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Five Questions for Sedonia Guillone

Posted on: October 1, 2008

1) The immensely popular White Tiger series has spiritual and sexual
themes.  Can you explain more about the White Tigers and their practices?

SEDONIA: Oh, wow! It’s exciting to hear that the series is immensely
popular!! <big smile> As far as the White Tigers and their practices, I was
inspired by Jade Lee’s erotic romance Tigress books (Dorchester Leisure), a
series set in turn-of-the-century Shanghai.. They are heterosexual and
center on the Dragon-Tigress practices of the Taoist Immortals. Very hot and
I totally recommend them. Anyway, I’ve been studying Lao Tzu, the originator
of the Tao (The Way of Life) on which this particular religion is based. To
sum it up, the exercises use sexual energy to channel the life force in
order to help a person become calm and centered. This centeredness helps to
quiet the mind so that a man or woman can see his/her life clearly, and face
any emotional trials that are keeping him/her from having a full, balanced
and happy life. Those who have read my White Tigers books know that this is
exactly what happens with the characters. They are carrying around emotional
baggage that prevent them from fulfilling their potential as human beings.
They come to the White Tiger where another man’s aim is to help them to
relax and to heal. The romances come out of these encounters.

2) Toshiro Genjin and John Holmes are featured in two of your books (that
I know of—please correct me if I’m wrong).  What inspired you to create
Toshi and John.

SEDONIA: The inspiration for John and Toshi came out of a confluence of
things. First, I was doing research on samurai history and came across the
Samurai Archives which held a fiction contest each year. I wanted to enter a
story in the contest and began writing a time travel story about two
samurai. Of course, being an erotic romance author who’d just begun a foray
into writing m/m, my story took on that direction. Now I couldn’t enter it
into the fiction contest, lol. BUT, I could still fashion a novel that I
could send to one of my publishers. Somehow, the time travel element
developed into going back and forth between past and present, i.e. a murder
in the past that had ramifications in the present day. I needed a detective
trying to solve the murder, hence, Toshi. Then he had to fall in love with
someone. Since the murder had supernatural overtones, a psychic was needed
to bridge past and present. I have an affinity for veterans who suffer
neurasthenia (Post traumatic stress disorder) and made John into one who was
suffering it because that affliction for him has sensitized him to an
extreme. Toshi also was influenced image-wise by a Japanese horror film I
saw a couple of years back. I don’t remember the title or the name of the
actor, but there was a very handsome young man playing a detective who was
trying to catch a supernatural killer monster and it was this man’s image I
had in mind when I created Toshi. Toshi’s name however, was influenced by
the fact that I’m an absolute goner for Toshiro Mifune, the great Japanese
actor of the 20th century.

3) Why did you choose Phuket Thailand for one of your White Tigers book.
Have you ever visited Thailand?  If not, why did you pick Phuket.

SEDONIA: LOL. I actually didn’t choose Phuket and I’ve never been to
Thailand although I’d love to go there someday. My boyfriend sometimes comes
up with great titles for me to write a story by and these often become my
best books (Ace in the Hole at Loose Id; Enter the Hero in Secrets vol. 25,
Red Sage). One day he said, “I have a title for you: Men of Phuket, using a
play on the pronunciation of Phuket. Well, I latched onto the idea and
started researching the place in Thailand. Immediately I learned that it’s
an incredibly tolerant place and has one of the biggest gay pride parades
every year! It was perfect for a book. I’d just finished writing Beautiful
Samurai, White Tiger, the secret to His Beautiful Samurai and wanted to set
more stories in the White Tiger, the central setting for Beautiful Samurai,
White Tiger. The men there had stories to tell, so I chose to make it a
continuation of what happens after the mystery is solved. Ryu, a minor
character in Beautiful Samurai, White Tiger, became the central character
who falls in love with Nat when he’s sent to hide in Thailand from Taro
Suzuki. After that, the White Tigers stories just popped up like crazy in my
mind. Naoto and Koji, Kiku and Yuzo, Hiru and Quan Chan…

4) What is it about Japanese culture which attracted you to write about
stories set in that country?

SEDONIA: I was attracted to Japanese culture from watching all the samurai
films of Akira Kurosawa and other amazing Japanese directors. I love those
films and I adore the actor Toshiro Mifune. Now I’m also finding that
really, the m/m genre of romance originated in Japan with the yaoi manga, so
I suppose that on a subconscious level, I’m drawn to that place for my
writing because so much of the m/m erotic romance genre is based there. The
great master yaoi writers/artists like Kazuma Kodaka whom I adore, are
Japanese. I suppose it’s like going to Wall Street to have a career in
finance. That’s where the energy and happenings are. I don’t mean that
glibly at all. I’ve really come to admire Japanese culture in so many ways,
food, architecture, Zen, etc. and I really hope some day to visit there.

 

5) Please tell us more about your most recent e-book release and where we
can snag ourselves a copy.

SEDONIA: I had two White Tigers e-book releases in August at Total-E-Bound:
Men of Tokyo: Sudden Surrender which tells the romance between Kiku and
Yuzo. These two are the subjects of the mystery in Beautiful Samurai, White
Tiger
, but their romance is not really the focus. However, the story of how
they get together is intense and extraordinary, at least from my perspective
and needed to be told. The other release is a novella entitled “YinYang” in
the Fabulous Brits anthology and tells the story of Basho and Timothy. In
the other White Tigers books, we meet Basho because he is the chef at the
White Tiger and becomes very friendly with Yuzo who admires and adores his
cooking. <g> Basho and Timothy were tragically separated and “YinYang” tells
the story of how they miraculously find each other again. Their romance is
not crucial to the chronology of the White Tigers series and is more of a
supplemental story even though it’s numbered in the series. Oh, did I
mention? Both books are available at Total-E-Bound. <g>

6) What do you want readers to take away from the White Tigers series.

SEDONIA: Well, first and foremost, I hope that readers can finish the book
and feel like they read a satisfying story, something that was worthwhile
and makes them glad they took the time to read it. If they grow to love the
White Tigers as much as some of the yaoi manga series out there that are
beloved, then I’d be over the moon. If they find something deeper within the
stories, something that stays with them, that’s a bonus that would just send
me into bliss! If it inspires them to read more about Lao Tzu and the Tao
(the best English translation by the way is by a German poet named Wytter
Bynner- It’s absolutely simple and beautiful. I totally recommend it.), and
maybe even to try meditation, anything like that, then I’d be completely
thrilled and ecstatic. I’d love to know that my books are stories that can
be read on many levels in addition to the level of romance.

All of Sedonia’s titles on Amazon, mentioned in this post can be found here.

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