JQM LITERARY SPOTLIGHT PRESENTS Leap of Faith by Ariel Paiement
FIRST, LET’S GET TO KNOW YOU A BIT. TELL US SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOURSELF:
Ariel Paiement here, everyone! I’m a Christian speculative fiction writer in the business of crafting engaging, character-driven fantasy and sci-fi with Christian themes and morals. A unique fact about me is that I went to school for accounting, initially, am now working as a credit analyst, and teach English. I’ll be doing my Masters in Composition/English so I can teach college level English, so I’m doing a 180 from what I started out thinking I’d do. But English and writing of all types have and always will be my passion, so I’m happy with where I’m headed at the moment.
WHAT IS THE GENRE AND AUDIENCE FOR THIS BOOK:
This short story is a YA historical fantasy. Those who love a good romance set in Victorian England will enjoy this story, especially if they like a little bit of power exchange between a couple.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK:
It was actually a combination of things that inspired this story. First off, I wanted to revisit an idea I’d had in the first series I ever wrote, entitled the Gate Chronicles. I’ve come a long way since those books and those days as a younger writer, but I still really love the base concept of a magical organization that balances the use of magic and the relations between various magical entities on Earth. So I decided I wanted to at some point write a series about how that organization formed, and Bram was the head character for that set of books. When the idea of the anthology being historical fantasy came up, the two ideas clicked together along with a few other threads. Those other threads were my experiences at school with my best friend and the dynamic of that friendship and then my love for Victorian England (and romances). I had my setting at that point as well as the fact that it would be a romance, predominantly, set in a fantasy version of Victorian England. The last thread came from the friendship I mentioned earlier. My best friend and I had a strong give and take of power in our relationship, and for the first time in my life, I figured out that it was not only freeing but also not wrong to want to submit to a man. I wanted to share that experience and the perspective I have of submission and dominance in a format that would send other readers a strong message that there are people who truly do find freedom in a relationship like Alantha and Bram’s. Often, I’ve heard from friends that having submissive tendencies or being a full-blown submissive is the opposite of being a strong independent woman. This has come both from feminist friends who openly look down on a woman who submits herself to a man and from Christian friends who don’t see the need for submission as normal. People have mocked submissive women for being brainwashed or allowing men to abuse them or take advantage of them. And while it’s certainly true that at times, men take advantage of women with that sort of personality or desire, not all do. I wanted to show the journey of self-discovery that a strong, independent woman can take to find strength even as she submits and to find freedom in belonging to a man that way. Beyond that, I wanted to show that tension between when it’s abusive–which is embodied in Alantha’s ex, who was both insane and abusive–and when it’s a beautiful thing between two people, as it is in the case of Alantha and Bram. I understand that this may turn some readers off. But there are more than enough stories telling young girls, boys, and young women and men that wanting to submit or wanting to dominate is a bad thing. There are also more than enough stories that wrongly make those desires into an abusive or entirely sexual thing, which they are not. So I wrote the kind of story I don’t often see. Setting it in Victorian England allowed me to bring the concept to life in a way that might be more palatable to the modern reader since that sort of picture (the submissive woman and dominant man) is one of the things that many people think of, either in a negative or positive light, when they think of Victorian England.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK:
Well, aside from the theme I discussed above when talking about what inspired the story, the short story serves as an introduction into Bram and Alantha’s world. Since they will be the ones to lead, shape, and form the organization that will be the basic focus of the series that I’m going to be developing to go before the Gate Chronicles, it seemed appropriate that this story tell the tale of how they ended up meeting and how their relationship becomes what it is. Without giving away too much, I told this story because I wanted to set up the two characters that will be the backbone of the historical fantasy/fantasy adventure series I’m planning to build. I don’t know when I’ll get around to working on this series since I have several other books/series that I’m working on right now and don’t want to spread myself to thin, but I can say that I wait with anticipation for the moment when I have the chance to tell more of Bram’s and Alantha’s stories. They are some of my favorite characters to date, and I’m excited to further visit the events and adventures they live through.
WHERE CAN WE PURCHASE YOUR BOOK: