A warm welcome to author Aidan Wayne joining us here today to talk about new release “Counterbalance”.
Check out the wonderful post about the appearance of the main characters and there is also a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Aidan 🙂
The entire idea behind Counterbalance was born out of wanting to write about someone conventionally unattractive. Specifically, someone conventionally unattractive being relentlessly pursued.
John is “ugly” by most societal standards. He has burn scars, visible ones, that cover not just his body, but his face. They’re the first things people see and usually the last thing they remember about him. John is resigned to this, that he is “ugly.” It isn’t necessarily that he doesn’t mind, but more that he’s accepted it. That his scars are what people know before they get to know him. And that, sometimes (too often), people see those scars and don’t want to know him. He’s come to terms with that being his life because that’s all he can do, with the cards he’s been dealt.
And then in comes Bao. Bao is a lot that John isn’t. He’s outgoing, he’s cheerful, and he’s attractive. It’s not unusual that when Bao starts showing an interest in John, that John doesn’t believe it. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to him. And why should it? He’s spent a good portion of his life being told exactly that–that he doesn’t deserve other people’s interest. At least not the positive kind.
I really wanted that. I really wanted a story where someone conventionally unattractive gets a happy ending because, simply put, it doesn’t happen often enough. We get characters who are tall and thin and well-built, or beautiful and shapely, with firm jaws, pleasant faces, sparkling eyes. Nothing wrong with those characters–nothing at all! But it ignores the very real, very human population who just…aren’t those things.
I don’t think John is ugly. Bao certainly doesn’t. John’s fellow riggers, his found family, doesn’t either. They look at John and know him, that John is a great guy with a lot going for him and he may be different. He may be considered unusual. But that doesn’t have to mean ugly. It never has to mean ugly.
It would be nice if “first look first impressions” didn’t exist in quite the same way they do in real life. It would be nice, but it doesn’t really work that way. But what we can all do is take those first looks and first impressions and give the time for them to become second impressions. We can make the effort to look past our own prejudices and try to get to know people. And that’s not easy to do! Especially if someone looks intimidating, or scary. But they’re people at the end of it all, just as deserving of respect, of decent treatment, and of love.
John loves his job as head rigger for Cirque Brilliance. The heavy scarring over half his face makes it a little hard to meet new people, but John’s got a good crew and a nice found family, and he’s content with his lot in life.
When Cirque hires talent for a new show, John meets Bao, a bright, ever-cheerful acrobat. Bao seems drawn to John and becomes a constant presence at his side—talking to him during downtime, spending time with him at lunch, and generally seeking out his company.
John doesn’t know what to make of this. Sure, he likes Bao—maybe a little too much, honestly—but he’s had enough experience to know that Bao couldn’t possibly like him back. Or so he thinks, anyway. Fortunately, Bao seems determined to prove him wrong.
About Aidan Wayne
Aidan Wayne is a big believer in character-driven stories with happy endings. This is not to say that stories can’t contain a little (or a lot) of grief, just that at the end of it all expect there to be bandages and hugs. They particularly like to write about minority characters because damn it, they deserve happy endings too.
When not writing, Aidan enjoys practicing aerial, martial arts, and ASL, and watching reality cooking shows. They are probably in the middle of twelve projects as you read this.
To celebrate the release of Counterbalance, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!