Thursday, July 14, 2016

Commentary on Wonder Woman Rebirth #2 (Spoilers)

Wonder Woman Rebirth #2
GREG RUCKA has restored my faith in comics. He writes the two storylines for the Wonder Woman Rebirth books: the current timeline (with art by Liam Sharp and colors by Laura Martin) and the Year One story (with Nicola Scott doing the art, and with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. doing the colors).

I thoroughly enjoyed the Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 issue, with its look at a transitioning Diana reconciling the differences in her own mind about who she is. But, I wanted to spend a moment to talk about the second issue in this series, one that evoked a strong emotional response from me today.

The book opens with the words:
"Tell the truth, Steve..."
These words connect back to the first issue, where Diana is in search of the truth of who she is. She senses that lies have been told, and she yearns to find the answers. The idea of truth and lies connects well into Diana's story because, as the bearer of the golden lasso, she has the power to bring truth into the light. That Steve (Trevor) is connected to truth on this first page links the two characters together.

The follow up words, from Trevor's friend, Nick,
"...We're lost."
also tie into the larger story, as the idea of Diana's place in this "rebirth" is unclear, and she is lost as well. By the bottom of the first page, Steve has told his friend that he knows which way to go because of the stars, something that connects to the second page when we see Diana sitting with her sisters and Areto, an Amazon astronomer, who seeks to teach them.

Wonder Woman Rebirth #2 Variant
Diana looks out at the horizon, rather than the stars, and this bothers Areto, but this begins the foundation for Diana's sojourn into Man's World which we will undoubtedly see in upcoming issues. For me, this ties into George Perez's first issue of Wonder Woman (post-Crisis on Infinite Earths), when a young Diana sits beneath Athena's statue, yearning for purpose. She wants more from Paradise, and indeed, this Diana in Rucka's tale does as well. The horizon holds possibilities while the sky holds both stability and also unreachable ideas.

I must add here, before I go on, that when I first read Wonder Woman #1 in 1987, I literally cried tears of joy. After having seen Wonder Woman devolved by the Anti-Monitor, and not knowing her fate, I was devastated as Wonder Woman has meant much to me growing up. Her new beginning then helped me dig deeper into my own writing. Rucka's story now evoked tears as well. It wasn't just that my eyes welled—I cried joyful tears. I felt like waiting for MY Diana to return ended with something I could never have dreamed for, but one that I will cherish.

Rucka brings up the idea that the Amazons are, as Perez said, reincarnations of women whose lives had been struck down by men. This past for Kasia, Diana's friend, demonstrates that the past, while important, does not define who someone is. I believe Diana's past will do the same thing: provide her with support, but not define the scope of who she is. Her actions will do that. This is not a new tale of an Amazon looking for more beyond her own island home, but Rucka brings it new life.

Diana returns to the palace and engages in an intriguing conversation with her mother. The queen addresses her as, "Princess." Diana replies, "Queen." Hippolyta says, "Daughter." And, Diana comes back with, "Mother." In these four words, Rucka has established a two-fold relationship between these two women, one that will undeniably resonate throughout this story. This page, as the ones before it, shows Nicola Scott at some of her finest work. This mother/daughter moment radiates warmth and love.

The fact that Hippolyta wants Diana to engage with her and Phillipus in shooting arrows speaks to the hunting aspect of their culture, rather than through swordplay, a more warlike endeavor. That detail alone makes me think that Rucka doesn't want to focus solely on the idea of the Amazons as warriors. The next page brings yet another parallel to Steve's story as he is on a firing range with Nick. Finding a target seems to be a common element, one that will bring these two characters closer.

The scene returns to Diana, Phillipus, and Hippolyta on the archery range, and Diana misses her target. When Diana offers her mother the opportunity to shoot, Hippolyta replies that she's happy to have Phillipus criticize someone else's archery skills for a change. At that, Diana shoots two arrows simultaneously into two separate hoop targets. Clearly, this Amazon princess should not be underestimated. At the slightest hint of a challenge, she rises to it, and surpasses it.

The next two pages show alternating panels of Diana's life with Steve's, and Rucka establishes Nick as a brother to Steve while he shows Diana with her sisters. It seems clear, too, that time passes differently on Themyscira than in the mortal world, as we see Nick meet a woman and then marry her all within a few panels. Diana's life, by contrast, seems to be one of sisterhood, prayer, and even a discussion as to Diana's possible romantic relationships among the Amazons. Time is less of an obvious factor, which reinforces their immortality.

