We’re so pleased to have author Naomi Aoki joining us today on the tour for her new historical novel, Rebellion. Naomi is here to chat with us a bit about language and is also sharing an excerpt from the book, so have a look and enjoy!
Writing Another Language Can Be Challenging
As I wrote Rebellion it seemed a no brainer to incorporate the Chinese language into the story. The story is never told from Zhang’s point of view and to have him magically speak fluent English felt like it would dismiss a huge part of who Zhang was. I couldn’t do that to him. His speaking in Mandarin was just as important as describing the clothing he wore, his hairstyle – mandated by the Qing Dynasty to show loyalty to them, and the food he ate.
Using another language within a story can be challenging and while I did have the advantage of having studied Chinese for three years at University, it in no way made me fluent in the language either. (Big thanks to my friend who helped turn my textbook language into something that flowed more naturally.) I did enjoy being able to use what I learned; to practice it in a way I would never have expected when I enrolled to study Chinese. Hours of writing time were wasted as I poured over my textbooks to make sure I was using the right grammar, had the right word, and when my textbooks couldn’t give me the answer dictionaries were turned to next – several of them. Easy to do when there might be several verbs – and English can be the same if you’re translating into it – to choose from and each one has a slightly different meaning or level of formality attached to it (again I owe big thanks to my friend who fixed all my mistakes). Though sometimes that is the fun of it, discovering new words or ways of saying something that you hadn’t known of before.
I enjoyed writing this scene the most, never having thought when I started learning Chinese that I would one day use it to write a love scene…
About the Book
Length: 52k Words (approx.)
Blurb: 1899, political tensions are rising with the emergence of the Boxer Movement in Northern China, straining ties between the Chinese Imperial Government and the Eight Nations with stakes in the country. As a Captain in the Royal Marines, Alfred Cartwright is deployed to Shanghai, where he discovers more than he’d dared to dream of – Love. Not even the struggles with language or the fear of reprisals if their relationship is found out, can stop Alfred from falling for the Chinese man he encounters. But as the ant-foreigner sentiment of the Boxer Movement grows in strength, their relationship will be put to the test.
Where do Alfred’s loyalties lie? With the man he loves or his country, as they stand opposite each other on a battlefield neither can escape.
“Ni hao mei.” You’re beautiful.
Alfred didn’t know what Zhang was saying, but it sounded beautiful as it drifted across his skin.
“Wo ai nide pifu bai.” I love your fair skin.
Zhang kept muttering the lower his gaze went, hands mapping out the contours of Alfred’s body and he arched into each touch.
“Ni shenti de xiantiao… jirou fenming.” I love your body… your muscular form.
Groans. Moans. Desperate whimpers he couldn’t have held in if he’d tried. Couldn’t remain quiet even if the storm raging outside fell silent.
“Ni de shengyin xiang yinyue.” Your voice is like music.
Hands. Lips. Teeth. Not a single part of Alfred’s skin remained untouched, except where he wanted it most. His cock ached, desperate for Zhang to take it in his hand, his mouth. Alfred begged him. Pleaded with a rasping voice unsure if Zhang understood his words any more than he could fathom Zhang’s.
“Wo yao ting ni de shengyin.” I want to hear you more.
Zhang continued to whisper between the kisses he pressed into Alfred’s hip bones and the soft flesh of his inner thighs. Alfred shuddered. He clutched at the sheets barely containing himself as Zhang’s tongue drifted across his balls.
“Wo yao chang ni.” I want to taste you.
Zhang stared at Alfred with a heated gaze that matched his own before sliding his lips down Alfred’s cock.
“Fuck…” he groaned, knuckles blanching, and his hips jerked. His head pressed harder into the soft pillow and songs of pleasure tumbled from his lips as Zhang took him deeper.
So. God. Damned. Close.
Raising his head, Alfred stared at Zhang. Balls tightening, orgasm threatening as he watched his cock slide between the man’s lips. Frustrated groans. Curses that begged for release rolled off his tongue as Zhang pulled away. Desperate for the man’s touch.
Desperate for release.
Zhang left a hand on Alfred’s thigh, thumb rubbing the skin softly as he leaned over, opened a drawer in the side of the bed and removed a small bottle. A beautiful scent wafted around him when Zhang removed the stopper and it made Alfred think of home. Stirred up memories of the camellia bushes his mother had growing in her garden, the way they smelt in the springtime as they bloomed. But there was something more to the scent, a spicy citrus note Alfred couldn’t place. Intoxicating. Heady. It only grew stronger as it warmed on Zhang’s fingers. Replacing the stopper, Zhang dropped the bottle onto the bed, slick fingers soon drifted down the cleft of Alfred’s arse, teasing him. He groaned. Body arching in the direction of the touch, yearning for more. Needing to feel Zhang deep inside of him. To feel those fingers stretch him until it was Zhang’s cock he was begging for. Begged for the man to bury himself deep inside him.
About the Author
Naomi would love to runaway to Japan or China and live there for a few years… but she can’t. Instead she goes there in her books, hoping to drag the reader into a world they’ve never been to before.
Historical. Contemporary. Time offers no constraint to the stories she writes, happily dabbling in both so long as there is a happy ending.
She is a mother of three teenage children, one of whom loves to tell people that her mother writes romance stories about gay men just to see their reaction. While she could never claim to be fluent, she has just completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Chinese, with minors in Creative Writing and Japanese.
Her stories are based predominantly in Japan or China and her historical stories often involving time periods or situations not often talked about with her characters often being actively involved in the events occurring around them.
Follow the Tour
Dec 6 – We Three Queens, Dec 7 – The Novel Approach, Dec 8 – Drops Of Ink, Dec 9 – My Fiction Nook, Dec 10 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Dec 11 – Love Bytes, Dec 12 – Valerie Ullmer, Dec 13 – Bayou Book Junkie, Dec 14 – Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Lilian Francis – Author, Dec 15 – MM Good Book Reviews
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