Sunday, December 28, 2003

(Or Anyone Else Who Cares)

For the past few months weeks, I've been trying to work out the plot of Novel No. 3. And I have a thought. But first, to recap:

Novel No. 1 -- The Night We Met -- was about a gay writer in his mid-thirties who meets the thirtyish, ostensibly heterosexual son of a Mafia boss. Complications ensue.

Novel No. 2 -- Trust Fund Boys (coming in June 2004) -- is about an almost-forty actor who meets a guy in his mid-thirties, and together they embark on an ambitious social-climbing scheme. Complications ensue.

Now, I have a few thoughts about Novel No. 3. And here is where I'd appreciate your input, either through the comments section below, or by e-mailing me. Although I address these mostly to people who have bought my books, but I encourage anyone and everyone to jump in here.

1. Do younger readers (say, 30 and younger, for the sake of argument) have a problem with the fact that my characters are generally older than my readership? If you're 28, do you have a problem relating to the adventures of a 39-year-old who is starting to thicken at the waist and can no longer stay up until 5 AM?

2. Does a romance (a *secondary* romance -- the main characters would still be in the 34-45 age group) between two elderly gay men hold any appeal? I am NOT threatening sex scenes -- you all know that I don't write those, anyway -- but I'd like to know if you think it would be a romantic turn-on, or a distraction.

I like to think I'm writing some fiction that is a bit more inclusive than most gay commercial fiction. I've said this so often in the past that it's become My Own Private Cliche, but this stuff is not Proust. That's not what I've set out to write. But still, judging by my e-mail in-box, there are a handful of people in the world to whom I've made a difference. That was never my goal, but it's a pretty fucking cool result.

In The Night We Met, many of the characters were straight, even though it's a gay romance. In Trust Fund Boys, I have major Puerto Rican and black characters (and an over-the-top Japanese-American queen, but that's another story.) So what do you think? Can Novel No. 3 endure a secondary romance between two older folks? Do you think it would be sweet, or icky?

In any event, I can promise you that complications will ensue. 'Cause that's what I do best.