The last panel shows Diana staring off at night while her sisters socialize. Truly, this one Amazon has her eyes on a different target.

Next, we see Diana riding Kachi, her horse. I would certainly love to see her ride a kanga, but perhaps the menagerie of animals will show up later. Diana sees a gnarled tree that she doesn't recognize (a symbol of life perverted? a portal in the trunk to some other place?), and when she reaches toward it, a snake strikes her wrist. It's worth noting that Diana is not wearing any bracelets, and has not been, so she has no protection from what this snake's possible venom might be. I am not clear as to why Diana's wrists are bare; even in Perez's version, the Amazons wore bracelets as a reminder of their imprisonment by men. But, time will tell. This page is particularly striking because, other than Diana, it lacks the vibrance of the life of Themyscira—certainly, a deliberate (and successful) artistic choice. Diana is found by her sisters, notably Io.

The following page shows Nick and his wife, who has just given birth, and Steve enters. His kinship with Nick is broadened by being named Nick's child's godfather. Steve's brotherhood with Nick becomes augmented by this.

Diana prays to the healing gods—Asclepius, Aceso, and Panacea—and Castalia, an Amazonian healer, talks with Diana of her experience with the snake. Castalia shows Diana a statue of a warrior in a closet or niche, and at its waist hangs the golden lasso. Castalia tells the princess,
"...This reaffirms my faith. The gift of the patrons to us, we daughters of Harmonia and Ares. Their promise to the Amazons."
It would seem the promise of truth. Castalia tells Diana that when the gods give, the Amazons must be willing to give of themselves as well, and that time is coming. Truth and lies are interwoven between the two storylines (modern day and Year One), which makes sense since the layers of truth or deception build over time, sometimes becoming harder and harder to discern from one another.

Next, we see Steve and Nick board a plane with others, presumably bound for somewhere where they will crash (as would be the case for Steve). Diana has her eyes to the sky with Areto and her sisters once more, and they see the wrecked plane descend from the sky (with no idea of how it was destroyed). Areto's three words carry much weight, especially for an Amazon who has seen her share of conflict one can imagine:
"We are discovered."
That is an interesting word to use. Discovery will be yet another motif of this story, for all involved, and while Areto's words are dipped in concern, discovery can bring about truth. The Amazons discover many dead among the wreckage, but then Steve's bloodied hand reaches out to Diana's foot, and his last words to her are, "Please help us."

What I found intriguing is that, despite his life-threatening situation, he asks the Amazons to help "us" not "me." That tells me much about Steve: he cares about his fellow soldiers more than he simply cares about himself.

I must take this time to speak of the art. Nicola Scott's renderings of emotion throughout this book are extraordinary. A range of feelings comes through on every page, and the younger princess goes through her share. Romulo Fajardo, Jr. complements Nicola's pencils with precision and highlights each nuanced feeling with much detail. Tone, color, and shadow create the beginning of an epic tale, one that I cannot wait to see unfold. All of the characters have life and, if you listen carefully, you can hear their hearts beating.

As of yet, we have not learned about Diana's origin, so whether or not the Nu52 story of Zeus being her father is still relevant is unknown. But, this beginning of the classic tale breathes a different kind of breath into Diana's story, one of hope, compassion, love, strength, and wisdom.

It bears mentioning, too, that Hippolyta is dark-haired in Year One, so the blonde Hippolyta we see in the Nu52 must be a twisting of the truth, perhaps a part of Dr. Manhattan's machinations we learn about in the Rebirth #1. While the fair-haired Amazon queen was a lovely nod to the Silver Age of Wonder Woman's history, Hippolyta has had darker hair since the 80s (and even earlier), and it is that image which most fans would recognize.

I, for one, cannot wait for the truth to rise to the surface so we can see just who our Amazon princess is. With Rucka at the helm, I have no doubt we will be in for a glorious ride.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

We have choices...

We have choices.

We can hide like timid mice in the corners.

We can walk hunched over, with our eyes toward the ground, so no one can look into our souls and see who we are.

We can stick to the shaded side of the street, keeping the light from our faces.

We can stay in our homes, order in food, watch Netflix, and watch as life moves beyond us.

