Why did I write this book.
For a long time, paranormal romance (that I have read at least) has seen several prominent tropes:
- The love triangle and accompanying jealousy plots
- Werewolves hating on vampires and vice versa
- The vampire who is the love interest not doing such terrible things as drinking actual *gasp* blood
- Vampires as a metaphor for sex
- The weak human who has been thrust into the supernatural world alone
In Changing Loyalties, I wanted to subvert some of these tropes. I wanted to write a paranormal romance that I would want to read. Rather, I wanted to write a story that felt like it was written for me, written for people like me.
So, this is me: I’m a polyamorous and demisexual individual who doesn’t tend to experience a great deal of jealousy. This is a book that subverts the idea that a paranormal romance needs to have only one love interest, that there is no other way of resolving a love triangle. This is a book that subverts the idea of vampires as sexual creatures. This is a book that subverts the idea of a young woman walking into a supernatural world either weak or unprepared.
And these… these are the three main characters of Changing Loyalties:
In my main character, Dahlia I wrote a bisexual and polyamorous young woman currently attending university. Her best friend is Renee, someone who also practices non-monogamy throughout the story, though the focus of the narrative is less on her.
Dahlia grew up in a house with her vampire godmother, who just happens to be head of all the vampires that reside in Melbourne. From a very young age, she was incredibly aware of the supernatural world.
On the other side of her family is the werewolf pack, of which her father was one before he ran off after the death of her mother. The son of the Alpha, Luca, is like a brother to Dahlia.
Of course, there are two love interests, but I never wanted them to compete. The first love interest is a vampire, Elliott. He’s at least a century older than Dahlia, but he also comes from a time when sex before marriage wasn’t publically done. I felt, in creating Elliott, that I wanted to have a character that that kind of thing worked for.
When he became a vampire, he didn’t suddenly seek to explore all of his basest urges. Nor was he someone for whom guilt was the main focus of every action he took from then on.
Somewhere in between those two extremes, I found a character who found sex distasteful unless it was with someone that he had an emotional connection with. He is introduced to the word demisexual in this novel where he has always before felt that time to be chaste had just moved past him. He’s not overly fond of human bodily fluids in general, and so does his best to separate the person from the blood that is his food.
Completely stand-offish at the beginning of the story, Bianca is involved with a group of ‘librarian witches’ whose path Dahlia just happens to come across early on in this novel.
She’s also a woman.
It was important to me that, as well as exploring the nature of polyamory—the fact that this is a viable life choice for many and conversations approaching the subject of polyamory don’t have to be scary—one of Dahlia’s love interests was a woman. I can think of one example in the market of paranormal fiction where the main characters love interest was also a woman. Just one.
When it comes down to it, there were multiple themes I wanted to explore with Changing Loyalties, areas of both sexuality and identity I wanted to make accessible as part of the standard package of a paranormal romance novel.
F/f, polyamorous and demisexual representation are all incredibly close to my heart, and I cannot wait to share this novel with other people.
More about Changing Loyalties which is out today!
When Dahlia finds the body of her father, a werewolf, brutally murdered and left to die alone, she’s left with more questions and grief than answers. But who or what killed him remains unknown, and it soon becomes clear her father isn’t the killer’s only target.
Adding to the growing pile of mysteries in her life is the new job—for a company that seems to be run by the kind of people who have no qualms about murdering werewolves. Even more frustrating, Dahlia’s new boss, Bianca, is curt and rude—and far more intriguing than seems fair.
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Bio: Nicole Field writes across the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. She lives in Melbourne with her fiancee, two cats, and a bottomless cup of tea. She likes candles, incense and Gilmore Girls.