Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Mann Ramblings here today to talk about writing, influences and the latest release Priest & Pariahs!
Family Influences by Mann Ramblings
I suppose it’s not really a surprise when you start plotting out a story and constructing your characters, you delve deeper than their physical characteristics. (Not that it’s not important, but we’re going beyond the superficial.) It’s not enough to know what they look like. If you want your protagonist to be more complex and genuine to your readers, there has to be more.
I usually start with their backstory. A character’s history is key to how they became the person they are. What influenced them? What motivated them? For Priest & Pariahs, I wanted a common theme between my three main characters, and without contriving some narrative link to tie them together, I found something universal regardless of their backgrounds. I chose family.
Whether we want to or not, our families affect our perception of the world, even if they were missing from it altogether. They shape our interactions with others and direct us. Whether through defiance of their authority, being a product of their values, or reacting to their actions, we rarely escape their influence.
I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate. I was in my twenties when I came out and the thought of losing people close to me was a very real terror. My family accepted me without incident, and even the ones I braced for and rehearsed for harsh opposition were unaffected by the news. (They even asked where my boyfriend was. How awkward!) They’ve accepted my bold and often inappropriate sense of humor, and when writing M/M romance became more than an offline hobby, they still saw nothing shameful about me. One of my aunts, who is quite conservative and religious, found out about my first book, and wanted a copy. Not because she wanted to read it, (the sexual content was WAY outside of her comfort zone) but because she wanted it sitting on her mantle to show how proud she was of me. I can’t say how much I adore her.
It’s this kind of support I’ve received that keeps me writing. Knowing that while my family might not be prepared to read my work, they’ve never stopped seeing my talents and believing in them. I guess that would be my family influence.
Synopsis – Priest and Pariahs
Ship Logs of the Santa Claus, Book Three
Costa McQuillen is a Pariah, a para-human with tech empathic abilities who has escaped from Earth, where being para-human is illegal—and marks him for extermination. Arrogant and standoffish, Costa is unable to trust anyone, but is willing to risk everyone’s safety to reach the planet Omoikane. His best solution: gaining passage on board the Santa Claus.
Arbor Kittering, the crew’s newest coding tech, is a medical oddity. With the technologies available to prevent birth defects, Arbor’s status as a dwarf brings the kind of attention he could happily do without. Having spent a short time in prison for data hacking and falsifying government files doesn’t help. The Santa Claus is his last chance at a new start, if he can decipher the strange malfunctions plaguing the ship.
Priest, the Santa Claus’ Head Pilot, is a bit of a scoundrel. Perpetually single, Priest is attracted to Costa for his exotic looks, and to Arbor for his unique qualities. In truth, he’d like to have both, but it’s clear such a thing isn’t in the cards. Now Priest needs to make a choice, before it’s too late.
“WHAT THE FUCK is this, Priest?” Arbor shouted.
Mac watched as his newest employee scrambled out of his Mess Hall chair and stalked towards the Santa Claus’ head pilot. When they sat down to dinner, Mac noticed an edge of discomfort running through Arbor, but Mac had put it off to being the new guy. Now he knew there was something specific bothering him. The sudden vitriol pouring off Arbor made Mac get up and follow him, if only to avoid another public incident with Priest.
Arbor thrust his personal datapad into Priest’s line of sight. “You want to tell me what this looks like?”
The raised eyebrows and thin smirk on Priest’s face spoke volumes. “It looks like Mr. Wiggles.”
“Mr. Wiggles?” Mac said. Craning his head over Arbor, he reached over and turned the screen by turning Arbor’s wrist. “Oh cute! You have a sock monkey! Is this picture in Engineering? Why…?” Mac’s expression deadpanned as he realized what was happening. “Oh, wait… there’s a ransom note attached. Shit.” Frowning, Mac turned on Priest. “You didn’t.”
Arbor didn’t wait for a response. “The message said, ‘Come to Engineering or you’ll never see Mr. Wiggles alive again.’ Then I went to where the holo showed, but he wasn’t there. Then I got another com that sent me somewhere else.” Arbor jammed a finger into Priest’s chest. “Where is he?”
Priest’s mouth went tight to contain his laughter. “I have no idea.”
Arbor’s jaw tightened and his whole body quaked in rage. “Bullshit! You’re the only one who’s been in my room, so it has to be you!” A few snickers could be heard from other dining crew members. It was clear multiple people were already involved and watching this new scene.
“Arbor, it’s a prank.” Mac placed his hand on Arbor’s shoulder in a vain hope to calm him down. “Every so often the crew snatches a personal effect and they pass it around from one person to the next. They send an encrypted ransom note to make the owner run around. It’s kind of an initiation of sorts.”
“Has it ever happened to you?”
Priest snorted. “He’s the captain’s boy. We like our nuts where they are, thank you very much.”
“Why would you do that to me?”
Don’t miss the discounted release prices on all retailer sites!
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Start with Books One and Two of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus!
The Luxorian Fugitive
Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.
Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close….
All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?
As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.
When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.
The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
A Cook’s Tale
The trials and tribulations of the crew and passengers of interplanetary transport vessel, The Santa Claus continues in A Cook’s Tale.
After a horrific breakup, Erron Murfin is bitter, homeless, and friendless. When the cook’s position on the Santa Claus presents itself, Erron decides to escape his current circumstances and join the crew. On board he reconnects with family friend Gamin Wells, whose own secrets and issues begin to surface upon Erron’s arrival. The least of which is the reason the pair haven’t laid eyes on one another in over twelve years.
As Erron settles into his new duties, the men on board take an interest in their newest crew member. Among those intrigued by Erron are polyamorous couple, Barrus and James. Despite Erron’s cautious nature, he’s drawn into a triad relationship with the pair.
But there’s something about Gamin…
Is Erron too damaged to confront his own feelings?
Will his past prevent him from finding what he needs?
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B017I26RXG/
Prizes: 1 ebook copy – The Luxorian Fugitive; 1 bundle – Books 1 & 2 of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus
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About the Author
Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.