This website is a portal into the dark and twisted, the wondrous and horrific, the banal, and the sublime. In short, what I call ‘The World of Daniel R. Mathews’ is essentially a collection of cross-genre short-stories and novels. Much of this material will share a common ‘world’ with each story occurring either at a different time or location to the other related stories. However, some stories will have their own worlds or may be standalone entities.
In order to understand my ‘World’, there are a few concepts you need to know. Consider it my ‘raison d’être’ or my reason for existing in this world. To understand this better, refer to my memoir ‘The Demons of Plainville’. The memoir delves into how I used a combination of imagination, creativity and dreams to survive and endure the trials I suffered. I credit imagination as my primary tool for emotional survival. My mental creations were the one place that I felt safe and in control of my life. And, to be honest, this remains as true today as it did when I was a young boy. The only difference now is that I hope you give me the honor of sharing these tales with you. I believe that imagination is also a tool for healing, understanding and is instrumental to the process of creation and innovation in both the scientific and business communities.
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” For all of these reasons, I believe that fostering and embracing imagination is critically important, not just for children but adults as well.
Beyond imagination, the tales I write will tend to focus on gay teens fighting against the odds, engaging in high-adventure or otherwise making a name for themselves in their world However, before I go any further I need to discuss a term called ‘homonormative’. This means that in the context of a discussion or a story, being homosexual (or bisexual) is not treated as unusual happenstance. While we see GLBT secondary characters more often in fiction (especially YA/NA fiction), they are still not ‘homonormative’. In other words, special attention is drawn to the character due to their sexuality and the friction and challenge that tends to bring. Even today, gay kids and adults still face difficult challenges and outright threats. However, I want my characters to move on from that stereotype. Instead, my characters’ primary challenges will involve threats and dilemmas that have nothing to do with their sexuality.
Now don’t get me wrong, a character’s sexuality may still pose issues for them, but it’s almost never the focus of my story. It’s a secondary challenge to the larger hurdles posed in the story. When a boy needs to be courageous, cunning or even dangerous in my world, it’s not to overcome their sexuality because I treat being homosexual as a normal thing. So yes, it will be an issue for some, but I want the readers (especially my younger readers) to understand these feelings they have (or perhaps their friends are experiencing) is an entirely normal part of human existence. I have chosen to focus on young, gay characters because this is the age range where kids like myself faced our greatest, personality defining challenges growing up. I do hope though, that all readers will still find my stories entertaining and engaging, regardless of their sexuality or gender.