A Special Kind of Love: a Valentine’s Day Post by Kia Zi Shiru
Thank you so much for having me here on this special day. Today I’ll be talking about love, since it is after all Valentine’s day, but it’s not romantic love.
Of all the characters in the Black Sheep Trilogy one person to me always stands out because most of the time she is only there in the background. The person I possibly like even more than my main characters is Anne, Vic’s older sister. Anne is a few years older than Vic, her best friend is Adam and she has a son called Kevin. You know, she doesn’t seem that special. She is a teen mum with a gay friend and a gay brother. Big deal. And to describe her like that doesn’t do her justice at all. Anne is a big force behind a lot of the story, not a driving force but the glue that keeps them together. If something goes wrong she is there to clean up the mess and she sometimes makes messes herself, that is just who she is.
In Loving in the Present she is a new narrator that we haven’t heard about in the first book. Sure, she was in the book, but never the attention as a narrator. To me she is very special. She is the one that always tries to keep everything together, who smoothes over problems and who just loves everybody (generally anyway, not all the time). Of course, she has faults, like everybody does. She tries too hard, she gives up too much of herself and she can have a bit of a temper.
I think that the big difference between Anne and Jack, both characters who deal with others without having much of their own problems, is that Anne knows the past and Jack can only see the future. Anne is careful and sometimes even scared, where Jack usually sees a brighter side.
Anne is a big sister, the one who always makes sure everybody keeps in line, whatever that line may be. When Vic gets into the hospital, she is the one who signs the papers to have him re-admitted to the mental hospital. She is also the one who Adam talks to when he realises he is in trouble. Jack comes to her even though he tries not to depend on her. Tom confides with her in trouble that is going on on their end. She is the one to who everybody looks up to to solve their problems.
And that is added to having a kid and a younger sister. Which I can imagine isn’t always that easy. If she didn’t grow up quickly after she had Kevin she would certainly have after she found out that Vic was in trouble. I love her because she is strong and loving. Her whole life is about other people and it’s her big heart that keeps everything just right.
I think that if I had to choose one character to personate LOVE I would choose Anne, without Anne a lot of things that go on in Black Sheep would have ended so differently. As a writer I only realised this when I was working on the last part of the Black Sheep trilogy and I sometimes regret not having given her more space in the book. On the other hand, there was enough going on with the other characters that giving her more space would have meant less space for them.
I now content myself in knowing that of all the characters she, to me, is the most special of all.
Black Sheep: Loving in the Present
Vic has taken a turn for the worse and is back in the psychiatric hospital. Jack gets kicked out of his house when his parents find out that he is gay. The reason Adam is not getting better is revealed. And that is just the beginning.
Everybody is lost and trying to not let it spiral out of control. Jack moves in with Vic’s family, making it his temporary home until he can move in with his brother and sister. Vic’s health doesn’t improve until he hears about Adam, at which point he put his mind to getting better. Adam on the other hand is fighting his own feelings about Vic’s illness and questions their friendship.
When Vic and Jack visit Adam and Tom for Tom’s birthday, it seems like a great way to let loose, but Vic is hiding more secrets than anyone knew and when they are exposed the situation explodes. Vic storms off in anger and seeks solace in dangerous places and, unknowingly, putting not just himself, but Jack too at risk.
Black Sheep: Letting Go of the Past Now on Sale
To celebrate the release of Black Sheep: Loving in the Present, the first novella in the trilogy will be available for just $0.99 from now until February 25th. Pick up your copy from Amazon US Amazon UK Smashwords or Kobo