Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I have author Dion Marc in the interview chair.  We’re discussing his latest release The Last Son of Venus, a m/m dark urban fantasy novel.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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1. Hi, Dion. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?

Dion:  Hey Maggie I think like most people my every day is relatively the same for the most part. My average day starts off with about 60 alarms going off in an effort to much sure I’m up with enough time to write before I must head into the city for work. So after getting up I walk like a zombie to the kitchen and pour myself a cup of coffee, grab my IPad and wireless keyboard and sit down to write. I generally allow myself about an hour to write as much as I can then its off to have a shower, put a hair mask in my curls and start my 9-step skincare routine. Then it’s a mad hurry to braid my hair, brush my teeth and get dressed for work. I’ll either train it in or Uber depending on how I’m doing for time.

I’m currently working on the WHAM team (Wigs, Hair and Makeup) for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so I head in and start my day by washing and dressing wigs with the team before applying them to the actors then work backstage during the show doing wig and makeup changes for the cast. I finish work at around 11pm, i train it home, get home do more writing, a little reading then off to bed to do it all again 6 days a week, lucky I LOVE my job. Now about my personal Life what can i tell, I’m an open book.

I Live in Melbourne Australia in a lovely house with my partner Shannon and our 2 crazy dogs. I have a wig and costume studio at the back of the house which is two rooms + bathroom and shower that mostly gets used for washing wigs. I’m a professional Bespoke wig maker as well as Qualified Hair and Makeup Artist and costume designer. I have worked on many feature films and television series for sites such as Netflix and Stan. I have written episodes for Television and I illustrate all my own covers. I am a practicing Hellenistic polytheist and wear A plethora of crystals and semiprecious stones and minerals. I could go on for ages but this at least is a taste of me.

2. I’ve been perusing your website and see that The Last Son of Venus is your first book and the first book in a planned series. Why did you choose to write urban fantasy? And why start with a series?

Dion:  Oh great question but it has a long answer so I’ll try and write the quick version. Whilst I’ve only published one novel I’ve actually written 2 other novels as well as co-written 10 episodes for a fantasy streaming series as well as several short and feature film scripts so at this point it’s well ingrained in my DNA to write. I chose ‘The Last Son Of Venus’ to release first because I felt the messages behind the story were very relevant to everything that is going on in the world right now. As for why Urban Fantasy that’s easy I’m an avid reader of the genre and shared to contribute to it. I started with a series because I simply dislike standalone novels, I always what more when a good book ends. I doubt I’ll ever publish a standalone for this reason.

3. Can you tell me what inspired you to create the novel and series?

Dion:  Many things that just accumulated over time, it wasn’t one thing.

4. Let’s talk about the main characters. What do you love most about Alex and what makes you want to shake him?

Dion:  Alex is based on parts of myself when I was in my mid to late teens. I love that Alex has the ability to love with his whole heart no matter what he’s been through. I wish that Alex wasn’t so scared and anxious about the world but I think sadly he has a write to be.

5. The same for Nikos. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?

Dion:  Nikos is kinda based on all the attributes I find most attractive in a man the good and the bad. I love Nikos’s protective guard and I dislike his easy-to-rise temper.

6. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write?

Dion:  Oh tough question I love them all apart from one scene which I found very triggering to write. I did enjoy writing the first sex scene, it came to me very easy and even I find it super hot to read.

7. What makes The Last Son of Venus different from other m/m urban fantasy romances?

Dion:  It would be a combination of a lot of things but I think possibly the fact that it’s written by a practitioner and follower of Hellenistic Polytheism so the accuracy in the religious side of things when it comes to true gods of old is spot on. The book features incantations in Ancient Greek which are all correctly structured and for those who are Proficient in Ancient Greek (which is different from modern Greek and Koine Greek) is readable and makes sense. The first 7 chapters are based on actual events I lived through and had done to me so in that regard it’s unique to me and the very real trauma. I illustrated my own cover which I think is possibly also unique to me and the book is filled with references to many of the Ancient Greek and Roman histories and is done in a way that is wholly organic to my writing style.