We can stay in our cubicles, our classrooms, our offices—doors closed—hoping no one will see that we are different from them.

We can remain silent. Or soft-spoken.

We can nod and smile when people speak of our people, shedding internal tears that drown our soul.

We can teach our children to fear the loud voices, the venom-dipped words, the fiery ones who want to tear us down, one scythe-strike at a time.

Or…

We can stand in the light, shoulders back, our faces unmarred by a furrowed brow of despair.

We can walk with pride, our eyes on each other, not afraid to look at the shining souls of others—or at those whose souls are tarnished with prejudice and hatred.

We can be outside, in the world, making sure people notice we are not part of the darkness.

We can engage others in intelligent discussion, whittle away at misunderstanding, teach people how to accept—not simply tolerate—our existence alongside theirs as sisters and brothers.

We can speak out, speak UP, and make our voices heard in any way possible.

We can cry, but when we do, we do it because these are tears of strength, of perseverance.

We can teach our children to use their voices, to dip their words in compassion, strength, and wisdom.

We can block the scythes of those fiery ones with our identities.

What we didn’t choose, however, is who we are: gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, asexual, gender queer, lesbian, or anywhere else on the rainbow spectrum.

We’re not simply red, orange, yellow, or blue, but rather all of the hues.

We’re not just a rainbow, but rather a prism.
A prism takes in the light, and it shows all the colors, splashing them on everything they touch.

We can choose to shine our light on everything because light reveals truth,
Or, we can choose to flip the switch, and live in shadow.
- David Berger
...because he'd rather shine than be a shadow.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Saying Goodbye

This post is my way of voicing my feelings about the end of my relationship. It has nothing to do with books or writing, but it has everything to do with me.

Being single after fifteen years feels like I've had the wind sucked from me. I have told people and myself that the break up was mutual; it wasn't. My ex told me after he came back from visiting his family that he wanted to move on. The mutual part was that I didn't disagree. We both had been living as friends—good friends—for a long time. We had tried to fix the problems, but neither one of us really tried all that hard. It was because we knew that we didn't really belong together anymore. I want only the best for him, and I hope that he finds someone who can be the person I couldn't.

After he told me he was leaving, we were going to live together for about two more weeks until the closing of his house (He had arranged this while he was home). We spent many days not really talking, mostly on our computers. To be honest, that was what most nights had been like for a while. With the finality of everything coming, I had a hard time talking to him about anything. Even though we are friends, this transition pushed so much front and center for me. I felt inadequate. Impotent (in a life sort of way). Regretful. Apologetic. I wished I had either been the man he wanted or had had the guts to pull off the proverbial Band-Aid and end the relationship years ago when it probably should have ended.

It's been three days since he moved out. I took off work the day before to help him pack and load the truck, and to achieve a little closure. After Friday morning, I wouldn't see him again for G-d knows how long. That day I was there was so hard. I fought back tears all day. The fact that this was an amicable parting made it harder. I had no reason to be angry, not really. He was doing what he needed to do for himself. It would be for the best for both of us.

That night, after we picked up another piece of furniture that he was taking, we grabbed dinner. More awkward silence. Then, the most punctuating moment happened. When the server came to bring the bill, he brought separate ones. We've always received one bill or been asked (to which we replied "Same check.") We just looked at each other when the separate bills sat on the table.

It really was over. Two separate bills. Two separate lives.

The next morning, before I left for work, we had a few hugs with tears. He had to move the truck from the driveway so I could leave. When he was about to step into the truck, I gave him one more hug. More tears. That was the last time I would see him. If only I'd had a reason to be angry at him. I could have cursed his name as I drove to work. Instead, because we left things so amicably, I was inconsolable the entire 12 minute drive to work. I almost had to pull over I was crying so hard.

That night, I spent the evening with friends at a winery. That meant so much to me. It helped raise me up a bit since I had been dangerously close to losing it throughout the day.

I know the road ahead of me will be one of new adventures, new people, and perhaps, someday, a new love. Right now, I need to figure out just who I really am, what I truly want, and what I need to work on. Perhaps it's because I'm older, but the idea of self-discovery isn't that scary. I welcome it. I need to learn what it is that makes me who I am. In the process, I need to let go of the sadness little by little and replace it with hope—for me, and for him. He spent almost a third of my life with me, and he's left an indelible mark on my heart and soul. I can never forget him. I wouldn't want to. Right now, as I type this, tears are trickling down my cheeks. I still love him, and he loves me, but it wasn't meant for us to be. I can only hope that he can forgive me my failings. I'm not to blame for this—we both are—but, I have to take responsibility for what I did and didn't do. Only then can I prevent this from happening in the future.

