Kissing Bandits Welcomes JW Troemmer
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here today!
Today I’d like to do something a little bit different and talk about one of the issues that I wound up learning a lot about while writing this book.
If you’ve had a chance to read Mark of the Dragon, you’ll know that our protagonists Rosario and Arkay start out homeless and living on the streets of Indianapolis. They’re fortunate enough to have a supernatural advantage, but the other homeless characters in the series (and real homeless individuals) aren’t so lucky.
Stereotypes paint homeless people as being “crazy” or dangerous, but the sad reality is that they’re in far more danger of being attacked or killed by people who have homes themselves. Those who escape violence from strangers are often in danger of getting ill from exposure to the elements; because they’re constantly being shooed out of the places where they bunker down, these people never get the chance to rest and get better, and healthcare can be nigh unattainable.
Homeless shelters are often underfunded and overcrowded, and because they’re most often run by religious organizations, LGBT+ individuals (like Arkay and Rosario) are often barred entry. Sometimes homeless individuals will form camps where they can have a relatively safe space to sleep and create a meeting point for organizations who want to offer assistance, but they can also inspire vitriol in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Valley in Urban Dragon is based on one of these, specifically the Irish Hill homeless camp in Indianapolis, which was bulldozed by local authorities in August of 2013.
There are plenty of guides on ways you can help the homeless (here are some ideas), but the best way to know what homeless people in your area need is to go up to them, start a conversation, and ask them how you can help. They’ll know what they need more than I can tell you.
Mark of the Dragon
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Rosario Hernandez doesn’t ask for much. She’d like to sleep on a bed instead of a sidewalk, to know where her next meal is coming from, and maybe, if she’s really feeling optimistic, to get a girlfriend. More than anything, though, she wants her best friend Arkay to not murder anyone— because Arkay is a dragon, claws and all, and she has a penchant for vigilante justice. When Arkay’s latest escapade goes sour, Rosario gets stuck with a stolen van and a cooler full of human organs. Now they’re on the run, and it’s not just the cops who want answers. The owner of the cooler is still out there, and they want to replace what they’ve lost— by any means necessary.
At the Precinct:
At least a dozen police officers had gathered in the hallway, their weapons drawn. Another half dozen moved along the walls of the interrogation room like a pack of wolves, watching for an opening in Arkay’s defenses.
My dragon crouched in the corner, snarling like an animal. The interrogation table had been torn into pieces and hurled through the one-way mirror. The ground was strewn with pulverized cinderblock and silvery crumbles of broken glass. Arkay’s handcuffs had been ripped apart, and the broken metal cut into her skin. Blood poured from her wrists, staining the twisted metal bar she brandished like a club.
One of the officers, a six-foot white guy who looked like he could bench press a horse, charged forward. She rushed forward to meet him, bending low to grab him by a thigh that was nearly as thick around as her waist. So fast I could barely follow it, she yanked him up and over her back, using his own momentum to hurl him into a wall. Blood darkened the fabric around his leg. I couldn’t tell if it was hers or his.
She snarled, and I ran past the last line of police into the tiny room. I stumbled between her and the fallen man, my hands outstretched.
“Arkay, it’s me!” I inched closer. She angled her body toward me, but her eyes kept darting to the officers around her. “See? They let me in. Everything’s okay now.”
She grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me into the corner behind her with a snarl.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
JW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bRaRF5
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H8GI5HS
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