This post is long, so please bear with me, it will be in three parts
Several months ago, a writer friend of mine, Claire C Riley, posted a personal review on The Beautiful Dead by Daryl Banner. It intrigued me. I have to confess, though I still haven’t read it. It’s on my to-read list. Some weeks ago Daryl contacted me via FB, offering an ARC copy of his latest work Outlier: Rebellion. You might have seen me post about it on FB. I put off reading the book that weekend, not sure what to expect, never imagining that the MC would be gay, yet knowing there would be some M/M love in there. Oh boy was I in for a ride and totally blown away. The way Daryl crafted his story was almost magical. Definitely enticing and oh, damn…heart gripping.
I should say now that Outlier is not M/M romance but Gay mainstream fiction— we need more books like this!
There are several characters and POV’s, but I could not help love each and every one of them. The characters are well developed. Their voices speak when you read about them and you can’t help worry, love and feel their emotions along with them. The plot was a masterpiece. Small things fall into place as the story progresses.
It focuses on a dystopian world where the last city on earth remains. There are two classes; those up in the sky and those down below in the slums. No one sleeps after the age of two… like ever, except for one, our MC. And yeah, Anwick, I wanna lick him all over! (His dad sounds hot too— but then you all know I have a thing for older men.)
Humans have an ability referred to as their legacy, which can be classed into different groups. Those with a legacy to benefit the “higher class” might be privileged enough to become part of the “higher class.” But there is the legacy that strikes fear into the hearts of those in command; they are consider an Outlier. The trope of the story is a higher class boy falling for a lower class boy. But it’s so much more than that. There’s tension, anger, sadness and there’s a “this-is-so-motherfucking-awesome-geniusness” right here!
I’m not going to give away anymore, because that will be spoiling the epicness that is Outlier with its twists, turns and occasional hotness. I suggest you read my review on Goodreads if you want further info.
Outlier is on sale for $.99 this weekend on Amazon.
Blurb for Outlier: Rebellion
Every citizen in Atlas, the last city on the planet, is born with a unique, special ability, and no one sleeps past the age of two.
Except for Wick Lesser who, at seventeen, still sleeps. Hiding this rare ability from the world, his father, who can calculate futures, trains him in self-defense and combat while his healing-gifted mother works an unglamorous job in the muds and keeps his secret safe with the help of Wick’s older brothers. The Lesser family of the ninth ward slums manages to keep afloat, suffering under the corrupt, greed-driven Kingship of the Lifted City.
But not for long.
In the first installment of the Outlier series, Wick’s unassuming slumborn life soon explodes into a full-speed adventure of danger, betrayal, and self-discovery when he secretly joins an underground rebel movement working to take down the oppressive ruling power. But the task is far from easy, and there are more adversaries than Wick can count. Not to mention the complication of an intense, unplanned attraction … to someone on the wrong side of the rebellion.
Powerful forces are gathering to put an end to the uprising, including the city’s elite crew of law-enforcers called Guardian, of which Wick’s own two eldest brothers are sworn members, and all corners of the slums grow ever restless: a lustful boy with blackened eyes leads a violent street gang, with Wick’s younger brother as his newest recruit. A cunning orphaned girl whose ability is to be unseen, sees everything. And high up in the Lifted City, a privileged and wealthy boy yearns for an exciting new life in the slums.
Their world is at a precipice of great change. No one is safe. The rebellion has begun.
About DP Daryl Banner
Daryl Banner is a writer and composer who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theatre and Psychology.
He does not write in any single genre, as his stories tend to span several. He is most inspired by the smart and unlikely hero, but urges you (the reader) not to fall in love with them; they may deceive you with their innocence. He is thrilled by putting his characters in terrible situations where they must face choices and challenges that seem impossible to overcome.
Daryl Banner writes contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy (both in medieval and futuristic senses), unique takes on the apocalypse and paranormal romance genre, as well as magic realism. He cannot wait to hear what you think about his stories and welcomes (and responds to!) all feedback.
Interesting tidbits: Daryl is also an obsessive piano player, video game enthusiast, and occasional actor. He’s been remixing video game music for over fifteen years, and is a passionate Final Fantasy fan. You can feed your ears with many of his remixes (as well as his original music) on his YouTube page “www.youtube.com/DarylBanner”. Also, he personally answers all emails he receives, so if you have some strange desire to write him, he may enjoy it. He currently resides in Texas.
Links to Daryl’s social network.
There is only a very small amount of mainstream gay fiction that I am aware of, and to be honest… that sucks balls!
This book works for mainstream fiction because the homosexuality is not thrown in your face as is with most M/M romance books. Why compare it then to M/M romance books? Because it is the biggest and most dominating genre of LGBT fiction. The other part is mostly autobiographies or Non-fiction.
I’m going to say this, and yeah I’ll be stepping on some toes, but it’s freaking time. We need more M/M Romance books that are written for GAY MALE READERS.
