Deena Remiel's Place

Author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

Robert Roman

Another playdate, and I’m over the moon! Playing with us today is Robert Roman, author of Fae Eye For The Golem Guy, an urban fantasy meets romantic comedy that is sure to please, tease, and tantalize!

{Micah Slate has lived centuries, his lonely existence dedicated to the protection of art. Then he meets Ophilia Morgan, a young artist who has transformed herself into a living work of art. Micah thinks she’ll never give him a second glance, but she has dark secrets of her own. When a greedy socialite uses Micah’s museum as the setting for fraud and destruction, he and Ophilia will be thrown together in a night of mayhem. – Decadent Publishing}

 

Deena: Robert, thanks for coming to play, and congratulations on the release of Fae Eye for the Golem Guy! Can you give us a little background on what led you to writing this story?

Robert: Back in early 2008, there was a call for comedic submissions, and Dana Marie Bell (author of the Halle Puma and Halle Shifter novels) and I were brainstorming about what we could write.  We, of course, got nowhere and eventually the conversation tangented off to our mutual love of ‘makeover’ shows.  I’m fonder of places and things; she’s more of a makeup and fashion person.  At any rate, somewhere right in the middle of that, the idea of the guys from Pimp My Ride redoing someone’s makeup and fashion came up, and BAM, characters, scenes, and the title hit all at once.  We worked together writing and submitting, but it didn’t go anywhere.  She’s gotten quite busy with her shifter novels, so a while back I asked if she minded if I rewrote it and submitted it to Decadent.  I did, Lisa liked it, and here we are.

Deena: Fae Eye is listed as Urban Fantasy and Romantic Comedy. Urban Fantasy I get, so tell us how romantic comedy is infused into your novella as well.

Robert: There are a few things.  First of all, as noted above, the idea of a human-looking Golem getting fashion advice from a pair of gay pixies has some potential humor in.  The odd-couple nature of the romance has its own humor as well.  Finally, and this is probably going to be true of most of my stories, especially the ones with a serious romantic element, I can’t help but write banter.  I often get accused of writing ‘conversations that just wouldn’t happen’.  Of course, my deep dark secret is how many have been lifted word for word from my own life.  So I guess it’s more Grosse Point Blank funny than Date Movie funny, if you see the difference there.

Deena: Totally! On your blog, www.robertcroman.com, you mention that there will be two more novellas in this series. Will the same characters appear in these novellas, or will others be introduced as main characters?

Robert: Yes and yes.  Many of the characters from Fae Eye for the Golem Guy will appear in What Not to Fear, but not all of them will have the same amount of screen time.  As I was plotting it out, I was surprised by the character that actually gets more screen time in the second story – Teresa Gelt, the villain of Fae Eye.  Micah and Ophilia are back, but not as Main Characters.  What Not to Fear is about Micah and Ophilia’s god-nephew, Matthew.  Well, Mathew and his police-detective object-of-desire, Michaela.  Much like in Fae Eye, neither is quite what they seem, but neither is what Teresa thinks, either, so she has no idea What Not to Fear.  Yeah, my titles are all shout-outs or bad puns or math jokes or, worst of all, all three at once.
     The final story is only loosely plotted at this point, but again it will involve a new Hero and Heroine, although at least the Heroine will be introduced in an earlier story.
     The two who will definitely show up in all three stories are Xavier and Ricardo, the Pixie fairy godfathers.  Despite Xavier swearing off the godfather business at the end of Fae Eye, Ricardo is too much of a romantic to stay away long, and one doesn’t tell the Morrigan ‘no’, after all.

Deena: Do you see yourself staying in the Urban Fantasy genre, or might you venture deeper into the Romantic Comedy arena?

Robert: That’s a bit of a loaded question.
     The Artifice series (Fae Eye and sequels) will be Urban Fantasy, (with light Steam Punk, Noir, and Cyber Punk in the first, second, and third respectively), but there will always be some Romance and Comedy in there.  The Urban Pandora series (Road Mage, which comes out August 16th from Decadent, and its sequels) is pure Urban Fantasy Action Adventure.  The Iron Angel series (The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones – OR – Genesis of an Iron Angel out from Decadent later this year, and sequels) is Steam Punk (could ya tell?) Action Adventure, and some definite Gothic Horror, because you can’t get Steam Punk without the Gothic Horror tagging along for the ride, but there will be some Romance in there as well.  The Tram & Tenly novels are Sci Fi Action Adventure, but they’ve a strong Romantic element.  Finally (for now…) my current WIP, Crowbar Girl is Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy Action Adventure.  Very little Romance.  Only one or two couples.  And very little Comedy.  Just a girl with a crowbar fighting to stop Ragnarok.
     So… yeah.  I’ll be doing some more Urban Fantasy, and nothing I write will ever be completely without humor, and the only character that has completely avoided Romance so far is the clinically depressed one, but saying I’ll be staying with one or the other is a little misleading.

Deena: You are currently a High School teacher, but have had various careers before becoming a published author. What has been the most interesting or memorable experience from any of those careers?

