When Rachel and I set out to write Emerald Fire, we had a specific idea in mind. We were exploring the idea of romance tropes, and the beloved Harlequin “white covers” that Rachel grew up reading as a young adult. Many of their themes are tame to modern readers, but they still hold a regal place in the history of the romance genre: the wealthy sultan and his harem girls, the billionaire playboy and the secretary/down on her luck heroine of some kind, etc. Flashdance. From rags to riches, swept off her feet and into his heart.
But we wanted to write a M/M romance, so we looked at this tropes with a new twist – what about a sultan with his harem boys? Now, coauthoring being what it is, her ideas met mine and merged into a synergy that is now what we know of as Persis and its Keeps.
But that begs the question: where shall we put our Sultan and his harem, I wonder?