Today I’m pleased to welcome Kia Zi Shiru back to Off the Page, talking about her new book Black Sheep: Loving in the Present.
Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).
1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
I’m Kia, a Dutch girl studying in the UK, I’m in university and I play a lot of videogames so most of my spare time that I don’t spend writing I spend on those two things. I’m hoping to either make a living of writing or something that has to do with writing or publishing. I’m not done with university for another 1,5 years so I’ve got time to figure out what I’ll be doing, I guess.
2. When and why did you start writing?
When? Ehhh… I think I still have some stories from when I was around 8 or so and I spend most of the time between 11 and 16 writing on one long epic scifi story. Though it is obvious through the time where my writing was going.
I don’t know an exact why, mostly because I liked making up stories and I was too shy to just tell them so I rather wrote them down. Becoming an actual writer only became an interest for me years later when Black Sheep was already an online serial.
3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is a hard one… Hmmm… Either The Moon Fairy (Kjersti Scheen) about a girl with anorexia or The Days of Bluegrasslove by Edward van de Vendel about a guy who falls in love with another guy while they are overseeing a group of kids at an international summer camp.
They have both made big impressions on me and the subjects that I write about and I read both of them at least once a year.
4. What inspired your story?
I don’t have a definite moment or thing that inspired Black Sheep, what I do remember is that I spend a lot of time reading other stories or research topics like depression and things like that for it.
5. Your books going to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the main roles?
People keep asking me this and I have no clue. Vic, Jack, Adam, Anne and all the rest live in my head but I don’t have a clue what actor should play them. I have thought about it but most actors that I see that would fit the age range don’t fit the characters.
6. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
Both. I always have a broad outline and special scenes and plot points that I really want to put into the story and I put those on an outline idea of my wordcount and chapter count and just work from point to point. I would call it more loose plotting.
7. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Music is a big inspiration to my work. During Black Sheep I mostly listened to Linkin Park and Sentenced and even still listen to those during edits. Music really keeps me going and makes sure I don’t get too distracted.
8. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
Hmm, the only thing I can come up with it maybe being one of Nephylim’s (a friend of mine) characters. She writes great stories with really complex characters. Plus, I could be a band member and do one of the other members. Hmmm, yeah, I think I’ll stick with that. One of Nephy’s guys from her bands.
NOW JUST CHOOSE ONE:
1. DAY OR NIGHT?
Night, I’m a total nightowl if I’m allowed to.
2. READING OR WRITING?
Hard, hard choice, I think reading. I really like getting lost in other people’s work.
3. VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE?
Chocolate, I’ve found some great dark chocolate a while ago. Chilli chocolate.
4. BLOND OR BRUNETTE?
Neither? I prefer black. Though if I had to choose, white blond. I do like the often unnatural white some people have.
5. ELVES OR VAMPIRES?
You’re trying to kill me aren’t you? How can I choose between the two? Hmm, if it came down to it… Elves. I guess I still like my pure fantasy more than my urban fantasy.
Thank you so much for having me here Suzanne! I really liked the questions.
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.