Q&A with Dark

[WARNING: The post may contain spoilers.]

Dark is the author of The One I Want and The Nanny

Q. Tell me a little bit about yourself

Well, lemme see. I’m 30 years old, been writing since at least 5th grade. A classmate was an artist and we came up with characters and stories together. Nowadays I’d call it role-playing. I have my bachelor’s degree in engineering and served as an officer in the US Air Force for four years before deciding to get out and pursue my love of teaching. I’m currently half-way through my semester of student-teaching, on-track to receive my credential in February 2011. I want to teach 8th grade science. My credential will be for 6-12 grade science, so I could teach any grade, and my specialty is physics.

Q. What inspires you to write?

Many things inspire me. Sometimes a snippet of music, sometimes a phrase in a book I’m reading or a movie, or a random RP conversation with a friend. For The One I Want, at the time I was working at a place I could walk to and one week on my walk I put together, in my head, a random tale of a man who liked to walk his cat. It was supposed to be a comedy and was written to cheer up a friend of mine who was going through some rough times. The first chapter, Dinner with Gran, came from that and sat alone for many weeks, but the characters would not get out of my head. I put my other projects on hold to work on it, and it’s not been far from my mind ever since.

Q. What are your favourite books?

David Weber, author, and his wife Sharon at CO...
Image via Wikipedia

I grew up reading the usual classics. I loved adventure books growing up, sword and sorcery stuff, dragons, all the usual stuff. I was finally allowed to read my mother’s collection of hard-back books when I was in junior high, falling in love with Star Wars and other sci-fi novels. I love the Pern universe (though I’m not much of a fan of Todd McCaffrey), I love Andre Norton, David Weber (Honor Harrington) and Dave Duncan (the King’s Blades), and one of my current favs is the Temeraire series, though I think it would be way better if Laurence and Granby hooked up, they have amazing chemistry. lol

Q. What is the most thoughtful feedback you have received from a reader?

I think the most thoughtful feedback I ever got was for a story I wrote that really wasn’t doing well. How the feedback was written made me angry at the time, but when I thought about it I could see what the reader was trying to say. I had expanded my story to include so many characters that the main plot (and characters) had gotten lost. And they were right, although that’s not often easy to hear.

Q. Do your characters represent anyone in your life?

My characters all represent me. I’m a narcissist at heart. lol. Naw, but my characters really are built from a piece of me from different times in my life, things I’ve felt or done or experienced, and then expanded upon into their own unique persons. In The One I Want, Rick’s confusion and regret, mixed with a calm certainty, about leaving the military to become a teacher is probably the closest I’ve gotten to my personal life, the most recent, anyway.

Q. What’s your favourite cereal?

I’d say probably Golden Grahams.

Q. What do you think of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer?

I’ve never read the Twilight series or seen the movies. I was disgusted by Eragon and promised myself to never read that kind of crap again. I’m not a vampire fan just in general, although I have read and watched the movie for Interview with the Vampire. I’d never even heard of Twilight until I saw the movie previews and that was more than enough to know I needed to steer very clear of that crap.

Q. Tell us a little about The One I Want?

The One I Want is a story about two men standing at a crossroads in their lives. Ben is recovering from a bad relationship and Rick had never meant to settle down so soon. They meet and sparks fly, but recognizing love from lust doesn’t come so easy. In the end, both must answer the final question: is he the one I want?

Ben is a matchmaker; he is the creative power behind an online dating business that he started with his best friends. He meets with the clients personally and does his best to pair them up, often coaching them through any personal hang-ups they might have. While in high school he lost the person he considered the love of his life and gave up on a happy ending for himself, but that doesn’t keep him from helping everyone else.

Rick has been gloriously out and proud since leaving the military. Everyone on the West Coast knows, but his family is still in the dark. He’s just a good ole southern boy basking in his new found freedom, sampling a little of everything and trying to make up for years of lost time. Then he meets Ben and falls head over heels in love. He knows that Ben comes with a history, but he’s determined to prove he’s different, and to protect Ben from his past when it comes a-knocking.

Q. Is there another gay online author to whom you look up to, and if so, why?

I really admire and look up to an author I first met on http://yaoi.y-gallery.net. She goes by TwistedHilarity and has her own website (www.twistedhilarity.com). This author writes comedy and her characters are so snarky that I’m in stitches practically every time I read her work. I would really like to be able to write like that some day.

Q. Is The One I Want intended one book, or will there be a sequel?

The One I Want is intended as only one book. I’ve never thought sequels were any good unless you planned for that from the beginning. There are some characters in that world that I might write about, but nothing is currently in the works.

