Sunday, June 10, 2012
Welcome Rebel Ink Press New Release Blog Hop Guests!
I'm so glad to be one of the stops you chose today! My latest release from Rebel Ink Press is Assumed Master, Book Five, Identity Series. I'm currenlty on blog tour and have been asked a broad array of questions concerning the book as well as the series and thought I'd take a moment to address something that I discovered while writing Assumed Master, one of the most demanding things I've had to write to date. The point of view of a set of twin sixteen year old boys.
A few days ago I received a 4 Star review on Goodreads for Assumed Identity. The only comment was that it would have been a 5 if the book hadn't ended abruptly. I had to smile because I know in my heart the reader didn't go far enough to discover Assumed Identity carries over and is in fact the direct predecessor to Assumed Master. The story doesn't end and was never intended to. It was during the editing that my editor and I discussed a sequel, which wasn't typical of this series as it had been up until that point a series driven on theme rather than characters. Well, Dante, Blake and Julie demanded the rest of their story be told, thus Assumed Master. I don't begrudge the 4, in fact I'm often happier with a bit lower mark, it gives me room to grow on. There is an enormous amount of pressure when the bar is high to raise it higher each time. It can be overwhelming to be honest with you. However, I digress...the 4. Thank you whoever you are anonymous reader for being honest, but I do hope you've discovered since then the ending to the story. Book Four, Assumed Master...
Which is set almost twenty years later. A lot happens in twenty years. People grow older, their goals change, they get gray hair and wrinkles and creaky, squeaky joints. And, they acquire children. I say acquire because it's still undiscovered how to inpregnate a man and let him do the hard work. It was physically impossible for Dante and Blake to have children so they flew to Romania and adopted a set of twins, Gavril and Lucien.
So, I have a set of bi-sexual/gay parents with a set of twins sixteen years of age now. How do these boys feel about the world around them? I did a lot of soul searching and thinking and remembering to solve this mystery. Our children were raised in a military community. We're sequestered for the most part, but the unique thing our children are exposed to is a wide swath of society. A diversity unlike any civilian community I've ever lived in. We've known mixed race couples, mixed religion couples, couples that adopted a rainbow of children. There are people that sit on both sides of the fence as far as politics and straddle it at times. I believe I've witnessed every color of hair imaginable, some fashioned in the wildest styles. Piercings do not bother me and I know some of my friends that have them hidden in the most secretive places and talk about a canvas of body art. And everyone for the most part lives in harmony. There is little to no visible discrimination or hatred.
We lived in this environment for several years, here and there along the way, then when our son was middle school aged we were forced to live out in town on the economy for lack of housing available on the nearest base. I will never forget the pit of my stomach bottoming out the day he came home and asked me what a "whigger" was and why the other boys at school had called him this because of his choice to talk to all the other kids regardless of color, creed, or belief. Had I sheltered my child too much? Perhaps, because he was in no way prepared to face the harsh reality that was outside our harmonious little life. I explained it and he was as appalled as I was. In fact, I wanted to march up to that school and jerk up the little bugger that had called him such a deragorty thing and insulted not only him but his friends, then I realized something. He was a child. He learned if from someone. My children also didn't know what fag meant. They knew there were gay and lesbian people in the world and it was okay to be that. Gays and lesbians are no different than are except in who fate chooses for them to love.
When remembering these things in trying to get inside Gavril and Lucien's minds, I began to roll over and over what in the world they would have felt and faced in that same bigoted community. They are two teenage boys being raised by a bi-sexual father and a gay father then along comes Aunt Julie who soon becomes mom. How did the neighbors treat them? How did the kids at school react? Writing their anguish over the treatment of their family was one of the hardest things I've written, but it was also some of the most fulfilling writing as it brought the "real" to the story and brought the characters to life for my readers.
My children still practice what I preached. All are equal and the only stance is tolerance. We might not all agree, but we all have a voice and a life to live. I'm very proud of my kids when I see them stand up for another who might not otherwise have a friend in the world in a less than tolerant environment and very proud they are not ashamed to befriend all.
I'll leave you with a bit about the boys:
"Hello, Luc. Don’t you get it?" Gavril said, sitting back with his eyebrows knitted together. "She’ll be Papi’s like Dad is Papi’s. Is that right?"
"Well, yes," Dante answered, wishing he had a beer in hand instead of a cup of coffee.
"I guess Uncle Mason was a big ass then," Gavril said, reaching for his vitamin water.
"Gav," Lucien gasped. "Take it back. Uncle Mason was tops. He’s just looking out for Aunt Julie’s welfare. Would you want her living all the way out there on the river by herself? Look at her? She’s a girl for piss sake!"
"Boys, my God!" Blake scolded. "Watch your mouths."
"Well, it’s true," Lucien defended. "She's a girl and you and Papi have always taught us to respect them and protect them at all cost. She’s a mess and she needs us. I’m glad she’s going to live with us. Gav’s the ass."
It seemed to Dante maybe they were teaching their boys just a little too well if they were that perceptive of the situation. In some ways, he thought they might understand it better than he did. Gavril decidedly knew Mason was an ass and Lucien clearly saw through Julie’s attempts at being strong while Mason was ill. Dante didn’t remember being that attentive until he was at least thirty.
"I’m the ass?" Gavril asked, clearly put off by his brother’s assessment. "And speaking of respecting her, it seems to me no one does."
"And what makes you say that?" Dante said, hoping to God this conversation ended soon so he could get his night class over with then go home and get the beer he so badly needed.
"Did anyone think to ask Aunt Julie what she wanted?"
Silence fell across Drake’s kitchen and not one person looked another in the eye.
"That’s what I thought," Gavril deduced. "How the hell is that respecting her?"
"Gav, language," Blake hissed through tightly drawn lips.
The boy posed a good question. One Dante had no answer for.
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