Review: “Shadowlands” by Charlie David

TITLE: Shadowlands
AUTHOR: Charlie David
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brad Firmino
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Mythology; Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 180 pages
RELEASE DATE: Oct 27, 2010
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book

BLURB:

Charlie David’s celebrated collection of short stories explores the heartfelt, and sometimes heartbreaking passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.


“Shadowlands is a collection of heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking short stories from well-known actor and entrepreneur Charlie David that explore the passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist, masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.
Story genres in this collection include romance, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, horror, mystery/suspense, and poetry.”

This was a fast read! The stories are short (a few pages) but are more than telling. You get sucked in from the very first word of the story, and all of a sudden you’re in the mind space of our MC.

The author touches many subjects, philosophical questions, ancient emotions we all face in one way or another. This book is categorized in MM genre, but I think I’m safe if I say that this book is not only for those who read his genre.

The subjects of the book touches its fundamental part of our lives, as: loneliness, greed, sorrow, joy, pain, terror and love.
The stories more often end in the dark than HEA. The author is not afraid to write about things that generally you can’t find in other books. Some of the stories are disturbing, but true. There are things out there (and no, I’m not talking about paranormal now) that we don’t like to know about it. It may be an auto-defense mechanism, but we all do it.

These short stories reminded me of dark poems represented as prose.

I really enjoyed reading it!

 

BUY LINKS

Dreamspinner Press: https://bit.ly/1r9Lhnx

Amazon: http://a.co/8uMxS9D

Audible: https://adbl.co/2rWlbYK

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2LljnAi

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2wWuGfn

 

Hi all!  I’m Charlie David and I’m happy to stop by here at the OptimuMM .  I’m excited to share that my book Shadowlands was released as the Shadowlands TV miniseries on Sunday, May 27th!  Whether you like to read a book and then watch a show or the other way round, I’d like to invite you into my world and explore Shadowlands.

We’re at an exciting time when it’s still rare for a book in the M/M genre to be made into a film or TV series.  While Shadowlands isn’t traditional romance it does explore love in three thematically connected stories – a couple renegotiating a relationship, a narcissist grasping to comprehend love, and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss.

I had the pleasure to work with a really talented cast and crew and so today I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Oscar Moreno, one of the stars of the ‘Narcissus’ episode of the Shadowlands TV miniseries.

The Shadowlands gay TV series is comprised of three distinct stories exploring love.  The second episode in the Shadowlands series is titled Mating Season.  In the early 1950s, a couple explore the idea of opening their relationship while on a remote camping trip when they encounter a mysterious stranger.

 

Colombian born actor Oscar Moreno stars as Matteo opposite Nicolas James Wilson in the Shadowlands series.

 

There are story connections between the three episodes of Shadowlands.  You can read about them here.

 

Tell us about your story in the Shadowlands series.  What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

 

Oscar Moreno: In our episode , Will and Matteo negotiate the terms of their relationship while on a camping trip. This was my first leading role in a TV production. So initially I was concerned with the filming process.

 

As for the role, I was very excited to be exploring a gay character that was dealing with complex issues. For a long time mainstream gay media has focused on coming out stories. I’m glad to be a part of a story that brings to light issues that arise in relationships through a gay perspective.

 

How much of yourself goes into a character?

 

Oscar Moreno: I think that in order to create a meaningful performance, part of yourself has to go into every character that you play. For me, it was about about exploring my own emotions and thoughts with regards to open relationships. I believe that powerful performances comes when an actor is able to find the emotional truth of each moment.

 

How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character in the Shadowlands series?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

 

Oscar Moreno:  Philosophically I relate more with Nicolas James Wilson’s character of Will. Since I believe that open relationships are usually more progressive. This however was a conclusion that took me some time to come to.

 

So in order to give life to Matteo, I had to think back to how I felt before the idea ever entered my field of view. Ultimately the experiences and emotions Matteo goes through are betrayal, self-doubt, reconciliation and love. These emotions can be very visceral to most so allowing myself to connect to these emotions and apply them to Matteo’s circumstances was a wonderful challenge to tackle. 

 

I also enjoyed learning about artists like Tom of Finland. I was familiar with some of his work but really enjoyed learning about his life and what drove him to draw such magnificent men in a time where homosexuality was condemned.