8. If a reader asked you why they should read The Last Son of Venus, what would you tell them?

Dion:  So many reasons but I guess the main reason is why not? Why not support queer authors? Why not escape this world even if it’s just for 340 pages. We live in such a hetero media-focused world that a lot of the depictions of queer characters are of outdated stereotypes written and acted by non-queer people. Whilst I don’t have an
issue when it’s done well I can’t help but also feel that our voices are getting drowned out as a result.

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

Dion:  I’ll always write authentic queer stories, in fact in the last few months I’ve started to realise it is why the gods have put me here to do. The Next ‘Last Son Of Venus’ novel is coming out later in the year titled ‘Finding Venus’. After that, I’ll be releasing either another Urban Fantasy titled ‘The Gatsby Plot’ which I’ve already got mostly written or I’ll release ‘Luna Seven’ which is already written but I’ve kept in the vault to be released at the right time. I also plan on releasing many more stories focused on Greek histories in the next few years. Also, AUDIOBOOKS are on the way.

10. What do you enjoy most about writing?

Dion: The emotional release.

11. What do you enjoy least about writing?

Dion: Spelling and grammar.

12. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me: I’ll try and do my best haha

  • What’s your favourite movie?
    I’d have to so say either the Film ‘The Misfits (1960)’ or Meet me in St. Louis (1944)
  • What book is currently in your e-reader?
    Personally, I’m a hardback kinda guy so my kindle is pretty empty but I did just buy Blood Dynasty by Nicholas Bella.
  • Who’s your favourite musical group?
    I’d have to say Blink ‘182’ and ‘ABBA’. (Yes my taste is eclectic lol)
  • What song puts a smile on your face?
    So many haha but I do break in to dance whenever I hear ‘Rain on me’ by the one and only goddess of music Lady Gaga.

13. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dion:  The Last Son Of Venus is a story about love in all its forms. It will take you on a wild ride but in the end, love heals all wounds. So come along and be healed by the power of love, I promise it will be worth it.

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Book Title: The Last Son Of Venus
Author and Publisher: Dion Marc
Release Date: January 29, 2022
Genre: MM Dark Urban Fantasy
Tropes: Fated Mates, Size difference, Alpha Top
Themes: Trust yourself, don’t follow anything blindly, magic, gods, good vs evil
Length: 87 000 words/330 paperback and 340 hardcover
Heat Rating: 4 flames

Darkness hungers for the child of love. 

Blurb:  Alone and in London for the first time, Alex Anderson is being hunted by the darkness as the fates have seen fit to turn his dream holiday into his worst nightmare before he even steps foot out of the airport.

An archaic evil hungers for him and will stop at nothing to possess the twenty-two-year-old and the coveted secrets that have been hidden from Alex his whole life.

All that stands in their way is a two-and-half-thousand-year-old spartan  Commander named Nikos and his fellow guardian sidekick Jin; a pink-haired descendant of the goddess Hekate.

Nikos will move heaven and hell to protect Alex even if that means protecting him from himself.

When boy meets man sparks fly and an instant bond is felt, a connection that feels as old as the fabric of time. But Alex must first learn to trust Nikos and Jin while fighting his anxieties that have controlled his life if he has any hope of surviving what’s to come.

The Last Son Of Venus is the first in the fast-paced LGBT fantasy romance series of the same name featuring queer male characters, high fantasy creatures, magic and the true gods of old. The Last Son of Venus will take you on a long multi-series journey to a well-deserved HEA. So come and join Alex and Nikos and see what the Fates have in store.

It’s the first book in a planned series and ends on a cliffhanger.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Paperback or Hardcover is also available from:

B&N  |  Angus Robertson

Bitter wind violated my exposed flesh, sending a deep chill to the very core of my bones.  Mother had warned me that London was cold, but I thought she meant cold like Melbourne in  winter, not winter in Antarctica. If it wasn’t for the fact that my jumpers were all packed down at  the very bottom, I would have stopped and added an extra layer of protection. But I was cold  and feeling far too lazy to reorder my bag, so I went without. Yes, I was an idiot.