Robert: That’s a really tough call.  From my time doing construction it would be having a house dropped on me.  From my time doing technical support, I’d say the guy who asked me what the ‘A’ key was.  Doing PM work it would have been getting free stuff from hospitality workers in Vegas when I showed them I was actually working, in Vegas, on the weekend.  I’ve just got bucket loads of stories, and I don’t think any of them is ‘best’.
     OK, on second thought, I know which one is my favorite.  Now, I’ll probably get beaten for this one, but when I was working at the Philadelphia UPS Air Hub there was this really hot chick working on one of the other aircraft.  I started asking the people on her crew, trying to find out anything I could about this gorgeous brunette.  I’ve never been very impulsive when it comes to romance.  More to the point, it takes huge amounts of planning and forethought to appear spontaneous.  At any rate, nobody knew much about her beyond her name, so I started doing whatever it took to get near her, so I could get some idea what she liked / was like.  Taking a class on fueling aircraft.  Having lunch with her after work at the café in the building.  Volunteering to work a little late helping her crew out.
     About that time, the guys on my crew realized I had the hots for her.  One of them took me aside, all paternal-like, and told me ‘man, you don’t want to go there’.  Of course, being young and full of everything young guys are full of, I said ‘why not?’.  To which he replies ‘OK, you want to stick it in a meat grinder, you go right ahead but don’t come cryin’ to me when it comes out hamburger’.
     I found out later that in every single interaction I’d had with her, I’d managed to infuriate her.  I also found out that she had a penchant for carrying around knives and Leatherman multi-tools, and had a disturbing tendency to think they both ought to be juxtaposed with soft tissue.  I found out other things too, but if I went into those I’d do a Jordan on my fans when she killed me, and by now I know one or two of them really want to see where my story arcs are going.
     So, yeah.  That’s not the BEST story I’ve got, by far, but it’s my favorite, also by a wide margin, and the one I’m least likely to forget – How I Wooed and Won the Ur-Goth.

Deena: Your female lead, Ophilia,  has works of art tattooed on her body. So I have to ask what piece of art best describes you?

Robert: With that last story in mind?  The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton.  Then again, if you ask my friends, they might say something by Escher, with the Labyrinth reference intended.  If you ask my students, probably something by Giger, although too few would know his name.  Then again, if I’m allowed to broaden the definition of ‘piece of art’ just a squinch, I’d probably go with this piece – http://xkcd.com/556/ – by Randall Munroe.

Deena: Where can we find you, contact you, find your work?

Robert: You can find me online at
www.robertcroman.com, you can contact me at bob.roman@gmail.com, and you can find my work at www.decadentpublishing.com.  You can find me on Facebook at Bob’s Books, and if you want to follow the world’s Least Updated Twitter Feed, I’m on there as KennyCelican.  If you’re looking to find me in person (WHY are you looking to find me in person, I wonder?) I’ll be attending Philcon this fall, RT next spring, and as many book signings and conventions as Dana and PJ Schnyder can get me to.

Robert, thank you so much for coming to play with us today! We’ll be looking out for your next novella in the series, What Not to Fear.

Robert’s been kind enough to leave us with an excerpt from Fae Eye… Enjoy!

*** Without conscious volition, his gaze wandered down to the floor of the restoration room, finding and fixing on the living work of Art that moved across the face of the huge triptych undergoing restoration.

Ophilia worked with the grace of a dancer, hands sure and certain as they glided over the surface of the ancient wooden tablets.  Rings encircled each of her fingers, linked together with slim silvered chains that bound them to the thick silver bracelets on her wrists.  Just above each bracelet the body art began, continuing across every portion of her exposed skin except her face.

Ophilia’s state of dishabille while she worked had shocked him at first.  Like some heathen savage, she hid only the barest essentials of herself.  A swath of leather supported small, firm breasts.  Another apron-like swath protected her from belly to mid-thigh.  Beyond that and her jewelry, she routinely removed all her other garments before beginning work.

He had been surprised, but he soon saw the sense of it.  The chemicals she worked with were unkind to brushes and pots.  Micah could only imagine what continued exposure would do to clothing.  As head of security, Micah was well aware of what each employee was paid, even the artists like Ophilia who were hired for occasional work.  She could afford only a modest wardrobe; replacing it every evening she worked would have been costly.

Micah couldn’t bring himself to complain.  Her shameless lack of attire let him see more of her Artwork.  On her stomach, Venus rose from the waves.  Half covered by the slick leather of her halter, an Asian poet rested on her right shoulder.  Bonaparte rode a mule on her left.  Each work inked into her skin was ‘pinned’ at the corners by small silvery studs, making her seem clothed in the works of ages.  Even her temples were tattooed, an image of Rodin’s Thinker on the right, paired hands drawing each other on the left.  Her hair, mostly pulled back into a pragmatic bun, was the color of a raven’s wing, with broad green streaks highlighting the luster of it, purple ribbons woven throughout.  Tiny bells, attached to each other by gossamer-thin silver chains, danced up and down the shells of her ears, making music as she moved.  A final stud pierced the bridge of her nose, suspending three tiny ruby teardrops.  Her huge sea green eyes were made even more dramatic by the dark eye makeup she favored.  She pursed her full, cherry red lips as she studied a new portion of the triptych.

Shrouded in darkness he watched, entranced.  His thoughts were filled with the imagined taste of her lips, the phantom softness of her hair.  In covering herself with art, she had become a work of art herself.  Every night as he watched her, he told himself he would talk to her when the time came to let her out of the building and lock up.  Every night as he walked her down to the door, he reminded himself what this fey mortal, this living work of art, would see when she looked at him.

A plain, bland, unremarkable man in a plain, bland, unremarkable suit.

Damnation.

It was unlikely, at best, that she would give him more than a cursory glance.  Still, the triptych would take at least a few more nights to complete, and there was every reason to believe that she would be brought back the next time the museum needed a restoration.  She was as much an artist as she was a work of art.

And, whether she knew it or not, she was his to Protect.  ***

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