Like a lot of writers, I write with an agenda.
Because I write about gay men falling in love, my agenda might appear more transparent than most. When I first began writing gay fiction, my focus was simply on showing how absolutely UNextraordinary such relationships were. Normal was my catchword. Because when I first found a publisher for these stories, most of my mainstream readers and writing friends still found gay mysteries unusual, surprising, and occasionally uncomfortable. They were most certainly -- and correctly at that time -- viewed as non-commercial.
Aside from the sexual orientation of my characters, I've mostly tried to avoid getting political in books. I don't like to be preached to, and neither do readers. This isn't to say that my characters don't have political or religious affiliations. They do. The things that we believe in, trust in, have faith in, think are worth fighting for define us. So a well-drawn character should have views on religion and politics and, yes, sex. Because it is rare to find a human who doesn't.
Fair Play is the first really political story I've written. It's difficult to write about a former radical on the run from his past -- or to discuss the 1960s -- without getting somewhat political. The story is a mystery-romance, so politics aren't the focus, but it's still feels a lot more political -- and personal -- to me. Just the mention of Vietnam riles up people in my family, so I imagine it will rile up a few readers.
Or maybe not. It was a long time ago, after all. I'll be interested to see if there is a reaction or not. Anyway, Fair Play comes out November 10th, but you can preorder it now through Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.
So what do you think? Do you write with an agenda? Or if you're a reader, do you find a noticeable agenda off-putting?
Fifty years ago, Roland Mills belonged to a violent activist group. Now, someone is willing to kill to prevent him from publishing his memoirs.
When ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills is called out to examine the charred ruins of his childhood home, he quickly identifies the fire for what it is—arson. A knee injury may have forced Elliot out of the Bureau, but it’s not going to stop him from bringing the man who wants his father dead to justice.
Agent Tucker Lance is still working to find the serial killer who’s obsessed with Elliot and can’t bear the thought of his lover putting himself in additional danger. Straightlaced Tucker has never agreed with radical Roland on much—“opposing political viewpoints” is an understatement—but they’re united on this: Elliot needs to leave the case alone. Now.
Tucker would do nearly anything for the man he loves, but he won’t be used to gain Elliot access to the FBI’s resources. When the past comes back to play and everything both men had known to be true is questioned, their fragile relationship is left hanging in the balance.