As per the map’s instructions, I turned right onto Gillingham Street. It was becoming really

hard to focus on the map because the streets were barely lit. I cursed myself inwardly that I  didn’t just buy a portable phone charger, but I would be sure to rectify my error first thing  tomorrow. My goodness, this would be a lot smoother if I was using my phone’s Google Maps.  Anyway, what was done was done.

For a Saturday, there was very little nightlife, which I thought was odd considering what I knew  about Londoners and drinking, although I have to say my knowledge on the subject was like  ninety-five percent based on Geordie Shore reruns. But still, there was not a soul on the street.

I could feel my anxiety grow; it wasn’t helped by the fact that some random man told me  someone was trying to kill me—though he wasn’t some random man, was he? He knew my  name. I felt a shiver run up my arms; I didn’t think I could feel any colder. Maybe I should have  stayed and heard him out before running away…again, if I had, maybe he had a portable phone  charger.

Looking back down at the map, I estimated I had maybe another six-minute walk ahead,  although I wished I had just paid for the stupid cab fare, but I really couldn’t justify the cost for,  what, maybe four hundred metres. I walked further every day on my morning run.

The light flickered in the lamppost above. How strange. It flickered again, but this time, it didn’t  light back up. I was plunged into darkness as the rest of the streetlights also extinguished.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

My anxiety started to peak, and my instincts told me to get out of there fast. All of a sudden, I  felt eyes on me. Shit shit shit. My pace quickened into a slight jog, my bag swinging heavy  behind me.

Why did it feel like the approaching darkness was watching me? I looked up to the sky where  once a moon sat giving light to the sky, but now it was gone, shrouded by darkness. I started to  shake  uncontrollably; I couldn’t tell if it was from the cold or my anxiety. Both seemed to be at war for  dominance over my body and mind.

A sound emerged through the darkness, muttered voices. I started to run, every fibre of my  body telling me to do so. My flight response was fully active, I flew down the street, but the  voices seemed to be gaining on me. They were now close enough to hear what it was they were  chanting. “Consumptura est lux tenebris.” They repeated it over and over.

I crossed the street in mere seconds, but was stopped from going further by a gate of iron. I  turned to go around, but to the left of me, I found that the men were closing in on me. Looking  to the right, they were doing the same yet only metres away.

Fuck fuck fuck, my only option was to jump the fence. It wasn’t very tall, so I knew I could make  short work of it. I put my hands on the spikes and pushed down, lifting my body. I swung my  legs up and jumped down. The hem of my shirt got caught on a spike, lifting my shirt up,  trapping my arms. “FUUUUCK!” I yelled, trying to fumble myself free. I was shaking so violently,  I could barely unhook it, the process taking minutes rather than seconds.

It came loose just as the men closed in. It was then that I realised my duffle bag’s strap must  have also gotten caught on the spike as it lay broken just on the other side of the fence, but I  could clearly see the men’s robes of red now. I hadn’t the time to retrieve it. I’d have to let it go  and hope I found it later after I had made it to a police officer.

Even the darkness seemed to draw dimmer. How was that possible? Turning, I started to run,  pushing past plants and shrubs, pulling my shirt back down as I ran.

Their chant suddenly changed, I could now hear their voices ringing in my head as if they were  whispering right into my ears. “Arbores et plantae saxa animari, prohibere eum.” Their chant  had changed. It felt as if the trees were drawing closer, which couldn’t be so.

Something grabbed my foot. I let out a scream as I fell to the ground hard. What was that? I  looked around, but all I could see was grass. I must have tripped over a root or something,  though I couldn’t see one. Getting back on my feet, my left ankle felt swollen, and as I put  pressure on it, I let out a loud scream. I hoped against hope that it was just twisted and not  broken. I tried to run, but the pain was just too great.

CRASH. The gate lifted from the ground and flew into a tree. The robed men continued to follow  me. FUCK.

“HELP! Someone, anyone, help me!” I shouted.

