SEEING RED: SCORCHED
PARANORMAL M/M ROMANCE
COVER DESIGN: Fiverr
Down the twists and turns of the London alleyways, where Chinatown meets the high streets, lies a small venue where unknown rock bands often play to crowds of less than one-hundred.
Isaac is nineteen, living on the sofa of his best friend’s brother – Eric – after his bible-loving parents tossed him aside because of his sexuality. After two years of struggling to make sense of his life, Eric and Charlotte convince Isaac to attend Red’s gig; an up and coming rock band with a small cult following.
All hell breaks loose and Isaac is left injured, with the whereabouts of his friends unknown and his body crippled on the ground. It’s then that the four members – Troy, Nicolai, Kyle, and Moss – aid Isaac by infecting him with a ‘magical’ virus that grants immortality in exchange for consuming blood.
The ‘Paranorm’ world is exposed to Isaac. Vampires, werewolves, and warlocks lurk in the depths of the city he has lived in his entire life, but he won’t become one with the night until he completes his nine-month transition, leaving him in the hands of the band and at the mercy of vampire politics.
“You don’t have to.” Nicolai seemed to notice my hesitation.
“I want to,” I replied as I began to shift my body down the sheets, my face dropping closer to Nicolai’s to plant another kiss on his lips before my mouth moved to his neck.
I used my tongue to leave a trail of saliva from the tip of his earlobe, down between his pecs and over his hard abs until I was knelt at the foot of the bed with my mouth hovering around the waistline of his jeans as my entire body began to shake with nerves. I wanted this; I really wanted this, but what if I was no good? At least if we were doing everything then I could rely on Nicolai to lead the way, but this required some talent on my part.
Nicolai reached down, undoing the button on his jeans and sliding the zipper down as he used his free hand to ruffle my blonde locks that I just realized might get in the way. I ran a hand through my hair, pushing the strands over my shoulders and hoping that they’d stay put. I reached out, grabbed the tip of Nicolai’s jeans and tugged them down, also bringing his black boxers down with them and causing his thick shaft to spring up in all its glory.
I took a moment. Breathing deeply. Letting my chest rise and fall slowly. Composing myself before forcing a smile onto my quivering lips, and then I turned around to head back downstairs as if I wasn’t fazed at all. Only, when I shifted my body towards the exit, Moss was standing with his cold stare fixed on me.
“I’m fine,” I said quickly in my defense.
Moss sighed. He began walking towards his room and turned his head from me.
“Didn’t ask,” he replied in a gentler tone than usual as he took his messy, green hair into his bedroom and slammed the door shut behind him.
At least I didn’t have to worry about him smothering me with overbearing affection anytime soon.
INTERVIEW WITH A.O. CHIKA
I’m just gonna say that I loved Moss from the beginning, something about gruff men with green hair makes me happy, although it’s probably because he reminds me of my favorite anime character -Zoro.
- What inspired you to write Seeing Red?
A: If I was going to go all the way back to my obsession with vampires and other supernatural/paranormal creatures, then I’d have to say Buffy was my main inspiration. What I’m doing with my novels is creating a shared universe (I call it my OMU, Omega Moon Universe, because Omega Moon was the first book), each book focusing on a different ‘creature’ but they all inhabit the same world, so not sequels, but co-existing. That in itself was inspired by Marvel’s cinematic universe.
- Moss is my favorite character, who/what inspired him?
A: Moss is loosely inspired by a friend of mine… sort of a “will we, won’t we,” friend. I’m actually taken now though, so I guess we won’t! He’s exaggerated, obviously, but it all came from a real guy.
- What chapter was the toughest to write?
A: The chapters after the beach house proved to be difficult. I think I got around 14 chapters done in a single month, then spent over a month trying to get the next 6 finished. (Spoilers ahead – I really struggled to bring Nicolai and Isaac to a close, so there were plenty of rewrites once they were back at the factory)
- What chapter was your favorite?
A: Chapter seven, easily. That chapter was inspired by a chapter I did in my first OMU novel (Omega Moon) where the main character, Alec and his new friend, Connor, go into the city and a few guys get a little too hands-on with them. (They’re werewolves, so it doesn’t end well for the other men) I love writing fight scenes, I love giving my protagonists – who aren’t always the strongest, tallest, or bravest – their moment to shine. It’s a very when-Gohan-kicked-Cell’s-ass-moment (Yes, I’m an anime fan too!)
- Did you plan Nick’s character or was he just a way to add some suspense to the book and heat up Moss and Isaac’s relationship?
A: Funnily enough, in my first draft Nick was going to have that same ability that Luke had, and Isaac was going to be under his influence without knowing, until Moss saved the day… but I did something similar in my first novel (Spoilers, sorry) and then I got thinking “Why does there have to be a flaw with Nick? What if Isaac just falls for the bad guy?” and things changed from there.
