Katalina Leon recounts how her own experiences of falling in love with another artist’s work and her passion for travel helped inspire her novel, Fairy in the Flesh.
Fairy In The Flesh is a very personal book. This particular fantasy scenario is one I would dearly love to find myself confronted with. The subject is close to my heart for several reasons. My heroine Maya Rousseau is an artist who falls in love with another artist’s work long before she actually meets him. This exact scenario happened to me in real life and I’ll share a little about it.
First I have to back up a little, between high school and college, I took time off to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to be an artist but I wasn’t getting much support from anyone for such an impractical plan. Even I knew it was impractical and I still couldn’t resist the draw of art because I had so much passion for it. Perhaps I wasn’t the greatest talent in the world but I had real honest to god passion. My first job in high school was working in an artist supply store, where I got familiar with quality art materials, the vendors and the artist who used them. A high number of respected professionals frequented the store and I was always alert to go out of my way to speak with them. My time in the store provides a practical education. Everything about art and artist’s materials was exciting to me.
My other passion was wanderlust. I wanted to see the world and even wished I could time travel and see the world as it was. Getting out and about meant escaping suburbia. I took odd jobs waitressing, doing drywall, designing logos etc… Anything to earn extra money. An older friend gave me her ID card that said I was 5’7” and twenty-one. I was in fact 5’2” and seventeen. (I never got called on it!) I’d work somewhere just long enough to earn plane fare to someplace interesting. I’d buy a ticket and go there alone, find work, go to a museum, see how other people lived and come home. I loved the freedom. I wasn’t in trouble and I wasn’t a troublemaker, I just craved adventure and challenge. I went further from home each time until I found myself traveling through Southeast Asia by myself at nineteen. My mother had recently passed away so she wasn’t worried about me, but when I think of what I put my poor dad through I cringe.
Deep down I just wanted a different life and if I could have found one in a different time frame I would have jumped at the opportunity.
I started thinking seriously about applying to art school. I found myself at an art exhibit of graduating students at the Art Center College of Design. The school was drool worthy but too expensive for me, and it was admission by portfolio review only. I was a bit in awe. Then I got to the gallery, all the work was quality and very interesting in its own way but one piece really stood out to me. It was big, bright and gorgeous. It made me happy to look at it and in my mind I thought, “Of all the artwork in this show this painting is the most like what I would paint.”
I left the gallery feeling energized and the painting clung to my thoughts. In fact I got a little obsessed with it and made a special trip far out of my way to see it again before the show came down. I liked it even better the second time I saw it. I also noticed it had been sold.
Months later, I was invited to a graduation party for this student group. Guess who was there? I meet the artist and I was wowed. I thought he was super cute and miles away from what I was expecting. He was modest, quiet but when we started talking we had everything in common including he liked to travel and backpack alone in exotic places too. He also felt familiar and I realized even though he was older than me I’d seen in passing back in high school. We’d been crossing paths for years, but I needed to see his artwork to truly recognize him as the big soul he was. Making eye contact and talking with him that day was a scary and uncomfortable (for me) experience of love at first sight. At that time I had big plans for the next ten years of my life that did not include marriage and settling down. All my solitary dreams and wacky future schemes were trashed that day, thank god.
I did have the wits to recognize I’d met my match and future husband but I was suspicious of how easily it had happened so I avoided him for nearly six weeks hoping the delusion would wear-off. It didn’t, and I eventually went begging for a coffee date to clear my head. Unfortunately for me, he was as great as I remembered. He immediately stopped what he was doing to go out for coffee with me and tried to give me another painting. We talked about art, exchanged books to share another day and I soon started modeling for him.
Fairy In The Flesh is pure fiction but while you’re reading it I hope you’ll remember a few of the dreams you might have put on the backburner and at least enjoy the fantasy of what if…
About Fairy in the Flesh
Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon, France, heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe. An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious meltdown. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad-boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that—except it’s 1903.
For André, it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream-man, but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.
With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers, it’s uncertain whether they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte.
Inside Scoop: Story contains super-hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters, green fairies and a touch of voyeurism.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
About the Author
I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.