Today, I have Daniel A. Kaine answering some questions. He's also answered a few of the discussion questions, so you might be hearing from him at some point later.
Is there any specific reason you prefer writing LGBT fiction with supernatural elements?
When I’m reading a book, I like to escape from reality. It’s the same with my writing. I like to go to other worlds, or experience things that you wouldn’t see in the real world—deep space travel, shapeshifters, vampires, and magic. I do have a couple of non-supernatural books that I’m working on right now, but they both have something else to offer that sets them aside from contemporary works. One is set in a dystopian future following the collapse of society as we know it, and the other is a rather dark crime/romance that, in my opinion, will really push people’s comfort zones.
‘No Angel’ is the most contemporary of my books, but even that features a bit of the supernatural. All five of the main characters have special abilities, ranging from turning invisible, to creating force fields, and scrambling electronic devices. Sam, the eldest of the group, can even sprout a set of white angel wings. For me, this adds a layer of mystery to the story, because if these things can happen, then anything is possible.
Was Dreamspinner Press the first publisher you approached?
Yes, it was. I had self-published two novels previously, and, in all honesty, was going to continue doing so with my future books. But then I made some great new friends at GayRomLit in Albuquerque last year, and they’ve been such a great support. They encouraged me to take the plunge and try submitting to a publisher. After weighing up my options, I chose Dreamspinner Press, and after almost nine weeks of checking my emails every day, I received an offer from them. That was the best feeling ever. Having being through the submission process now, I feel a lot more confident and am going to, hopefully, continue signing books with publishers.
What was your favourite book to write?
Of the books I’ve finished writing, my favourite was definitely ‘No Angel’. Firstly, I loved writing the characters. Each of the kids has their own quirky personality, and with everything they went through, I couldn’t wait to give them their happy ending. But also, it was the first book where I looked at writing and could see how far I’d come since I started back in 2010. That newly found confidence in myself made this book a pleasure to write, and I hope that others will feel the same when they read it.
How do you make your characters different?
That’s a tough question. My characters tend to come to mind almost fully formed. I don’t force them into being different, but instead let them be who they are. Of course, I’ll try and avoid too many clichés, but I think it all comes down to the situations you place them in. Even the most ordinary character can become something great, if you give them the push they need and the opportunity to shine.
One thing that I do, though, is try to include a diverse range of sexual orientations. Mik, from Dawn of Darkness, doesn’t identify as gay, despite his love interest being male. He originally, and mistakenly, believed himself to be asexual/aromantic, but quickly came to fall for his best male friend. Even then, there was no attraction to other men. Ash, from the same book, is bisexual, an orientation I feel often gets overlooked. Sam, from ‘No Angel’, is gay, and Josh never labels himself as anything. I can’t recall that I’ve had any lesbian characters yet, so I’ll have to work on that one.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Every day, homeless youths die on the streets. The fact that these young people have been forced out of their homes in the first place is something that sickens me to the bottom of my stomach. Even worse when it’s because of their sexuality. And so far, I’ve done nothing about it. I want to change that.
‘No Angel’ will be out on August 26th. The five main characters are all young people, who have either been thrown out, or ran away, simply because they were born different. They each have special abilities, which they use to help make survival on the streets a little easier. In reality though, homelessness is harsh and degrading. Statistics say that an LGBTQ youth dies on the streets every four hours.
I’m not going to sit back and do nothing any longer. I want to give something… anything… even if it’s only enough to help out a handful of teens for one night. To that extent, I’ll be donating a portion of my royalties from ‘No Angel’ to charities that work to provide shelter for LGBTQ youths when they have nowhere else to go.
Daniel A. Kaine was born and raised in the Land of Rain, more commonly known as England. Originally trained as a biology teacher, he was always unsure what to do with his life. That is, until he chanced upon a fanfiction site and began jotting down stories between his favourite anime characters. To this day, he still cringes at the mere memory of all that cheese.
In 2010, Daniel came across the NaNoWriMo boards and started work on his first original piece of fiction. Since then, his fingers have been unable to keep up with all the ideas and characters his brain keeps throwing at him.
When he's not writing, Daniel enjoys staying active, whether that be by running along the river banks near his home, or going to the gym. He also enjoys reading, playing video games, and learning new skills, such as image manipulation.
Daniel is very kindly offering 1 ebook copy of No Angel, in formats epub. Mobi, html and pdf. Book is due out from Dreamspinner Press on August 26th. Giveaway ends 29 September and is open internationally to people over 13.a Rafflecopter giveaway