It Doesn’t Mean That We’re Nothing

Stina’s Pen Author Interview

The 5-Time Rejected Gamma and the Lycan King follows a Gamma werewolf who is bonded to a lycan king but wants nothing to do with him; he must prove he is different and that they are meant to be together. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

The vibe I was going for in the setup for Lucy was, “Again? Really? Let’s just get this over and done with”, whereas the one for Xandar was, “This isn’t fair. I just met you”. The inspiration stemmed from the connection between failures and second chances…well, in this case, the sixth chance since Xandar is Lucy’s sixth-chance mate. And the failures I was looking at aren’t confined to relationships.

When I wrote this scene, I saw it as a person’s resistance to trying something again after failing so many times in the past. It could be a passion we’d given up because we were taking longer to get the results we wanted, an idea that had been shelved because we no longer believed in it after the number of times it was rejected, or even a dream we kept as a dream because the effort we put into turning that dream into reality never seemed to have amounted to anything.

Lucy opened herself up to love before. She did put in the effort to be liked, to be loved. But for various reasons explored in the book, her past mate-bonds never worked out. If it never worked out, not for lack of trying on her part, why should she keep tormenting herself in something that she felt she wasn’t good at and feel bad about herself after? So, when she met Xandar, she automatically assumed that he, like the rest, would find something wrong with her, something that she should be ashamed of and would make him want to reject the mate-bond.

By contrast, before Lucy, Xandar’s heart had never been given to anyone. And being the crowned prince and subsequently the king, he never had to put in much effort to be liked or loved. Whereas respect was something that others had to earn, it was Xandar’s birthright. Meeting Lucy changed that. She was closed-off and dismissive of him, spoke minimally when answering his questions like they were holding a formal conversation, and altogether lifeless and indifferent when it came to their bond. Nevertheless, he is determined to open up to her and love her, hoping she’d feel safe enough to open up to him.

The inspiration for this setup is basically how something extraordinary may begin to happen just when we decide to give up, how the arrow pulls back only when it’s about to propel forward. It is frustrating not to know whether to keep knocking on the same door or find another door entirely, and this story explores how when one woman decides to stop knocking on doors altogether, being content with everything she already has, is exactly when the right man comes knocking, only to have her close her door on him, one that he continuously knocks on with romantic gestures, attentiveness and constant reassurance through his words and actions that he wasn’t like the rest.

Lucianne, despite having been rejected multiple times, maintains a strong personality and sense of self-preservation. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

With each failed mate-bond, Lucy had grown to learn that she’d be okay on her own. At some point, she even felt that she was better off on her own. It was difficult for her to let Xandar in, learn to trust him, and believe that he would never let her go.

To develop her character, it was really about making her aware of how different Xandar was to her compared to her past mates. And this awareness was brought about by the people close to her. It is difficult to be objective when one has been treated poorly so many times, so awareness was planted in Lucy’s mind by supporting characters before the thought blossomed on its own.

Another thing was a matter of self-belief. I don’t disagree that she has a strong personality but she’s not one with the highest self-esteem. When she began considering the possibility of being with Xandar, she was hit with the undeniable fact that she wouldn’t just have to be a mate, she’d have to be the queen – a role that terrified her in the beginning. It was a fear of being an imposter and not being good enough. She didn’t see herself the way her friends, family, and allies saw her. It took time, encouragement and progressive assimilation into Xandar’s professional world before she truly believed she was the right person for the job, not only because she had the required skillset already, but because she had the attitude and character required to stand on the pedestal with him.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There were so many, but I’ll just keep it to the top three. The first was definitely the importance of always getting up again even after being belittled, beaten, bruised and destroyed. As long as we’re still alive, there’s no doubt there’s something we can do, something that can make a difference in the world if not in our own world.

The second was attentiveness and effective communication in a relationship. We are all creatures of emotion and the lack of these two aspects leads to emotional starvation that may turn into distance, feelings of abandonment, and even resentment. I wanted to explore how two people, after deciding to give each other a chance, go all out in making things work, in seeing and hearing the little things that others don’t see or hear, and in resorting to solution-oriented communication to strengthen their relationship as opposed to leaning towards emotional outbursts and blame-shoving to get a point across.

The third, and arguably the most important one, was the vitality in knowing that you matter, no matter what anyone says. Most, if not all of us, have been through phases in our lives where we were either told or implied to be a failure, a lost cause, a complete nothing. It hurts more when it comes from the people we love or respect. It hurts most when it comes from ourselves. The message this book is trying to convey is that we have the final say in whether we matter – and we do. Just because we haven’t reached the same heights or found the same happiness as the people around us yet doesn’t mean we’re failures. It doesn’t mean that we’re nothing. Each of us is a work-in-progress and that’s something. That something matters. We matter.

What is the next book in the Coalescence of the Five series that you are working on, and when will it be available?

Book Two is entitled The Rogues Who Went Rogue, and it’s already available on various pay-by-chapter platforms. It’ll be released in paperback and pay-by-book eBook in July 2023. This sequel delves deeper into the world of the rogues and introduces readers to a species that shut itself away from the werewolves and lycans for more than two centuries – vampires. Like the shifters in Book One, vampires possess their own unique abilities that may or may not complement wolves and lycans. New friendships will be formed, past foes will emerge, a buried truth will force itself out, and an unknown power will surface. It’s a tale of love, strength, acceptance and forgiveness, along with a dash of humor.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

She’s his bonded mate – yet she wants nothing to do with him.

After 5 failed mate-bonds, she’ll do anything to escape another heartbreak…
Gamma Lucianne learns that her prayers to the Moon Goddess were ignored, and she’s being bonded once more. But this time, she’s not giving an inch—even offering the lycan king a chance to reject her on their first meeting…
… but he refuses.

The lycan king owns everything… except her heart.

King Alexandar considers his mate a gift from the Goddess. Yet she seems determined to reject him. His patience is tested as he finds any and every way to win her heart and protect her, especially when Lucianne becomes a magnet for danger.

Certain creatures don’t want her as queen, and they’ll do anything to stop Alexandar from making her his. Even if it means eliminating her.

Alexandar won’t stand for anyone disrespecting his mate, let alone harming her. He’ll remove anyone who stands in his way. He will win Lucianne’s heart, no matter the cost. Blood will be shed, and in the end, will the king and queen still be standing?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 29, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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