TurtleBoy: What is this story about?
Comicality: Well, basically, I was trying to do something new after dealing with vampires and werewolves at the time. I wanted to go a different way and maybe create a new take on an old myth or legend. So this one is basically a modernized version of mermaid folklore. It’s about a teen boy, Nick, who has recently come out of the closet to his family and friends, and his older brother who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. The family takes a vacation during the summer to a camp surrounding a rather large lake, where many other families go to relax. Not quite a ‘resort’, but more than camps and cabins. Nick and his friends in the area are enjoying themselves as usual, but this summer is different. When Nick meets a quiet and extremely odd boy named Kalen. And of course, Kalen, and his three companions are not what they appear to be.
TurtleBoy: Where did the idea come from?
Comicality: I did a little research to see if I could find out some things that maybe I never knew before about the mermaid legends. Cultural parts of the myth that are often overlooked or rarely mentioned. And I was looking for ways to give it a sense of reality and purpose in the story. Like, I didn’t want any big fishtails or anything like that. I wanted them to be as close to human as possible, but not. If anything, I wanted them to be very ‘curious’ about human beings. Maybe even in dangerous ways. And I definitely wanted to take some of the darker parts of the legends to create an atmosphere of dread as well as passion. Almost like a ‘vampires of the sea’ kinda thing.
Turtleboy: Is there a message that you’ve associated with this story?
Comicality: There’s a slight message in it, but it’s not the biggest part of the story. I think “Boys Of Widow Lake” really plays with the idea of self-control. It’s about temptation and seduction beyond someone’s limits to resist. When you read about mermaids you hear stories of ships crashing up against the rocks, or men being drowned and hypnotized by their song. I really wanted to flirt with that idea in this story. It’s a test that a lot of people fail when it comes to attraction and sexual seduction. It’s easy for people to say they’d never cheat, they’ll remain celibate, they’re not interested, never someone underage… and actually mean it. But sometimes, when the opportunity is there and the temptation is reaching out to touch you, to breathe whispers into your ear, to kiss you desperately on the lips… I think people find themselves unprepared. I think the sudden attack on morality can get people to quickly cave in when the desire is strong enough. So a lot about this story is about people being ‘tested’ and finding out if they’re really able to say no when it counts. Or… if they end up saying yes, and giving into that temptation… possibly at the cost of their lives.
TurtleBoy: You first announced this story some time ago, has anything in the story changed since the idea was first announced, or have you ‘stuck to your guns’?
Comicality: I would say that a lot of things have gotten more complex, story and character wise, since I first started writing it. I basically had to start over from scratch because I decided to take the story in a completely different direction. I think I’m going to like this version much better. I definitely want to keep the old chapters I wrote before though. I love seeing the difference between then and now. But yes, people will definitely be getting a much more involving storyline with this newer development.
TurtleBoy: Who are the main characters, and what are they like?
Comicality: Well, Nick is the main character driving the story forward, and his friends that he keeps around him. These are the friends who understood him when he came out of the closet, while others fell by the wayside. He’ll have Myles, Darius, Gordy, Cory, and a few others by his side to help him take his mind off of his sick brother. I really had fun writing his friends in and enjoying the ways they interact with one another. One thing that’s different this time around is that Nick is the only one of his friends who happens to be gay. It’s not like some of my other stories where there are other gay boys around. So Nick will definitely feel a bit of isolation from the others from time to time. But they all remain a close knit collection of friends regardless. So the dynamic is a bit different.
The others, however… the actual ‘Boys of Widow Lake’, will be a very different group of characters indeed. Their names, Kalen, Sercyn, Exiz, and Io, will even seem odd to the others. I wanted to have them be almost completely amoral in every way. In my mind they’re not good, they’re not wicked, they just act with whatever attitude serves their purpose at that particular moment. Again, I wanted them to be really curious about the motivations and self-restrictions of your average person. They don’t understand it. They don’t know shame, or being civil enough to not take off their clothes in public. They don’t really have a point of reference for things like sympathy, or compassion, or moral decency. If it doesn’t serve their current purpose, they’d just as well do without it. And that was interesting to write, because all of my characters have always had a more emotional or manipulative motivation behind them. These boys don’t. Or at least… not any that will be revealed until much, much later.
