Recently a good friend of mine, +Kia Zi Shiru published a story that has been in progress for five years. I first came across Kia and Black Sheep on the Gay Authors forum and I was privileged to have the tiniest bit of input as a beta reader. I fell in love with the story there and then and have been a great fan of Kia, and of Black Sheep ever since.
Today, I am delighted to have Kia as a guest on my blog. It should have been days ago but my sick computer and sicker memory managed to put a spanner in the works. Anyway... here it is so read on. Enjoy
Hey Nephy, thank you soooo much for having me on your blog. I know this had been in the planning since somewhere May this year, but here I’m now to talk about Black Sheep, the story that you’ve been at my side for for the past three or four years. Damn, that is a long time… Anywhere, let’s start.
· How did you first meet Vic?
I don’t actually know, I think it was when he was sitting behind his computer talking to Adam when he gets a call from the hospital about Jack. And that is all I can say about that first time I got to know him because even though the scene no longer exists in the series the topic of it is still the end of the second part of the trilogy.
· Did he introduce himself as a readymade character or did you get to know him over a period of time?
Parts of him were ready made, like how he is still friends with Adam, who is his ex, and his strong love for Jack. But at the same time I had to get to know him. I had to know how they got into the situation to begin with. Though it didn’t take me too long to figure Vic out, he was pretty strong willed from the start. What was harder was to make him talk to me about the things that he rather hid. And even when writing the third novella he was able to surprise me.
· Has Vic changed much since you first started writing him?
He has grown, he has grown a lot. But I think as in big changes, no, not a lot, though that might have a lot to do because I already knew where I was going towards, who he would be then influenced a lot of who he is at the start.
Though I think the biggest change he has gone through from then was that he has gotten more considerate of others, but that might have just been how he was naturally growing.
· Did you always know Vic and Jack were made for each other?
Yes. I’ve always found that Jack’s perceived innocence fitted Vic very well and, honestly, Vic needed someone like Jack, someone who could help him without him ever realising it.
· You deal with some pretty dark topics in Black Sheep, did you do much research and if so where? Did you talk to people who had those kinds of issues?
I did a lot of research, I talked to people, I read books and articles. I love doing research so this wasn’t something I was too scared about. Though most of the things that went into Black Sheep I’ve learned through years and years of research, it wasn’t just that I sat down for an afternoon and learned everything.
· You like torturing your characters as much as I do. Can you point to any particular reason why?
Life is not pretty. That is mostly the reason. If you look at the main themes in the story you could probably find them within one classroom at later years of high school. Maybe not at the same intensity, but this is a book, it’s safer to deal with heavier subjects in more depth in a book than you can when you’d tell someone face to face or even what you could show in a movie. But why I like torturing Vic and all the other characters in Black Sheep like this? Because they can handle it. I know that in the end they can handle what I throw at them.
· Did moving the UK chance your style of writing or the things you write about?
I don’t think the things I write about have changed, though since my English has improved so has my writing (or at least I’d like to think that ;) ). Plus, after completing NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2011 my writing speed has gone up quite a bit, which was fun. My style has changed as I’ve become more sure of my writing which has a lot to do with the feedback I’ve had at the university but also because I’ve simply spend a lot of time writing.
· Have you ever had an abusive boyfriend like Vic? If so where is he buried.
Not like Vic, but I’ve had less then great relationships in the past. I think a lot of people have had bad relationships and that it can really change who someone is going in and coming out of the relationship.
· What kind of music do you like listening to while you write (I really hope it’s one of those totally cute Japanese bands) Can you provide me with a link to put in here?
Sorry to disappoint you, but you’re gonna have to ask me this question again when I’m doing a blog tour for the Otherkin Spirit series. But for now I’ll leave you with a song from one of my fav bands. Sentenced and Linkin Park were important bands for me during the time I wrote Black Sheep. Linkin Park has some great songs, but it’s one song by Sentenced that always has me thinking of Black Sheep. I actually have the DVD of this concert, which is the final concert of them, and have listened to it a lot while writing Black Sheep. I chose the live version of it because I think it has more emotion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6RLXRxUYM
· If you could see the characters in Black Sheep as colours, what colour would they be. Black is not allowed.
