South African blog, Queerlife featured “A Love Like Blood.” The blog bills itself as South Africa’s “largest Gay, lesbian, trans, bi and other queer folk portal.”
The post is copied below:
What happens when a Muslim family converts to Catholicism to be more American? Or, when a son removes himself from his family to avoid an honour killing? Or what about being pummeled, close to death, is confused as love?
Author Victor Yates answers these questions and more in A Love Like Blood. Half Somali and Cuban, 17-year old Carsten Tynes, deals with the intricacies of race, Americanism, syncretism, migration, and sexuality under his dying father’s abusive hand in A Love Like Blood. Set in 1998, his family relocates to Beverly Hills, MI to expand their photography business. His father has lung disease and promises to give him the business if he marries his ex-girlfriend. Faced with an unwanted marriage and the slow death of his father, Carsten retreats behind his camera. His camera becomes the loose thread that slowly unravels his relationship with his father and reveals the unseen world of “men who move at night.” However, it is his infatuation with his neighbor, Brett that severs the symbolic umbilical cord between his father and him. When death pushes his father and Brett together, he makes a dangerous decision to protect them.
Victor Yates was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and now lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Windy City Times, Edge, and The Voice. As a graduate of the Creative Writing program at Otis College, he is the recipient of an Ahmanson Foundation grant. He is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (1st place in poetry) at Morehouse College. He received an Oprah Winfrey scholarship and appeared on Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular show. Two of his poems were included in the anthology, “For Colored Boys,” which was edited by Keith Boykin. The anthology won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award.
He has read at ALOUD, L.A.’s most prominent reading series which is organized by the Central Library in the Los Angeles Public Library District. He organized the reading “50 Shades of Queer: LGBT Writers and Artists of Color in their own words” for West Hollywood’s “One City One Pride Festival.” He was a selected reader for “Our Odyssey: A Reading of Homer’s Epic By the People and For the People” hosted by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Other readers included Cloris Leachman, Rhea Perlman, Bradley Whitford, and Lisa Loeb.
Yates is a Brand Ambassador for Erase Doubt, which is a L.A.-county HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. He is the face of the campaign and has been featured on billboards and bus advertisements throughout L.A. Yates, who is HIV-negative, enjoys talking to young people about ways to have safer sex and why testing is important.
Recently, Yates taught a creative writing workshop at the Models of Pride Conference hosted at the University of Southern California. Models of Pride is the largest youth LGBT conference in the world. He led an hour-long workshop with 23 LGBT students ages 14-23.
He has taught writing workshops at Job Corps, Whaley Middle School (Compton), Gindling Hilltop Camp (Malibu), and Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy (Inglewood). “A Love Like Blood” is his first novel.