…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Over the time I’ve been writing MM fiction – about six or seven years – one of my consistent traits is writing quirky characters. He may simply be an eccentric personality type, like Eldon in Liquid Glass. He may have developed quirks due an accident, like Lewis in Left of Centre. Or, he may be autistic, like Chris in Inside His Reflection. I’ve been asked several times why I write these ‘flawed’ characters. My answer to this is easy. I love writing them!
Even if I’m writing a hard-hitting story the likes of Inside His Reflection, another consistent trait of mine is weaving in humour. Who wants a book that completely destroys them emotionally? I certainly don’t want my readers to spend days or weeks recovering from the torment I put them through. Storytelling should be about taking a reader on an emotional journey, but not if that journey ends a padded room.
(Actually, the evil side in me would like to write one of those padded room type books. Under another name, of course, so I wasn’t lynched)
The world is full of amazing people who think outside the square. As a writer, creating these characters and giving them a voice, bringing them to life in fiction, is a joy. They give me an avenue to express my eccentricities through them, and in many cases amp it up full throttle. To take an autistic character like Chris, and write him into a book that tackles very serious issues, could have backfired. I believe the key with creating any believable character is to avoid stereotyping. No two people are ever identical, even if they share the same disorders and medical issues. Therefore a ‘flawed’ book character must be unique and not cookie-cutter.
Another thing I’ve heard is that people don’t want to read about a rock star with epilepsy, a young man with schizophrenia, or a guy with brain damage. Apparently it isn’t sexy. It isn’t hot to imagine these types of male leads. Each to their own. However, they are my most loved and most remembered characters. Why? Because none of us are perfect, and having characters we can relate to makes us feel we could be friends with them rather than just admire them from a distance.
I don’t want my male leads to be perfect, in the same way as I don’t want my friends, or a future partner, to be perfect. There’s a quote by Vladimir Horowitz – Perfection itself is imperfection. The things that attract me to people are those perfect imperfections. A quirky, offbeat sense of humour. Slightly crooked teeth. An off-centre smile. Heterochromatic eyes. A scar in exactly the right place. These are what can make someone irresistible to another, so why ignore them in fiction?
I’ll keep writing the quirky characters. To me, they’re fun and sexy. I hope people enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy bringing them to life.
INSIDE HIS REFLECTION ~ Zathyn Priest
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Art: Scarlet Tie Designs
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Mild. *Please Note* This book contains no sex scenes.
Purchase Link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/inside-his-reflection/#.VjcsAPnhCUk
A blind date leaves Harry reeling, and another date goes as badly. Scars on Elijah’s face are clues of a broken soul, yet Harry can’t walk away. Not even when he learns Elijah sees a dead man in mirror reflections.
Elijah’s sanity snaps. Blamed for crimes he didn’t commit, Elijah has already survived a brutal murder attempt and now hides under a Protection Program. Harry must have faith he is innocent and fight for Elijah’s stolen rights. Can Harry do this without losing his mind, his own rights, and the man he loves?
Zathyn Priest is an award winning Australian MM fiction author and cover artist. His published novels include Inside His Reflection, Amara: The Rebirth, The Curtis Reincarnation, The Slayer’s Apprentice, and Liquid Glass. He has also written short fiction, The Statue, Left of Centre, and One of Those Days. Zathyn’s new graphic novella, HAI-21, will be available early 2016.
Zathyn discovered digital art five years ago when he wanted to create 3D models of his own fictional characters. The hobby turned into another passion, and then into pre-made cover art business, Scarlet Tie Designs. He now creates original artwork book covers, website artworks, and poster artworks.
Sitting in an office all day in front of a computer does not match Zathyn’s restless soul. Therefore, he also attends classical ballet and jazz burlesque dance classes, with the ambition to turn boylesque/burlesque into a part-time career.