WELCOME TO MY FIRST BLOG TOUR OF 2020!!! And I am thrilled to welcome Darren Charlton, debut author to Wranglestone, to the Pewter Wolf.
Now, for those of you curious over this, Wranglestone follows Peter, who live on the islands of Lake Wranglestone in one of the United States's National Parks. He's not like Cooper, a boy he's watchd from a far. A boy who is strong, brave and can keep himself and everyone of Wranglestone safe from the Restless Dead.
Oh yes, this is a gay romance with zombies thrown in. Did I not mention that?
I am currently reading this at the time of writing this post and I can not wait to talk to you guys about this! Soon, I promise! So when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in this tour by Charlie at Stripes, I jumped at the chance (and I don't really like zombies - they freak me out - so you guys know this means something for me!)
Now, before I hand over to Darren to chat about Peter and Cooper and their story, I want to thank Darren for finding time to write this post for the tour. I want to, also, thank Charlie for inviting me on this tour. And, if you want to say hi to Darren, his Twitter handle is @DarrenRCharlton and if you want to find out more about Wranglestone, check out Stripes website and Book Depository!
Meet Peter and Cooper
Why was their teen gay romance as much a part of the story Darren wanted to tell as the genre fiction narrative?
For my debut I wanted to give LGBTQ+ teens not an issue based or coming out story, but their very own adventure and for other readers, a coming of age thriller and mystery that just happens to have a gay relationship at its heart. So, Brokeback Mountain meets Walking Dead, for teens!
Without giving anything away, the true direction of Wranglestone, and my MO for the series, doesn’t really reveal itself until half through the book. But that plot’s borne out of the central relationship between the two boys.
In much the same way that Susan Collins throws Peeta into the Huger Games to give Katniss someone to fight for, I think it’s fair to say, Peter and Cooper’s romance is not a separate element or subplot to the narrative. They co-exist, or rather, one wouldn’t exist without the other.
But, I will say that going into the writing of this book, I didn’t expect to find so much joy exploring those first love feelings, how overwhelming and consuming they are, as much as I did. I honestly feel that I stumbled into being a better writer because of it.
I don’t know when it happened, but there was definitely a point where I knew that if I could find the balance right, the book would be, or at least could be, as much of a love story as it was a science fiction zombie novel dressed up in Jack London’s (Call of the Wild/White Fang) clothing.
When I could feel the boys really working, I knew I had a shot at giving Children’s Literature something relatively new; a gay romance inside genre storytelling that absolutely served no plot function. Just as The Hunger Games isn’t an exploration of heterosexuality, but standing up against totalitarianism, Wranglestone isn’t about being gay. It’s about something else.
That’s the thing I’m most proud of.