The BL Xpress Talks To The Dynamic Duo K.A.Merikan

The BL Xpress had the opportunity to interview the writing duo, Kat and Agnes Merikan. They are a team of writers who specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.

Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride!

1) It is my first time interviewing a team of writers. Let’s welcome Kat and Agnes who write as K A Merikan. Kat’s an artist, and Agnes is a psychologist. How did you both team up together and connect?

We met when we were both still teens, during a meetup for people from an internet forum for alternative LGBTQ culture. We didn’t immediately hit it off, but since we had similar interests and many friends in common, meeting again was inevitable. We both wrote gay-themed stories at the time and chatted about this at a party we both attended. We ended up coming up with a new idea throughout the night and started writing it online as soon as we both returned home the next day. It was over ten years ago.

2) It is quite difficult for two authors to work together, even if they are collaborating for a book series or even a standalone? But you are working as a team? How do you make it with? How do you resolve your disagreements?

We both actually prefer working with a co-author, because we find it motivates us. We have some disagreements, of course, but what makes us work as a team is the fact that we see storytelling in a similar way, so we can usually find some sort of compromise.

3) Your books are guilty pleasures with a consistent theme of dark, dirty, and dangerous side of Gay romance, with bikers, bad boys, mafiosi. Why do you prefer writing about the darker side of human tendencies?

Oh, we don’t find those pleasures guilty at all, haha. The reason we both prefer to focus on darker topics or unstable characters is because our real life is very peaceful. Like most people, we wouldn’t like to be involved in scary situations but they are exciting. Writing and reading about darker topics is a way to safely explore the thrill of danger.

4) How much fun did you have writing the “Crazy Kinky Dirty Love Series”, where we have the insanely kinky couple Dan and Kyle? How did you both decide on the roleplay fantasy in each book?

Writing erotica is something we find very relaxing. It usually doesn’t have an intricate plot so the focus is on what the characters are feeling in a given moment. As for specific kinks or fantasies, we tailor them to the couple. Kyle has a humiliation kink, and Dan enjoys watching him lose control, so all the other fantasies were based on those preferences.

5) “Sex & Mayhem Series” is your longest running series. The allure is understandable. People love reading about closeted bikers who keep falling for their innocent love interests. How do you visualize these characters that are polar opposites? Which is your favorite book of this lot?

It’s really hard to pick a favourite! But Agnes is especially fond of One Step Too Close and Red Hot, whereas Kat loves His Favorite Color is Blood and Straight as a Wheel. I think any variation of the opposites attract trope creates potential for conflict, and conflict makes the relationship more exciting to read about. Of course, the characters can differ on many levels – their gender expression, their familiarity with crime, opposing values or clashing personality traits are all fair game.

6) “Guns n’ Boys Series” focuses on the intense love affair between Domenico Acerbi and Seth Villani. How did you envision this dangerous world of mafia while focusing on the main character’s addictive romance?

This series is very pulpy by design. We never tried to make it into a realistic story and instead focused on movie tropes related to the mafia, with a large helping of Quentin Tarantino-style craziness. The real world of the mafia isn’t nearly as glamorous, even though some events were inspired by things that really happened. By creating this exaggerated world, we made space for more craziness and intensity within the relationship.

7) I’m a huge fan of your time traveling romance “Kings of Hell MC Series”. Each character in this series is intriguing. How did you think about merging time travel with gay erotica?

I think the most interesting part of any time travel-themed story is the culture shock. We dedicated a lot of time to Laurent interacting with unfamiliar items and modern attitudes. And then, since this is a gay romance, he gets to explore that side of him in a way he really couldn’t in his own time.

8) “The Underdogs Series” is another favorite of mine. Each member of the Underdogs team has a distinct personality and quirks which makes their romance even more interesting. What did you have in mind when you created these pairings?

Originally, we intended to write Manic Pixie Dream Boy as a standalone book, but since the characters spend so much time on the tour bus, it was imperative that we come up with vibrant personalities for the side characters. We planned that Dawn and Mage were secretly crushing on one another from the start, and gave Sid a stalker, just to make fun of the fact that he’s technically the least approachable of the band members. But as we wrote the book, the other two stories came to us, and the rest is history.

9) “Jack Addison vs. A Whole World of Hot Trouble Series” focuses on Jack’s journey from a fresher to becoming a seasoned monster hunter. But the highlight is his forbidden romance with nonhuman Roux Chat-Bonnes. Classic “Rivals to Lovers” trope?

The series is an erotic parody, and it also satirises the trope of two rivals falling for one another, so while there definitely is love between the two, we took it all with a grain of salt.

10) I was left speechless after reading your “Four Mercenaries Series”. What made you write this intensely explicit gay harem romance? How you chart Clover’s journey as he finds love with his four mercenaries?

So glad you liked it! We were inspired by the reverse harem trend, which we started discussing during a long walk. By the time we returned home, we had the bones of the first book’s plot. The hook was easy enough to come up with – A young man is rescued by a group of gay mercenaries and agrees to exchange sexual favors for protection. This could have been erotica. To develop a compelling romance, we needed to think through all the characters’ personalities, needs, and decide what the group dynamics were. Since Clover was the main character, we created an arc for him, and the relationships he was developing with the mercs played a role in his journey of personal development.

11) Both book in the “Folk Lore Series” have morally ambiguous characters trying to find salvation and love. How did this book series materialize?

The first book is very much inspired by the folklore of our home country. Catholicism is a dominant religion there, but pagan traditions are still alive in some places, particularly in the countryside. We decided to confront a priest with secret forces of nature that Slavic paganism was based in. The second book is a shifter story and not as strongly based in local tradition, but it’s the same world. In general, we prefer writing about antiheroes, who we can then humanize.

12) What is your opinion about the current status of LGBTQ representation in Gay novels? Do you feel that the MM Romance genre is adequately representing them?

That is a difficult question. The first thing to address is that romance as a genre isn’t meant to be realistic. It’s a fantasy about finding the perfect person in the same way action movies about middle-aged men taking down crime syndicates are a fantasy about being a savior. Therefore, romances of all kinds typically represent people’s fantasies rather than their real life. That being said, the MM romance genre is very broad, and authors write stories with different degrees of realism. There is currently a big movement to include characters from different ethnic backgrounds, with different levels of ability and bodies, etc., which means that more people are represented. At the end of the day though, readers of all genders have varied tastes, needs, and expectations, so I don’t think I can arbitrarily answer.

13) Would you like to share details about your upcoming book releases?

We are very excited, because our next release will be the final book in the Guns n’ Boys series! Called “Haven”, it will be the last chapter of Domenico and Seth’s long and tumultuous love story, and we are happy to now give readers closure. After that, we’ll start writing a spinoff series of Kings of Hell MC, which will be focused on the children readers got to meet in “In the Arms of the Beast”. A series of standalone paranormal romances, it’ll be called ‘Seven Deadly Sons’.

The BL Xpress would like to thank K.A.Merikan for this interview!

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