Behind the Scenes | Gay CosPlayer Michael Hamm is the Inspiration for Quinn McAlester

I’ve always been inspired by the cosplay and other superhero awesomeness portrayed by the super-handsome gay geek Michael Hamm. Thus, it seemed only natural to model one of the main characters, Quinn McAlester, after him as thanks for inspiring so many of us to enjoy what we love.

Quinn is a mildly popular, in-the-closet yet kindhearted guy who lacks the confidence to be himself. He wants to see his friends and classmates strive to live their best life.

Also, I’ve always held that if I were to get another tattoo, I’d do something similar to the batman tattoo on the left side of Michael’s chest. It’s so cool!

Photos of Michael Hamm

Here’s a little photo gallery featuring some of Michael’s cosplay and photography. I think you’ll understand why he serves as my inspiration for Quinn.

Bonus |Quinn’s Introduction

from Book 1, Accidental Awakening

My name is Quinton McAlester—known to the world as Blue Spekter—but my friends call me Quinn. I’m sixteen-years-old and I’m a superhero—and I love it! Wait—I know what you’re about to ask me. You want to know if I can fly, if I’m bulletproof, if I’m faster than a speeding bullet, if I can bend metal, or climb tall buildings. The truth is, I’m not like any one super hero you’ve read about in comics or seen in the movies. I’m something…different. I guess you could say I lucked out with my super powers, but I’m getting ahead of myself. (I actually can’t sling webbing around like Spidey, that would be really cool, though.)

I’m not the only one with super powers; my best friend, Blake Hargreaves, got his super powers the same way I did. (I’ll get there, I promise.) Unlike your friendly, neighborhood Spider-man, the Batman, or Wonder Woman, we don’t live in a big city like New York or Gotham. We live in boring old Portsmouth, New Hampshire where almost nothing happens except bad Nor’easters and nobody knows who we are—but don’t tell the locals I said it’s boring. In truth, it’s not. There’s a lot going on and the downtown traffic might make you think you’re stuck on 93 southbound on the Zakim Bridge in Boston, but it’s no big city.

My family isn’t very…normal…at least, what people around here think of as normal. See, I have two dads who are embarrassingly in love with each other. I know I should be grateful, but when you’re my age you don’t appreciate the PDA of your parents…at all.

I talked about my friends earlier; there’s Keegan, the boy I really like, but I don’t think he knows I exist. Although Keegan isn’t in my circle of friends yet, I’m working on that…big time. My other friends include Loren Davis, one of my English literature buddies who has a major crush on Blake, and Ravone Timber…I’m not really sure how we became friends because she’s so different from us but she’s part of our inner circle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are a few others, but for brevity, last but not least there’s Mr. St. Germain, my favorite science teacher. He’s stupidly smart and really into super hero stuff, like from the comic books. That’s why Blake and I trusted him to help us figure out our super powers because when things started happening, we couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on—let alone that we could control them.

Unfortunately, I have some enemies, too, and I don’t really know why. Darien James is the biggest jerk and the stereotypical school bully, period. He is the Flash Thompson to my Peter Parker. He doesn’t bug Blake, but he sure likes to pick on me. I think it’s because I’m gay, but I’m not out—at least, I wasn’t—when he started picking on me, so who knows what’s his underwear in a twist.

So, while we don’t live in a big city, there’s enough going on to keep us busy…and by busy, I’m talking about school, track, homework, and work. Blake and I attend Portsmouth High School (go Clippers!) and we’re both on the track team. Our story starts at the beginning of our junior year. We both plan to attend the University of New Hampshire after we graduate. I want to major in English, date cute boys, and then get an MFA in creative writing because I want to be a novelist. Blake doesn’t have a specific dream or major yet but he knows he wants to make a lot of money and be in charge of something big.

On nights and weekends, we both work as baristas at the local coffee shops; me at Breaking New Grounds, and Blake at Kaffee VonSolln. (Yeah, don’t ask me how to pronounce it either.) It’s fun because there’s a natural rivalry between the two shops and our beloved residents and tourist fans are fiercely loyal to their brand of coffee, or kaffee as we like to mispronounce the word. Still, Blake and I don’t care. Our parents let us keep the cash we earn (although mine make me save half of it for college) and we have fun with our classmates at the Fox Run Mall or the Regal Theaters.

In the summers when we’re not working, we hang around town at Prescott Park or drive into Maine to relax on the Ogunquit or York beaches. On weekends, we head north into New Hampshire or Maine to go camping with our friends or our families. Well, my family…Blake’s parents are mean to him and they treat him like crap. So, whenever he can, Blake likes gets out of the house and spend most of his time with me, my family, and a few of our close school friends. Speaking of camping, this is how my story gets started—on the weekend I went camping with my family and Blake up in Rangeley, Maine.

Shall we?

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