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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Come learn Merfolk History

Carson, thank you very much for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog. My name is Chris T. Kat, and I'm thrilled to be here. I write m/m fiction that varies from contemporary romance to contemporary mystery/suspense to fantasy with a focus on shapeshifters. Sometimes I also stray into D/S themed stories.
I freely admit I was stumped when I realized September's theme on Carson's blog would be “Time to learn your history”... Though I've studied history as a subject to teach during my university time, I've never written a historical book. I enjoy reading them from time to time, but mostly I'm a big fantasy reader. :)
As I thought about a fitting post, I wondered about the history of merfolk (mermaids are best known, but mermen seem to have become rather popular lately). Mermaids and mermen are mythical creatures, and the existence of these creatures can be traced back roughly 2000 years. That's a long time, right? So what do mermen entail? (Let's just focus on the men this time. ^_^)
A merman is a creature that is a male human from the waist up and fish-like from the waist down. The best-know merman is probably Triton, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. Interestingly enough, neither Poseidon nor Amphitrite were merfolk, though they were able to live under water. They were also able to live on land, which is a fascinating fact. At least, to me it is.
Many cultures have their own myths and tales about merfolk, and most depict mermen as creatures that can wield magic. There was a revived attention to merfolk when Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale “The Little Mermaid” appeared. The appeal of mermaids and mermen increased further through popular culture, and nowadays stories about mermen in particular show up more frequently in the m/m genre.
When I wrote Tidal Change, I didn't realize mermen had become popular. I just had a blast writing that story. I love to swim, and we usually spend our summer vacation at the sea, so that's how Tidal Change came to be. Lots of sun, great waves, and time created my very own merfolk. :)
Marty, one of the main characters, is a merman, though he hides that fact from his want-to-be lover, Rick. Marty can't deny his attraction, but he can't bring himself to act on it, either, which causes some complications and hurt feelings on both sides. When Rick finds out Marty's true identity, he's shocked, but not so much that he'll reject Marty. Yet, Marty still holds back a secret.
Dreamspinner Press will publish my new release, Tidal Change, on September 17th. Tidal Change is a shape-shifter story, but it also has fantasy/fairy tale elements because the main character, Marty, is a merman. I'm rather fond of newly told fairy tales and I'm always on the lookout for some recommendations, so does anyone have some recs for me? What is your favorite fairy tale and is there a special reason why it's your favorite?

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Something draws history teacher Rick Grady across the school hall to German teacher Marty Lindson. Maybe it’s their shared love of the ocean. Maybe it’s just that Marty is so hot, but maybe it’s something more—something mysterious. All Rick knows is that every time he gets close, Marty pulls away. After another cancelled date, Rick goes to Marty’s apartment to demand an explanation. And what Rick discovers blows his mind.
The ocean calls to Marty because he’s a merman. He’s been afraid to get close to Rick, not just to keep his world a secret, but because Rick is his mate. And to claim his mate would change everything about Marty. No matter how much he loves Rick, he doesn’t know if he’s ready to alter his entire life.

They explored the aquarium, petting the rough skin of the sharks and watching the displays of multicolored fishes. Once in a while, Rick gave Marty an uneasy glance. Was that a light humming sound emanating from him? Or maybe he was suffering from some sort of hallucinations? Hell, at one point he could have sworn Marty’s arm vibrated. But when he stared at him, Marty simply smiled and pulled him toward another exhibit, and the moment passed.
As they stood in front of the clownfish exhibit, Rick observed, “Flashy little things.”
Marty nodded but he didn’t comment on Rick’s remark. Surprised, Rick turned to his usually chatty companion and frowned. Marty’s gaze was fixed on the orange bodies striped with white as they flashed through the water, sometimes seeking shelter behind an anemone.
He nudged Marty. “Hey, what’s the wistful look for?”
Marty flinched and then tried to hide his reaction. Before Rick could address it, Marty said, “They’re pretty, aren’t they?”
“Yes, and interesting too. Did you know that all clownfish are born as males and that they’re able to change their gender to female?” Rick had been fascinated by the information he’d read on these unusual fish.
“Ah, yes, fascinating. How about getting something to eat? I’m starving.”
Rick’s stomach rumbled. He linked arms with Marty. “That’s fine. I need to sit down anyway.”
“Just no seafood,” Marty said as they made their way to the restaurant.
Rick shook his head. “Not even a bite of crab?”
Marty grimaced and pretended to retch. “Stop teasing me about it!”
“I’m not teasing you. I want to help you expand your culinary horizon.”
Marty shot him a smile. “I really appreciate your kindness, but my culinary horizon can’t take an expansion. It’s very narrow-minded and wants to stay that way.”
They had to wait to get past a crowd of people and Rick seized the moment to whisper, “How about expanding another horizon instead?”
Heat rose in Marty’s cheeks and his eyes gleamed silvery. All the sound around them receded into the background, and Rick became aware of the same odd humming he’d noted earlier. Rick bent his head, intent on kissing Marty, but Marty broke the moment with a jerk of his head.
“The restaurant is calling my name… and now there’s actually room for us to get there,” he said in a hoarse voice.
Rick sighed. He still allowed Marty to lead him through the aisles, even though his engorged cock pressed against his jeans, demanding attention. Why did Marty play hot and cold all the time? It always went like this, always. He hated that.

Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there's any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.


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