Q. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

With a million dollars I’d pay off a bunch of debt and work only part-time so I could devote more time to writing. And I’d like to travel a bit.

Q. What is on your favourite iPod play list?

LOL. I actually don’t have an iPod. I know, lame, but it’s just never been on my priority list. I’ve made two soundtracks, one for my parents’ 25th anniversary, and one that I used to help me with my first novel. To be honest, neither is all that great. I generally listen to Pandora these days. My tastes are pretty eclectic.

Q. Tell me a little bit more about what it is you do for a living.

haha. I’m surviving off my savings and student loans right now. I don’t have the time to work, what with my full-time job student teaching. You might call that on the job training as a teacher. I’m doing the work of one under the mentorship of two other teachers, but I also attend college classes and pay full-time tuition. That leaves little time for much else.

Q. When do you feel most out of your comfort zone?

I feel most out of my comfort zone when I’m trying to be social. I don’t like ‘hanging out’ and am actually pretty shy. I know people say that but I actually have panic attacks just thinking about going to company parties and stuff like that. The first few days in a new place or situation completely freak me out. Going to college, I have to psych myself up each and every time or I won’t go to class, even classes I like. I know it’s ridiculous, and it’s way better than it was because I’ve worked to make it so, but … *shrugs* Public speaking, no sweat. Tell me to “go mingle” and I freeze up. The brain is weird, what can I say?

Q. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

A book of my life would most likely be pretty boring, but I suppose if I had to write one I’d call it “Forging a New Path.” When I look back on my life, I see that everything was pointing to teaching from an early age, but I had to be stubborn and do something else, ignoring my instincts. If someone told me I could’t do something because of my age or gender or religion or whatever, I went ahead and did it anyway, just to prove that I could. I was the first one in my family, at my school or workplace, to do many things, many of them things that “couldn’t be done.” I like to think I’m an adventurer at heart.

Q. Does anyone in your every-day life know that you write?

That would be a sort of. My family knows I’ve dabbled with writing as a hobby for many years and they were generally okay with my novel, but there’s no way I’d tell them what I write now. heh.

Q. What are the top 5 reasons you started writing specifically gay stories, when there are several other kinds of stories to write?

There’s really only one reason — okay, two. First of all it feels right. I’ve had a problem with most of the things I wrote as an adult and never knew what it was. Things just clicked after I discovered the genre and there’s no going back now. Besides, it’s hot! haha

Q. What type of public speaking do you do?

I’ve done many different types of public speaking. I’ve organized and hosted awards ceremonies and the like, talked about programs I worked on, gave reports, etc. Pretty much anything you can think of I’ve done, including some acting. Speaking in front of people, either with a prepared script or off the cuff has never particularly bothered me, so I’m often “volunteered” because no one else wants to do it.

Q. Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?

The only real quirk I can think of is that I “zone out” when I’m writing well. I’ll ignore anything going on around me and get really, really annoyed when interrupted. I’ve written for hours at a time this way and not even realized it.

Q. Who do you think you are?

I believe that I am still figuring out who I am. I’m a teacher, I think I was born to do that, but beyond that? I’m a very loyal friend, but I don’t make friends easily. I’m mostly content with a past I somewhat regret, and that’s part of the struggle, making the past, the past. I’m optimistic but very practical. I wouldn’t call myself a romantic although I believe in happy endings. I’ll find mine, one of these days.

Q. Have you ever thought when a hearse goes by that you might be the next to die?

hahaha! My dad used to sing that song to us kids in a really creepy voice when we were younger. No, hearses don’t creep me out.

Q. Who was your favourite author when you were young?

Cover of Star Born by Andre Norton
Image via Wikipedia

Well, if you take away Pern and Star Wars, I guess that would be the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. Those were the first “real books” I ever read. I remember hitting some kid in 2nd grade for teasing me about it.

Q. If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?

o_O um, no. mine. Did I mention I don’t like to share? XP

Q. What’s your favourite board game?

Wow, um, I don’t know, it’s been so long since I played any. We had this game called Enchanted Forest when I was a kid, that I really liked. It was kind of a matching game. Don’t know where we got it, but it seemed old.

Q. Is there anything you’d like to plug?

I’m an online comic fan. I’d plug my favorites: Dominic Deegan (http://www.dominic-deegan.com/), Least I could do (http://leasticoulddo.com/), and menage a troi (http://www.menagea3.net/index.html). They keep me happy, generally.

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