Hi RJ! Thanks for inviting me along. So excited to be here!

*****

How do you manage to come up with such detailed backgrounds, not just the characters, but the worlds too?

I love world building. It’s probably my favourite part of writing. Though most of my stories are set in our world—either in the present or in the past—all of them have some kind of fantasy and paranormal elements, so I often spend way too long imagining the exact cultures that my characters live in before I start writing. I make notes, pass ages daydreaming, and even draw maps and design castles. Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd!

It’s not all about make-believe. One of the challenges when you’re heading off into magical realms is “keeping it real”, as it were, rendering these places and the characters who live there believable. I often draw on pre-existing myths and legends, and it’s important to get these things right, as well as paying attention to the accuracy of historical settings. Lord of the Forest, Bound to the Beast, and Bound for the Forest, are my three standalone m/m romances, interlinked by my fantasy version of the English Greenwood, in which all are set. The main characters include some familiar names. Bound to the Beast (and the sequel, Locking Horns) is my take on the story of Herne the Hunter, and Lord of the Forest is my version of the Robin Hood legend.


Wading through eight hundred years of history to decide where my Robin would fit in was a challenge. Every generation has rewritten his story in different ways. He’s been a common woodsman, an earl in disguise, a returned crusader, and many other incarnations—Disney made him a fox! In the end, his enduring fame informed his character in my book. I decided to pick up Robin’s story after he’s been living the outlaws’ life, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, for well over a decade. He still feels young, but the responsibilities are taking their toll. Though he’s lain with members of his band (hey, this is an m/m Robin Hood, right?) he’s never found true love. He longs for a family of his own, something he believes he can’t have, and has taken to roaming the country as a loan warrior. But he’s a hunted man and can’t escape his legend—seems celebrity could be a pain, even in 1217! Then the evil sheriff turns up, Robin falls for a royal spy, and the fun really begins…

If you’d like to find out more about my mad love of world building, check out my A to Z of the Greenwood universe: http://kayberrisford.com/the-greenwood-series-everything-you-need-to-know/

What do YOU like to read? How do you find satisfying reading stuff, when you have whole worlds in your head? Do you read completely different genres, or do you read m/m? And can you even do that without thinking at some point that you could do better?

I love reading all kinds of romance, including m/m, as well as fantasy series, and enormous historical epics thick enough to commit murder with. I hope I’ll never be dissatisfied with the majority of my reading—indeed, my policy is to enjoy, admire, and learn from the best, including great m/m romance writers like RJ, and epic world builders like G.R.R. Martin. Occasionally, I read a fantasy or a historical and find the background is rather lightly sketched. However, I do appreciate why some writers choose that path, to keep the spotlight tight on character.

Character development is important to me when I read. I am always curious whether characters are based on people the author knows and research, or if they are based are pure fiction?

For me, it’s a bit of both. I often bring in elements from people I know—usually not those closest to me, but nobody’s quite safe. If you’ve got an interesting character trait, you might find it nabbed for my next book. Watch out! I’ve also written a fair bit of fanfic in my time, and have to admit to writing one or two characters inspired by folk from my favorite TV shows and films. Research is important too, particularly for historical characters.

However, whatever the character’s starting point, I always find they take on a life of their own and become absolutely themselves as their story develops. It’s such an organic process, sometimes I can’t control ’em by the end, but that’s the fun of it, I guess!

Thanks for letting me drop by, RJ! And sorry for waffling on (it’s something I tend to do!!!)

*****

Lord of the Forest (The Greenwood) GLBT fantasy. Published by Loose Id.

Blurb 

England, 1217. Dark forces are rising. In the Greenwood, foul spirits grow powerful, and greedy barons plunder the lands. Only one man dares fight back—Robin Hood.

Robin’s band of brothers is broken. Now a lone warrior, he denies his famous name and laments the friends and lovers he’s lost. When the fair folk capture Cal, a beautiful young forester descended from the Greenwood’s ancient protectors, Robin rescues him and forges a new alliance.

Despite a sizzling attraction, Robin senses Cal isn’t like his old comrades, and he’s right. Cal’s been raised as a royal spy. He plans to seduce and betray Robin, but can’t harm the man he’s falling hard for. Mistrust and arguments spill into passionate lovemaking, as Cal learns the meaning of loyalty, fighting beside Robin, the only friend he’s ever known. Even the enchanted forest seeks to bind Robin and the returned protector ever tighter.

