Category Archives: M/M Original Fiction
Posted by Sara Testarossa
Today, I’m happy to host Mazarin Stone, whose debut novel, Florentine, releases on January 28th! Florentine is a beautifully written M/M BDSM romance (I devoured my copy when it arrived early!). In this guest post, Mazarin’s sharing about her development of protagonist Mahiro’s distinct aesthetic, which both fleshes out his character and enriches his and Alex’s story.
One of my very favorite parts of writing has to be adding all those tiny little touches that flesh out a character, that makes them a fully formed person with not just hopes and dreams and preferences, but personality and quirks and tastes, beyond what you might learn about them through the plot of my books.
Mahiro, the main character of my novel, Florentine, has been one of my absolute favorites. Not only is Mahiro a native-born Japanese man living in the US for the last 10 years, but he’s also interested in history and the British Victorian aesthetic. I thought it fitting – as Brits were absolutely fascinated with the Japanese aesthetic during the Victorian period, why not flip the tables and have Mahiro, and his best friend Adam (son of Chinese immigrants) both be interested in history? And how better to really reinforce that aesthetic throughout, than by choosing specific toys and furniture that recur so often that they become characters in and of themselves, like the black leather Victorian chase longue in Mahiro and Adam’s playroom, a piece that comes back in use again, and again:
Mahiro walks behind him and releases his bindings with a quick tug. All the ropes fall clear of his hands with a slight shimmy, and Mahiro checks his wrists. Just a slight tinge of pink and barely an imprint.
“Go lie on that lounge, Alex,” Mahiro says and directs him to a leather Victorian-style fainting couch. “And let me watch you. I want to see what you like.”
Alex stands rather quickly, almost too quickly if the first stumbling step he takes is any indication. Mahiro steadies him with a hand on his arm until the head rush passes and helps him lie down on the lounge. “Will you stay close?” Alex asks, already reaching into his underwear. “Will you… will you touch yourself too?”
“I may, depending on how nicely you do,” Mahiro says, palming himself as Alex watches him with heated eyes. Of course you’re going to touch yourself. Who are you even fooling with this nonsense? “Give me a show, Alex. Make me want it.”
One of my favorite pieces to find was Alex’s gold and white Venetian masquerade mask for the play party. It took me days and days, combing through masks on google that would be beautiful, but not gaudy; gold and white, but not tacky; and masculine, yet still soft and vulnerable. In the end, the one I found was absolutely perfect, and now has become a symbol in its own right, now being used as my own avatar on Twitter.
Everything, from Mahiro’s black suede floggers to Alex’s gold and crystal nipple clamps, was chosen to convey a very specific sort of aesthetic, a bent toward a beautiful, Gothic sort of look, a suggestion of candlelight and foggy nights and dark-cloaked men whispering in your ear. All of those pieces contribute to the things that mark Mahiro’s character, that round him out and make him feel real. It can be a bit time consuming to find those things that fit (and sometimes a great way to procrastinate writing!) but having those references hit refrains in the narrative, builds a picture in a reader’s mind and helps to immerse them more fully in your story. Spending the time is absolutely worth it.
Starting on January 28, 2020, I will be publishing one link/picture a day of all the things I found for Florentine that I can’t wait to share with readers. Furniture, clothing, toys, locations! Come join me at http://twitter.com/mazarin_stone.
You can find Florentine at Dreamspinner Press – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/florentine-by-mazarin-stone-11500-b or from Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Florentine-Mazarin-Stone-ebook/dp/B082466MW8
Florentine – Blurb
Mahiro became a professional figure skater for one reason—to be near the object of his lust from the time he was a teenager, Alex Breschi. But he never advanced far enough for Alex to notice him. Now Alex is retired from skating and working as a thriller author, while Mahiro gracefully bowed out of competition years before to become a successful app developer and practicing Dom in New York City.
Reality and fantasy collide at a penthouse play party when Mahiro meets his idol. Alex is researching a book, and he wants to learn more about the lifestyle. In fact, he wants to be trained as a submissive. By Mahiro.
Mahiro knows it’s a terrible idea. He’s hardly objective, and Alex is a novice. Still, all those years of longing shatter his reserve, and he cannot refuse to have the man of his dreams in his hands. Alex will certainly notice him now, and since Alex is returning to Russia in a few months, Mahiro can have some fun without divulging his past… or his obsession. What does he have to lose?
Just his heart.
About Mazarin Stone:
Mazarin Stone has been a voracious reader since the age of four but didn’t start writing until her thirties. She spent most of her life split between the sunny beaches of Florida and the cornfields of Indiana, until she got married and settled into life in Indianapolis. When she’s not battling her dog over nose-tweeting on her laptop’s touchscreen or shuttling her son to three different sports at a time, she’s an environmental scientist, amateur historian, Sherlock Holmes aficionado, baseball fan, and desperately obsessed with Victorian Era fashion and architecture. This is her first novel, and she’s excited to share her life’s second act with readers.
You can find Mazarin Stone on Twitter.