When the authors KA Merikan offered to give me three questions about their latest release, Special Needs, I knew I had to take them up on it. I was careful to ask questions that wouldn’t spoil the book, but still give informative answers that we’d all enjoy.
1. What inspired you to write Special Needs?
At some point, Agnes started reading books with a disability theme, and found that most of them focused on that topic only, as if being disabled was the definition of who the characters were. It reminded us how gay characters are often pictured in tv shows, when their whole story arc is wrapped around being gay. So the initial idea we had was to write a novel with a disabled main character, who would also be a cool, alternative guy with lots of personality, not a ‘token guy in a wheelchair’. When Liam and Ryan get together, the reader will know exactly why that happened, and throughout the book, we tried to show just how much in common those two have.
2. Ryan is an empathic and likeable character who has a few secrets. How much research did you do to realistically portray Ryan’s disability?
We both enjoy learning about sexuality: from ‘weird’ fetishes, to uncommon sexual lifestyles and experiences, so research was pure pleasure 😉 We watched quite a few documentaries on how being paralyzed affects people’s sex life and what kind of spinal injuries are out there, as there are many different kinds.
On our tumble through the Internet though, we found lots of information on all sorts of disability fetishists and that was what made Ryan into the character he is. Instead of having Ryan paralyzed, we decided to create three different layers of disability in him and as the story progresses, each one gets peeled back and unfolded. But to know what they are, you will have to read the book! 🙂
3. What do you hope your readers will get out of the story? When is the second book due to be released? (Notice how I managed to slip one more question in there? 😉 )
Our main goal is to entertain our readers, so hopes are they will laugh a lot, and cry a little 😉 I think at the core of everything we write is the idea, that as long as you don’t hurt other people, you can be whatever you are, so we hope ‘Special Needs’ can put that across without bashing readers over the head with moralizing. This topic will be developed further in the second volume, which should be out by the end of 2013.
Thank you, Ladies! We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions:) We are looking forward to learning more about you and your books during your spotlight on August 6th!!