Jolie Mathis on THE SEA KING

My ideas are almost always inspired by artwork and music. In the case of THE SEA KING, the first creative flash appeared while viewing Gustav Klimt’s THE KISS (with Clannad’s haunting I WILL FIND YOU playing in the background!). What intrigued me was how Klimt portrayed the man’s immense size, power and masculinity, but at the same time, shared a clandestine glimpse with the viewer into his one vulnerability: the woman he loved.

Despite being much smaller than him in size, she exerts an power of her own. Not a threatening power, per se, but one that makes her equal to him. He clearly treasures her, and she finds bliss in his touch. There’s a very sensual passion between them, but the connection goes so much deeper than that. At least in my interpretation. I found the complexity of their emotions, beautiful.

And so, inspired by this, I began to create a story where two people were brought together under cruel circumstances, and where a deep bond was forged between them that had nothing to do with flirtation or sexual attraction, but rather survival. Despite their size, they are peers, and when they part from one another, it is with a deep, abiding respect.

And then I brought them back together, a few years later, into a situation where despite their soul-deep bond, and their newly discovered attraction toward one other -- they could never find happiness. Because despite the beauty of THE KISS, there’s something that reads bittersweet to me, as if this time together just might be their last. My hero, Kol, is doomed to die. How would such a man treasure his soul mate, if he discovered her only as his time in this life grew short?

Jolie Mathis’s debut novel, THE SEA KING, will be a June 6th Berkley Sensation release. To learn more about her, visit www.joliemathis.com