- I’m just going say that I love Kyle, I love how he has some emotional scars, and to me that gives his character a lot of depth, how did you come up with Kyle’s character?
A: I know I keep referencing Omega Moon, but again, look to my first novel and there’s a character called Connor who is happy-go-lucky. Both him and Kyle are heavily inspired by characters like Willow from Buffy, but clearly Kyle has a darker past. I wanted someone that had been through something worse than Isaac, worse than Moss, and had come out of it a better person than either of them. He’s the manifestation of hope. Kyle is what Isaac hopes to be one day, when he’s lost some of that teenage angst.
- Luke is still M.I.A. Is there a sequel in the works?
A: Like I’ve mentioned, I’m creating an expanding universe of books that all happen in the same world, focusing on different creatures. I did just pen my first crossover featuring a character from Seeing Red into my next book, although it’s brief. As for a direct sequel, I would absolutely love to. However, Seeing Red does end in March 2017, whereas my next book is still set in 2015, so we may have to wait until my other works have caught up with these characters.
- Does Aiden get his own happily ever after? Does Eric?
A: In the epilogue I do mention that Troy decides to take up the throne alongside Aiden, giving him some help with the political side of things. I have plans for Aiden, since he’s the king of a race you can be certain he’ll show up in many of my OMU books, not just the Seeing Red series. As for Eric, well… the thing we have to remember is that Eric was actually sexually/emotionally abused. What Luke did to him wasn’t consensual, which explains his attitude in the epilogue, he’s dealing with things, and I don’t expect that they’ll be resolved in a chapter or two.
- So… Ghouls huh? And a nine-month transition period before becoming a full-fledged vampire, how did you get the idea?
A: I played the video game Vampire: The masquerade, and in that game some vampires take on human ‘slaves’ I suppose… they’re willing humans who drink vampire blood to become somewhat vampire, they call themselves ghouls. I liked the idea so I took it and morphed it into my own thing. As for the transition period, my first book featured Mpreg (male pregnancy) within the werewolf species, so that’s why 9 months, sort of a ‘born again’ thing. Also, I never liked the idea of how easily people become vampires in television and other books, I wanted it to be something that was hard, painful and restricting. I wanted a challenge that Isaac had to overcome.
- How much research did you do?
A: I looked up the name of the cemetery in London, and I made sure to use real locations that I was familiar with in England, but exaggerated a lot of them. I’m pretty familiar with vampire lore (I dropped Vlad’s name at some point) so that was easy. Plus, I wanted to do my own take on vampires, so I wasn’t looking for things that had already been done.
- What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching/ planning Seeing Red: Scorched?
A: I wish I had some hilarious searches, but I didn’t. I did extensively look into cemeteries in London, so perhaps that would cause some concern for anyone who got hold of my laptop.
- Which character is your favorite and why?
A: Kyle, he’s incredibly brave, kind and powerful but he doesn’t wear it on himself like Moss and he isn’t down on himself like Isaac. His only flaw is that he goes a bit soft around Troy, but that just makes him more ‘real’ in my eyes.
- Were there any alternate endings you considered?
A: I was going to end it right after Moss and Isaac did the deed, with a simple “what next?” between the pair of them. However, I felt like chapter 20 was owed to the people that made it that far… the epilogue was written at the spur of the moment at about 4am, I just needed to know what they were doing afterwards.
- What was left out in the final draft?
A: Plenty, so many ideas went in the trash during this story and I don’t think any of them would work now. I was actually going to have Charlotte’s ghost appear throughout the story, but I decided against it. I like to keep each book focused on one ‘race’ of supernatural beings.
- What challenges did you face in the production of Seeing Red?
A: Actually writing. I procrastinate with the best of them.
- Did you consider publishing Seeing Red with a traditional publisher?
A: It never crossed my mind. I suppose there’s a small part of me that sees publishers as the big, scary adults and I’m not ready to hand in my homework yet. I feel more comfortable self-publishing.
- What is your writing process like?
10am: Okay, lets write… 10pm: Okay, I’ll start writing now.
- What drew you to writing?
A: My head is full of stories. All day, every day, I’m creating people, concepts, places, adventures… I can come up with a novel, lore and a 100-year history in a matter of minutes. If I don’t get it down on paper I start to feel stressed. It’s like when you really want to tell someone something, but you’re not allowed and you can feel it bubbling in your throat. I have just always wanted – needed – to write.
- Is there anyone you would like to say a special thanks to?
A: Wendy Stone, Bradley, Adam, Michelle, my partner Peter and my dog Drake. Drake just looks at me and I’m destressed.
Born January 6th 1993, T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.
T. C. has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.
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