TurtleBoy: If you could have one wish granted as to how this story is perceived by your readers, what would it be?
Comicality: I really like to get people to question themselves. I really love to find the tiniest parts of inner conflict in someone, and expose them in a way where they’re forced to actually define them and deal with them. I want people to ponder what they would do in certain situations, and be honest and maybe even surprised by their own answers. What if I was Justin from “Gone From Daylight”? Could I feed on another human being, or would I starve myself to death in agonizing pain, and leave my one true love behind in darkness? Or what if I was Wesley from “Savage Moon”? Would I embrace the freedom and acceptance of a group that is so obviously bad for me, or would I force myself back into hiding with a family and a community that doesn’t understand me, and ridicules and despises me for my sexuality? I don’t like ‘black or white’ answers. I like to challenge people’s ideas, even about themselves. Paint them into a corner and see if they come out of it the same person that they thought they were going in. So with “Boys Of Widow Lake” I definitely want to continue with that process. I think all of the greatest stories and most memorable characters are the ones who find ways to reintroduce us to ourselves. Maybe in ways that we’re not ready for. So you’ll have to wish me luck on continuing the tradition.
TurtleBoy: What struggles did you face while writing this story?
Comicality: Well, one struggle that I had was writing this in third person. Now, I know that’s the way that most novels are written and that it’s pretty much the standard, but I stumble through it sometimes because I don’t do it often. There was no other way for me to tell this particular story without doing it that way though. First person is great, and it really connects people to the main character in a truly emotional way, but it can be limiting when it comes to a story like this. There are scenes in the story that have to be written away from the main character. Scenes that take place outside of his knowledge. So third person was the best choice.
Other than that, the biggest challenge was just trying to make sure that this story read differently from the others that came before it. I always want to do bigger and better things, and I’m usually lost as to how to go about doing that until I actually start writing it out. But I hope people will get a completely genuine feel from this story when they read it.
TurtleBoy: We’ve heard rumors that this particular story has some really ‘hot scenes’. Are they really that hot, and are the ones rumored to exist still there?
Comicality: Hehehe, yes! I admit that this story will be VERY sexual in nature. The boys actually ‘feed’ on sexual energy, and they don’t stop. So their victims die, but they die smiling! Hehehe! I still have a bunch of those sexual encounters saved, and have touched them up since then. Two have been rewritten from scratch, but I can assure you, they are still very passionate indeed. It’s the kind of sex that people are literally willing to give their lives for. They can’t break away from the seduction, even when it hurts. So yeah, this story will take the usual Comicality sex scene in a very dark direction that people haven’t really seen before. 🙂
TurtleBoy: Many authors choose a particular kind of music to listen to while writing certain stories, in order to set the right mood and atmosphere. Is this something you have done for ‘The Boys of Widow Lake’? If so, what kind of music, and what artists and songs did you listen to?
Comicality: I definitely listen to music for whatever I write. All the time. Every minute. But for this story and the other science fiction type of stories, I almost always have on dark ambient music or soundtrack scores. Instrumental, moody, foreboding. For the lighter stories I can have other artists and bands in the background to set the tone for what I’m writing and it’s great. But for the darker ones, I always want to turn it up in my earphones and have it actually become a part of the scene that I’m writing. I want it to feel like I’m watching a movie, and describing what I see. So, like I said… a lot of instrumental music scores, some goth, some dark piano or choral music if needed. It’s completely non-distracting and it really fleshes out the scenes for me as I’m writing. I want to ‘feel’ it, so the readers can feel it too when they get a hold of it.
TurtleBoy: When can we expect “The Boys of Widow Lake” to be released?
Comicality: I’m actually shooting for a release on Christmas Day for ‘Book One’ of the series! I still have some writing left to do, and then I’ll start the editing process and get the formatting together for Kindle shortly after. So that’s the goal. And the second it’s posted and published… I’ll be starting ‘Book Two’ right away. (I’m planning for a trilogy) So, I hope you guys enjoy it! And look for it in your Christmas stockings this year!