Insider Information for Fans of My Books

Thanks for visiting my website and for checking out this blog!

The purpose of this blog is to develop a community of people who are interested in my books – both my current books and books that are in progress. I’ll share all kinds of “insider information” such as background info on the characters and scenes, updates on when the book(s) will be released, the writing and publishing process, excerpts, deleted scenes, and so on. From time to time, I may solicit your input so you can contribute to the quality of the books.

At this time, I have finished the first draft of my first novel. I’m now seeking a publisher.

I am envisioning a series of five books – for now. Who knows? I may get inspired to continue the adventures of the family of characters I hope you’ll come to know and love. The second book is now well underway.

These stories have been swirling around in my head since at least 2017. From 2017 to 2020, I took occasional stabs at writing or creating story timelines, but finally, in 2021, I got serious about writing them. I now spend at least two hours every day (sometimes more) writing. Now that I’ve established a writing routine, the stories are flowing out of my head and onto my computer as fast as I can type. It’s exciting!

I hope you’ll consider joining my private email list to receive these updates.


Let's stay in touch!

If you would like to receive updates on the progress of this book, as well as excerpts, background stories, and other “insider” information, please join my private email list.

From time to time, I may solicit your input which will help make the book even better!

 

I plan to post about once a week, so you won't be inundated with emails. And no spam, ever. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.

It’s National Coming Out Day – And We Still Need It

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day.

I used to be much more aware of this. But now, I’ve been out for so long that I usually don’t think of it unless I see an article, such as the one below, that reminds me.

I’m now working on my second book, in which our lovable lead character from the first book, Bryan, wrestles with the question of how out he should be at his high school. This reminds me that, even though our society today is more accepting of sexual diversity than ever, it can still be a very rough road for young people.

And as this article illustrates, when you come from a conservative, right-wing religious environment as Bryan does, it’s still VERY difficult.

Here’s Why I Waited Until Age 48 to Tell People I’m Gay (Washington Post)


(c) 2021 Dave Hughes
Photo credit: rahaij

Submitted!

Yesterday, after numerous rounds of edits, revisions, and polishing, I pressed Send. I have now submitted the manuscript of my first novel, Becoming Bryan, to the first publisher on my list. I’ll keep you posted.

I self-published my three retirement lifestyle books on Amazon and other digital platforms, but for my novels I am going to try to get them published by a mainstream or indie publishing house. While that means the books will receive much better promotion and distribution, and therefore much higher sales, it also means that it will easily be 1-2 years before the book is actually available for purchase.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the sequel, as well as developing the concept of yet another novel in the series. That means I will have completed one or two more books before this one comes out. Such is the life!

I’d like to shout out a big THANK YOU to Linda Magata, Jeff McKeehan, Kalp Parikh, Russ Smith, and Michelle Taquino Alcina who served as beta readers and provided excellent feedback!

(c) 2021 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Wichan Yodsawai.

Mega-Churches in America

One of the main plot points in my upcoming book, Becoming Bryan, is the fact that his father is the head pastor of a large conservative Christian mega-church.

I didn’t model the church in the book, the fictitious Eternal Savior Christian Church, after any particular real-life church, although the inside of the sanctuary that I describe in the book is similar to the inside of a church in Phoenix that I have played trombone at a couple times (not for a church service).

Having said that, the Washington Post recently ran a story about a mega-church in Forth Worth that I found interesting – and a bit frightening. One of the main points of the article is that churches like this are venturing farther into the political space than ever before.

This has always been murky water. According to the IRS, churches are allowed to take positions on (and lobby their members for how to vote on) issues, but not political parties or candidates. For example, during the 2006 and 2008 elections, when Arizona had anti-marriage-equality constitutional amendments on the ballot, churches could take positions for or against these initiatives, including putting signs in front of their churches. They’re not supposed to state their support or campaign for, say, Biden or Trump.

The truth is, trying to hold a church legally accountable for violations is nearly impossible to do. It would be very unpopular, politically. So they have probably figured out that they can get away with almost anything.

In any case, here’s the article: An American Kingdom. It will give you a peek inside mega-churches and the influence they wield.


(c) 2021 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Melissa Askew

Canada House Passes Conversion Therapy Ban; Still Legal in 30 US States

On June 22, 2021, Canada’s House of Commons passed a bill criminalizing LGBT conversion therapy nationwide by a vote of 263 to 63. The bill now heads to the Senate. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enthusiastically supports the legislation. (Read news stories here and here)

[UPDATE: The senate did not vote on this bill before they adjourned for the summer.]

The bill prohibits all conversion therapy for minors and conversion therapy for adults if it is against their will, while also banning anyone from making profit from or advertising the cruel practice.

Conversion therapy (also called reparative therapy) is the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity using dubious psychological or spiritual interventions. This practice has been widely discredited by every mainstream medical and mental health organization. (Learn more)

In the United States, only twenty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and a smattering of cities and counties have banned conversion therapy as of June, 2021, according to Wikipedia.

Why Becoming Bryan Takes Place in 2007

The story in Becoming Bryan takes place in 2007.

There are two reasons I chose to place the story in this timeframe.

First, I have four more novels in various stages of development. These books will follow some of these characters as they go to college, begin their careers, enter into relationships, and come to terms with their past. Starting the story line when they are teenagers in 2007 will allow them to age into their roles in future books.

Second, setting the book in the mid-2000s allows us to remember what the social and political environment for LGBT people was during that era. Starting in 2004, many states passed amendments which prohibited same-sex marriage. Those amendments were the culmination of the Republican party’s anti-gay agenda that they have been actively promoting since the early 1980s to appeal to conservative voters.