I did an interview with one of my favorite authors of all time. Therefore, my life is complete.
Captive Prince Volume One (various covers)
“This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison”
Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…
Captive Prince Volume Two (various covers)
“This was Vere’s most powerful lords unfurling their banners for war.”
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master Prince Laurent must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.
Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgeling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…
Captive Prince Volume Three (various covers)
Publication date unknown.
Tell us a little about yourself… Who can you relate to most, Damen or Laurent?
I share some things in common with Damen, I’m reasonably extroverted and I enjoy spending time with people, and I’m very loyal to my friends.
But I relate more to Laurent. My father passed away when I was five years old, so I relate to the experience of losing someone, and it changing your whole world. I tend to be analytical and bookish. Vulnerability and intimacy can be difficult for me. I’m also a compulsive planner. Probably when you read the books you can tell that they’re written by a Laurent and not a Damen.
Could it be that you possess any… remarkably puzzling or peculiar talent?
My background is as a scientist. I’m a geologist by training, and as a result I know quite a lot about rocks, which I suspect makes for a peculiar knowledge bank.
During your teenage years, were you a fanatic of M/M romance, LGBT, Yaoi or… fan fiction? If yes, what triggered it?
I read fan fiction and yaoi throughout my teens and into my early twenties, and wrote fanfiction as well. I have an enormous respect for the fanfiction community as an artistic space.
I think what drives the fanfiction writer is a desire to reclaim a text, to explore its themes, in a sense to make it your own. This can be powerful and important, particularly when those reclamations involve queering a heteronormative text, or the insertion of fantasies that until recently have not been given much expression in mainstream works, such as the power fantasies of teen girls. It’s a way of offering alternate narratives and diversifying what can sometimes feel like a narrative monoculture.
If you had the choice to have either Damen or Laurent as close friend, who would you pick and for what reason?
I’d pick Damen, because I think I’d learn from his easy good nature. Laurent could be his fascinating boyfriend who comes over sometimes for dinner.
If Captive Prince were to become a movie (I hope it will!), what actors would you personally choose to incarnate Damen and Laurent?
I haven’t yet come across an actor that I’ve thought, “That’s him!” but I can see Laurent being played by any one of the abundance of young blond actors that England seems to produce effortlessly. Damen some kind of up-and-coming actor of Mediterranean basin region descent. Why do I feel like I’ve just described the plot of a fanfiction AU rather than a film cast? I’ve always thought that Takeshi Kaneshiro would be an amazing Auguste if there were ever an epic c-drama version of the books.
Now we know both princes need each other for a variety of reasons but who, in your opinion, needs the other MOST and why?
Laurent needs Damen in order to learn to trust again – to learn that there are people that he can trust, and that trust and opening himself to the risk of trust is part of happiness. He needs someone in his life who believes in him, and who will stand by his side. His reasons are excruciatingly personal.
Damen by contrast is a very easy-going person born into a position of great privilege. He would have lived a thoughtlessly contented life if he had never met Laurent. So in that sense, arguably Laurent needs Damen more. But without Laurent, Damen is a man who lacks true empathy. He sees the world in black and white and he cannot understand those with a worldview different to his own. His privilege blinds him to the systems of injustice in his society. He needs Laurent to open his eyes to the shades of grey in the world – and he needs Laurent to help navigate them.
Of all the characters in Captive Prince, which is the hardest to write and which the easiest?
Damen is the hardest. He’s an instinct and emotion-driven person, and he acts on his emotions very openly. But in terms of his instincts, he couldn’t be less like me. Because the books are written from his point of view, I am constantly having to recalibrate from my own interests, to think about what Damen would feel, and where his attention would “go” in a scene. “Oh, Damen doesn’t care about the wall tapestry, he’s focused on the quality of the armed guard and the room’s defensible positions.” Damen is also a character who is very stoic and often unaware of his own internal state. He certainly doesn’t narrate his emotions to himself. He’d never even think, “I am sad”. So writing him can be a challenge, in that I often have to find ways to show the reader what he is feeling without being able to state it directly in the text.
Laurent is the easiest. I can write him very instinctively, his dialogue and actions tend to just come, usually in their final-draft form.
Can you share with us some information on your planned future YA series? Will it be of the fantasy genre, too?
I’m incredibly excited by it! It will be fantasy, and it will include magic. The inclusion of LGBTQI characters and a diverse cast is also important to me. I like high-octane escapism, and characters with intense relationships, so what it will have in common with Captive Prince is the powerful tensions and intensities between characters.
Captive Prince in three words?
Princes in love!
Thank you so much, Miss Pacat!!
Interview by Hit or Miss Books.
Extra: Captive Prince Fan Art (click on art for source)
Well, that was it! I strongly hope that you enjoyed this post and please feel free to tell me what you think of this series, this interview.