First Novel Challenge

I didn't set out to write a controversial first novel. You've probably heard more than once that the characters in a story just take it over after a while. Well, it's true. I put my characters into situations and they pretty much behaved the way they wanted. I felt like an engaged spectator for almost the entire second half of the book.

I'm a pretty light-hearted person, so the fact that this story turned out to be so dark was a surprise to me. I knew I wanted to write about flawed protagonists, characters who were not one-dimensional but had many layers, who were likeable, and with whom the reader could sympathize, if not outright identify. I also thought it would be interesting to have a hero who is not able to control what's happening to him, yet grows stronger as a result. Overcoming adversity without becoming embittered is something that most of us struggle with at some time during our lives, and these characters are no different. Trying to do the right thing, even when it's not in our own self interest, making amends for past transgressions, forgiveness even if it's not deserved -- these are issues that the characters face, that we all face.

Finally, there was the question of who my audience would be. I did not intend to appeal to any particular segment of society. I wanted the story to be universal, relevant, timely, exciting, and make the reader a bit uncomfortable. Love, it seems, is ubiquitous, and we are lucky to find it whenever and with whomever we can. It is a bond between two people that takes many forms. Whether you are part of the LGBT community or not, I hope that you find this story uplifting and enjoyable.

K. Sena Makeig