Posts tagged Gay Fiction
Naming my book Rooftops was a hard choice for me. Originally it was called Picking Up a Spare because of the homeless man they adopt and because they originally lived above a bowling alley. I changed the title for two reasons. One, it was suggested to me from a former friend that I am no longer in contact with, and I didn’t want to have to get his approval to use his title. Two, I didn’t think it fit what the story had become. It wasn’t any longer just about these two guys going out to LA, and the homeless man they meet on the way, it was now about a group of friends.
“Well, today, . . .” Taylor felt himself trembling, his mind spinning. I shouldn’t tell them—It’s too late—I can’t not tell them now. So he continued, “this very day, I signed papers that gave me a . . .” He paused momentarily for dramatic effect. “Da, da, da, da . . . a full scholarship to Carolina!”
It was clear from the blurb that Finding Pluck would be unlike any book I’ve previously picked up, and the premise intrigued me. I’ve read many stories, and will doubtless read many more, where a young man feels forced to hide his homosexuality. This is the first novel I’ve come across, however, which turns this concept on its head, featuring a straight hero who becomes embroiled in the pretence of being gay. The author combines this with witchcraft, a restless ghost and the interweaving of past and present to create something wholly unique.
It is 1995 in North Carolina and Taylor Hanes is struggling to escape his small-minded dying textile town. He finds his ticket out by being awarded a full-ride gay and lesbian equality scholarship to a state university. Problem is, he isn’t gay. He lied on the application. Abruptly, he is shocked to be faced with hometown intolerance, but worse yet, he awakens the wrath of the long dead scholarship’s benefactor.
Hours have passed when I hear a creak in the hallway and the soft protest of the door’s hinges. As Jackson’s darkened shape moves toward the bed, I roll over. He jumps backward, exploding with a whispered exclamation.
Having read The Race for Second and been greatly impressed by its originality, I was excited to get my hands on this author’s latest work. It was clear from his debut that Chase Potter enjoys straying beyond the boundaries of traditional male/male romance, and this trend carries into his second book. Though there are undoubtedly romantic sub-plots, this novel is in no sense a romance. That said, it is a love story of sorts. It’s the story of twin brothers torn apart by circumstance, and the difficult, volatile and immensely painful journey that brings them back together.
Every action can have devastating consequences. For Jackson Roanoke, the greatest consequence of his parents’ divorce was watching his mother drive away with his twin brother Ben, putting thousands of miles between them.
Matty stepped away to peer down the road: still no sign of the bus. He was going to miss his warm-up and end up going straight into rehearsing. Using the bus stop pole to steady himself, he started doing some stretches. Noah glanced up and sighed again.
I was unsure at first how I would get on with Hiding Out since it crosses two established series: Checking Him Out and Hiding Behind the Couch, neither of which I’m familiar with. I worried I’d be missing vital plot pieces, or would be unable to relate to the protagonists. As it turned out, however, my reservations proved groundless. From Josh and George and their straight-talking foster daughter Libby, to university students Matty and Noah, the characters drew me into their world from the outset and made me a part of their lives.
If any adult was going to get the chicken pox, it would be Sean Tierney. That alone would be bad enough, but his illness means friend and colleague, Josh Sandison-Morley, has to step in and face his fears: guest-speaking at a university in Norwich. As Josh gathers his husband and his foster daughter for the trip, he is unaware that their world is about to collide with that of another makeshift family: Noah and Matty’s.