Today is Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary. Velociraptors are now old enough to rent cars! Together, Michael Crichton, Stephen Spielberg, and their literary and cinematic dinosaurs helped fuel my already active imagination and strengthened my desire to be a storyteller. Thanks for reminding me how much older I have gotten in the meantime, and thank you for keeping the dinosaur-loving children alive in all of us!
I read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities a few years ago. Upon completion of the classic, I decided that my next read should be of a somewhat lighter fare. Having never read a book of the erotic nature (and being in the particular mood to do so), I began my search. Before long, I came across Marshall Thornton's Boystown series, which intrigued me because it took place in Chicago and included locations (i.e. bars) I had actually visited.
While the Boystown novellas and novels provided exactly what was to be expected from books with pictures of smooth, muscular torsos on their covers, I was delighted that there was so much more. The main character, private investigator Nick Nowak, is three-dimensional. The crimes and mysteries he investigates are engaging. The series starts in the earlier 80's, and it references a lot of actual history - much of the ongoing story is built around the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. And yes, there was lots of great sex!
To summarize: the series was different from what I expected, but in a good way. I got a great story with a cool character, and I learned something. A part of history that needs to be remembered and understood, for it shaped the way we (both the LGBT community and the world at large) think and act today.
I do not consider The King's Sun as being an erotic novel. No handsome men grace its cover. There are a few sexual encounters, yes, but I did not set out to write a story around those scenes. To me, it is a fantasy story during which some characters meet, like each other, and explore their relationship accordingly. The book has received a few reviews now, a couple of which say something similar to what I thought of the Boystown series: it is different, but in a good way.
Different? I thought when reading them. Different from what?
Aside from Thornton's books, I admit that I have not read a lot of LGBT fiction. A few good ones by Eli Easton (I cannot wait to read her new book, Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride) and Jay Bell (author of the Something Like series, the first of which is now a movie), but I have otherwise stuck to fantasy and sci-fi. I plan to rectify that, as I genuinely want to know!
Not that different is bad. Different is good! Some might not like the Boystown series for discussing the AIDS epidemic. I would not be able to recall the books if they hadn't. Jay Bell's books are coming of age, discovery, and explorative stories. There has been a push to get them into school libraries (with a few scenes edited), and I support that!
In the end, I am glad that some people are reading and enjoying The King's Sun. Whether it was exactly as they expected, threw them some curve balls, or was wildly different than anticipated (hopefully in a good way), as a writer, I can only be happy that my words are being read.
Prince Kitsune's journey to find the King's Sun began thirteen or fourteen years ago with a few sketches I drew while in a college class. No, it wasn't a drawing class or anything to do with creative writing. More likely, it was statistics or business calculus. I probably should have been paying attention to the professor (I failed business calc the first time around), but my mind was on more fantastical matters. Coupled with James Blunt's album Back to Bedlam and Laura Simms' story The Bone Man, an idea was born.
Just like Kitsune's travels in the story, my journey to completing the novel has been a bumpy road. It was worth it to me, on a very personal level, and I am very proud of the final product. I have wanted to write books since I was in elementary school, and I'm ecstatic to finally be sharing some of that work with the world today.
Rest assured that Book Two of The Brass Machine will not take as long to complete. By my best estimate, I am about a third of the way through the first draft. Until then, enjoy the journey!
Also, the Goodreads Giveaway is still going through this Saturday!
Who wants a free book?! Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 5 free signed copies of The King's Sun!