This morning I found a question about GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in an e-mail from one of my readers named Shirlene. It was a good question, and one that I’ve been worried about myself. And though a certain online romance book reviewer doesn’t think it’s important for authors to post their intentions in blog posts (she’d rather the author made their intentions clear in the book itself so she can decide for herself), readers do seem to think it’s important to know exactly what a book is about before they make the purchase. So I’d like to clarify a few things for Shirlene, and for other readers who might be wondering about GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
First, I’d never even try to go up against the original Pride and Prejudice. It’s the penultimate romance as far as I’m concerned, and to try to top anything so perfect would be both insane and impossible. But I did want to write a book about gay pride, same sex marriage, social classes, and how prejudice affects the lgbt community as a whole, and also how it is handled within the lgbt community.
Shirlene wanted to know if she needed to read the original Pride and Prejudice to understand the storyline in GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. And the answer is no, because this isn’t a sequel to the original book and it’s not fanfic. My book is set in the present, in South Beach, FL, and there’s nothing historical about it. I don’t write historicals, and rarely read them, mainly because they aren’t my thing. And I hate to think of readers wondering about a book before they purchase it…no matter what our favorite dedicated online romance reviewer thinks about authors posting about their books on their blogs (smile).
Below is an unpublished excerpt from GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I hope it shows this is not a historical and that the only thing that resembles the original Pride and Prejudice are certain aspects of the theme regarding marriage and social class.
“Why is the marriage thing so important to you?” A hint of frustration floated through his voice.
“Because it is,” Tristan said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted, even before same-sex marriage became a hot political topic. When I was a child, I’d listen to my uncle’s friends talk about their relationships. If they were in permanent monogamous relationships, they always said they were married. They even referred to their partners as their husbands, or wives if they were women. I didn’t even know they were using these words loosely until I was about ten years old. I thought they really were married. They lived like all the straight married couples I’d ever known. And then, when I found out that gay men and women couldn’t get legally married, when my uncle explained the cold hard facts of life to his little gay nephew, I was so devastated I tore up all the wedding magazines I’d been saving for years.
“As I got older and legalized same-sex marriage became an issue within the lgbt community, I started to realize that I deserved to fall in love and get married just as much as heterosexual couples deserved it. And I made a decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t settle for less. Call it pride; call it being stubborn. But I won’t settle for less.”
But when Tristan and his uncle leave New York and settle in South Beach, Tristan discovers all this isn’t as easy as he always thought it would be. While his uncle is trying to set him up with a wealthy businessman to secure his financial future, Tristan is sneaking around with the hot guy across the street, Miller Wiley, whom his uncle doesn’t like. Though Miller does, in fact, come from one of the wealthiest families in Florida, Miller isn’t openly gay, he is more interested in just fooling around than getting married, and he has an overbearing, powerful mother who expects him to marry a socially acceptable young woman instead of a poor gay guy like Tristan.
Through a series of complicated events that revolve around a brand new charitable organization called MEE (Marriage and Equality for Everyone) and a sudden, unexpected death, Tristan and Miller try hard to overcome the emotional and social forces that are so determined to keep them apart. At times, it looks as if they’ll never find happiness. And though it kills him, Tristan never backs down, insisting to Miller and everyone else he won’t settle for anything less than a real marriage built on a solid foundation of love and respect.
Will Tristan and Miller’s love rise above the social, political, and economic barriers that seem destined to keep them apart? And is it possible for a gay guy from the wrong side of the tracks to find happiness in a same-sex marriage with a carefree rich guy who doesn’t seem to know what he wants?