I have been an avid reader of paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi books since I realized that I could become so captivated by a book that I would read it in one sitting. I have explored the monsters that lurk in the shadows, braved the deepest reaches of outer space, fallen in love "for the first time" every other day, and stood with the chosen ones as they faced their biggest challenges. Each story and character has inspired my writing. In 2011, my life began on a new journey when I finally pursued one of my passions, writing the type of novel I wish I had read as a teen. AWAKENED resulted from that process, which began as a hobby until I decided I needed to finish what I'd started. Once AWAKENED was complete, my characters still had more to say, and the process of writing Challenged began. Despite finishing the series, the characters from the pages still live inside my head. For the moment, they have been pushed to the back so other characters can share their stories and live on the pages of their own books.
When not working on my own stories, I have helped other writers edit their works in progress, assisted students in pursuing their college goals, and supported couples planning their weddings.
Kenneth currently lives outside Houston, Texas. Awakened and Challenged are his first and second books, respectively. A new stand alone book is currently being edited and will hopefully be published soon!
Before I get into my thoughts on books, here is a little more about my experience with LGBTQ+ Issues:
While in high school, I helped to create the first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in my district and went on to become the President of the GSA at my university during my undergraduate studies as well. LGBTQ+ issues have been important to me since coming out at 16 when I realized things could be better, but only if I worked to change the status quo.
After graduating with my master's degree, I began teaching Sociology at a community college near my hometown, and after my first semester there, I became active in the LGBTQ+ community within the district. I took over as the faculty advisor for my college's GSA and helped it become one of the largest and most active student-run organizations on the campus. I have spent countless hours working with students in various locations as an advisor, mentor, and friend, helping them to find their place and acceptance in the world around them.
During all of the academic work I have done, I continued to read like a crazy person, sometimes as many as four or five books at a time, but what I found was that books about gay characters, are sometimes hard to find. Especially positive books about young gay characters. If you leave the genre of "gay books" they almost completely disappear. Then a couple of years ago, I noticed that slowly, LGBTQ+ characters were making small appearances in some "non-gay" books, but always in the background. They were sometimes helpful, sometimes smart, but almost always stereotypical, and often seen as overbearing or annoying. I'm not saying gay people aren't those things, but to show them in only one way, seemed a little disingenuous to me. That is when the idea for Awakened came to me. I wanted to write a book that didn't necessarily fall into the "gay only" genre, but rather, a book, with a gay main character, that was about the struggles he is facing. He is comfortable in his skin and knows exactly who he is (at least in terms of his sexual orientation), so it becomes a non-issue.
Awakened is not a "Coming Out" book that deals with sexual orientation, and it isn't a book about struggling to find support and acceptance for being LGBTQ+. Instead, it's a book about a guy, who happens to be gay, and how he responds to the discovery that he isn't who or what he thought he was...human.