When I describe Chastity Flame to people I usually use the shorthand description that she’s like an über-sexy female James Bond. Since Bond rebooted with Daniel Craig that’s a good selling point, although when I started thinking about Chas what I had in mind was the kick-ass heroine of Peter O’Donnell’s comics and novels (and yes, the rather camp, pop art movie version from the 60s with the gorgeous Monica Vitti) Modesty Blaise.
You may notice a slight similarity of the names (cough). It started as a joke: “Oh, I’ll think of something better by the time I finish…” but I ended up liking the name and I like that it’s an homage to O’Donnell’s heroine.
One of the things I loved about Bond in the reboot era was the relationship between him and M. Not surprising that the orphan should bond with the authority figure. I made Chastity an orphan too, who bonds with her boss ‘Monitor’ although her memories of her family are warm and often leave her confused when she begins to piece things together—like her ‘special’ ability for receiving visions of things she couldn’t possibly have seen.
She doesn’t quite understand how it happens and she can’t control it either. Rather than the gadgetry of the earlier Bond films (so he always seemed to have just the right capabilities for a completely unforeseen and unlikely situation) I figured it was better if her slight advantage remained also elusive and unpredictable.
I was pleased when a friend who doesn’t much like ‘unrealistic’ narratives said he totally bought the slight supernatural element. In Lush Situation we see further developments in her ability, as well as in her complicated love life. Once again there will be a lot of steamy encounters (scorching hot fun!) but there’s also the opportunity for Chas to begin forging friendships, something she doesn’t have a lot of experience with doing. She’s really conflicted—it’s only natural to want to build friendships, but she also realizes that being friends with someone in her line of work can put people in danger.
The first Chastity Flame book has a computer hacker. In Lush Situation the theme is human trafficking, which gets linked to an upscale London sex club for women. Buy both volumes over at Fahrenheit Press, your home of Renegades of all stripes.
Coming soon: Book Three!