Sunday, January 08, 2017

Reunions - Spread Your Wings #RainbowSnippets #LGBTQ


I’m at a bit of a loss today. I’m still trying to…oh, I don’t know anymore, lol. Reunions is driving me nuts! So, I decided to step away from it for the purposes of this RainbowSnippet and go with something from the opening pages of Spread Your Wings (the opening pages being all I’ve written so far).

Brief explanation:
Spread Your Wings is the sequel to Champagne—my first novel, originally published in 2004. I wrote it in the mid-1990s, which was a very different era in LGBTQ fiction, added to which, the story covers the first half of the 1980s. Spread Your Wings is set ten years later (1995-ish). Champagne doesn’t have even so much as a ‘happy for now’ because, honestly, none of the characters deserved it.

Spoiler alert for anyone intending to read Champagne! (Highlight below to read synopsis.)
Champagne tells the story of Sammy, a young man who goes to London in search of his abusive father and instead stumbles upon a seedy revue bar, where he promptly falls in love with Champagne, a drag queen (off-stage name Charles). Champagne is manipulative and an alcoholic. Frank is the son of ageing flamenco dancers who also perform at the revue bar. Also a dancer, Frank has been working in Spanish holiday resorts but returns to London for the close of the revue bar, which Sammy has bought with his inheritance from his grandmother. After Champagne emigrates to NYC, Sammy and Frank become lovers, but theirs is a destructive, violent relationship, and Sammy is still in love with Champagne. Three years later, when Champagne comes back onto the scene, their relationship is already at rock bottom, and Frank gives Sammy an ultimatum: it’s him or the club. At the same time, Champagne pleads with Sammy not to sell the club.

Here's the snippet (9 sentences, or it wouldn’t be complete):
“I heard Charles died,” Frank said, a casual announcement delivered as he turned to face Sammy and adopted an arms-crossed pose, knee drawn up, heel resting against the wall behind.

Sammy shifted his gaze from the coffee maker and over Frank, settling on the point of contact between Frank’s foot and the centre of a printed sunflower. The wallpaper was gaudy and outrageous; so, too, were the furnishings—yellow doors, white timber chairs with orange, red and yellow seats, a leaf-motif green and yellow tablecloth. In the midst of it all, Frank’s monochrome attire—black pants, white vest, bare feet—was vivid and powerful.

“I can’t recall who told me now. There were so many men.”

“At the club?” Sammy asked, seeking a clarification to strike out the double meaning of Frank’s words. Not an admission—Frank didn’t sleep around, or never used to—but another jab of the pain stick. Sammy deserved it.
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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you'll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story's main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

* * * * *

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

18 comments:

  1. I love the cover. The story definitely doesn't sound cheery. And I don't care to think about what I was like in the mid-1990s, LOL.

    You're more than welcome to borrow Cat to whisper completely inappropriate suggestions to you for how to write your story. He's like playing devil on one shoulder, angel on the other, except he's both.

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    1. Oh, yes. Come on over here, Cat. Which shoulder would you like first? ;)

      Funny the parallels that occur - by chance? I don't know if you saw my question on Daily Writing Updates about nurse practitioners?

      “Oh, right.” Sean nodded, interested to hear more. It was always nice to talk to a fellow health care professional outside of work. He silently chided the little Josh on his shoulder harping on about ethics and asked, “How long have you been together?”

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    2. Ha! I would say "great minds," but is that a bit arrogant of me? :D

      I did catch the thing about NPs, and it's another thing that made me wonder about cultural differences. Here, there are rules out the ears about what healthcare professionals can/can't do, and most get pretty territorial when there's crossover. But then, our system is a mess in every corner.

      LOL, Sean. Maybe you should listen to the little Josh on your shoulder. (I have no idea the context, but it's good advice in general.)

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    3. I'm honoured you consider me (or is it Sean? LOL) of a similar calibre of 'great mind'. :)

      The NHS seems fairly clear cut on the rules of who can and can't do what, but it's so understaffed and underfunded now, getting anyone to do anything is a small wonder in itself. Sadly, the frontline staff are (as always) the ones who take the flak.

      I'm still trying to figure out if Sean's seeing things that aren't there (aside from little Joshes).

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    4. I was speaking about you, regarding the coincidence, but I suppose Sean can take the credit. :) He doesn't seem like the sort to assume I mean him, though. Now, if it were Josh, he probably would...and he'd probably be right. As usual.

      Now I want to know what *else* Sean is seeing that isn't (or maybe isn't) there.

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    5. Yep, Josh totally would assume. Sean's a bit humbler, even if he pretends not to be.

      I might WIPpet the Sean scene on Wednesday. It kind of follows from the last WIPpet scene I posted.

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  2. I'm interested to hear more about Frank and Sammy. I love the 90s era.

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    1. Thanks, Louise. It's a very strange feeling revisiting them after all this time, and I'm going to have to trawl my memories to get back into that era. Was it fun? I don't remember. I was at uni, parent of two tinies. :D

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  3. OMG you could have been describing my auntie's house. We'd go there every Friday and I adored her, but for all her many charms and accomplishments, she had TERRIBLE taste in home furnishings.

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    1. LOL! It sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

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  4. Very interesting set up.

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    1. Thanks, Jana. I'm actually excited to see what the rest of the apartment looks like because the characters have only been in the kitchen so far. Surely it'll be better decorated elsewhere... :o

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  5. I like the fact that it's not even "happy for now, because honestly, none of the characters deserved it. I love that you created characters that made you feel that way.

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    1. Thanks. :) I've taken some reviewer flak for it, as you'd expect.

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  6. I loved your vivid description (and that cover)! <3

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    1. Thanks, Addison. :) I adore the cover - a wonderful artist created it for me based on the opening scene. Sadly, she's no longer making art for other people, or else I'd ask her to do the cover for Spread Your Wings too. But she's still making it for herself, which is awesome.

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  7. Intriguing. And love the cover!

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  8. Intriguing set of characters. And um... interesting decor.

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