Character Creations with Antonia Aquilante – Post + Giveaway

October 14, 2015

Hi, everyone! My name is Antonia Aquilante, and I’m excited to be here today to talk with you about my debut novel, The Prince’s Consort, releasing October 16th. The Prince’s Consort is a fantasy romance about a prince and the son of a glass merchant. Here’s the blurb:


Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time. 

Or have they?

Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.

Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.


When I’m writing, the ideas for my stories often come in the form of characters first, and that’s what happened with The Prince’s Consort. I was actually writing a different story entirely, and Amory and Philip were meant to be minor characters who were only in a couple of scenes. They were much older in that story and had been together for a long time. The first scene I wrote with Amory in it just flowed – and I loved Amory immediately.

More about Amory and Philip’s characters kept coming to me, but I was writing a story about someone else. So I made notes about Amory and Philip and set them aside, telling myself I would write their story later, after I finished what I was working on. But even as I wrote that other story, Amory and Philip kept filtering in. I suddenly knew how they meet; I could see the scene in my head. I learned more and more about who they are – Amory’s quiet strength and huge capacity for love, Philip’s protectiveness and hidden vulnerability. And I really wanted to know how they got from that first meeting to the place I knew they’d be in the story I was writing at the time (living happily ever after, of course).

I repeated to myself – and them – over and over to be patient. Soon – I’d write their story soon.

And then I hit a wall in the story I was writing. Something wasn’t working, and I couldn’t quite place what. I beat my head against that wall for a long while, but I got no closer to the problem, and Amory and Philip were still demanding their story be told.

I’m the type of person who likes to finish a project before moving to the next. Every story I’ve written, I’ve finished before beginning another. Normally I just keep working at it, keep thinking and writing, and I get back on track. I didn’t this time. I did something I never do; I put the other project aside and turned to Amory and Philip’s story. I’m so happy I did. And not just because The Prince’s Consort has become my first published novel (even though I’m still giddy about that!), but because I loved figuring out who Amory and Philip are and the world they live in, and what happens to them on their road to happily ever after. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I did writing it.


For a chance to win a copy of The Prince’s Consort, tell me about a time when you did the opposite of what you would normally do and the situation turned out better than you expected. Or did it not turn out so well?


Bio: Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.





31 Responses to “Character Creations with Antonia Aquilante – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Su says:

    Hi Antonia, congratulations on your début novel and thank you for a chance to win a copy :D I wondered, will this form part of a series or is it a stand alone and what do you have planned next?

    In answer to you question for us: I am basically an introvert and would rather be behind the scenes or even become part of the wallpaper if I feel uncomfortable :) My formative years were spent hiding and reading in any library that formed part of the educational establishment I attended, which included my college years. Then after working in a library/research position for a few years I found myself, as did quite a few others at my work place, having to look for a new job. So I attended a college course and during that course I found that a lot of other students (some younger, some older) sought my assistance and guidance. The lecturer remarked favorably on it and suggested that I considered teacher training. I thought it would give me a confidence boost, and it did, but I was out of my comfort zone. I am less of a wallflower now, but I will always be an introvert and I still love to hide by reading a book :D

  2. Su – Thank you! The Prince’s Consort is the first book in the Chronicles of Tournai series. The second book, The Artist’s Masquerade, will be out in December or January, and I’m getting ready to submit the third book to DSP this week. After I do, I’m planning to start writing the fourth book. Each book in the series will have a stand-alone plot and feature a different couple, but they’ll take place in the same world with many of the same characters making appearances.

    Like you, I’m an introvert and happiest when lost in a book, but I value those experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone a little too. :-) Thanks for sharing your experience with me!

  3. H.B. says:

    Congrats on your book release.

    I usually like to keep in routine. I feel really rushed and anxious if I don’t. At work I like to do certain things in a chronological order but I’ve found if I reverse it it saves me a bit of time.

  4. H.B – Thank you! Sometimes a little deviation from routine can be a good thing, but generally I like my routine too. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Juliana says:

    Yikes! I… don’t think I ever do the opposite of what I would normally do. Maybe going on my wonderful study abroad in college? I went to the information meeting, saw the price+flight+food+incidentals and immediately wrote it off, too expensive, waste of money, but my dad said we could swing it if I paid for the flight & my grandparents paid for food+incidentals. And I’m so glad I did it.

  6. Z.H. says:

    This sounds exciting! Shapeshifters and characters destined for leadership roles – two things I love! Also, congrats Antonia!

    I’m an incredibly anxious sort of person who puts way too much thought into things that should be routine and come naturally (and my overthinking always leads to me messing up something so simple). I prefer to keep to myself. But one impulse decision that had the most significant impact on my life was, despite already having a place to study history & philosophy when I decided to go back to school, I decided to put in an application to study media. I’ve always hated physical classes and for the life of me can’t remember what it was that made me decide to do that. I aced the interview, got accepted, and then saw my timetable was filled with film work, advertising, events organising, radio studio, presentations, etc. Basically, toss the introvert into a setting where they have to work in a team all day every day and regularly make presentations in front of the class. I wanted to quit within three weeks. Fast forward a few years and I’ve a filmmaking degree, worked for various local companies and even had the opportunity to work on a short film abroad. I’m still more comfortable doing written work though, lol, and I still panic before I have to meet new people and the night before a shoot I will not sleep. But I found things I’m good at and learned some amazing skills just for that one impulse decision to apply for that course.

  7. Juliana – That sounds like a great experience. I’m glad you got to go. It’s one of my regrets that I didn’t study abroad in college. I had my reasons then, but looking back it seems like it would have been wonderful to go. Thanks for sharing!

    Z.H. – Thanks you! I hope you enjoy the book. And thanks for sharing your experience with me. I’m an introvert too, so I understand how scary those situations can be. It sounds like a lot of good came out of your impulsive decision, though. :-)

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