 

Nicolas James Wilson and Oscar Moreno in the Mating Season episode of the Shadowlands TV series

 

What aspects of the Shadowlands series are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

 

Oscar Moreno:  The Shadowlands series offers a unique twist to conversations around sexuality and identity. I hope that the audience will get a chance to reflect on their own experiences and learn something new about themselves in the process.

 

The themes brought up can sometimes be challenging but ultimately it’s all about humans in different sorts of relationships. Allowing the audience to get a peak at how others live, we can hope to continue the conversation around sexuality and identity.

 

Each story or episode in the Shadowlands series is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place.  And yet there are connections between them. Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?

 

Oscar Moreno:  During filming i was only aware that we were matching the lying down shot from Pygmalion Revisited but now I’m happy to be learning more though here.

 

Matteo (Oscar Moreno) and Will (Nicolas James Wilson) in Shadowlands ‘Mating Season’Xavier (Marc Devigne) and Rudy (Charlie David) in the Pygmalion Revisited episode of the Shadowlands TV series.

 

Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Oscar Moreno: Romance, sexuality and identity aren’t just for the Greeks and Romans. These are universal themes that should continue being explored. But the exploration is only beneficial if we take different perspectives from our own. As humans we tend to fear what we don’t know.

 

So it is up to each and every one of us to share our stories so that others may learn from it and thus fear it no more.

 

What was the hardest scene for you in the Shadowlands series to do and why?

 

Oscar Moreno: The most nervous I got during filming was when we were doing my monologue. Not only was it a lot of text to recall, but the subject matter of meeting Will through means of getting the shit beat out of me was really difficult for me to justify.

 

Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?  

 

Oscar Moreno: I have been a fan of musical theatre since high school, so I take major influence from that.  I admire other actors that are able to seamlessly create captivating performances on stage and screen.

 

Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet?  

 

Oscar Moreno: I would like to continue to explore queer characters dealing with their lives.  I’ve watched enough gay films to say that it’s about time we go beyond the unrequited love story of a suicidal gay teen.

 

Queer people have some of the most fascinating and unique stories. I look forward to being a voice for those stories that are told less often.

 

In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

 

Oscar Moreno: Stay tuned for the launch of my Youtube Channels Totesom and Cuddleom. Totesom will focus on fun entertaining videos that will give you feel for how musical the world is through my eyes.

 

Cuddleom is a channel that is be devoted to spreading love and exploring the benefits of touch.   These channels will uplift and empower viewers to take full advantage of their lives while having some laughs along the way.

 

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?

 

Oscar Moreno: Originally I started acting to find a safe community where all my quirks would be accepted. Now it has developed into an exploration of what it is to be human.

With the works that I’m part of I always look for the opportunity to give the audience a reflection of themselves while at the same time challenging their conventions. It is only through discomfort that we can truly grow.

 

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

 

Oscar Moreno: This summer in Toronto, I will be making my Drag Queen debut in this years Fringe Festival in a new musical called The Ding Dong Girls. Come check it out July 4- 15 at the Factory Theatre.

I am also a Professional Cuddling Practitioner in Toronto. If you are a career driven individual who notices they are lacking affection in their lives, take the initiative and reduce feeling of stress and isolation by contacting me for a consultation and cuddle.

 

Learn more about Oscar Moreno’s professional cuddling company:

cuddleom.com

 

 

About Charlie David

Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump which shot over 100 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.

 

In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York.  In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award.  In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. His documentary and scripted films have won several jury and audience awards at festivals around the world.  Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.

 

A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment, a production company whose film and television credits include Shadowlands, Mulligans, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity, Balls, Dating Unlocked, PolyLove and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Vice, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Discovery Networks, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Hollywood Suite, hereTV, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.

 

He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include travel, encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, mosaic tiling and podcasts.  He resides in Toronto and Montréal, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.

 

You can explore Charlie’s films and TV shows on his website at https://border2border.ca or become a part of his social media network by visiting:

 

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/MrCharlieDavid
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/officialcharliedavid
Twitter: https://twitter.com/charliedavid
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/border2border
Audible: http://adbl.co/1K3xhz8
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2895612.Charlie_David
Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/charlie-david
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrcharliedavid/

 

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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