Today I am so pleased to welcome authors K.A. Merikan to Joyfully Jay. K.A. has come to talk to us about their new release, Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem vol. 1). They have also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Putting Across a Character’s Voice
I believe each character should have their distinct voice. It’s based on who they are, what they’re interested in, and on their personality. Me and my co-author tend to strongly empathize with our characters, up to the point where we produce sentences or ideas that we wouldn’t have come up with while in any other mindset. Manuscripts written from the point of view of a passionate chef will most likely include cookery-related metaphors, a character who’s all over the place might describe the world in a more chaotic way than, say, a nit-picking banker. With character and temperament, the characterization goes deeper. For example, an angry or neurotic person will have a different inner narrative than someone who looks at the world through rose-tinted glasses.
It is obvious that a POV character’s perspective on the people around them and on themselves will influence the prose. We assume our reader knows right from wrong, which is why we often choose to write from the perspective of unreliable narrators. This also allows us to be less explicit about the character’s emotions if we want to leave some things up to the reader’s interpretation. We consider it part of the reader’s fun that they can analyze the character’s actions themselves and make their own judgment.
The characters are usually established very quickly so the reader should know based on the context whether the character’s being serious or not without the author having to add beautiful words like ‘jokingly’ or ‘sarcastically’. We don’t feel we need to inform our readers when the work they’re reading is a parody – the familiar pattern of a serious tone producing a comical effect is all too clear to an audience that’s accustomed to it. This is also why characters don’t always need to tell the reader what they’re thinking via inner monologue.
In fact, we think some of them shouldn’t. A large part of the population, men in particular, is not that good at identifying their own emotions. It’s usually the rough and tough guys, men who fit well into the masculine stereotype, stoic and able to control all their emotions except for anger. Whether we like it or not, certain ways of life require the ability to detach from emotions. This is why Stitch, the main character of our new book, Road of No Return is the way he is. While he isn’t an extreme case, he does have trouble analyzing his emotional needs, and his decisions are frequently flawed.
A loving father, a gang member, but in love with a man, he is trapped by the need to do the right thing, it’s just very hard for him. A person like that will not spend hours on end analyzing his sexuality and what it means to him, or constantly ponder how to make his MC brothers understand what he’s going through. What he knows is that he loves Zak. But he also loves his daughter and his biker family. People like him usually speak through their actions rather than ‘deep’ thoughts. That doesn’t make this type of character shallow – there is simply a gap between the character’s actual depth and how well the character knows himself. The depth in such characters is left for the readers to discover on their own. And even when a character is simple, it doesn’t mean their story’s not complex.
“Road of No Return” is the first in a series of outlaw biker books. The series is called Sex & Mayhem and will include both longer and shorter stories. Most will focus on gay relationships, but we do have a straight book planned in the series that will be published under our future M/F pen name. The books in the Sex & Mayhem series will generally be standalones, tied only loosely by cameos and mentions of clubs.
We already have plans for future books which include an amputee fetishist, a male prostitute, and a biker called ‘Tooth Fairy’ for his gruesome technique of ripping out people’s teeth.
— Don’t talk to strangers. —
- Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.
- Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.
On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.
Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn’t know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.
As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.
WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture
Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing
Genre: contemporary homoerotic dark romance
Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger)
K.A. Merikan is a joint project of Kat and Agnes Merikan, who jokingly claim to share one mind. They finish each other’s sentences and simultaneously come up with the same ideas. Kat and Agnes enjoy writing various kinds of stories, from light-hearted romance to thrillers. They love creating characters that are not easy to classify as good or evil, and firmly believe that even some villains deserve their happy endings. It is easiest to find them in galleries, restaurants and historical sites, always with a computer or notebook, because for Kat and Agnes, every day is a writing day. Future plans include lots of travel, and a villa on the coast of Italy or a flat in Paris where they could retire after yet another crazy venture, only to write more hot homoerotic stories.
As K.A. Merikan, Kat and Agnes have published a number of books, which cross genres while always staying homoerotic.
The authors have brought an electronic copy of Road of No Return to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, July 26th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
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