September 10, 2014

Character Sketch: Isaac from A Forbidden Rumspringa @keiraandrews #RLFblog #LGBT

A Forbidden Rumspringa 

About the Book

Title: A Forbidden Rumspringa
Genre: M/M contemporary
Author: Keira Andrews
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?
In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he'll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can't name.
Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can't put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.
Now that they've found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

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About the Character

Name: Isaac Byler
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Birthplace: Red Hills, Ohio
Profession: Apprentice carpenter
Ethnicity/Species (if not human): n/a
Describe his/her body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars: Caucasian, slim and just under six feet tall. Isaac has sandy hair and amber eyes, as well as freckles across his nose.
Who is the significant other in your character's life? David Lantz, a 22-year-old mysterious carpenter Isaac is going to work with.
How does your hero dress?
In a very regimented way! As a Swartzentruber Amish man, Isaac's clothes are very strictly governed by the rules of his community. The brim of his hat (straw in the summer and black felt in the winter and for church) must be exactly four inches wide, and the band five-eighths of an inch. No more, and no less. He can't wear bright colors, and dresses in simple fabrics in black, navy, brown and gray. There are three hooks at the top of his shirts, and two buttons to do up the flap over the fly of his trousers. He doesn't wear underwear and wouldn't know a boxer brief from a hole in the ground.
If you could only hear this character's voice (but not see him) what characteristic would identify him?
When Isaac's nervous (which happens a lot around David) he laughs, and according to him he sounds like a braying donkey.
How educated is this character? Is he book smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Like almost all Amish, Isaac only went to school through eighth grade. In a one-room Amish schoolhouse, one of the young unmarried women taught him basic math and how to read, write and speak English. He learned a tiny bit of science (Creationist-compliant only, of course), and some Amish history. He knows very little about the world outside his small community.
What does he have a knack for doing?
Isaac's always had a knack for woodworking. He's not keen on farming, so his father has arranged for Isaac to apprentice with the best carpenter in Zebulon—David Lantz. David puts Isaac on edge for some reason he can't figure out. Maybe it's the way David looked at him that day at the barn raising like he was seeing right into the most secret part of him…
Is your character involved in his community?
Absolutely. Isaac's life revolves around his family and his community. God and the community are everything to the Amish. It's the only way of life Isaac's ever known.
Does this character see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
He sees it as black and white, but as he comes to terms with his sexuality, he begins to see more shades of gray. Reconciling his homosexuality with the Amish rules of morality is not easy to do, to say the least.
Can your hero keep a secret? If not, why not? If yes, why?
He can—out of necessity. If Isaac told the truth about who he really was and what he felt for David, he would be an outcast in his community, and his family would be devastated.
What inner doubt causes your character the most difficulty?
Now that Isaac's 18, the pressure is building for him to officially be baptized and join the Amish church—after which he'll naturally get married to one of the local girls. But Isaac isn't sure the plain life is what he truly wants. When he tries to imagine his future as a good Amish man with a wife, he can't seem to. This doubt that he wants to remain Amish only intensifies as he gets to know David and their connection grows.

About Your Writer: Questions for your character to answer about you.

Why do you think your writer chose to write about you?
Because there are hardly any books out there about gay Amish people, and we have a lot of stories to tell.
What do you wish your writer had not told others about you?
*blushes* I wish she hadn't told them about how much I like being intimate with David!
Was there anything your writer discovered about you that was a surprise to one or both of you?
*blushes again* It was a surprise just how flexible I can be when David and I are…you know.
What do you wish your writer would write next?
I wish she'd write about what happens to me and David next. Lucky for me that's what she's working on!

Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means."

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