Guest author - Dorian Dawes
It's always a pleasure to meet different people through this here writing lark. They usually turn out to be nice, and Dorian is no exception. So...
What inspired you to start writing?
Telling stories and inventing characters and worlds has been something I've done ever since I was a kid. My sisters and I used to play in the woods and create long-running narratives over the course of entire summers. Writing fiction was the next logical step, and it's all I've ever really wanted to do with my life.
What does it feel like watching your first book fledge and leave the nest?
When I first got that acceptance letter, my boyfriend heard me gasping in the other room and rushed to make sure I was okay. He found me a quivering, sobbing mess. I had to reassure him that this was good news! This has been a lifelong dream for me and seeing my work finally get out into the world is humbling beyond words.
What was the inspiration for Harbinger Island?
I'd been particularly hungry for something specific within the fantasy genre, something modern but filled with darkness and conspiracy. I wanted X-Files with magic! So I started writing out a scenario and tested the idea and world in a tabletop campaign for my gaming group. Later, I expanded the universe and penned additional stories within the setting and it pretty much evolved from there!
Are you character or plot driven? What sort of characters do you like to write?
My favorite plots tend to be the ones driven by characters. People who do things, investigate, cause problems; they're the most interesting to write about. I also really love writing about good people who sometimes do horrible things and the fallout from those decisions and how they deal with that.
If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why?
Professor Bartleby Prouse! He's had a lifetime collecting all manner of knowledge and some fairly dangerous artifacts. His ability to analyze a situation and call upon exactly what it needs makes him truly formidable. More importantly, it is his tenacity to protect others even in the face of overwhelming evil. The worse things get, the harder he fights.
What’s your favourite LGBT book? And why?
I've been thinking about Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite lately. It's about a gay serial killer and the relationship to his victims, with many parallels to the Jeffrey Dahmer case. It's a beautiful book filled with human ugliness, as erotic and seductive as it is barbaric and horrifying. I think it's important to me as the characters show more depth and humanity than they do in many works of token gay fiction. Poppy's characters are allowed to be horrible to each other, to display their naked raw vulnerabilities. They aren't polite or nice or meant to be good representation. They're just people, and that's what I want to write.
What's your next project?
I've just finished work on a sci-fi adventure comedy following a transgender bounty hunter in her mission to uncover an ancient alien temple on a hostile planet. It's a significant tonal departure from Harbinger Island and it's a lot of fun. I can only hope people who follow my work aren't too terribly confused!