A Beast’s Belle by j. Gambardella was just relased by Riverdleavebooks.com, just in time to tie in with the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie. You can buy the book on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Amaozan, Smashwords and wherever books are sold.
What inspired you to write this retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story?
It’s a great mix of many of the classic tropes of romance writing with some powerful departures; the exaggerated masculinity of the Beast, and the intelligent resourcefulness of Belle in the various versions are resonant, both have the potential for greater emotional depth than in the various fairytale versions, and I though that was worth exploring. I’m also always fond of an intelligent and curious heroine, and Belle is a paradigm of that.
How did you weave the BDSM elements into the Beauty and the Beast mythos?
Certain classic features of BDSM aesthetic are already in the story; gothic horror, the manor, and domestic servitude all lend themselves naturally to those sorts of stories. One of the goals in this series is to push further the role of BDSM as a part of the relationships between characters, whether servants of different standings, servants and their masters and mistresses, or even between lovers. BDSM can be romantic and disciplinary, as shows up a lot in the modern literature, but it can be intimate in other ways as well. I try to draw that out in exploring some of the relationships and different acts.
As in all fairy tales, there are truths to be told from fantasy. What are you trying to achieve in this retelling?
There are a few goals, but the most important is to develop the beginning of a romance story that shows characters falling in love as a result of deep emotional and personal, as well as physical, intimacy. Sex is great, and I hope that the various forms of sex are exciting for my readers, but it is also important to capture the intimacy of seeing someone, even a Beast, in vulnerable moments.
Are there any plans for future visit’s to the Beast’s manor or his memoirs?
I think so; one of the goals is to set up a few opportunities to tell different stories, some from the Beast’s past and some of the future of the romance and life in the manor. I hope both will be interesting and exciting for readers.
What’s next for j. Gambardella? And why the lowercase j?
There is a lot to explore. At the moment, I am working on a project that is a blend of classic American noir and horror tropes, with elements of romance. I hope to be able to publish that in the near future. I also would love to publish some short stories and perhaps take on some more fantasy projects in the near future, before (of course) returning to Belle and the Beast.
“jep” is a diminutive nickname for a handful of Germanic and Romanced first names. I like using the lowercase as a way of reinforcing that it is a nickname with a particular, boyish tone.
J. Gambardella was born and raised in northern California, where he was fortunate to be raised around a rich library in a single-parent home, affording him enormous time to read. As a young adult he worked in a bookstore, where he had the opportunity to interact with some of the greatest literary minds northern and central California had to offer, taking their advice and applying it to his own fancies and fantasies. He has advanced degrees in both the arts and the sciences. He adopted a pseudonym to work in erotic romance, and looks forward to an illustrious career sharing his perverted and idealistic imagination with a new audience.