Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Christian Baines for stopping by today.
Title: Puppet Boy
Author: Christian Baines
Publisher: Bold Strokes Publishing
Cover Artist: G S Pendergrast
Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Humor/Comedy, New Adult
A school in turmoil over its senior play, a sly career as a teenage gigolo, an unpredictable girlfriend with damage of her own, and a dangerous housebreaker tied up downstairs. Any of these would make a great plot for budding filmmaker Eric’s first movie.
Unfortunately, they’re his real life.
When Julien, a handsome wannabe actor, transfers to Eric’s class, he’s a distraction, a rival, and one complication too many. Yet Eric can’t stop thinking about him. Helped by Eric’s girlfriend, Mary, they embark on a project that dangerously crosses the line between filmmaking and reality. As the boys become close, Eric soon wants to cross other lines entirely. Does Julien feel the same way, or is Eric being used on the gleefully twisted path to fame?
Introducing Puppet Boy
The adventures of a young man whose principle interests are filmmaking, criminal abduction, high class prostitution, and the hot new guy in his class.
At seventeen, there’s nothing Eric wants more than to make movies. Movies that shake up the norm, disturb people, and make a difference. He’s determined to achieve that dream on his own terms, with no debts or distractions hanging over his head.
Enter one big, handsome distraction named Julien, who wants nothing more than to be an actor.
If this was Glee, Eric and Julien would probably make the perfect high school power couple. But Eric’s life is never so straightforward. For one, there’s his long-time girlfriend, Mary, who also takes a shine to the head-turning wannabe actor…and just how will Julien and Mary react when they discover Eric’s night job as a high end escort to Sydney’s wealthy socialites?
Then there’s the small problem of the burglar Eric’s got tied up in his absent mother’s theatre room. It seems like Eric’s got plenty of material for his first movie, if he can just get through his real life.
Human attraction is rarely straightforward, and neither is the plot of Puppet Boy, in which the characters’ sexual identities are just one element that’s open to interpretation. It’s a difficult plot to pitch in an elevator, but if you like your young love stories dark and twisted, or kind of wish Glee had taken inspiration from writers and filmmakers like Bret Easton Ellis, Gregg Araki, David Lynch, and Roman Polanski – only without the Satanists, inter-dimensional red rooms, and space aliens (Or not. I’m neither confirming nor denying the presence of any such elements.) – this might be the book for you. A lot of it was also written during a time when I was quite close to the Sydney theatre scene, so there’s an aspect of it that’s kind of a dark love letter to that city, both celebrating and calling out all its absurdities.
Movies were obviously a huge influence on the book’s style. Eric after all, is obsessed by them. Not that you need to know anything about these directors, or movies in general to enjoy Puppet Boy, but there’s a scattering in-jokes and references in there for film buffs and fellow geeks. Shakespeare nerds will find their share of squee as well, as a ruckus starts over Eric’s idea for the school play, Titus Andronicus, and if you’re wondering why that would be a big deal, firstly, this is a Christian school, and secondly, read or see the play. Or don’t. Puppet Boy lays out all the info you really need about it.
Despite having the popularity and charisma to get that kind of project off the ground, Eric is strangely alienated from his peers. Mary is the only person who’s been able to get close to him – something even his Mother has never been able to do – until Julien arrives. At first glance, Julien embodies exactly the kind of popular jock type Eric can’t stand, and his acting ambitions are at first seen almost as an invasion of Eric’s creative turf. But Julien’s candid, no-bullshit response to Eric’s hostility is part of what wins Eric over. Like Eric, Julien is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths when he sees something he wants, and that’s something Eric can respect.
But what does Julien want, exactly? What lines are he and Eric willing to cross between filmmaking and reality, and what part does Mary play on their twisted path to fame?
A very special thanks to Prism Alliance for hosting me today, and I hope you all enjoy Puppet Boy.
About the Author
Born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Christian Baines has since lived in Brisbane, Sydney, and Toronto, earning an MA in creative writing at University of Technology, Sydney along the way. His musings on travel, theatre, and gay life have appeared in numerous publications in both Australia and Canada.
Dual passions for travel and mythology have sent him across the world in search of dark and entertaining stories. His first novel, The Beast Without, was released in 2013, followed by an erotic short story, The Prince and the Practitioner.
Puppet Boy is his second novel.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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