Ooh, this is hard. I don’t even know where to start. *thinks deeply*
Okay, let’s start at the beginning. Vic would be scarlet, not just because of his bad habit but also because he is so passionate about things he does. Jack would be purple, he is cuddly like that. Anne would be, hmmmm, I have no clue about her, maybe also purple but of a lighter tint. Adam of course is toxic green, he is hyper and overwhelming like that.
· Do you think your writing style has changed over the 5 years you’ve been writing Black Sheep?
That is quite obvious, though it mainly has to do with that my English has improved a lot during writing Black Sheep, that I can not deny. I think style wise it is largely that I have become more comfortable within my own “no nonsense” writing style. I’m more about the story than about the descriptions and things like that. I used to be quite insecure about it but I’ve now come to a place where I know that I need to add some descriptions in some places but over all the reader is free to interpret things according to their own liking.
· What have you learned about the process of writing from having written Black Sheep?
A lot, okay, okay… I learned proper formatting of a story, things like dialog , sentence and other things. Also, Black Sheep was the first story that I had to learn to work with an editor and things like that. Which was really scary. But I got through it and now you can read it as an ebook.
Thank you so much for having me here. I hope I answered all your questions well.
Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).
“Vic?” Chris knocks on the door and enters. “Jack is here for you. He’s waiting downstairs. Need a minute or can he come up?”
“I’m okay. Just need to, y’know.” I pick up my shirt and put on my wristbands again.
The little devil takes two steps out of my room and yells, “Vic is jerking off, if you want to see him finish you need to be here quick!”
As I lunge for her I see Jack standing downstairs. My eyes go wide and my mouth goes dry.
“Sisters are fun, eh?” He smiles up at me and slowly starts walking up the stairs.
Oh my, oh my. I hide my face in Chris’ neck. This is so embarrassing. He looks so hot, his hair is styled straight, he’s wearing super-tight black jeans, a fishnet shirt and a black leather choker with studs on them. I
wish I had been jerking off, I wouldn’t have this problem in my pants right now.
Chris giggles and escapes to her room. So I turn around quickly and walk inside mine to look for a way to
disguise my ‘problem’.
“You coming?” I ask as I sit on the chair in front of the computer.
“Well, if you insist,” he drawls from the hall.
Is he flirting? Oh no, this is getting bad. Maybe he doesn’t even realize what kind of reaction my body is having to him right now. And if he does realize and keeps doing this, I might not be able to restrain myself for long.
He walks into my room and stops. “How are you feeling? You seem better.” He looks around and then decides to sit on the bed.
“I’m feeling okay, I guess. I just woke up.” I look around, trying not to pay too much attention to him.
BLACK SHEEP INFORMATION AND LINKS
But that plan is sabotaged when his new best friend, Jack, kisses him on New Year’s Eve, something Vic has been longing for and dreading in equal measure. Vic knows being gay in high school can be hell, and he’s scared sweet and innocent Jack won’t be able to handle him, or his past. It scares him more than anything now that his past has come back to haunt him, metaphorically and literally.
Vic tries to hide the horror of his past as long as possible, knowing that when Jack finds out what happened he will leave him.
As Vic takes a turn for the worse everybody but him realises how strong Jack and his love for Vic actually are. But is that enough for Vic to move on?
Book webpage: http://www.5timeschaos.com/blacksheeptrilogy
US Amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sheep-Letting-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ALYZJMY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355213111&sr=1-1
UK Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Sheep-Letting-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ALYZJMY/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355213142&sr=1-2
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263832
Kobo link: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Black-Sheep-Letting-go-Past/book-m9XSR4loTUurR9N9fSA1zw/page1.html?s=KSOuBLi5k0OsIanBzvdKOQ&r=1