Today my guest is Antonia Aquilante, here to talk about her first novel, The Prince’s Consort, and her choice to write a fantasy story.
Thank you for having me here today, Shae! I’m Antonia Aquilante, and I’m happy to be here to talk with you about The Prince’s Consort, my debut novel releasing October 16th from Dreamspinner Press. The Prince’s Consort is a fantasy romance, which is one of my favorite subgenres of romance, both to read and to write. I’ve been reading fantasy and enjoying fantasy stories since I was a child—I loved fairy tales and stories of other worlds and magic. Journeying to Narnia or Prydain or Oz or any number of other places set my imagination flying. When I was around eleven, I discovered Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet, and then dove into the works of authors like Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey, and basically lived in the fantasy section at my local bookstore and library. I loved immersing myself in the worlds they created and getting to know the characters who populate those worlds, and returning again and again. Fantasy stories swept me away in magic and adventure.
Around the same time, I read my first romance novel—a Nora Roberts that I still have the same worn copy of on my bookshelf. I was twelve, and I proceeded to devour romance novels the way I devoured fantasy novels. I didn’t have to haunt the bookstore for these for a while—I just borrowed them from my mom’s bookshelves. I loved immersing myself in romance too, in the way the characters met and how relationships progressed and happily ever after was reached. Stories of romance swept me away too, and I fell in love with the romance genre as well.
But as much as I loved fantasy novels, something started to bother me. I loved the fantasy worlds and the fantasy plots, but I wanted more of the characters and their relationships. I wanted more than just the romantic subplots that might or might not end happily. I wanted more romance in my fantasy. And I wanted happily ever after. (Because some fantasy is very romantic but not very happy.) I still read books that are more fantasy than romance and romances that have nothing to do with fantasy stories, but I do love finding that perfect combination of both.
I often gravitate toward this idea in my writing – fantasy worlds but stories that focus on romance and the building of relationships in love, friendship, and family. The Prince’s Consort came from there. It’s a fantasy story, taking place in a fantasy world. Tournai is a place filled with magic, both large and small. Tournai’s royal family, for instance, possesses a secret magical Talent that is steeped in legend. But at its heart, the story one of two people coming together, falling in love, and fighting to stay together. I hope you enjoy visiting Tournai and seeing Amory and Philip fall in love as much as I did.
Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time.
Or have they?
Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.
Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.
About the Author:
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent—they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.