I’m so happy to be at Erica’s today enjoying the Twink-fest. Twink is one of those categories where we say, “I may not know how to describe a twink but I know one when I see one”! We usually think of a twink as a young gay man, under 21, with a slender body, pretty face, and no appreciable body or facial hair. Anyone who fits this category could be called a twink. Even a slightly older gay man who looks very young might be twinkish. One problem with the definition is that the word often implies a young man or boy who is naive or even not too bright. If we substitute the word innocent then I think we have a good picture of a twink.
Who are some of my favorite twinks? I suppose Tristan “Sparky” in Z. A. Maxfield’s wonderful Crossing Borders is technically a twink. But the kid is so bright and self-actuating it’s tough to think of him that way. He is one of my favorite heroes of all time as is true for many readers. Mal in Missy Welsh’s My Summer of Wes definitely falls into the twink category although he barely realizes it, and Treva Harte’s charming Max in Maxxed Out certainly qualifies.
Even though I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance, I have written few twinks. Only a couple of my heroes are actually under 21. Most of them are in their 20s. Interestingly, I’m writing a young man that might qualify right now. In Genetic Celebrity, the fourth book in the Genetic Attraction series, Shay Shaleen, 20, is six feet one and willowy as a reed with pale moonlight hair and blue eyes. He has almost no body hair. But he can pass for a woman as is often the case with my heroes. Does that disqualify him as a twink? And he is a tough, pierced street kid. Maybe that also disqualifies him. My hero Mark Sintorella in Sinders and Ash is a little too old--he’s 22--but he certainly fits the description in every other way. Still, he’s also a tough survivor who takes care of himself. So no, I guess I don’t have any twinks among my Beautiful boys, but I do love other peoples, so keep writing!
Sinders and Ash
by Tara Lain
Work hard, stay anonymous and don’t expect much. That’s resort housekeeper Mark Sintorella’s philosophy of life. After being kicked out of his family home at sixteen for being gay, Mark knows what it takes to survive. But how is he going to stay anonymous when he wants to be recognized as a great fashion designer? And how can he control his expectations when he’s desperately attracted to Ashton Armitage, the son of the fifth richest man in America? If Ash doesn’t find a woman to marry he’s going to lose his inheritance, but he can’t seem to resist the beautiful kid who cleans fireplaces while hiding behind a black cap and heavy glasses. And then this crazy elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, has Mark running around looking like a fashion model wearing gorgeous women’s clothes. The clock strikes twelve and the wedding follows the ball. Two beautiful princesses line up for attention. But one isn’t interested and one isn’t a woman. Who will be the bride? Will the shoe fit? Only his fairy godmother knows for sure.
Image credits: I have been unable to locate two of the images - I'll keep trying and apologize in advance to the owners of the photos.