One of the men raised his hand at me, and my voice faltered. I tried to let out a scream, but my  voice was gone. What in the name of Ursula the sea witch was this? All I could do was try  limping away.

Roots lifted from the ground before my very eyes, spraying moss into the air, leaving the earth a  maze of traps, clearly designed to stop my escape. What was I to do? I tried to hop over them,  the pain forcing tears to fall from my eyes. But the pain didn’t stop me. I continued to push  myself, for my life clearly depended on it.

“Corrumpam vineam eius,” shouted one of the robed men. Instantly, vines fell from the trees  and launched themselves at me. I ducked and missed the first one, but the rest found their  target, instantly forcing me to the ground, wrapping around me like dangerous pythons.

The roots curled up, pulling me to face the robed men, forcing me to watch as they approached.  The men were dressed in robes of red. I could just make out a crucifix scar on one of the men’s  outstretched arms. Wrapped around their hands were what looked to be rosary beads, but  something looked wrong. It seemed like the beads dug into their hands, drawing out a dark  fluid.

The wind changed, and the smell of metallic ooze hit my sinuses, causing my nose to curl. That  answered the question of what the fluid was: it was blood. I struggled with everything left in my  body, but it was no use, the vines just grew tighter and tighter, almost to the point of breaking  bone.

“Help me,” I prayed inwardly. “Someone, please.”

A man in the centre stepped forward chanting with the others, “Accipere auferat divina virtute.”  Something jabbed into me sharp like a needle, causing unimaginable pain to flow through me. I  screamed and screamed, but no sound escaped me. Whatever it was it felt like it was crawling  through my veins.

He continued forward towards me, chanting. Only a few feet away, I could now clearly make out  his face that was hidden by a hood. He looked to be in his mid-fifties with a full white beard,  long hooked nose, and beady black eyes. He kneeled beside me and raised his outstretched  hand over my face. I tried to close my eyes, but they were forced open. The man squeezed his  palm into the rosary beads, which I could now see were made of jagged barbed wire that cut  into his flesh. As the man squeezed, blood fell like water droplets over my face. On impact with  my flesh, it sizzled like acid; it smelled like it too. I was truly dead. My only thought was on my parents, hoping they would be able to get past my death. My vision started to fade to black.  This was the end of me. My eyes finally closed. I had no strength anymore. Maybe death  wouldn’t be so bad? And with that thought, it all went silent.

BANG!

The earth reverberated. There was loud running, yelling, and what sounded like sandbags  hitting a wall, but I couldn’t open my eyes to see. They felt like they were welded shut.

“You must continue the chant!” shouted a voice that felt like spiders crying in my ears.

The chanting started again. “Accipere auferat—” But was cut off mid-sentence as what sounded  like thunder struck the earth. I needed to run, move, get up, break the bonds holding me. My  brain told me this, but it was as if I was buried alive.

Something dropped beside me. It radiated warmth. I wanted to lean into it. I tried to but failed. I  wanted it closer. “Please come closer,” I begged the universe, and by some grace, it did. I felt a hand on my cheek; it was warm to the touch. Who was this? What was this? Again, I tried to  open my eyes but failed. I started to panic again. This couldn’t be the end. My mind started to  race. Mentally, I was thrashing back and forth, wishing my body to do the same. This feeling of  disconnection was the scariest thing I had ever felt.

“By Zeus, Alex, gods fucking dammit, your lips are blue,” growled a familiar voice. Was it the  Adonis? It sounded like him, and for some unexplainable reason, I hoped it was him. I could feel  his hands on me. Everywhere he touched, I felt warmth.

“Jin, we’re going to need a recovery charm,” he yelled at an unknown person.

“Babes, I am fucking busy if you didn’t realise, you know, holding off the Priests of Bellum  Sacrum,” bit back an unknown, effeminate voice.

“Fuck it all to Hades, you couldn’t have just come with me at the train station.” The Adonis’s  voice turned gravelly. But I couldn’t follow him at the train station because he was a stranger. I  didn’t know him; therefore, I couldn’t trust him. But was he here now to save me? So maybe  that meant I could trust him?

