The Android and the Thief: A Transformative Experience w/ Wendy Rathbone

April 3, 2017

A Transformative Experience with Wendy Rathbone



Hi to all readers of m/m romance. My name is Wendy Rathbone and I have just released my novel “The Android and the Thief.”

This book is a romance set in a far flung future with some dark elements but a lot of heart and two main characters who really came to life for me.

The story was great fun to write. It is difficult to say exactly where the idea originated. The way I generate ideas is to make lists of my favorite things to read including plot points, characteristics of people, etc. I also create prompts for myself with words, phrases or poems. I take some of these prompts and mix them up, pairing things that might seem at odds, then figuring out the story from there.

For this book I knew I wanted a character who was an indentured servant, someone with no rights or freedom to choose his own destiny. The idea of having characters with all choice taken from them has always intrigued me. So I often write about themes involving people who are slaves or created beings or in some way imprisoned. I had created an idea in the past of “androids” who are actually human in every way, simply enhanced genetically to be near-perfect, and grown in vats. Born adult with implanted memories of false childhoods, these “androids” become expensive toys for the rich and decadent, or expendable as space military combat soldiers. (Yes, I am a fan of Blade Runner.) The problem is these androids are fully functioning, physical humans and so this manufacturing process can actually create emotionally damaged or stunted beings if their imprinted programming roles break down and they begin to “wake up” and think outside their given parameters. Thus, Khim, one of the two main characters in the book, was born to my mind.

I love characters with dark pasts, or who are emerging from mind-jolting, mind-awakening traumas.The character of Khim came to life for me a little at a time. I knew he would be a combat soldier, the only life he’d ever known. I knew he would be injured and forced, after ten years, into another life he was not prepared for. Because of his enhanced beauty, that life was going to be a brothel, and it was not going to be pleasant. But it was the only way I could think of to break him and create a story about his slowly emerging real self, an abrupt introduction to his true humanity, and to the transformative experience of eventual love.

Next, in walks Trev, who has lived a very privileged life, the son of a dynamic crime figure whom he cannot escape. Trev’s story, like Khim’s, is also about breaking out of a kind of prison, one where his life is owned and manipulated by his controlling father.

So I have two characters trying to break away from their pasts and, to make things even worse, both get thrown into prison together as cellmates. Khim knows a secret about Trev which makes him hate him right away, so there is lots of conflict. But they aren’t bad guys, not really, and they soon learn that to defeat their demons they are stronger together.

When I put all those ideas together in my head, the story wrote itself.

If I were asked to pick a favorite character between the two, Trev or Khim, I don’t think I could. Each has his own specific problems and thoughts. Each was an equally fun point of view to write.

For readers, I have a question. Who are your favorite characters who are broken but healing, with tragic pasts? You can name from any media, books, TV, movies.

Wendy Rathbone


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Check out The Android and the Thief today!


The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone


Will love set them free—or seal their fate?

In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.

But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.


About the Author:

Wendy Rathbone lives with a cat, three dogs, and her partner of thirty-six years, Della. She has been writing since the age of twelve. She lives in the high desert of southern California.
Male/male romance has been a passion of Wendy’s since before the signature “m/m” was even invented. She wrote a lot of slash fanfic in various fandoms to assuage that obsession but moved on to original writing in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where she is published in many anthologies and magazines.
She is an award-winning poet, a graduate from UCSD, and runs her own retail business. Her self-published science fiction and m/m romances can be found on Amazon, and her novel The Android and the Thief is available everywhere.
Wendy’s blog:

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