I’m excited to welcome Nichole Field to the blog today to talk about the representation of polyamory in fiction and her Shadows of Melbourne series, book two, REVELRY, out December 26, 2018 from Less Than Three Press. Welcome, Nicole!
Honestly, I love any opportunity to wax on about polyamory. It was something I realised I was passionate about around the time that I realised there was very little representation in books or other media. In my own life, I’ve often felt like I’m absent a blueprint with regards to how to live a polyamorous life. I genuinely hope that the polyamorous relationships I represent in my novels helps other people with those kinds of questions.
I’ve written before about choosing to my speculative fiction series ‘Shadows of Melbourne’ (Changing Loyalties and Revelry) here. In short, I wanted to do two main things:
1. Subvert the love triangle trope so that the main character didn’t have to ‘choose’ between the two love interests.
2. I didn’t like that two males were always offered as love interests, and made the decision to make one of them female.
What I haven’t written extensively about is the way writing a polyamorous relationship freed me up to not just give a happily ever after to my main character with one love interest, but to also manage a slower burn romance with the other.
By the end of Changing Loyalties, Dahlia and Bianca have begun a casual relationship with one another. Dahlia and Elliott, on the other hand, experience a moment that leads Dahlia to no longer know where she stands with Elliott.
This is important as, with many small publishers, they require a happily ever after. However, with spec fic and other serialised drama, I’ve found that readers often prefer there to be a more drawn out will-they-won’t-they relationship. (A really good example of this is Cole McCade’s ‘Criminal Intensions’ series, here.)
Bringing polyamory into my stories, I’ve managed to run both kinds of romance in my serialised spec fic.
Writing Revelry, I found I had the base of a relationship I could build on and deepen with Bianca and Dahlia. They don’t always get things right, and they come from two completely different worlds, but they both find a lot to appreciate in the other, and so trust and camaraderie grow.
Dahlia and Elliott, on the other hand, have known each other a lot longer but have only recently begun to look at each other with a romantic interest in mind. One of the things I can already say I’m looking forward to bringing in from my own life and experience is the way that lessons learned in one relationship can be useful when applied to another.
For example, although the scenario of different worlds that Elliott and Dahlia is different, they do still come from different worlds. Elliott is a demisexual vampire. Dahlia is human, and very definitely allosexual. Elliott is also far older than Dahlia, although this is something Dahlia is used to with exclusion of the werewolves who populate her life and these books.
Dahlia's family is in tatters after the death of the alpha of the Melbourne pack. Luca has been given the role in his place, she and Annabelle can barely manage to be in the same room together, and Dennis is still at large. And wherever he's hiding, he's making new werewolves at a terrifying rate.
All Dahlia wants is a moment to catch her breath. Her relationship with Bianca is new and fragile, she can't decide whether she'd like to end up in Research or Magic within the secret society of the Sisterhood... and then there's Elliot, who brings an entirely new set of complications.