A few days ago I had the great pleasure of interviewing Kia Zi Shiru, the author of one of my favourite books. Black Sheep. The first part of her trilogy has been released and now, as a special Christmas gift, I get to interview one of her characters. Vic is one of my favourite characters in all the books I've read and it's a real privilege to get to speak to him.
Hey Vic. I’ve been dying to speak to you for ages. You should know, you’re one of my favourite literary characters and I’ve been following your story for a long time.
Yeah, I heard from Kia you were a fan. She told me to be nice and answer all your questions. You must be really important, she doesn’t usually tell me what to do. So, let’s start.
· It’s taken a long time for your story to get completely out there. Have there been points where you’ve become frustrated by the process?
I don’t know who has been more frustrated from time to time, me or Kia. Though I think Kia was the worst when Steve suddenly made himself really important in the story, that put her in a bad mood for a while.
On the other hand, yeah, of course there were points where I got frustrated. There have been things I’d rather have hidden from Kia but she can be really persistent and sometimes that meant that she wouldn’t stop bugging me until I told her.
· When Kia started telling your story, were there any parts you really wished she wouldn’t tell?
Of course, and she did sometimes listen. Usually it was about Anne or Chris, or about him... Some parts were fine, but too much can be too much. Things that weren’t important to the story she allowed me to keep to myself, or at least she didn’t write down.
· Right back at the very beginning what was the main things you wanted the world to know…about you, your family, your friends.
That we’re nothing special and that we’re not some charity case. We might not always have had it as good as some other people but that doesn’t make us some special case. From the outside we’re as normal as the people next door.
· Looking back, do you think she told your story well?
As well as someone who is not me can write the story I think. Though she had a lot of help from Adam and Anne along the way. Those two sometimes helped her out more than I ever did. But over all I think she did well, especially how she told some of the darker things.
· What were you like before your relationship with your ex, the one after Adam? Have you always been dark?
I think that would be a better question for Adam or Anne, but I don’t think I used to be ‘dark’. Then again, I’ve never been as light as Jack either, there have been things that happened even when I was still with Adam. Especially when we found out that Anne was pregnant or when we found out that Adam was chronically ill. Those weren’t the greatest of times.
But I don’t think I was that dark back then.
· Do you think that anything positive came from your relationship and the experiences you had afterwards?
I don’t know. The only thing positive I can think of is Jack. Jack and dr West. Dr West really helped me after I had messed up. I think getting help from dr West really helped me when I finally got together with Jack, I don’t think I could have protected Jack as much if I hadn’t had help.
· Is there anything you’d like to say to someone who’s going through an abusive relationship?
Get out of the relationship and seek help. Don’t do the stupid stuff I did, they’re not worth it. They’re not going to change unless you change, and it won’t get any better until you get help.
· What was going through your mind leading up to your suicide attempt? Do you think there was anything anyone could have done in the time leading up to it that could have stopped it?
It might sound really silly but I think the only person who could have saved me was my ex. He was the only one I listened to back then. I couldn’t believe he chose some girl over me, I felt like I was no longer important to him and I didn’t know why I should go on living. Looking back on it I feel stupid and crazy. Though the second time around was different, I wasn’t in a good place and I couldn’t see how people could love me because I had hurt and was still hurting them so much. I’m ashamed of how bad people around me had it, all because of me.
· Have you ever thought about what you’d like your funeral to be like?
Small. I want everybody to forget about the bad I’ve put them through and maybe remember I’m in a better place? I don’t really know, as long as they don’t spend extravagant money on me.
· Have you ever thought about marriage? Children? Can you see yourself having children with Jack? Personally I think you’d be crazy if you did at this point, just wondering :p
If you think it’s crazy why do you ask it? *grins* I think it would be great if we could just finish high school and get to university, get away from this small town and go to a place where Jack and I can be ourselves.
· Apart from black, what’s your favourite colour?
Neon yellow, I don’t know why, I just really like the colour. It’s so bright and combines well with black.
