First of all, thank you for having me on the blog. This is the second time I’ve been here and I really enjoyed the first time. But I am ashamed to say I forgot about this until the last moment and then had to scramble to fine tune this post.
I have been busy.
In addition to my normal five day a week, full time job, I have taken up teaching extra classes for kids during the weekends. The setting is dismal and we really lack a lot of amenities but the kids are fun and I have found out, much to my surprise, I enjoy teaching kids. I took up the job because I needed more money because my regular job is not as lucrative as my former and it has surprised me in certain ways.
Since I have no experience teaching kids I searched the web and came up with an ice breaker lesson where students get to talk about objects that mean something to them. As an example, I decided to share with them about an object that means a lot of me, my earring made out of two coins.
Once, in a different life time, I was a university academic until the university pulled the rug out from under me, cancelled my research grant and kicked me out on my ass. I lost my job, my apartment and my working visa and hence had to crawl back home. Before I left, I went to the bank to shut down my account and the final two cents they gave me, I transformed into earrings. I wore those earrings as a reminder that things have gone really, really bad but I have survived.
But as I was talking to my students about it, I realized
- They were too young to realize the bitterness associated with that object I wore constantly and
- I no longer felt as bitter about it as before. I spoke to the children about my time abroad, the friends and the other pleasant memories associated with those two coins and knew I was recovering.
I work at a different university now, lower pay, lower status but it gives me time to write so … perhaps not all bad.
Did I think I’d ever be teaching kids or for that matter teach at all … no.
Did I think I’d ever be writing m/m books … no.
But am I enjoying myself … yes.
And I think in the end, that’s all that matters.
When I booked this blog post, it was to promote my new book, Into the Divide which was released on the 3rd of this month. It is my favorite work up till now, because it came to me so easily and I was able to write it really fast. It’s not perfect but I don’t know what a perfect story is because stories, in my opinion, stories are organic. They grow and change and appeal to different people in different ways.
My main character, Tarn, is a former criminal. He’s part of a rehabilitation unit that gives people like him second chances. While I was writing the story, I struggled to show that he had reformed but hadn’t lost his sharp edge, the ruthlessness that needed to get the job done, because a part of his job was to kill things. It was in part finding the perfect niche for his talents, about fitting in to a hostile environment and belonging there.
I wish there was an easy google search for that but sometimes there isn’t. But finding things out on my own, figuring out the intricacies of the character I want, I truly enjoyed it and am happy with the outcome. So when I say it was easy to write, I knew what the plot was going to be like when I started, right down to the twist at the end, but shaping people, characters, Tarn’s interactions with Calvin … those were much harder.
Calvin is a geek, a little clumsy and awkward with a lot of bad experiences behind him but able to come through when he’s need the most.
This is the first in the Divide universe series and there will be a lot more to come. Less Than Three press has been kind enough to accept the next two books in the series as well, and I am working on some more books and short stories as well.
And even more surprisingly, Less Than Three press agreed to have this book in print though it is only 35,000 words because all the other books in the series are going to be in print. This universe is interesting because I have so my ideas of where it’s going, so many characters to explore and so my mysteries to unravel.
I hope everyone has fun reading this, because I had fun writing it.
Nullands: Sections of a series of planets sealed off by an energy barrier, called the Divide, filled with danger, where technology does not work.
Tarn is part of the Death Squad, a criminal given a second chance by agreeing to risk his life over and over again in the Nullands. His latest mission is the kind he usually avoids: babysit an inexperienced lab tech while they hunt down the dangerous creature that escaped a research lab.
Calvin is the lab tech given the unenviable task of hunting down the creature that escaped his lab, after it killed his friend and five others. An assignment he mostly landed for refusing to sleep with his boss, he knows damn good and well he’s being sent to die. What he doesn’t expect is Tarn, or how far he’s willing to go to survive.
Sandra will be giving away an eBook copy of Into the Divide to one lucky winner. To enter simply leave a comment below. Giveaway ends Friday, Sept 19th at midnight (Eastern time).
Do you have an object that means something important to you?