Today is my stop on The Red Sun Rises pre-release blog tour. There is an awesome guest post that Victoria has written so make sure to have a read of that while you're here. Thanks so much for stopping by!!
In a post-Twilight world, “The Red Sun Rises” is a YA novel intended to give vampires their bite back but it should not be read as simply another vampire novel. “The Red Sun Rises” is a story about growing up, responsibility, falling in love, facing your fears and taking fate into your own hands.
Releases September 6th through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Victoria Kinnaird is 25 years old and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2009 with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Journalism, Creative Writing and English Lit. Victoria has been writing since she was 15 years old. "The Red Sun Rises" is her debut novel and she has been writing it on and off for five years. She loves rock music, and all 11 of her tattoos are related to bands that she loves!
Everyone knows someone like Eren Anderson. He’s the gorgeous, troubled and rebellious boy next door with a heart of gold hidden underneath his half smoked pack of cigarettes and leather jacket.
Boys like Eren always have that one friend who is sweet and loyal, almost to a fault. Oh, and of course that friend is always not-so-secretly in love with the not-so-bad boy.
For Eren Anderson, protagonist of my debut YA novel “The Red Sun Rises”, that friend, the one who is not-so-secretly in love with him is the 6 foot 2, curly haired and brown haired Andy McAbrahms.
I started writing “The Red Sun Rises” give years ago. I grew up surrounded by gay friends and drowning in Anne Rice books at a time when gay kids were starting to raise their voices. I have been writing about gay characters for as long as I have been writing, so it came as no surprise that when Eren showed up in my head one day, demanding a story of his own, he became the apex of an all male teen love triangle.
It was important to me to represent the relationships between Eren, Andy and Eren’s vampire boyfriend Corbijn in a way that felt real. Eren, Andy and Corbijn represent three very different stories, three different facets of homosexuality that I felt deserved to be represented.
First, there’s Corbijn. He’s pretty comfortable with his sexuality - after all, he was raised in a coven house by a centuries old vampire who believed that Corbijn was a reincarnation of a former lover. Needless to say, there’s not much that Corbijn is uncomfortable with. Corbijn has never questioned his sexuality, never struggled with it and has never been attracted to girls. He mentions his sexuality as part of a longer sentence.
Andy could not be more different. Andy was born into The Order of Our Mother, a nature worshipping secret society who have the ability to cast spells. They believe that homosexuality is not natural and it’s something that is seldom discussed. To say Andy struggles with his sexuality is a bit like saying it’s cold at the North Pole. Not only is Andy gay in a society that does not tolerate homosexuality, he’s in love with his very unavailable best friend. One of the themes of “The Red Sun Rises” is focused on taking your fate into your own hands and Andy is a perfect example of this. He is a strong young man, tall and proud and brave and I really think he will be the character that people love the most.
Eren is where the issue gets fuzzy. Sexuality is a complicated thing and not something that Eren has the time or the desire to dwell on. Although he has a girlfriend at the start of the book, it is quickly established that when he’s bullied (it’s a common occurrence) it’s gay slurs that are used against him. Andy, on the brink of coming out, asks Eren if people assuming he’s gay bothers him. Eren replies: “No. What bothers me is when they think they have a right to make some sort of comment about it.” Eren then goes on to explain that although he is mostly attracted to girls, from time to time he sees a guy that gives him “this swooping feeling” in his stomach. Cue Corbijn, who makes Eren’s stomach swoop in a rather spectacular way. Eren, impulsive as always, follows his heart (and his hormones) into a relationship with Corbijn. He doesn’t question it, doesn’t stop to think about it and finds himself breaking more rules than usual.
Here’s the thing about love triangles - the person on top always knows about it. Eren is no exception. He knows that his best friend is in love with him. He’s always known and he’s skirted round the issue for years. Why? Because he’s scared that Andy could not handle the inevitable rejection. He would rather leave a whole lot unsaid than lose Andy. Selfish? Yes. Understandable? I hope so. I’m kinda banking on people liking Eren!
When I knew that “The Red Sun Rises” would be a paranormal book, complete with vampires and magic, I knew it would have to have roots in something real. Eren, Corbijn and especially Andy, are my roots. They are the human element in a story about superhumans. They fall in love, they get their hearts broken, they learn what it means to love someone and in that process, hopefully readers will see elements of their own lives.
Anyway, I do think I’ve rambled on enough! It has been an absolute pleasure being on the YA Book Addict blog. I hope you have enjoyed learning more about the love triangle at the heart of “The Red Sun Rises” and I hope you enjoy the book!