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But even when that happens, I don’t always write right away. Sometimes the ideas have to simmer before I write them. Keeping story ideas separate, for me, is like putting a dam in the middle of an ocean. I say that, equating the ocean to torrents of emotions, ebbing and flowing with the cycles of the moon—or my mood. The characters on any given side are fleshed out, ready and waiting for me to summon them when the time’s right.
Divide the ocean by as many stories as I haven’t written/finished yet, and that’s how I feel all the time. I’m working on four different original novels. Once those are done, I’ll have to wait before something else inspires me. I tend to pass this time with fanfiction for practice.
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled Empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the Empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her Empress.
Enjoy an excerpt:
This promise of adventure—I hadn’t felt it properly in years. Women for me have come and gone, literally. The beginnings were never like this. They hadn’t looked at me with such controlled, respectful want. Like a gentleman. Like a knight—a true paladin. They hadn’t held their hand out to me, not giving a damn about everyone staring at us. They hadn’t asked me to dance as Satya sang such a haunting, romantic song about uncertain longing.
And then she spoke again: “I’m assuming another rule is that I don’t get to learn your real name.”
That was way more than anyone else had managed to do.
I leaned in to whisper in her ear, “The name’s Raj. You’re not allowed to tell no one. Promise me.”
“I won’t betray your trust. I swear that on my honor. I really like your name. It suits you, all the power you have. Tell me whenever I have permission to call you that. I’d like to earn it.”
She guided me over to the dance floor. The crowd parted to make room for us. They whispered to each other as we passed by; they saw how entranced I was, no matter how hard I fought to hide it. I watched the seriousness turn over as shadows across Videl’s beautiful face. Serious, but soft, somehow—she had a perfect balance of the two almost all the time.
About the Author: Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.