Danielle Austen is the author of the Prophecy Girl Trilogy, which pits good against evil in a battle of magical powers, all wrapped up with lots of hot and spicy sex. With the final part of the trilogy, The Ancient’s Destiny, out now, we caught up with Danielle to find out more.
Xcite: Tell us a little about The Ancient’s Destiny?
Danielle: The Ancient’s Destiny is a dark, epic story set on the brink of the end of the world as we know it; an ancient magical being wants to wipe out humanity, and the only person who can prevent that from happening is young magus Cereza Mikhailov, whose traumatic past has caused her to hide from her true nature and lead a hedonistic and self-destructive life. It’s a cross-genre blend of plot-driven action, magic in the real world, character drama, romance and frequent, varied sex scenes which I think is quite unique within the landscape of erotica. And while readers will undoubtedly get more from the book if they’ve read the previous entries, it’s not essential as it was written with new readers in mind.
Xcite: Where did you find the inspiration for the Prophecy Girl trilogy?
Danielle: My original idea was a small-scale story of an ordinary woman who discovers an ancient prophecy about her; she would have found out she had magical abilities, defeated the bad guy, and lived happily ever after with the hunky hero. But when I was writing the first draft I started to play around with some of the traditional plot elements, such as having the good guy turn out to be the villain and vice versa. And when I had the idea to really toy with readers’ expectations and have a shock twist where it’s revealed that the prophecy isnot about the lead character after all, a light bulb went on in my head. I realised how expansive the scope of the story could be and the potential for the sort of things I could include. Characters and events crept into my thoughts; within a week I had an entire trilogy in my mind just itching to be released. It was a very organic process; the less I forced myself to stick to traditional erotica elements the more exciting the story became, and sometimes characters’ actions (both in terms of the plot and the sex) even surprised me when I was writing them!
Xcite: Your heroine, Cereza, has to conceal her real identity and powers in order to try and live an ordinary life with her friends. What appeals to you about writing about a character like that?
Danielle: I think everyone has, at some point in their life, fantasised about having some kind of secret identity or talent. There’s a certain romance to the notion, and there’s also something deeply exciting about harbouring a big dark secret. That said, actually leading a double life is not always as fun as it may seem – and I should know, because I’m doing it! Barely anyone in my day-to-day life has any idea that I write erotica, and while that can be thrilling, it can also be hugely frustrating. Having an understanding of the reality of having a big secret, and being able to channel some of that frustration and sense of isolation into Cereza’s story (albeit on a much, much larger scale) was surprisingly therapeutic, and it also opened up some great storytelling opportunities, such as Cereza’s struggles with her increasingly dangerous addiction to the secret use of magic.
Xcite: The magical characters in the novel are very fluid in their sexuality, and there is plenty of lesbian and threesome (or more…) action in the book. What is your favourite kind of erotic scene to write?
Danielle: The lack of inhibitions and the naturally heightened libido of the magi gave me a lot of licence to play around with a wide variety of sex scenes; this suited me as I find my own fantasies to be very diverse and fluid. Perhaps I’m unusual in this regard but I’m not the sort of woman who comes back to the same fantasy over and over – I might be all about dirty MMF threesomes for a couple of weeks, and then be thinking purely of sweet, romantic, monogamous lovemaking for the next month. That said, when it comes to writing I really, really enjoy lesbian scenes. Outside of actual lesbian erotica it would be really implausible to have every female character be bisexual or even bi-curious; so girl/girl scenes in an otherwise straight erotic story need to have some major significance in terms of the plot or character development. As such they have to be used sparingly, so when I do get to write them I try and make them as extra-special as possible. The fully-clothed bondage scene between Cammie and her new secretary in The Ancient’s Destiny is a personal favourite of mine, and it still pops into my head whenever I’m sat alone in my office!
Xcite: What is your next project?
Danielle: I actually have two projects in the pipeline at the moment; the first is a light-hearted and very sexy short story set in the Prophecy Girl universe, which will feature a moment I always wanted to include in the trilogy itself but never found an appropriate place for. This should be released by the end of 2014 and I’m very excited to get it out into the world! I’ve also started work on a standalone full-length novel which will be vastly different to the Prophecy Girl Trilogy; there won’t be any supernatural elements, it will focus on one main character rather than an ensemble cast, and it will delve into certain themes of sex and sexuality which I’ve not explored before. That said, it won’t be a straightforward erotic romance story either; I’m hoping to really push the envelope with this one and create something fresh and dark and exciting.
Xcite: What are you reading at the moment?
Danielle: During the work day I’m currently indulging my inner nerd by reading The Man in the High Castle, a brain-scrambling 1962 novel by sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick, set in an alternate reality of sorts in which the Allies lost the Second World War. But when the opportunity arises at home, I’m reading Down Under by Juliet Hastings; my favourite erotica author and my inspiration to begin writing in the first place. It’s short on story – a group of people on a hiking holiday in Australia all have a lot of sex with each other – but it’s an absolute masterpiece in POV writing. Every chapter is written from a different character’s perspective, and it’s an incredible piece of writing in terms of understanding the innermost thought processes of a cast of vastly different people. Needless to say it’s also very, very hot!
Danielle Austen is an ordinary woman; a full-time office manager, keen runner and self-professed nerd who spends her free time either at the gym, socialising with friends or curled up on the sofa with her husband. But unknown to her friends and her colleagues, she is also the author of full-length erotic novels which have been published worldwide in e-book and print by the multi-award winning Xcite Books.
Danielle’s unique blend of complex storytelling, intense action scenes and frequent, varied sexual content has received widespread critical acclaim, with E-Read Erotica Reviews citing Danielle as writing “new creations of literature that are mature, unafraid, and passionately move us as readers.” Her newest release The Ancient’s Destiny – the third and final book in the Prophecy Girl Trilogy – is her darkest and most ambitious book to date; an epic story of love, lust and magic set against the backdrop of the end of the world.
Find Danielle at:
Her Blog: www.danielle-austen.com
Her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielleaustenerotica
Her Twitter: www.twitter.com/@danniiausten