The excerpt in this issue is from Gerry's Lion and speaks toward the title. Gerry's Lion is organized as glimpses of life for the characters centered around major holidays, and appropriately this one is pulled from Valentine's Day. The parts of this story are more sections than chapters, and I love the Valentine's Day section in particular. I get a lot of flak for Gerry taking a long time to let go of his partner and be open to a relationship with Leo, and I confess, I don't see it. Gerry lost his husband and lover of over ten years. In what universe should that make finding love after his partner passes easy? It would be hard. It should be hard. I don't regret showing that difficulty for an instant -- in the end, I believe working through that loss with a partner is essential, hopeful, and powerfully important. Too often gay men are told that our love isn't real. Gerry's grief is a testament to how real it can be.
Ok, rant over, on to other exciting topics.
The new issue of ARDOR also contains a short, this one based on The Colors of Romance. I knew I wanted to do a Valentine's Day short from a Valentine's Day story, but I struggled a lot with a topic. Finally I settled on "The Shades of Romance" -- a story about TruClrs4vr, our mystery suitor. In the published story, TruClrs4vr comes across as, I hope, suave, romantic. He's a heroic figure, determined to woo Theo from despair and loneliness. But The Colors of Romance is a short story, and it suffers from the usual difficulties of characterization caused by brevity. The focus is so powerfully on Theo that TruClrs4vr can sometimes feel a little like one note. So with "The Shades of Romance," I tried to bring that focus onto our mystery suitor, make him live a little more. I hope I succeeded.
I definitely hope you'll check out the February issue of ARDOR (it's free), and tell me your thoughts.
You can always find the current issue of ARDOR at my website.
Gerry's Lion is available in paperback and ebook from Dreamspinner Press.
The Colors of Romance is available in ebook format from Dreamspinner Press.