Hey everyone!! Today I have the fabulous Kia Zi Shiru in the house, talking about Black Sheep, a beautiful story from a talented author. Sit back and relax as Kia shares with us! <3
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Night. Today I’ll talk a bit about how I came to writing Black Sheep.
I mostly come from a background of fanfiction. Starting with Remus Lupin/Sirius Black (Harry Potter) and Zero/Kaname (Vampire Knight manga) I read a lot of slash fanfiction. Around the age of fifteen/sixteen it had taken over almost all of my reading time, not because there weren’t any books out there that I hadn’t read (though I was getting very close to that in my preferred genres in our local library) but mostly because they had better story lines. Yes, fanfiction had better story lines than published fiction. Though RL/SB fanfiction was mostly about their Hogwards years and Z/K was mostly set in the future of the manga. So it wasn’t like they were just playing in the set world but also that they created something new. I really loved stuff like that, it showed off the skill of some of the writers very well.
After a while one of the writers that I followed wrote her own original fiction and that brought me to FictionPress (where you can still find me these days). On FictionPress I got to know all sorts of stories, but I also found a very nice niche genre of gay fiction that wasn’t all about the uke and the seme but that dealt with real issues. A world opened to me. Where my local library had 2 gay books for teens and one lesbian book, here I had more stories than I could even start reading. I slowly got to know a couple of awesome writers and I read a lot of stories.
From the point of reading slash fanfiction to reading original fiction to then starting Black Sheep took about 2 to 3 years.
Those 2 to 3 years I spend reading a lot lot lot of serial work. I followed up to ten stories at a time and also read finished series. I used to print the stories off so I could read them on the bus or the train. Those were the days ;)
I don’t know what inspired me to create Black Sheep, or what sparked the idea for the first scene I wrote for it (now no longer in the story but it will be the short story at the end of the second novella). But when I started writing that first scene I couldn’t leave the characters alone. My English wasn’t that good back then so it was a bit of a struggle at first to write things that people understood well. But reading even more stories by then really helped with that.
I slowly started updating chapter by chapter on FictionPress, to see how well it would do. It didn’t do too bad, but as any online writer can tell you, if you don’t interact on the website you don’t get any reviews at all, you mostly get silent readers. Which was sad but unavoidable. I did keep to updating though, and am glad I pushed through. Somewhere around halfway through Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past (named Part 1 back in the days) I found a few friends on another website and they and their own stories have really helped me through the harder times, but it was their enthusiasm for Vic and Jack that kept me going.
Black Sheep, to me, has been a lot about experimenting. I experimented with writing, with outlining, with updating, all sorts of things. Some experiments went well, some not so good. I also experimented with genre, coming mostly from a fantasy background. Young Adult non-fantasy was something I hadn’t tried before, but it was very fun anyway.
I was able to do something I really like, research. A lot of research has gone into Black Sheep, about different things. Some of it on depression and suicide but also things like the helping side of it. It made Black Sheep more than just writing, it made it an experience. I read a lot of stories, some fictional, some real and it always kept me close to Black Sheep.
From reading slash fanfiction to writing Black Sheep, there was one thing I really liked about it all: the experience. I experienced all sorts of gay stories, from romance to teen drama and it allowed me to create Vic and Jack, characters that even now I’m actually finished with writing them still pop up from time to time hoping that I write more about them.
Thank you for lending me a spot on your blog to share my story of the start of my writing.
Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past blurb:
Trying to rescue her son from a destructive environment, where the end of his last relationship almost ended in tragedy, Vic’s mother decides to move them all to a new town. Vic, glad at being able to start anew, takes the chance to create an image that would make his last two years of high school a lot easier.
The first time I saw Vic I was standing in the schoolyard. Marie was hanging around my neck and we were listening to music, like every morning since we started high school. Suddenly she squealed into my ear and out of reflex I started playfully choking her. That was... until someone cleared his throat near us. We stopped and turned around. I froze. There, right in front of me, was the most beautiful guy I had ever seen.
He had long black hair, piercing blue eyes, perfect round and pink lips. The black long-sleeved top he was wearing had chains which were attached to his black skater pants with even more chains on them. He was just damn sexy... He looked very confident even as the whole school was staring at him. He didn’t seem to care or notice at all.
“You squealed, madam?” He grunted but grinned and asked, “You know where room 304 is? I’m new here and need to be there for my first class. I’m Vic, by the way.”
“Uah! Addams Family reference!” Marie jumped up and down. “We’re going there too. I’m Marie and this is Jack.”
Vic looked me up and down and smiled.
“Nice. So I assume you’ll be helping me today?” He seemed to be talking to Marie but his eyes were on me.
“Sure!” Marie grabbed his arm and dragged him with her as she bounced into the school. Vic looked back at me with large eyes as if unsure what was going on, but I shrugged and smirked at him as I walked after them.
It was never boring after that. Marie kept going on and on about him, about how she liked him and how sweet he was. It was annoying, but heck, even I couldn’t get him out of my thoughts. He was just so... intriguing...
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).
Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past Links (Buy & Website):
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
Thanks for sharing with us, Kia! Everyone be sure and check out Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past! Have a good day~
XOXO NIGHT TEMPEST