Coming home to an empty house (well, there's always my cat, Shayna), when it's quiet, makes it obvious that he's never coming back. I have to be okay with that. I have to say goodbye, so that we can both move forward. It's just hard.

Charles Kettering said, "You can't have a better tomorrow if you're thinking about yesterday all the time." I have to move beyond yesterday and focus on tomorrow. I want better for myself.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lowering the Mask—Showing Your True Self

I had lunch with a friend and former colleague over the weekend, and he talked about "lowering the mask" with regard to school (he's a teacher, too) and, to some degree, his personal life, but after we finished lunch, that phrase swam around my head for a bit. I have to admit, it still clings to my cranium.

We all wear masks. Every single day of our lives, even when we say we're "like an open book." For people to be completely open to everyone all the time seems a bit unrealistic. We need to have that moment when we smile at others when we'd rather be by ourselves in quiet meditation. It's a human thing to do. But, I do believe that it is necessary to lower the masks we wear if we want to have any meaningful relationships with people, including ourselves.

A mask, to me, is a persona that I wear that gives me a thin veneer behind which I can be someone else or at least have that hint of experience where I can be an expert on something, like teaching. Or, it can be that shield I put up when I have to be in a setting where I am entirely uncomfortable. My masks come in many forms, and for the longest time (27 years, to be exact), my greatest mask was as a straight man. I lived behind that opaque, porcelain shell, hiding my true self to everyone, perhaps even to myself. When it was time to lower that mask, I endured a maelstrom of emotion and psychological upheaval that changed me forever.

To some extent, as a teacher, I wear a mask, too. I can't very well go into work feeling bedraggled and overwrought from whatever's been happening in my life—my students see me as their English teacher whose life is much less complicated than theirs. If they only knew. I walk into my classroom every day with a smile and buoyant spirit, hoping that it becomes infectious. Occasionally, I do lower that mask when I speak with students individually or when I know my personal experience will help someone. I have to show them that I am, indeed, a human being, and not some automaton or holographic projection that comes to life when the school opens. It's this mask that is sometimes hard to maintain, especially when I see students in crisis or feel the Atlas-like burden of bureaucracy pressing down upon me. Unlike the mask of "straightness" that I wore to protect myself growing up, my professional educator mask will remain a part of me as it's a vital part of who I am.

I'm sure my proverbial closet has what I would consider a collection of masks I wear from time to time, and they can be crucial to maintaining my sanity. Lowering these masks can be helpful, especially when among friends who understand. One of my most commonly used masks is, "How am I? I'm fine."

How many times have we been asked that question, only to put on a smile (i.e. mask) and lie? Is it worth taking that mask off and allowing that person to see exactly how we feel and what we feel? This mask removal comes with risks. Taking it off to too many people weakens its efficaciousness. Not taking it off enough leaves us miserable and lonely. It's not bravery to deny feelings to those who care about you. It's fear. "What if he doesn't understand?" or "What if she judges me?" or "Do they really care, or was that just a gesture?" The only way to find out just what's on the other side of that mask is to lower it and wait.


Scary, eh? Sometimes, I'd like to superglue the mask to my face, so to speak. Other times, I can't take it off fast enough. But, in either case, I have no idea what will happen when I make that choice.

Ultimately, I believe in my heart that lowering a mask we wear, at the appropriate time, can bring us peace and love, balance and strength. We just have to okay with what we look like without it.

In most cases, the one whose judgment we fear most is our own.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Vance Bastian—Author, Voice Artist, and Odin

Vance Bastian has an impressive résumé: author, podcaster, voice artist, and—yes—I do believe he is Odin, the All-Father (more on that later). Ever since we met, we've both determined that we should have become friends in kindergarten.

When we connected on Facebook, we discovered we had many commonalities including—but not limited to—D&D, writing, and fitness. In fact, his About page for the podcast (see below) had words that caught my attention: gym, "werewolf shaman, a wizard, or mischievous sidhe," "gay superheroes in a D&D game"—I knew he was a brother.