“Fuck it, we’ll have to swap,” called the Adonis back to the person he called Jin, I assumed.

No, don’t leave me! He can not leave me. Don’t take the warmth away. I’m so very cold. As if he  could hear me, he assured, “Don’t worry, Alex, I’ll be back.” Then he was gone. The coldness set  back in, his warmth only a haunting memory.

Thunder struck the earth again; there were more screams of pain and terror. The smell of  metallic ooze grew almost too strong to possibly bear. A thud beside me. Was it the Adonis? It  couldn’t be because this person didn’t radiate warmth like he had. Was he friend or foe?

“Queen, don’t even stress, okay, I’m here to help you, boo.” It was that voice again; it was  distinctly fem, but like fem male, not a fem female. I assumed it was Jin, but I really wished I  could open my eyes and stop all the guesswork.

“Álysoi kaí desmá nýn spázete.” I felt warmth all over my body. Suddenly, I felt weightless like I  was flying in the air. The darkness began to fade as a white light came towards me. I tried to  meet it halfway.

Light burst into my reality as my eyes flew open, temporarily blinding me as my eyes readjusted.  A man who couldn’t be any older than myself stood over me, his hair fairy-floss pink, kept neat  and short on the side with a front fringe that covered the tops of his brows.

“Is he awake yet?” yelled the Adonis from somewhere just out of my field of view. “Yes, fuck, give me a second, Miss Bossy Tiger,” snapped the pink-haired man. He turned and spoke to me, trying for a soothing voice, but came off very condescending.

“Hi, Alex, my name is Jin. I’m going to need you to stand up. Can you do that for me, dolls?” But  wasn’t I tied to the ground by vines?

“Jin, get him the fuck up now. We need to move!” said the Adonis, running back into view. “I’m  trying,” he responded.

“Then try harder.”

Before I could process what was happening, one of the robed figures instantly appeared

behind the Adonis, bloodied dagger outstretched ready to strike, going for the killing blow.  “NOOOOOOOO!” I screamed, sending out a blast of energy that felt like it came from my

very soul. I couldn’t let the Adonis die.

Gusts of power forced the robed man into the air, flying back with a loud crunching sound

into a tree. The dagger burst into smoke. It took me a moment to realise what it was I had done.  My body retracted inwardly, instantly forming a ball. What had I just done? I started to rock

back and forth, tears falling from my eyes.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

I was a freak, and I may have just killed someone. I needed my mother to tell me it would be  okay, but she wasn’t there, so I didn’t know what to do. I needed to know I didn’t just kill  someone. “Shhhh, calm down, it will all be okay,” said Jin softly.

But it wasn’t going to be okay; nothing was. It would never be okay again. “Right, fuck this. Get the fuck up now, idiot, before you get us all killed,” growled the Adonis.

I just looked at him, like was he kidding? Like really, was he kidding? The rudeness. I was

going through something. Instantly, my anxiety and grief turned to anger like a light switch. I  was standing up, pointing my finger at him. “Who the hell do you think you are? Do not EVER  talk to me like that again, do you understand?”

The corners of his mouth turned up slightly; the barest whisper of a smile ghosted his face.  “That got you up, now didn’t it?”

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Scottish Australian author Dion Marc lives and breathes queer art. Whether he is painting, writing, sewing or dancing naked in the moonlight he does it with pride. He is a practising  Hellenistic polytheist who believes in healing the world one hug at a time and that drinking tea without a biscuit is a horrendous crime.

Dion has spent over eleven years working full-time in film and television as a Makeup Artist, Hairdresser, Wig Maker and Costume Designer. For the last year Dion has been working on the award-winning theatrical shows Hamilton, Moulin Rouge and more recently full-time on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a hair and makeup artist.

Follow Dion:  Blog/Website  |  Facebook Group  |  Instagram

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five DELUXE eBook copies of ‘THE LAST SON OF VENUS’ featuring EXCLUSIVE CONTENT (illustrations + food recipes).

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