Their connection will be tested by nature’s wildest forces, Robin’s past, Cal’s lies, and in a baron’s darkest dungeon. To survive, Robin and Cal must admit their love and embrace their true destinies. Only then can they save England and each other—and win their happiness ever after.

*****

Reviews

“Fantastic sex scenes convey the depth of emotion that the two share. I highly recommend this engaging read as well as the other books in the Greenwood series. Great writing, smoldering sex and a different kind of love story awaits in each book.” – EMMA, NIGHT OWL REVIEWS. 

“The writing is as lush as the forests our characters find themselves in and despite there being elementals, spirits and fairies, everything seemed so real. With descriptions so vivid you could almost imagine yourself there among the Greenwood yourself. The writing is very lyrical, almost like poetry… The love scenes between Robin and Cal are scorching hot, but as well as the physical connection, there is also the emotional one between them… The book is wonderful and I don’t really know what else to say about it except – go, read and enjoy!” – ANNETTE GISBY, ZIPPER RIPPERS.

“There is danger and treachery and even a little bit of heartbreak before an ending that effectively resolved the demands of the Greenwood that the protector bloodline must endure. It is an alchemy that only the Fae could perpetuate; it challenges the imagination, and it also left me wondering if (read: hoping) the author might consider a sequel to the adventure.” – LISA, THE NOVEL APPROACH. 

“We are pulled into a wonderful new story that combines fantasy with history, myths with facts, and legends with historical figures, combining everything together to give us a new spectacular Greenwood story… I will recommend this story to those that love history mixed with their fantasy, who love folklore and legends, hot sex and a happily ever after.” PIXIE, MM GOOD BOOK REVIEWS. 

“This smoothly written story celebrates the erotic and supernatural adventures of Robin Hood within a perilous forest… a fun way to spend an afternoon. Recommended.” - VAL KOVALIN, JESSEWAVE REVIEWS.
*****

Excerpt

“We’ve lost them.” Looking up, Cal pinched his bottom lip between his teeth. “You trust me now?”

Robin’s chest squeezed. The forester still wore the garb of the enemy, albeit torn to shreds, yet all men made mistakes. Robin had erred in his time, and so had his friends. He always forgave them.

A single line creased Cal’s brow, his gaze sharpened with hope. Their bodies pressed close, and Robin’s blood jumped and heated.

“I do,” he said. “I’m sorry I doubted you before.”
“It’s all right.” Cal’s sweet smile melted him. “I wouldn’t have trusted me either, but now you know my choice. I’m your man, not Odo’s, not anyone else’s.”

Robin cupped the nape of Cal’s neck and pulled the lad down into the kiss he’d burned for.

Their lips met, hard and wet, and flames scorched between them. Robin sprang to full arousal so fast the briar patch seemed to quake. The scent of crushed ivy dabbed at his senses but couldn’t subdue the taste of Cal. Thirsting for more, he parted his lips and swirled his tongue about Cal’s, kneading the stubbled line of the lad’s jaw with his thumbs. Hugging Robin tight, Cal worked the kiss with his entire being, moaning down Robin’s throat, mouth and body flexing. Intertwined, they rolled over and grappled till the need to breathe forced them to break a kiss that might have otherwise lingered till nightfall.

“So this is how it always was…with your friends?” asked Cal, gasping.

An act of comradeship, of brothers in deed and body, the thrill of adventure surging in their veins.

Robin could only nod as they bumped and ground together, every press more insistent and charged. Cal’s knee skirted Robin’s hip, and he jammed his rod of an erection flush against Robin’s thigh. Robin rutted against him, friction mounting.

Yes, this was how it had been with his friends. Or was it? Mayhap because his bond with Cal remained as delicate as a spring bud, he needed more than to frisk and spill his seed. He wanted to give everything he had, and he needed more back, but why and what? Oh Goddess, who knew?

*****

Lord of the Forest (The Greenwood) is OUT NOW, published by Loose Id. The first two Greenwood novels (Bound for the Forest and Bound to the Beast) are also available from the below retailers. The series can be read in any order. For more info, please visit http://kayberrisford.com

*****

All titles available from Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/g-k/kay-berrisford.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kay-Berrisford/e/B006JLQ4L8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
All Romance: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Kay+Berrisford

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