Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guest Blog & Giveaway with Orren Merton

What is Deviance? Guest Blog by Orren Merton

Every story starts from its own unique seed. Sometimes I'll start with a character; other times a situation or plot.

In this case, my novel The Deviant began with a question: what IS deviance?

On the one hand, that's easy to answer: anything that veers off from "societal norms" is considered deviant behavior, usually with sexual overtones. But that's not that simple, when you think about it: what societal norms? Is a rock star musician who goes to church on Sundays and doesn't drink or have tattoos a deviant? Would mainstream society consider a rock star a deviant based on his choice of career? Probably. But as a clean living churchgoer, he's not all that deviant, is he? Not really.

Then again, among the society of rock stars, it is pretty uncommon to live like maybe he does have a deviant personality after all.

From pondering the question (and generally having my head filled with the darker side fantasy), came the idea for character: Heinrich.

As a vampire, his very existence is deviant from the norms of human society; he's an undead monster, right? What if he's a noble person? Is it possible for him to transcend his parasitic nature? Or is being a monster what defines him?

And Heinrich certainly isn't the only instance of deviance in the novel. There are really, really bad people running around. So what does deviance mean, in the context of the entire plot? Is Heinrich truly unforgivable?

Heinrich was a complex but fun character to write, full of humor and hopes, romance and dreams—but also a mean, even cruel side. He's a deviant, without a doubt, and the novel pits his deviance against both the norms of the conservative society in which he finds himself, and the deviance of those around Santo Paulo who have their own secrets to hide. There's no simple answer to the question of what is deviance, but hopefully The Deviant is an enjoyable exploration of the question.

The Deviant:

Heinrich Straus, an eight-hundred year old German vampire, is on the run-from his past, from his crimes...from himself. Looking for a place to settle, Santo Paulo, a quiet, central California college town, seems to offer everything he's looking for: peace, quiet, and friendly people. It's not long before he is noticed by one of the local college students, who endeavors to win his heart. Concurrently with his arrival, however, local detectives uncover the serial murders of young women, and fix their sights on Heinrich. Even with a daughter of Santo Paulo as his champion, Heinrich finds that being a vampire makes proving his innocence complicated...

Kindle ($4.99):

Paperback ($10.99):

Hardcover ($19.99):

Nook ($4.99):

Would you like to win a copy of The Deviant?

Orren has offered to giveaway 1 copy to 1 lucky winner

And the winner gets to choose whether they want an ebook or print copy

Winner TBA Wednesday Feb 16


debbie said...

I enjoyed reading this post. It almost seems that being a deviant, is now something we expect to see, instead of being shocked at seeing.
I would enjoy reading this book.

SandyG265 said...

Interesting post. I think being deviant in certain ways has become part of the norm these days.

sgiden at

Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale said...

Great post! This looks like a great book. I think everyone is a little deviant in their own ways Great giveaway!

Bethie said...

In my opinion a deviant is someone that does not follow social norms, usually not a good way. You don't call someone who gives more to charrity than the average person a deviant. It has a negative connotation.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Anne said...

It definitely is an interesting way to describe the book and character. I look forward to finding out what else makes heinrich deviant.

Natasha said...

This book sounds great! Count me in.

I follow!


laceyinthesky said...

This sounds like an interesting read!

Lisa said...

I would love to read this book. Great post!

BLHmistress said...

This sounds really good, I like new ways an author can make something we are used to seeing and surprising us.


booklover0226 said...

This book sounds pretty good. A new twist, for me, in vampire books.

I'm adding this book to my must have list.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Sandy Jay said...

I love vampire books. This sounds good.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Tanya1224 said...

I'm deviant ;)I can never tire of reading vampire novels. Great post. Please count me in.

Estella said...

This book sounds like an interesting read!

kissinoak at frontier dot com

She said...

Interesting question on what is a deviant. I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. See a person in one context and they are not a deviant; in another, they are. David Hare's play, The Blue Room, similarly asks that question. It is a play of 10 vignettes where a character in one vignette is the same character in the next vignette but in a different role within that person's life. It goes around until one person in the last vignette is involved with a character from the first vignette. It is all about wearing masks in our lives. Deviance is like that. Most of us wear masks to be accepted in a particular situation. Put us in a different situation we wear a different mask. Interesting idea.

Sheila Deeth said...

Fascinating question--deviating from different social norms--almost the eternal alien, legal or otherwise. Great giveaway.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Julie S said...

Very interesting topic. Being deviant seems to be expected from characters in books and movies these days though. I would like to be entered for the print copy.


cindyrella64 said...

Sounds interesting! Count me in!

Tea and Tomes said...

Hmm, seems like this could be an interesting one. Count me in for the giveaway, if you please; I'd like to give it a try!

donnas said...

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Shaiha said...

Great post! Really makes one think about the titles that society imposes upon people. This is a book that I would really enjoy reading.


Katrina W said...

I think we are all Deviant in our own way,, depening upon how others feel about us lol.. SOunds like a great read !!! Interersting post !! and vamps u have won me ;)

kat ;)

Meredith said...

I'd love to win a copy of The Deviant. Hey, to some it's normal! It's all a matter of perspective.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Tore said...

I would love to win the hard book of Deviant. It sounds very good.