Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Characters in Pretty Man

Though PRETTY MAN is by no means the first piece of fiction I've ever written, it was one of the first books I wrote for ravenousromance.com. As with almost all of my books, I take little pieces of real people that I've known personally, put them altogether, and create fictional characters. It's almost like sewing a quilt, or putting a puzzle together.

I'm sure all writers have a difference process. But this is how I do it. Let's face it, even the most interesting person I know wouldn't be interesting in fiction. Fictional characters have to be, and are supposed to be, larger than life...even when those characters are simple and unassuming and don't seem all that exciting.

But I saw a few reviews and comments about the characters in PRETTY MAN that surprised me. And frankly, they still surprise me two years later. Some readers didn't like the way the two main characters had an open relationship and thought nothing of inviting other men into their relationship. They didn't think it was realistic enough, which left me shaking my head.

In the real world, and I know this for a fact, there are many gay couples in long term relationships that engage in three-way sex or with multiple partners, without thinking twice about it. I have many good friends who have been together for many years and having an open relationship, for them, is what actually keeps their relationship exciting. I also have many gay friends who don't do this. They just aren't into it. But we only seem to hear about the gay men who don't do this, not the gay men who do this. And that's just not real.

The characters in PRETTY MAN do have an open relationship. And I wrote this as a conglomerate of knowledge I've gained in my forty years of living on this earth as a gay man. I didn't just dream it up; it exists whether we like it or not. And I tried to portray the two characters in PRETTY MAN as having a solid, dependable relationship in spite of their penchant for inviting multiple partners into their relationship. And I gave them a happy ending I thought was appropriate to their situation.

In order to keep these characters alive, and to show readers they did actually live happily-ever-after, I've included them in the new sequel I'm writing, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE'S SECRET BABY. And the contrast is interesting, because the two main characters in THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE'S SECRET BABY are completely monogamous and they don't invite anyone into their relationship.

Once again, gay men are as complicated as they are simple. And in gay relationships it's not uncommon to find couples who have been together for many years engaging in sex with multiple partners. I don't just make this stuff up. I wish I did, but I didn't. And I think it's important for readers to know that the gay couples they see on TV and in movies, are pretty much nothing like gay couples in real life. And before anyone comments, I'm sure there are couples like the two gay guys on Modern Family. Only I don't know any, and I know more gay couples than straight couples.

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