· What’s your favourite song? Do you have a good voice?
Linkin Park - Numb
And I can’t sing for the life of me, I’m really really crappy at it. Anne even forbids me to sing in the shower and Anne is usually the tolerant one in our household.
· Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
None, I’ve been thinking about it, but never dared to get one. I’m too scared of the pain, yes, ironic, I know. Someone who has no problem harming themselves would have a problem with tattoos or piercings, but I’m just not brave like that. Plus I don’t even know where I should get one.
· What’s your favourite sex position?
Hmm, keeping that between myself and those that I choose to share a bed or more with. *winks*
· Apart from your ex, have you ever had a sexual encounter you really really regret?
Well, apart from Adam and my ex, I haven’t been in such a position before. *blushes* I’m not as experienced as you seem to think.
· What do you think would have happened if you and Adam had stayed together?
I have no clue. We might have been able to make it. I always like to think that we would have made it together and that I wouldn’t be such a mess now. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have met Jack either. Which would have been a shame since he is really adorable. I know he wouldn’t have had Tom and I don’t think I would be able to help Adam the way he needs with his illness. The needles and all the tests he needs to get are scary.
That is all? Well, thank you so much for having me here. These were some really interesting questions. I hope you got some answers you like. *waves*
Wow. That was some interview. Thanks for being so honest, Vic. I hope a lot of people will buy Kia's book and get to know you better.
Here's an excerpt from the book so you can get a flavour for what you can expect. This one is from the perspective of the other main character, Vic's boyfriend, Jack
The first time I saw Vic I was standing in the schoolyard. Marie was hanging around my neck and we were listening to music, like every morning since we started high school. Suddenly she squealed into my ear and out of reflex I started playfully choking her. That was... until someone cleared his throat near us. We stopped and turned around. I froze. There, right in front of me, was the most beautiful guy I had ever seen.
He had long black hair, piercing blue eyes, perfect round and pink lips. The black long-sleeved top he was wearing had chains which were attached to his black skater pants with even more chains on them. He was just damn sexy... He looked very confident even as the whole school was staring at him. He didn’t seem to care or notice at all.
“You squealed, madam?” He grunted but grinned and asked, “You know where room 304 is? I’m new here and need to be there for my first class. I’m Vic, by the way.”
“Uah! Addams Family reference!” Marie jumped up and down. “We’re going there too. I’m Marie and this is Jack.”
Vic looked me up and down and smiled.
“Nice. So I assume you’ll be helping me today?” He seemed to be talking to Marie but his eyes were on me.
“Sure!” Marie grabbed his arm and dragged him with her as she bounced into the school. Vic looked back at me with large eyes as if unsure what was going on, but I shrugged and smirked at him as I walked after them.
It was never boring after that. Marie kept going on and on about him, about how she liked him and how sweet he was. It was annoying, but heck, even I couldn’t get him out of my thoughts. He was just so... intriguing...
And just in case you've forgotten here's some information about the author and how to get this wonderful book
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).
Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past blurb:
But that plan is sabotaged when his new best friend, Jack, kisses him on New Year’s Eve, something Vic has been longing for and dreading in equal measure. Vic knows being gay in high school can be hell, and he’s scared sweet and innocent Jack won’t be able to handle him, or his past. It scares him more than anything now that his past has come back to haunt him, metaphorically and literally.
Vic tries to hide the horror of his past as long as possible, knowing that when Jack finds out what happened he will leave him.
As Vic takes a turn for the worse everybody but him realises how strong Jack and his love for Vic actually are. But is that enough for Vic to move on?
Book webpage: http://www.5timeschaos.com/blacksheeptrilogy
US Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sheep-Letting-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ALYZJMY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355213111&sr=1-1
UK Amazon link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Sheep-Letting-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ALYZJMY/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355213142&sr=1-2
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263832
Kobo link: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Black-Sheep-Letting-go-Past/book-m9XSR4loTUurR9N9fSA1zw/page1.html?s=KSOuBLi5k0OsIanBzvdKOQ&r=1