Ladies and Gent... Please extend a warm welcome to two wonderful ladies...
It is my pleasure to have these two women at my Lair...
Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
By Violetta Vane
I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I'll tell you, things aren't quite the same
When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know
-”Heroin”, 1967, The Velvet Underground
I heard that song at a young, impressionable age. Heroin chic hit me hard. Something about the heroism of ego nullification, maybe. I don’t blame the song. It’s honest about that.
Luckily, I also had an honest, down-to-earth counterpoint. My mother used to tell me stories of junkies she knew back in the sixties, wasted and ailing, ignoring the crying children that sometimes trailed behind them.
So I’ve never done heroin and I certainly don’t feel the lack. But there are so many other people who’ve felt heroin’s particular pleasure-death urge, and have written or spoken or sung about it. It’s a weirdly artistic drug, although not an upscale one in terms of class. It’s sophisticated. Urban. Popular imagination codes crack cocaine as racially black, meth as white, whereas heroin is malignantly multiracial.
When we meet our character Sean O’Hara in “Cruce de Caminos,” he’s a heroin addict and a street kid. He would have been a teen runaway if he’d actually run away from home, instead of walking away in silence, with no one calling his name to come back. He has a girlfriend he loves (we treat this love as seriously as their age and circumstances allow) and his girlfriend is also a heroin addict. Heroin—doing it, getting it, needing it—mediates their relationship. She’s already a prostitute, and by the end of the story, he becomes one too.
He needed a meaning, a purpose, and found one in heroin. It satisfies him on a visceral level and an intellectual level. Like most of us, he has no blazing prodigal talent to provide an automatic answer to the question, “Why do I matter to the world?”. He was always an outsider—not as well-off, not as white as the people he grew up around—so he posed that question to himself more intensely than most.
It’s scary and sad to put yourself in the head of someone like that. But I think it also teaches us radical compassion. Sean has made a very bad decision to turn away from life, to take up the faux-heroic quest of self-nullification, but that doesn’t make him evil or wholly weak. He still has empathy, curiosity, a sense of wonder, moral urges. He knows how selfish his addiction is making him, and he fights against that.
We don’t explain how he found his life purpose in heroin. In his eyes, it was probably a very romantic, glamorous moment. By the time of “Cruce de Caminos,” he’s already in darker days, further down the path, although like the song says, he still doesn’t know just where he’s going.
other Riptide Rentboys blog tour posts with your email (or other contact info), and we’ll enter you into our week-long draw!
How about a copy of “The Druid Stone”, which picks up Sean’s story five years later? Click here to try your hand at our Cruce de Caminos quiz!
About Heidi and Violetta:
Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane are two unlikely friends and co-writers from different sides of the same continent. Heidi, from Northern Canada, is a history geek with a soft spot for Highlanders and Victorian pornography. Violetta is a Yank (and a Southerner, and a Japanese-American) with a cinematic imagination and a faintly checkered past. Together, they write strange and soulful interracial and multicultural m/m with a global sensibility and the occasional paranormal twist.
Visit us online!
HeidiBelleau.com | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Tumblr
ViolettaVane.com | Facebook | G+ | Twitterr | Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest
New Release Mailing List for Heidi and Violetta (new releases only)
About “Cruce de Caminos”, out now from Riptide Publishing:
Addiction drives Sean O'Hara to a critical crossroads. Will he make the right decision, or will the floodwaters bound for New Orleans sweep him away?
Street kid Sean O’Hara never had it easy, but New Orleans has driven him to his knees. His girlfriend’s broken up with him for a sugar daddy, a gun-toting pimp has robbed him of everything but the clothes on his back, and he’s down to his last two OxyContin. Sean’s no seasoned streetwalker, but he’s not above it either, not when he’s already itching for his next fix.
A familiar-seeming stranger named Ángel may be his ticket to some quick cash, but only if Sean’s willing to help him indulge a high-class john’s weird fetish for the night. As Ángel tells him, in this city and this business, you have to get a little weird to survive.
When night falls on the French Quarter, Sean realizes Ángel and the john want more from him than he was expecting to give. What once seemed merely strange soon crosses the line into supernatural and sinister. And Ángel, the man Sean had viewed as a partner and protector, might also be his otherworldly judge and executioner.
Buy It / Read an Excerpt | Add to Goodreads