Eclectic Author Brandon Witt on Zodiac Roulette

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
I am glad to see up on on this lovely morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
OK - I am totally lying. 
First of all, I am not a morning person and have never been bright-eyes and bushy-tailed (what the hell is that supposed to mean anyway?) in my life. Secondly, I must confess, I am scheduling this post before leaving for the Dome to cheer for my beloved New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. I know I will be out late in the Quarter either celebrating their victorious 4-0 start, or I'll be out late in the Quarter drowning my sorrows for their defeat, so I most likely won't have my first coffee until after noon.
Which is why I have an extra-special guest to join you for Coffee this morning. My dear friend Brandon Witt is here with a heart-achingly personal post about how discovering and reconciling the different parts within himself influence his writing - or perhaps his writing allows him to express his duality.
I would be remiss if I did not remind you that October is Depression Awareness Month, and the benefit to support TWLOHA and raise awareness through the sales of Alicia Embracing the Dark has begun. Brandon's story is particularly poignant considering the rates of depression and suicide in the GBLT community
Listen to Brandon's story, and support awareness and understanding.

Zodiac Roulette

There were two men.
Both red headed.
One fat. One tattooed.
The fat one was a fundamentalist Christian. The kind where drink, jewelry, and dance were forbidden. There was some debate on the deceitful nature of wearing contacts to correct poor vision.
The tattooed one was a fag. The kind who’d never kissed a girl, knew all the words and dance moves to every Britney Spear’s song. There was some debate if he preferred topping or bottoming more.
The fat one ardently believed in God, and everything centered around pleasing the deity. The man even got his theology degree in youth ministry.
The tattooed one was angry and hurting. The man worked sixty to seventy hours a week in a juvenile treatment facility with kids who were child molesters and gang members.
The fat one, praying that God would heal his sin or send the death angel to allow him the alternative to suicide, lived in shame and feared hell with every breath.
The tattooed one, after years of clinical depression, let go of his anger and learned to love every breath of being alive, and only feared not really living.
These two men make up the man Colette invited to write for her blog. Obviously, she needs to expand her circle of influence and meet some appropriate people.

At times, I blame the duality of who I am on my May thirtieth birthday, since I fall in the two-faced sign of the Gemini twins. I only do that when I am in a rush or want to be cheeky. The rest of the time I simply acknowledge that I’m not really any more unique or complicated
than anyone else. Life is nothing if not a series of contradictions that cannot possibly coexist, but yet do. People are exactly the same way. All of us. Only the dull and ignorant are able to suppress this fuzzy aspect of being human (which is why they tend to have also lost much of their humanity).

It’s that view of life, or experience thereof, that shapes every word I write. I don’t mean for it to. I for sure don’t plan on that seeping out. Nor is it the point of any of the books I’ve written. Yet, it shows up. Every fucking time. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Or, as I like to look at it, those who can accept the gray, and those who don’t want to. Yep, that’s my black and white, self-serving outlook on that. Or at least it is, when I have my I’m-an-artist-and-above-judgment hat on. Which is about two percent of my waking hours. The rest of the time, I’m clothed in my love-me-oh-please-for-God’s-sake-love-me attire. I really should just become a nudist and only wear the hat. It’s a lot more fun.

So, here I am. Brandon Witt. That fat, redheaded boy who longed for nothing more than to make it to Heaven. The tattooed, redheaded man, who finally learned to love being alive and to own the truth of the power-bottom he was born to be. And yet, the fat boy always knew he loved other boys. And yet, the tattooed man still longs to please God. And, in that weird mix, there’d better be some actual truth somewhere.

In my contemporary novel The Shattered Door, a gay man fights to free himself from his abusive past with his mother and come to terms with his love for his God. In my fantasy series, ultimate romantic heartbreak leads to love, and a little terror and death along the way.

When, at long last, my dreams of becoming a published author became a reality, another ironic duality of life hit me out of the blue. I’d written my novels for gay men. As a gay man, I didn’t feel like there was much out there for me in the ways of novels that I wanted to read and had characters that were like me. Part of what took me so long to get published was hearing that my writing was good, the stories were good, but they wouldn’t be good sellers unless I changed the main characters to straight. After all of the years I fought to get the novels published like I wanted them, and staying true to my characters, it wasn’t gay men that started reading and loving (or hating) my horde of gay male heroes (yes, heroes, however broken they may be). It was women. Straight women. I had no idea straight women read gay fiction. My mind was further blown when I discovered that the vast majority of gay fiction is written by straight women. Truly bizarre—in the most wonderful of ways.

It’s the duality that makes life so painfully hard and confusing that ultimately causes it to blossom into something beautiful. It’s also the reason every person has a story to tell and why they are unique, never to be repeated again. Those who give into the fear and become the one-dimensional caricature of themselves they are expected to be are the only ones who are nothing more than a Xerox copy. However, even with them, when God (or who/what ever) forces life to rip away at the whitewashed paper of their lives, their duality begins to spill forth, allowing them to begin the journey towards who they were born to be.

So, whether we’re talking about the books you read, the friends you make, or the person you are; whether you’re the fat redhead, the tattooed redhead, or the bald guy in between; whether you revel in the duality of life or cringe in fear of that unpredictable, yet lovely, shade of gray, embrace the aspects that seems to conflict or be discordant. That’s where the fun and joy of life is to be found.

Oh, and watch out for us Gemini’s. We are one fucked up group of people!

In addition to his contemporary novel The Shattered Door, Brandon is the author of the Urban Paranormal  Men of Myth series from Dreamspinner Press:

Submerging Inferno

Rising Frenzy

and the upcoming Clashing Tempest

(Also available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Keep up with him on Facebook:
and Twitter: @wittauthor


The Novels of Colette L. Saucier

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