So the hubby sent me an article that proved to be a bit enlightening (and informative from a historical standpoint).
Read it here…
It gave me pause for thought. While I have my first novel in the can (so to speak – still working out the kinks in edits), it did make me think about what I was doing with Angels of Mercy – Volume One. There is quite a bit of sex in that book. Big time gay sex at that. But since they are 18 year old boys – sex is fairly constant on the brain at that point. If you have two boys who are very into each other it will color the dynamics of that relationship.
For my story, Marco and Elliot are very into each other, sometimes to the point where they ignore what’s happening around them. It’s that insular bubble that will eventually allow harm to come too close to Elliot. But the sex, while aplenty in the first novel (it is sub-titled – Elliot’s Summer of Love, after all), there is precious little of it further in the series. The series gets quite dark. Hannibal Lecter dark. So the scintillating factor is all fairly front loaded. Not that there won’t be any in the other two books I’ve planned for the series. But when you’ve got a character that has some recuperating to do coupled with revenge killings going on around them – sex seems to take a back seat, of sorts.
Which brings me back to the article I’ve cited. The author of the New Yorker piece (yeah, I was just as surprised as you might be about where it appeared), it was more of a historical study of where gay sex in literature has been and how it has evolved over time, ultimately came up with the following summation: as much as the story needs to tell the story.
So while I may have been on pins and needles throughout the process and now through the edits. I am feeling a bit better because my 18 year old boys are fairly sexual with one another. Angels is hot and very, very intense. Being sexually active boys, it’s also very messy. And Marco and Elliot wouldn’t have it any other way.
Indeed, there are times when I don’t think it is a novel at all, more of a character study as you’re in Elliot’s head throughout the book. Elliot waffles. He’s strong. Then he wavers and collapses. Only to have Marco sweep in (I wanted the Jock to be the solid one in the relationship rather than be the one who has doubts) and obliterate the darkness that Elliot has devolved into – bodily throwing himself in bringing so much light to Elliot’s fragile world.
In short, Elliot’s a mess.
But, in truth, most gay boys are. It’s the nature of how we learn to come into our own. I am sure our straight counterparts have some shit they have to deal with at that age BUT what they don’t have to deal with, what sets the gayboys and girls apart is, that they don’t have to deal with the whole ‘I need to hide what I am’ or ‘if I am open about who and what I am I’ve got extra shit piled on top from narrow minded fucktards’ that other teens don’t. Which is, sadly, why some of us don’t make it.
Wow, that last line still gets to me every time I think about how just contemplating teens who feel like they have no other recourse but suicide just tears me up. To the point of being quite angry about it. These are our fellow human beings. Not some random trash to be tossed out. Just thinking about it makes me want to bring them in and give them shelter, love and support that they often don’t get at home.
Heck, if I ever make it big – and given that I am writing to a very small market I doubt that would happen, but IF I do make big, I’d like to create a half-way home for displaced gay youth. Giving back to brothers and sisters who need someone to champion them into the next phase of their lives. That would be my wish. To give back to kids who didn’t have the leg up from positive reinforcing parents or family members like I had.
A lofty dream, but if I don’t dream about something, then what’s all this for (aside from whole artist expression thing)?