I’ve been reading J. L. Hilton’s Stellernet lately. Since the second book just came out, I thought I’d ask her for a guest post. I’m hoping to get back into more guest posts in the next few months, so look for more of these. She has a blog tour going on at http://jlhilton.com/2012/10/stellarnet-prince-schedule/.

She also has some contests going on if you want to get in on them. Just click the Rafflecopter link.

A “r’naw eye” necklace giveaway through Nov 30:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 4-11 giveaway of digital copies of both Stellarnet books:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

J.L. Hilton on love triangles

I’ve avoided talking about this for more than a year, because it’s a spoiler. But Stellarnet Rebel [ http://www.stellarnetseries.com ] has been out since January, and the upcoming sequel Stellarnet Prince certainly gives it away, right there on its Amazon page [ http://amzn.com/B0092MTI9Q ]: Human blogger Genny O’Riordan shares two alien lovers.

Genny is soul bound to Duin, who is fighting for the liberation of his people, and married to Belloc, who is fighting for his identity. They don’t carry on like cats or bunnies – it’s not an erotic series. In fact, many readers and reviewers say it’s not “romance” at all but science fiction “with romantic elements” because the series is also about action, adventure, planetary war, ecological devastation, first contact, video games and lots of other things. Their relationship might be unconventional for us, but Duin and Belloc aren’t human, they’re alien. They’re not going to be exactly like us, physically or culturally. Their world is dangerous, and exclusive pairing would impact their species’ survival.

But it’s time for me to admit that the real reason they’re in a polyamorous relationship is because I’ve had a lifelong frustration with the 1967 movie Camelot. I can’t remember exactly when I saw it for the first time. Maybe around age 8, when I also developed an interest in Shakespeare because of my mother’s 33rpm record with excerpts from Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

Throughout my childhood, teen and college years, I watched the movie more times than I can count, deeply moved by King Arthur’s heartfelt – entirely surprising and otherwise unrepresented in mainstream media – attitude toward his wife sleeping with his best friend. Portrayed by Richard Harris, he says: “Could it possibly be civilized to destroy what I love? Could it possibly be civilized to love myself above all? What of their pain and their torment? Did they ask for this calamity? Can passion be selected?”

It broke my heart that his beautiful kingdom had to fall to ruin simply because society wouldn’t accept what he himself accepted.

In interviews, when I’m asked about inspirations for the Stellarnet Series, I’ve answered – honestly – that I can pinpoint several influences: V for Vendetta, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Babylon 5, North and South. The one I’ve failed to mention is Camelot, because it was totally off my radar when I started writing my first book in 2009.

Just a few weeks ago, I watched it with my daughter. It was my first viewing in over twelve years. Duin bears an uncanny resemblance to Richard Harris bouncing about and pontificating, Belloc also comes from a far-off lake and can’t be defeated in battle, and “Genny” is what they call Guinevere throughout the movie. Only then did I realize how something buried in my subconscious had entered, unawares, into my writing. The relationship between Duin, Genny and Belloc was my attempt to resolve a lifelong and long forgotten heartache, in cyberpunk clothing rather than medieval armor. I wanted to give Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot a happily ever after, together.

Have you ever been heartbroken by a fictional romance that didn’t turn out as you wished? Do you find love triangles to be exciting or frustrating? Who are some of your favorite love triangles?

J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, including Stellarnet Rebel (January 2012) and Stellarnet Prince (November 2012), and a regular contributor to the Contact-Infinite Futures SF/SFR blog. Her artwork is featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at JLHilton.com or follow her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and deviantART.