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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Secrets in Normalville, USA

In Arcada, everyone has secrets. As a general rule, everyone knows their neighbor’s secrets. But nobody knows Luka’s Blacque’s deepest secret. The vampire Oliver Bleu suspects…

Years ago, I attended college at Humboldt State Universty, which was nestled in the coastal redwoods of Northern California. The towns that run up and down the coast are small, old fashioned and wonderfully quaint. They are also incredibly eccentric under the mom and pop facades. After all, this is the heart of the Green Triangle.

I’ve always loved the motif of the American small town, places you see in movies like Back to the Future. A couple years ago, I came up with Arcada, a classic small town with a deep vein of strangeness. I suppose this was probably influenced by my time in Eureka.

In the Arcada books, the town itself is nearly sentient…it picks and chooses its residents. All of the members of the community are something other than what they seem. The pastor of a church might be a religiously devout vampire, and the owner of a grocery store could be an elf. The local sheriff is a werewolf and the postmistress is a Christmas elf.

When Loose Id put out a call for stories about Coming Out, I hesitated. I write paranormal and sci fi and my characters generally don’t have issues with coming out sexually. They tend to live in cultures where sexuality is open and fluid. I thought about writing a contemporary piece, but that’s really not my comfort zone in fiction.

I came back to Arcada, which is a magical sanctuary for paranormal characters. Why would a gay character be reluctant to come out of the closet in a community like Arcada? If the community tolerates a succubus leading the church choir, why would they have issues with alternate sexuality? My hero Lukas Blacque has no shame over being gay. So there had to be a deeper reason for him staying in the closet. Once that was identified, there had to be an equally compelling reason for him to step out.

What greater reason is there than love?

Blacque/Bleu is available at Loose Id, LLC

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