Once upon a time, I had an unquenchable addiction to Tumblr and roleplaying fan fiction for multiple fandoms. Fortunately for my writing career, it was short-lived. But not before I stumbled across this gem of a blog.
Before you click that link, let me warn you. Some of those posts are highly NSFW and dark, which makes sense, considering they’re about our favorite trickster god, Loki. Proceed at your own risk. I’ve only included a tame one on my blog, but check them out later if you’re so inclined.
First, let me tell you how this blog inspired a trilogy.
There I was, minding my own business, when one of these whispers floated across my screen. I was already a fan of Tom Hiddleston and Loki, but this sparked something different in my mind.
I heard a voice speak to me. No, not speak, whisper. He convinced me to write a few of his whispers down, and from that evolved a full character: Prince Crispin Saville.
The more I explored his whispers and his character, the deeper it drew me into his world. I created Meradin, a small kingdom among the already established kingdoms of the era, placing it where Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland all converged. Crispin vowed to rule this land even though he was not the first born son of the king. He took on a life of his own complete with strong opinions and no moral compass to guide him.
I created Henry to provide him with an external conscience at the very least. But it was Ruby who gave him a reason to mature and grow.
Alas, he does neither of these things during the course of the first book. However, books two and three provide him with ample opportunity and motivation to examine the state of his soul and set his feet on the proper path. I shall give no spoilers, but I will provide a gentle reminder that while he may be brash, selfish, callous, and spoiled…he finds redemption for all his faults in the end. But they come at a cost.
Loki heavily influences Crispin’s character. If you’re a fan of Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of the Norse god, then Crispin will charm you. But I will reiterate my warning. He is not a good man, nor is he a moral one. There are some scenes that will leave you with conflicting emotions and a thousand questions. Fear not, there will be resolution by the end of Book Three.
This trilogy was difficult for me to write because it’s different from the other books I’ve written. The tone and theme are darker. In the beginning, the hero is unlikable. The conflict woven throughout is heartbreaking. So, after writing the first book, I chose to publish it under my pen name, Jen Bradlee, for fear it would alienate my readers.
Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I could not write the subsequent two books until last year. I never intended for it to take this long to finish.
Determined to give this series the best possible success, I revisited the first book with fresh edits, a new title, and a few adjustments. I also had pretty new covers made for all three books. Once called, The Prince of Whispers, Book One is now His Wicked Whispers, and I’m releasing it on May 10th.
Seduction Most Wicked, Book Two, releases on July 12th, and Reign of Wicked Temptation, Book Three, will release on August 9th.
I kept the pen name as an homage to the author I was then. But Jen and Kirsten’s styles have morphed into something similar, so I no longer felt the compulsion to keep them separated any longer. Although I may not publish as Jen Bradlee with nearly the frequency I do as Kirsten in the future, there will be a few stories that fit Jen’s personality much more than my own. So, I’ll keep the possibility of publishing more stories as Jen Bradlee open for the time being.
It amazes me how one simple meme can ignite a story idea that transforms into something like this: A trilogy with characters who take on a life of their own in a world of my imagination. Inspiration can be a fascinating thing.
Now, go check out that Tumblr blog if your curiosity is gnawing away at you.
If you’re looking for a wicked hero to take you on an epic adventure, join us. The Prince of Whispers awaits your presence, and when he whispers, you will come.
Thanks for stopping by.
Jen Bradlee/Kirsten S. Blacketer