A voracious reader, Nanishka Torres was struck by the lack of LGBTQ stories where the hero wasn’t coming out or victimized.
Growing up with a brother, Omar, who is gay, Torres knows LGBTQ people are more complex than just being defined by their sexuality.
“There is so much more to people in the LGBTQ community than that,” Torres says during a recent interview. “I don’t remember there being a formal coming out, but I’m sure Omar went through it with my mom.”
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
It sounds like it went exceptionally well.
“I remember (when I was in high school), Omar brought someone home he was seeing, and that was it,” Torres says. “It was like, Omar is gay. OK. What’s for dinner? It was never a big deal in our family.”
Watching her brother navigate life with the support of his family and friends inspired Torres, 27, to pen a story about a prince who has to rescue the man he loves from a group of religious radicals.
It’s the first in a trilogy. Torries is hard at work on the second book, The Soldier.”
DOING IT ON HER OWN
Although Torres had “The Prince” written for more than a decade, getting it published was another story so she decided to do it herself.
In 2015, she launched a successful GoFundMe campaign to get the book published.
“To see how many people were interested in it and have contributed to my page is amazing,” she said. “All the reviews have been so positive. It fills me with excitement, joy, and pride.”
MEET THE REALM
In writing Prince Callum, Torres created a well-rounded, strong, and powerful character who also happens to be gay.
“I’m very proud of the person he is,” says Torres, who also paid the same attention when crafting Lorkan, Callum’s boyfriend.
“Lorkan is no damsel in distress,” Torres says. “He packs a wallop himself, and that is something that I’m proud of.
“I always found it silly that when people meet a gay couple they ask, Who’s the guy, and who’s the girl? I mean, no one is. They are both guys, that’s the point,” she says. “I want people to meet these characters that go against the cliches and stereotypes.”
“Fenrir Chronicles: The Prince” will be among the books featured at the Black Château booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Saturday and Sunday at USC.