(Update to Post: Free on the BN Nookstore also. Here’s that link)
When Cecilia Tan asked if I’d let her do a guest post, I was more than interested in not only posting it but reading it. Though I don’t know much about Kickstarter, I am fascinated with the basic theory behind it, and I am interested in learning more. I’ve worked with Cecilia before on one…maybe two…anthologies for Ravenous Romance and I’ve always been very pleased with the end results.
As a gay man, I also find the story she writes about below interesting. You’ll see what I mean when you begin reading it. I like it so much I’ll probably do a follow up post with my own comments in the next few weeks after I read it myself.
And, the Kickstarter project is for a paperback, so people can read a physical book in their hands. But the e-book can be downloaded for *free* with the links I’ve provided in the body of the guest post.
DARON’S GUITAR CHRONICLES by Cecilia Tan:
Romance is a funny business. On the one hand, we read to escape. But escape can also be had in fantasy, science fiction, and other genres. In romance we escape into a world where true love wins. What keeps us coming back again and again, though, is the idea that true love isn’t just a fantasy, but something that could be real.
I’ve written my share of true love stories now, some of them with fantasy elements like magic or telepathy, but I find it more challenging in some ways to write believable true love in the “real world.” In fantasy, you can have everything from prophecies to magic spells telling your character (and the reader) who their soul mate is. But in contemporary settings, it’s not so simple.
One of my long-term projects is a web serial called Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. Daron is a young, gay guitar player in the mid-1980s struggling both with his sexuality and with the search for fame. There are certainly elements of escape: the setting is the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But I try to immerse the reader in that world with true details.
Less escapist, but equally important, are the elements about coming out in the 1980s. It was the era of “Silence=Death,” when AIDS was in the news and on everyone’s minds, when Rock Hudson was outed upon his death and gay rights activists were calling for more celebrities to come out of the closet. It was a rocky time, before there were any out celebrities on TV, no Ellen, no Rosie, no Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, no Will & Grace. Daron is trying to make it without role models, in a culture that fears gay sex.
For me, these elements of struggle are important, though. When Daron finds love or finds happiness, even momentary happiness along the way, you really feel like he’s earned it.
And that’s the “magic” of writing something in the real world. There are no magical signs that point to true love in Daron’s world, but when he reaches that place in the story where he and his true love are united? You’ll know. He’ll know. Everyone will know, because he will have fought long and hard to get there. And the difficult, uphill journey will have all been worth it.
If you’re interested to read Daron’s story, the ongoing web serial is completely free to read online. Start with chapter one here, and book one of the ebook series is also free to download right now in the Kindle store, here , or from Smashwords, here. If you prefer a paper book you can hold in your hands, we’re running a Kickstarter campaign now through May 22 to raise the funds to produce a paperback. Please check it out at this link.
Here’s a link to a video.
Twitter account: @daron_moondog
Twitter account: @ceciliatan
Cecilia Tan’s Bio:
Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. In 1992 Tan founded Circlet Press, a category-busting independent press that mixes science fiction/fantasy with erotica, and which added an erotic romance line, Clasp Editions, in 2011. Tan is the author of many books, including the romances Mind Games, The Hot Streak, and the Magic University series. Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010 and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for crowdfunded fiction in 2010 for Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.