Filed under: Guest Posts Jun 7, 2016
Today’s guest is Lyssa Dering, an indie author whose latest M/M e-book Lovesick is now available!
Setting in Lovesick:
As a primarily indie author, my gatekeepers are my readers, and I pride myself on being able to take their constructive criticism and use it to better my work. One bit of feedback I’ve received a few times concerns worldbuilding. So with Lovesick, I decided to pay particular attention to fleshing out the setting.
Vallario, Illinois, is a fictional city, but I based it not-so-lovingly on Detroit, where I’ve been living for the past three years. As a transplant who spends most of her time in the suburbs, I have only this experience to draw from, so I didn’t take Quinn and Deven into the underbelly of their city. They remained not-so-safely in the clutches of Sociotech, a corporation in near-total control of the local economy.
Vallario is urban decay, pollution-gray skies, and cement. Sociotech is shiny-windowed skyscrapers and rectangles of artificial light in the darkness. The Sociotech building itself, where Quinn works, has floors and floors of cubicles, plus its very own clinic, where Quinn gets his monitoring chip installed. It’s full of people during the day, but vacant and eerie at night. The apartment building in which Quinn and Deven spend most of the story is like the Sociotech building in miniature. It is also a skyscraper, but eerie at all hours, its floors newly constructed for use in Sociotech’s social technology trials.
When picturing Vallario, I was inspired by the “glow photography” found on Tumblr and Pinterest: night-time scenes with shocks of soft light from neon signs, the insides of buildings, streetlights, and mysterious reflections. You can find such photography on Lovesick’s Pinterest board. In my mind, Husher, the suburb of Vallario in which Quinn resides, has blue skies. But in the story, he and Deven only get as far as the top floor of Sociotech’s parking structure, above which the smog rests in thick white layers, muting the sun.
He’s finally found a man patient enough to woo him. Or is that just part of the experiment?
Quinn Stewart would rather not participate in the first trial for Project Duo, a matchmaking program. But his contract with corporate giant Sociotech obligates him to, and now he’s got a chip in his arm and a gorgeous but intimidating match named Deven. They’re stuck in an apartment together for a whole month with no television, and, Quinn soon learns, doors that lock at night. As the days pass, he and Deven get closer, but are the feelings growing between them real? Or are they being influenced by their chips — chips that might be faulty, or even deadly?
About Lyssa Dering:
Lyssa Dering is a twenty-something, real-life fetishist with a fascination for the dark and depraved (as long as it’s fictional). She writes about damaged characters in impossible situations who, despite often horrifying struggles, will always get their happy ending.
Lyssa lives in Michigan with an aggressively affectionate tabby cat. If she’s not writing, there’s a good chance she’s dicking around in Photoshop.
Find Lyssa online at the links below!