I currently have two regency Romances published, “The Fencing Master’s Daughter” and its follow up “The Marquis’s Mistake” Perhaps you have read one of my articles either as a guest author on a friend’s blog or on my own Word-press site. You may even know me from Facebook, Twitter or Linked-in. If you have come across my name then the work I’ve been putting into promoting myself as a novelist and writer is paying off and thank you for reading this. If my name is completely new to you, may I say how wonderful it is that you are being introduced to me?
If you know me as a Regency Romance writer, you might be surprised to discover I started writing fiction with a Sci-fi / Fantasy Series now called “The Zeninan Saga,” the Regencies are more recent works. This series is finally going to be published by Nevermore Press and I hope the first “Princess of Zenina” will be released by them in around two months’ time. So how did this come about? I regret this is a bit of a rambling story so I hope you will stick with me.
Many years ago I was given a couple of Feminist Sci-fi books by a female friend. I thoroughly enjoyed them, “Native Tongue” and “The Judas Rose” by Suzette Haden Elgin, I recommend them. As we discussed the books I had one caveat, I argued that women in control would not be quite as nice as Suzette suggested. I said if women are more passive it is because they are weaker physically than men and not in power. Then I suggested if the strength ratio was reversed and women were in control, they would have all the faults and virtues of men in similar proportions. So she dared me to write a Sci-fi / Fantasy book which illustrated that premise.
Like my Zeninans in the books I find it hard to resist that kind of dare. So I imagined a planetary Empire run by an Amazon race. It would be a monarchy and structured much like a bee hive. There would be a Queen, workers some of whom might be more specialist than others and all males would be drones, useful only for mating or sexual purposes. I established my heroine Princess Marina as a young queen ready to take over the hive or start a new one of her own, but without any desire to do so.
I set my saga far away on a distant planet named Zenina many centuries or possibly even millennia from now. Zenina is a lovely mostly warm planet which has some major problems and advantages. The problems are mostly connected to male infertility and low male births.
Residence on the planet results in a physical change to both your skin and blood colour. If you survive the change, you gain not only greater physical strength but also psychic abilities which vary according to the colour you become. Zeninan scientists established over the millennia since Zenina was founded, probably by stranded Zigan space travellers, that the causes of this change is a microscopic symbiote and some strange low level radiation unique to the planet. But the change gives far greater physical strength to the female of the species and also affects the fertility of males and especially the viability of male spermatozoa.
The low male fertility resulted in Zeninans preying on the young men from other planets to allow the continuation of their race. This did not endear the Zeninans to the planets whose sons were kidnapped. This forced Zeninan engineering to produce a stronger, faster and better defended military space-fleet and the planet of Zenina had a complicated maze of force rings installed to protect it. Those planets closest to Zenina eventually negotiated for membership of the Zeninan Empire. They were allowed to continue to be self-governing but be garrisoned by the Zeninan Army and patrolled by Zeninan battleships. Zenina would also transport their produce and imports to and from other planets for a percentage of the value of the loads carried.
When I first begun the series I had already written and been paid for factual articles in the press but had never written any fiction longer than a short story. I made many mistakes by starting with so complex a tale and the saga has gone through a number of major rewrites. There is some humour in the saga and my reversal of the sexes and by taking the situation to extremes allows for an unusual scenario. Some of the names may be spotted by linguists as from languages they know and chortled over. So if you are shocked by my planet of gorgeous nymphomaniacs who mistreat their male sex slaves, please realise my heroine is strongly opposed to slavery and believes men can be capable of intelligent thought if properly educated.
I start my series on the Zeninan Royal Hunting Reserve, Planet Qu which is on the boundaries of Zeninan space. My heroine Marina is hunting a qumursk on her mother, the Queen’s orders. Qumurski are heavily furred giant horned bears and are carnivorous rather than omnivorous as we expect bears to be. She realises that there are trespassers on the planet and chooses to protect and rescue them. The trespassers have been marooned by pirates and are protected only by a one armed disgraced former soldier, Major Heneran Bromash. “Princess of Zenina” begins with their meeting with a small group of Zeninans and follows the experiences of most of the refugees on Zenina and beyond.
The saga is primarily about Marina’s life but interweaves the fortunes of her friends and enemies across the known universe. The morals of the Zeninans are not mine, but their behaviour has grown from their unusual situation. I admit I find them rather amusing and Marina in her attempts to avoid having Queenship thrust upon her is the ultimate polymath conflicted by her duty and personal inclinations.
Synopsis of Princess of Zenina
Princess Marina on a hunting expedition to the Royal hunting reserve, Planet Qu rescues a group marooned by pirates, who are protected only by a one-armed disgraced former Markaban soldier, Major Heneran Bromarsh. She heals them and restores Bromarsh’s arm, carrying them home to Hemithea, beautiful capital city of Zenina, ruling planet of the Zeninan Empire. Zenina ruled in tandem by Marina’s mother, Queen Kerina and the Sea Prince Nadan, where men are sex slaves and the rapacious women are stronger, is a dangerous place for unprotected men. Bromarsh strives to discover why he was framed for causing a massacre of civilians and seeks revenge.
But the plot is not easily unravelled and during his journey of discovery between women he falls under Zenina’s spell. Bromarsh is befriended by the gorgeous Charles, Marina’s slave, who though deeply in love with his mistress, is a leader of the movement for the liberation of Zenina’s slaves. Princess sets the scene for Marina to fulfil her destiny, but there are many difficulties in her way. Not least among them the Kurgian Empire ruled by the evil King Ga’Mishrin and her own aunt, Princess Zadina’s desire to usurp her sister’s throne.
Books written in the Zeninan Saga Series
1. Princess of Zenina
2. Heroine of Zenina
3. Champion of Zenina
4. Exile of Zenina
5. Queen of Zenina
7. Regency of Zenina
9. Consort Elect of Zenina
10. Queen’s Consort of Zenina
11. War Council of Zenina
12. Empress of Zenina
13. Male President of Zenina
14. Prince of Zenina (currently about 1/2 complete)
Giselle Marks has been writing for many years. She has written two Regency Romances and a Fantasy/ Sci-fi series with erotic content. “The Fencing Master’s Daughter” was published in September 2013. Her second Regency Romance “The Marquis’s Mistake” was released in December 2013. She also has a story in the Charity Anthology “Tales by the Tree” A short story will appear in a fantasy Nevermore anthology in April and her Fantasy series “The Zeninan Saga” is currently being edited by Nevermore Press and should start appearing probably in May. Giselle is currently working on a number of projects including a third Regency Romance entitled “A Compromised Rake, the 14th book in the Zeninan Saga with the provisional title of “Prince of Zenina” and a short story anthology of mythic and fae tales which she is writing and illustrating with her friend Sarah J Waldock.
See also my post about Giselle HERE