Now, before I go further I will add— there are some M/M female writers that I adore. That are a big inspiration to me and whose writing I love.
Thinking about it, it’s actually indirect contradiction to the support of LGBT. How can a genre be for LGBT when it’s written for mostly straight woman? How does that support what gay male readers like? What do gay men like to read…? Sci-fi, we love it. some fantasy, but mostly Sci-Fi. Contemporary romance not so much. BDSM not so much. Paranormal/supernatural? Yes if it’s done right/ and horror. of course, I’m talking in general here. Personally, I love my BDSM.
I do not write for woman in mind but for gay men. They are the audience I want to attract. That’s why most of my stories will be gritty, dark and a bit fucked up. And if you are a female reader that likes that, welcome to the faghag club. 🙂
And in saying that, my first book came out on the 22 of August. Available from Amazon and All Romance (Amazon is on sale for $1.99 till First of September.)
And this past Wednesday, my Novel, Of Gods and Monsters Menoetius, was posted on the M/M Romance group. it’s Free.
My mother always said there are angels around us and she was right. There are angels around us, and in our lives.
I lost my mother to cancer. I lost my grandmother to cancer. I was close to both of them. I sat at the side of their hospital beds from six in the morning till eleven at night, sometimes through the night. Even during those times when they did not recognize who I was anymore as the cancer ate away at them.
What does this have to do with angels? Well, when they left this world I lost two very special angels to me. I’d have loved to know what my mother and gran would have thought about me writing gay romance books or even trying to become a writer as they both knew, and you by now, my spelling and grammar and sentence structure sucks ass. Major ass.
But then, by opening up a word doc and typing my first sentence, I found new angels.
The first is, and she has a very special place in my heart, Claire C Riley. A red headed angel, that back in the old authonomy days was an aspiring author. She became an indie author with her first book Limerence, and now a self publish author. She is an inspiration to me, someone I truly look up to, someone who will always have my respect and admiration. And she is amaze-balls (not sure if I got that one right, babes)
The second, Daddy Max Vos. Yeah, he writes the kind of M/M romance I like, the gritty dirty ones for gay men!
The third angel, is Mamma Bear, K.C Wells —god, I love that woman to bits! Not only is she one of the best female M/M writers ,but she “adopted” me. Well kinda… sort of. I’m not just talking about the writing advice she gives, but just the person she is; humble, full of love and damn she gave us Leo Hart!!!
The fourth is someone I met during my writing, Of Gods and Monster Menoetius. Debbie is a former South African living in Australia. She is also one of my betas. A lovely lady that if it was not for my writing, I would have never met. She inspires me when I have writers block, she slaps my fingers if I’m screwing up or if something is too mushy. And she is honest if I send her something and it sucks. She will tell me; “you fucking up, go back to the drawing board and start again.”
The fifth angel is Alicia, another beta reader I found during writing. She’s a doll. Helped me to polish my work and yeah I frustrate her too, but I will be forever grateful for having her in my life.
The last angel that I’m going to mention is someone who has become very dear and very close to my heart. Babes, you know who you are and Scott and I both love you and your family to the depths of our hearts. Words are not enough to describe how big your heart is, some days might be evil-bad or be in need of shotgun, for blowing male parts off, but still I’m here for you, always and forever. You have also been part of my beta reading group. Without the three of you I wouldn’t be where I am today.
As a writer, even an inspiring writer, you cannot accomplish becoming an author on your own. You need help, you need people that will not be scared to tell you that you are screwing up, that you need to rethink it, or that this paragraph is shit. Or someone to tell you that …..no you are not ready to publish this, even be aggressive about it and say; I will not let you publish this if it’s not ready —in writing you need the kind of angels that will be cruel to be kind.
In my adventure through writing, I have learned a lot not just on writing but on the world— I truly think that authors are the most knowledgeable people on the planet. Why? Because we research. Today we need to be a serial killer in 1920, tomorrow a detective in 1854, next week a bounty hunter or slave trader in 4018.
There are other angels in my life I’d like to mention;
DP Denman—the love.
Poppy Dennison— one word, Magic.
Pamela— for the gift of Spell Bound.
Tom McQuaid— science and a man that is very special to me.
Ian M. Walker— you old bastard love you. (I know you don’t believe in angels)
Tania Quinton— your friendship.
Sir Daddy Jim— the insight in to the old guards
Khristofor Scaramanga— the man behind the inspiration for Simon Black.
Johan Jason Venter— one of my closes friends love you gogga.
Suzy Kendall— who has stuck with me from the very start.
My two high school teacher who said I would never graduate high school.
And of course the husband.
But most off all to my angels I want to say thank you, because we are all human, we still bleed when we fall, we still struggle when we tumble and try to get back up, and a hand stretch out to help us to our feet is sometimes, more than most times, needed even when we are too scared to ask for it.