Once I knew he was an author, I HAD to check out his novel Slumberscythe (Outré War Book 1). I'm not finished yet, but it's a story that takes you prisoner right away, but you don't want to break free. You're held captive by his story, and the adventure that unfolds is mesmerizing. I'll have a review when it's done, but I feel like I'm reading a kindred spirit's work. I'm excited for book 2 in the series, Styxgate, as well as another book he's working on, Caesar's Shadow.

In addition, he's "got skills" in the voice department, first as founding host of the 3 M/Musketeers podcast, and his voice work for audiobooks.

That brings me to him being Odin. Here's why: in many of his posts, he makes reference to two corvine advisers, as it were, named Huginn and Muninn. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who lays claim to that except the All-Father himself. Plus, if you check out this photo from his website, isn't this body of a Norse god? Just sayin'.

You can certainly learn more about him via Twitter (@VanceBastian), Facebook, and his site.

In his own words, "[he] writes mostly fantasy, urban fantasy, historic fantasy, horror, and paranormal fiction. When nobody's looking, he's a complete sci-fi geek."

I'd say that's pretty kickass.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Playing Tug of War with Characters

I'm a writer whose inspirational cup overfloweth. You'd think that would be a good thing, right? Sort of. Having the ideas and having the time to write are polar opposites. Currently, I'm working on books employing the Greek pantheon AND the Celtic one. The Task Force: Gaea series is my current series, and I should be working on The Archer's Paradox (book 4) and Of Mortal Bonds (my anthology), but Conall and Aeden from my Celtic WIP, The Quest of Wyndracer and Fyrehunter keep nagging me in their thick brogues: "Come on, we're up for some craic." (craic is Gaelic for fun)

On the other spectrum of Task Force: Gaea, Aleta is glaring, eye brow raised, lips pursed, with her arms folded. Sarah's just pouting. Brandon takes things in stride, but he's uncharacteristically quiet, and Dan is polishing his sword and occasionally looking at me. Of course, this is all happening in my head. Yeah, my characters are active figures for me in my head. I know some of you understand.

Lately, I've been focusing my attention on fleshing out the first few chapters of Conall's and Aedan's adventures. My head's all about Cernunnos and Brigid, not Apollo and Athene.

Instead of the sound of the lyre in my head, I'm hearing trad music with the tin whistle and bodhran.

I think the gods must be angry (Olympian, not Celtic) since I've been ignoring them. I can hear Zeus' rumbling from here. Maybe I need to do some sort of sacrifice or ritual to appease them. Or appease my own guilt. Haha.

I love that I have multiple things going on in my head, but I'm not enjoying having my "kids" thinking Dad doesn't love them. I don't play favorites, but I guess I have been.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Platform Challenge Days 5 & 6

In keeping with the challenge, I marked that I had joined Facebook & Twitter. I hope that this challenge will keep me engaged and push myself to become a stronger presence as an author.

If you want, follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MrDBerger and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/david.berger. I welcome the interaction!

DB


Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015 October Platform Challenge!

My friend and fellow author Vance Bastian mentioned this to me, and I read through the posts he put on his blog thus far. I'm intrigued by this challenge, actually, and it will get me into something different. I have some catching up to do, so here we go!

Day 1 Challenge (October 1) was Define Yourself as a Writer. I'm using the same format Vance used, so here goes:

Name (as used in byline): David Berger
Position(s): Author, Teacher
Skill(s): Storytelling, writing, editing, and proofing
Social media platform(s)—active: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Social media platform(s)—lurker: Independent Author Network, DitterVerse, Internet Author Database
URLs: http://www.davidbergerbooks.com, www.facebook.com/david.berger, www.facebook.com/taskforcegaea
Accomplishments: Masters degree in Secondary Education, concentration in English, first three novels in a series of five published, contributed to short story anthologies
Interests: Writing, teaching, fitness, reading
In one sentence, who am I? David Berger is an English teacher and author, and someone who loves empowering others.

Day 2 Challenge (October 2) was Set Your Writing Goals

Short Term
  • In October, complete the October Platform Challenge.
  • Finish plotting Of Mortal Bonds by the end of November 2015.
  • Finish plotting The Archer's Paradox by the end of December 2015.

