempest’ is actually a relaunch of ‘Captain Dark’ that was released this January. What made you take this relaunch decision under a new title?
A title is a story’s first impression. People make a first impression with appearance, wardrobe and body language. Stories do it with a title. A title creates anticipation and expectation. ‘Captain Dark’ has connotations of a dark romance, which my book isn’t. The Tempest is a contemporary romance comedy.
The original title came from the fact that Lenic Reevus lives on a boat and he’s an ex-Royal Marine, but this isn’t the core of the book. I knew I needed something that interacts with the story in a meaningful way. So I asked myself: What is at the heart of the story? The answer was easy. It was Lenic Reevus and the secret he was keeping.
‘Tempest’ has the idea of anger and fighting. ‘The Tempest’ tells the reader instantly that Lenic is what the book explores — a fighter, a torn fighter. It tells them he is a man who is powerful, angry, dangerous and mysterious. And it is in this mystery, I hope, that will make the reader curious and interested in finding out more about The Tempest, about my hero, about the unseen plot twist they’ll never see coming — just like when a raging tempest hits all of a sudden.
That’s the secret of a good title. It makes you want to start the story.
What initially inspired you to write ‘The Tempest’?
If you’ve ever been in love, you probably know that love can hurt. It can be messy, complicated, and sometimes leaves no survivors. In real life, love is very rarely the simple happily-ever-after fairy tale. One of the things I love about The Tempest is that it doesn’t flinch away from the complicated and heavy parts of love. Yes, ultimately, it is a romance comedy, but it deals with every raw part of love, from loyalty to loss to treachery.
I struggled sometimes with just how raw some of the scenes turned out; especially the scene where the shocking plot twist comes to light. I knew Lenic’s secret and struggles where going to be hard to write, but everything in words, stripped bare on the page, is something entirely different. Honestly, it’s even a little frightening because in going to those raw places, there are also a lot of deep and personal pieces of myself on the page. But in exploring my characters’ scars, I’ve come to accept my own.
I will admit, it was intimidating to be so open and vulnerable, but that’s what my book is. My blood poured out in ink. And I think as a debut romance writer, I wanted to be as open and authentic as I could. Just because it is romance fiction, doesn’t mean it should be watered down. Life isn’t. Love isn’t. I wanted to write a story that will affect the reader, and have them questioning the world around them.
Lenic and Felicity are perfect for each other, a team. And while they do have some conflict over outside events, they don’t really have any issues between them. There are no exes to break them apart, no lingering love for another soul. They are each other’s first and last love. They’re it for each other.
It all started with Lenic Reevus, my hero. He is my alpha-male baby. For me, lately, I just couldn’t fall in love with any heroes in contemporary romance. Lenic isn’t a walking-STD player, and neither is he a manipulative billionaire. He’s loyal to a fault, and when he falls in love, he falls hard. His inner turmoil from the haunting guilt he carries almost breaks my heart. But when I think about Lenic Reevus, about the way he treats my heroine, about how much he loves her, and what he is willing to do for her, what he is willing to sacrifice, for her alone … I think I feel my heart smile just a little inside.
And if I can make my readers feel the same way, fill their hearts with hope that real men, good chivalrous men, do exist, can exist … if my writing has the ability to do that … I consider that the highest success of all.
What makes ‘The Tempest’ different from other novels?
The comedy. It is pure British comedy at its best. It will have the reader laughing out loud, plenty.
Here’s a fun fact: The scene where Felicity accidently gives Lenic the wrapped gift given to her by her best friend was based on a real life event that happened to me! It was a real Trauma-Rama at the time, but now I look back at the embarrassing event and can laugh at myself.
Are any of the characters based off of anybody in your life?
Yes. I’m a crossbreed of my hero and heroine. I am wild-hearted just like Felicity, and share a similar past to hers. And as for Lenic, I know what it’s like to lose yourself for a while, and shut the world and everyone out from your heart.
Did any of the characters surprise you while writing?
Yes. Lenic’s best mate, Jack Cross. He started out as a cocky joker-of-the-pack sort of lad, but eventually, he turned out to be a warm-hearted and loyal friend, who has the hero’s back, right to the end. I have a huge soft spot for Jack. He brings a lot of humour into the story. Jack’s charm has even won him his very own novella, coming soon!
Who are your greatest writing influences?
Jane Austen! Pride and Prejudice is such a beautiful and intelligent romance book, that has all the right feels!
Jojo Moyes influenced my inspiration to write The Tempest. Me Before You — blew me away. It altered the way I saw my life, and the world around me. It made me look at everything a little differently, opening up my eyes a litter wider to the hidden beauty in the world through all the tragedy we see and feel every day.
It was the first romance book where I felt the main couple actually listened to each other and fell in love with the heart and not the body. It was magical with engaging characters, and it broke my heart in pieces. But ultimately, it was an uplifting and witty tale that inspired me to follow my dreams. It was unforgettable.
What adult authors do you read?
What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
Pride and Prejudice.
Me Before You.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Is there a book you love to reread?
All five of the favourite books I mentioned above!
What’s a typical day in your life like?
Wake up. Kiss my handsome boyfriend. Then feed the cat, who hates me. Yoga and ballet stretches in the conservatory. Put the kettle on for a good cup of hot English tea. Sit down and write to my heart’s content. And in the evening, cuddle up to my boyfriend (try to cuddle my cat, but she curls up with the man instead, loving him more than me — and he doesn’t even like cats!) on the sofa and watch Netflix … then chill.
And finally… if you had only one sentence in order to convince someone to read your novel, what would that sentence be?
The Tempest is an alpha-male who is loyal to a fault, who loves fast and hard, and will do anything for his woman, and, undisputedly, will blow all of your other book boyfriends out of the water like a tempest!
Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your lovely blog. It’s been wonderful! Luv, Brit!
Publication date: May 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
They call him “The Tempest.”
England’s most feared heavyweight-boxing champion.
He despises the fame and glory, but it’s nothing compared to the hate he inflicts on himself. All he wants is to be left alone to live on his boat in misery.
When I line up for his autograph, it’s instant fireworks. But not the beautiful stars-shine-bright kind. He’s rude. Heartless. A ticking time bomb of rage.
Luckily, I’m not afraid to put a lit match to his fuse.
I upload a private video of him to my one-million-subscribers channel. The video goes viral.
The ex-Royal Marine nearly breaks down my studio door to flag me inappropriate…
…while I’m in the middle of a live streaming event.
I don’t tell him. I don’t switch off the camera. I keep recording, secretly playing to my audience. He should have checked if the camera was rolling, right?
It should be a shipwreck from the moment the storm hits.
And then … it isn’t.
Our attraction is painful, undeniable, and it’s like I am Eve and his lips are the apple, and damn if his tongue isn’t the snake.
I am the only girl who can put this broken man back together again.
But he knows the secret he is keeping will tear us apart. He knows it’ll force my hand to break ties with the only family I have left in the world.
But once The Tempest, the man with the iron heart, falls in love … he’ll crush anyone who dares to take me away from him.
I have no choice but to go down with his ship.
Hook, line, and goddamned sinker.
The Tempest is a contemporary romance story of love, comedy and treachery.
No cheating. No OW/OM. Standalone. HEA. 18+
Filthy British contemporary-romance author. I live only for big ships, packed to the brim with hot seamen. 😉