I think we need to explain ourselves. The title of our newest book seems to confuse some readers, so I’ll go right ahead and tell y’all why we chose it. Of course, me being me, and this being a guest blog post, I will take my time 😉
The title should evoke the trope name coined by film critic Nathan Rabin, manic pixie dream girl–a type of female stock character seen in the media. While we might not have had the name for this trope before 2005, pixies are easy to spot when you know what to look for. In popular culture, they are usually depicted with unusual haircuts, colorful, and youthful to the point of being childlike. They are by definition a narrative tool to bring out the best qualities of the male protagonist and help him live a fuller life.
Brooding and hopeless, the pixie’s typical on-screen partner is gradually taken out of his shell. Your typical magic pixie dream girl will randomly show up at his workplace and scold him for finishing a project in the evening instead of breaking into an amusement park to eat burritos in the moonlight. She will show him the joy of dancing in the rain and always be there for him, offering support as if making his life less mediocre were her sole purpose in life.
Because it is.
A pixie is someone who doesn’t have agency of her own. Well, that’s not entirely true–after all she’s very determined. To make protagonist find joy in life. She is Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s–an unreal, beautiful creature who’ll suddenly step into your life and make it better. Maybe even make you better.
Magic pixie dream boys are a much rarer species. Recently discussed in context of The Fault is in Our Stars’s Gus and Jesse from Pitch Perfect, they have a similar role to their counterparts. Of course, in female-oriented entertainment (hello, romance books!), there’s plenty of male stock characters of a different type. All those strong alphas, who get tunnel vision once they meet the protagonist, who have the unexplainable urge to protect her, and end up transforming her life by whisking her off to paradise in a private jet/on a bike often aren’t exactly complex or interesting in their own right (this happens in MM as well, obviously). Still, while male leads in romance sometimes are stock characters, they usually aren’t pixies.
In Manic Pixie Dream Boy, we are in fact introducing two kinds of a pixie dream boy. The second use of the term is not as prevalent, but some articles on dating and relationships use it for a particular type of guy one might encounter in real life. They are usually described as free-spirited and so charming that it’s easy to ignore how undependable they are. Well, that’s Dusk for you.
Self-involved and with a personality larger than life, our main character is a singer and leader of the indie rock band The Underdogs. Focused on becoming a famous musician, he tends to believe that the world revolves around him and expects the world to act accordingly. So when he meets the other protagonist, he immediately sees him as this magical unicorn who descended into Dusk’s life to make it more charming and interesting.
Lolly is what you’d expect from someone labeled a ‘pixie’. He looks different with his pink hair and pastel-hued clothes, he’s supportive and has many stories to tell despite being only nineteen. He helps Dusk come out as bisexual, and once the two of them are photographed together, he even agrees to play the part of a supportive boyfriend.
This is when the image of the carefree pixie starts gradually getting distorted. There’s only so long Lolly can perform as the embodiment of another man’s fantasies. He usually moves on before that happens, but life unexpectedly binds him to the band. The problems that had made him into a constant traveler, with no roots attached anywhere, slowly rear their ugly heads, ready to bite, and Lolly is a manic pixie dream boy no more, or… he was never one in the first place, and Dusk will have to find that out the hard way.
In his case, the pixie is just a facade designed to make hiding true feelings easier, and it’s up to Dusk to demonstrate that he’s worthy to see the man behind the smiling mask. In this way, it might just be Dusk who is the manic pixie dream boy for the pink-haired Lolly.
— YOU CAN’T HIDE THE CRACKS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT. —
Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.
All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.
So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.
Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.
All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.
Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.
Which isn’t even fake.
Or is it?
Themes: rock band, alternative lifestyles, tattoos, bisexuality, commitment, instalove, abandonment issues, fame, outing, coming out, life on tour
Genre: Contemporary M/M Rocker Romance
Heat level: Scorching hot, explicit scenes
Length: ~52,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)
K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. 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.
K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.