Long Term
  • Publish The Archer's Paradox in 2016.
  • Publish Of Mortal Bonds in 2016 (at least one of the books).
  • Publish Book 5 of the Task Force: Gaea series.
  • Publish The Quest of Wyndracer and Fyrehunter from The DragonHawk Cycle.
  • Complete The DragonHawk Cycle within five years.
  • Contribute to more short story anthologies.
  • Improve my financial stability.
  • Keep my fitness goals consistent yet growing.
Day 3 Challenge (October 3) was Start a Writing Blog

DONE! You're on it!

Day 4 Challenge (October 4) was Claim Your Domain.

DONE! (www.davidbergerbooks.com)

I'm ready for more! Stay tuned for the rest of the challenge as October unfolds! Thanks, Vance!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Taking My Main Character Out of the Closet

Growing up in suburban Long Island, NY during the 70s and 80s, I lied to myself every single day. I was (and still am) the eldest of three kids, and the only male child, so the expectations for carrying on my family (i.e. marrying a "nice, Jewish girl") had been placed on me by a mother who had no idea who her son really was deep down. I never told anyone how I felt because I didn't want to get the crap kicked out of me, and in my teen years, I would never have thought to use the word "gay" to label myself. I don't think I even heard that word growing up. I did hear "queer" or "faggot," however, from people my own age, and my step-father (who used to say I was queer because I liked to draw; I just think back then he didn't know what to do with a step-son who wasn't into sports and liked to be creative). I kept telling myself I liked girls, and that I should just do what was expected of me and date them with the hope (my mother's, not mine) that I would marry one at some point. My lies festered within me, and I gradually knew I liked actually guys by the time I was in high school.

I would sneak glances at guys I thought were cute, making sure my surreptitious looks were quick and sly. This side of me could never come to the surface, I would tell myself, because I would lose everyone I held dear. When I started writing, I even kept those ideas out of my personal stories for fear that someone would find what I'd written and discover my secret. I started writing "The Olympus Corps" in high school, and my outer-space fantasy with Olympian gods had all straight characters. It would never have occurred to me to make any character gay or even bisexual. It just wasn't done then.

Even after high school, when I dabbled with my story, even knowing that there were, in fact, gay people at SUNY Albany (having seen the Gay and Lesbian Alliance office in the student union), I kept my characters straight and largely relationship free. At that time, that was the world I lived in—a heteronormative world where nothing else existed. When I came out in 1994, that was all going to change.

Dan Fairmont aka Aegis
It wasn't until I changed the name of the story to Task Force: Gaea—Destiny's Talisman (that title didn't last long) that I toyed with the idea of a bisexual character in Dan Fairmont. At that time, I hadn't even thought about the prospect of publishing the book, so it was all private and personal. Over the years, as the story morphed and developed, I felt something was missing, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Somewhere in the 2000s, I had an epiphany: DAN HAD TO BE GAY.

I had been out since 1994, and I was living in a long term relationship with my partner, so why on G-d's green Earth couldn't Dan be gay? Of course he could. That was when it hit me: my world wouldn't have homophobia. Nope. Not at all. It was a fantasy novel, after all. The world I had created could be whatever I wanted it to be, and that kind of prejudice (or any, for that matter) just didn't need to be there. My story wasn't about a man struggling with his being gay or adjusting to a different society or making strides in a largely heterosexual world. If the Olympian gods could have male and female lovers, then my main character could be a gay man.

Herein lies my issue: I don't market my books to an LGBTQ audience largely. I go to Bent-Con and RainbowCon, two LGBTQ-focused conventions, to sell my books (basically because I'm a gay author), but I don't tag my book as LGBTQ on Amazon. My biggest fear is that people will think it's somehow an erotic fantasy novel, and it's not. Dan has a boyfriend, and, once in a while, they're seen lying in bed together talking, but there's never any intimation of sex. Not even "fade to black."

Yeah, I have a gay main character. Yeah, his father, Apollo (the Greek god), had flings with men. Hell, so did Zeus (Ganymede, anyone?). Why I think people would suddenly run screaming from Task Force: Gaea if they knew the book had a gay character is just my own hang up. I'm certainly not ashamed of my work (or of myself), so I guess it just comes down to the idea that I'm afraid of a future I can't control. They say admitting you have a problem is the first part of solving it. So, to promote as an LGBTQ novel or not... THAT is the question.
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