Asta Idonea is on my blog today, talking about her new shifter short story, Quite as a Mouse.
Writing about Mice, Men, and Machines
The idea for my MM paranormal short story, Quiet as a Mouse, came to me immediately when I heard the theme for the anthology call. I wanted to choose a shifter that would be a change from the usual fare, and the idea of a mouse was one that struck me as both sweet and different.
I tried to make Paul’s character reflect his animal counterpart. I wanted to show him as someone retiring and shy, who knew what he desired but feared to seek it out. In many ways, Cale is his counterpart. He, too, has difficulty going after the things he wants, but meeting Paul gives him the incentive he needs.
I drew on some of my own experiences when writing this tale. I, too, used to sing in a choir. After rehearsals, several of us would go to the pub for a drink, and after that, our MD sometimes returned to the venue to practice or make repairs on the organ. I remember once staying with him until the early hours to fix a troublesome F.
Fixing things, and dealing with other people’s perceptions, is also a theme in my recent sci-fi novella, Fire Up My Heart. In this story, Fane must find the courage to pursue his desires, regardless of the social stigma attached to them. He experiences a fear similar to Paul’s, except his relates not to his relationship with another human but to his love for a robot.
In many ways, Fire Up My Heart is a story that looks at social prejudice against minority groups. It is about finding love in unlikely places and having the courage to follow through on your convictions.
The inspiration for this story came to me in a dream. I had recently watched several sci-fi films featuring robots, and in my dreams, Fane and Jo-E quickly took shape. At that point, I didn’t think about the story as being one with a message; however, when I began writing, I realised there was a serious point hiding within the otherwise sweet tale.
Fear, in any form, is something that affects us all. How we deal with that fear is what forms our characters. If we meet it head on, with courage and strength, I believe we can always achieve our goals. That is certainly what Paul and Fane do in these two stories.
Quiet as a Mouse
1 June 2016
Heat Level: 1
Upon moving to a new town, shy shifter Paul is instantly smitten by local choirmaster Cale. Wanting to spend as much time with Cale as possible, he becomes the proverbial church mouse so he can enjoy Cale’s music without revealing his feelings. But when Cale sees him and traps are set, Paul faces a difficult choice. What does he want out of life, and does he have the courage to go after it? Will he be a man… or a mouse?
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/quiet-as-a-mouse-by-asta-idonea-7139-b
Fire Up My Heart
25 May 2016
Novella – MM Sci-Fi Romance
Heat Level: 2
London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life forever.
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-up-my-heart-by-asta-idonea-7012-b
Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO