© 2018 by "Writer's Life Magazine"

Author Interview "Zachary Aneiress"

November 10, 2019

 

Athens Ophelia is a fantasy book about a boy named Aneiress Torian who is 16 years old and he always grew up being different from other kids, he just didn't understand why. While everyone else had brown or black hair and brown eyes ,he had ombre teal hair and grey eyes with night sky purple in them and beautiful rich brown skin. And powers he couldn't fully control. Which really set him out of his comfort zone from an early age so when he gets into trouble, his saving grace is that he's really smart so he gets a second chance. But when his guardian Sanaa comes to him to tell him who he really is. The story takes off in a complete different direction then he wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive Interview

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us about your book "Athens Ophelia: The Misadventures of Growing Up Extraordinary"?

 

Athens Ophelia is about a boy named Aneiress Torian who is 16 years old and he always grew up being different from other kids, he just didn't understand why. While everyone else had brown or black hair and brown eyes ,he had ombre teal hair and grey eyes with night sky purple in them and beautiful rich brown skin. And powers he couldn't fully control. Which really set him out of his comfort zone from an early age so when he gets into trouble, his saving grace is that he's really smart so he gets a second chance to get an education and be normal if he's able to go to school, get a job and stay out of trouble. But when his guardian Sanaa comes to him to tell him who he really is. And the story takes off in a complete different direction then he wanted.

 

 

Is this your first book?

 

Yes.

 

How did you come up with the concept?

 

I've always loved supernatural shows and Greek mythology and astrology  but never had I ever seen a main character that is also African American LGBT male that survived  passed maybe a couple of episodes or minutes of a movie because their always the first to die. If ever he is brought on period and I was like, "Dude you can change this." So the concept came from a love and respect I have for myself.

 

Tell us a little about your back story and why it was important for you to write this book?

 

I grew up in a small town of predominantly Caucasian people. I think you could literally count on one hand how many kids of color where fully black and count mixed kids on the other. Homosexuality is the big bad thing parents pray you're not, church was a saving grace...for some more then others. And you're shunned for not fitting the right model so I didn't really grow up with a lot of role models, especially in LGBT representation in a positive light that showed layers in character. They were always kind of one note type of people, really sexual or drug addicts who sold drugs or emotional withdrawn or in the closet, married to a woman who didn't love them, it was always just bad and when I decided to write Athens Ophelia, i knew I could bring depth to a character because I've lived through similar experiences, not only is it important for me as a man of color and LGBT community to create this type of work myself so other boys and girls see that it's possible but representation matters.

 

 

What is the key theme and/or message in your book?

 

A key theme of Athens Ophelia is that no one can do you better than you. Aneiress has to come to grips with being in a society that truly wants him to disappear because they don't understand him; he's weird to them. He's a strong individual that displays a different aura in their world and it's his job to save them. Despite whatever hang up they have, he has to accept himself full force to do what he has to do.

 

What do you hope readers will take away after reading it?

 

I hope they take away a sense of imagination, empowerment and awareness.

 

 

What did you learn from the experience of writing the book?

 

Hmm. Realization was a real key in writing this book and understanding the world more as a male in relationships and society as a whole. And what's to be expected and what's looked down upon.

 

 

What are you currently working on?

 

Athens Ophelia sequel and a couple other ideas.

 

 

 

 

Meet The Author:

I grew-up in a small town of predominantly Caucasian people. I think you could literally count on one hand how many kids of color there were. Homosexuality is the big bad thing parents pray you're not, church was a saving grace...for some more then others. And you're shunned for not fitting the right model, so I didn't really grow up with a lot of role models, especially in LGBT representation, at least not in a positive light that showed layers to a character. They were always kind of one note type of people, really sexual or drug addicts who sold drugs or were emotionally withdrawn or in the closet, married to a woman who didn't love them, it was always just bad and when I decided to write Athens Ophelia, I knew I could bring depth to a character because I've lived through similar experiences, not only is it important for me as a man of color and LGBT community to create this type of work for myself but also for other boys and girls to see that its possible and representation matters.

 

 

 

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