Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Brandon Shire for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Self Published, Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain. Prism recently reviewed Listening to Dust. You can find the review here.
We are here today to talk about The Value of Rain and Listening to Dust. What can you tell us about them?
They’re not romance. Both novels are gay fiction and decidedly serious books about the dark side of what gay men sometimes live through. The Value of Rain chronicles a boy’s story after he has spent a decade in institutions for the sole ‘crime’ of being gay. Listening to Dust delves deeply into homophobia and a love that’s ripped out by the roots because of it.
Tell us more about Charles?
Charles is deeply wounded by his family’s betrayal and highly sensitive. His rage over his family’s action clouds everything in his life, including his own need for love.
What about The Value of Rain makes you the most proud?
Rain has started many a conversation about the harm of reparative therapy. These conversations went beyond the white-washed version of conversion therapy you see on the media and exposed its more heinous side. Rain also won several honors including Best LGBTQ Book of 2011.
If you could change one thing in The Value of Rain what would it be and why?
I’m happy with it the way it is. It’s not a pretty story, and it’s not meant to be. It’s angry and sad and less than hopeful because that’s how the victims of reparative therapy often feel.
Can you tell us about your inspiration for Charles and The Value of Rain?
Rain was based on my interaction with men who lived through and survived reparative therapy long before this type of torture received the passive banner of ‘therapy’. And while most of the story is fictionalized, what the main character witnesses and survives is not.
Tell us more about Stephen and Dustin?
These two are so in love, and yet so afraid of it too. That’s probably what makes this story most heartbreaking.
What about Listening to Dust makes you the most proud?
As with Rain, Dust has won multiple awards and quite a bit of praise from readers and reviewers. I get more email about this book than any other, and that means much more to me than awards. It means I have touched hearts.
If you could change one thing in Listening to Dust what would it be and why?
A lot of people wanted a happy ending for this story. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always offer one. I think that’s an important point in the happy-ever-after fantasy world of modern gay fiction where everyone farts rainbows and lives in luxury. There are tragedies happening every day, and someone has to tell those stories too. So again, I wouldn’t change anything with this book.
Can you tell us about your inspiration for Stephen and Dustin and Listening to Dust?
I lost a close friend to homophobic violence. This book was written for and dedicated to him, and for all of those we have lost to homophobia.
What one story made you lose sleep as a kid?
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe.
If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
With a glass of wine and a good book on the merits of humanity.
Tell us about some of your other titles.
My other titles aren’t near as serious as Rain and Dust. They’re mostly erotic glimpses into the lives of men on the fringe of what we consider ‘normal’.
In Afflicted, I explored the life of a gay blind man and his quest to find love. It’s completely different as it is written from the view of a blind man. That means no visual cues (hot bodies, luscious lips, waning smiles). Everything he knows about men he learns through his other senses – touch, taste, smell, sound. That makes the sexual experience quite different than what readers are used to.
The Cold series takes readers into prison without all the tropes of ‘prison reads’ and explores the blossoming of love between two men.
Summer Symphony is a bisexual book about a father’s grief after his child is lost to stillbirth, and how society refuses to allow him to grieve simply because he is male.
Rapid Fire Time
- Electronica or Jazz? Jazz
- World of Warcraft or Everquest? Who has time for games? Is Atari still a thing?
- Salty or Sugary? Sugary, with a hot bite at the end of the toungue.
- Morning or night? Night, very late, when the mist is on the ground, the dew drips from the eaves, and the sheets are still hot from lovemaking.
- Porsche or Prius? Meh, if it gets me there, I’m happy.
- Love Story or Thriller? Thriller.
- Tea or Coffee? Coffee, by the gallon, or injected is fine too.
- Sausage or Hamburger? Lol, that depends on the situation, doesn’t it?
What are you working on?
At the moment I’m working on The Love of Wicked Men. This is an interactive erotic legal thriller, with readers influencing the story before it’s written. In a nutshell, the story is about naughty gay lawyers all the hijinks they get up to in and out of bed.
What is next?
I’ve got more serious fiction on the way, and fans are already asking about a season two of Wicked Men. So we’ll see. I have several other books simmering in the background, but time will dictate if I can get them out this year.
Title: Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain
Author: Brandon Shire
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Publication Date: 03/10/2012
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Young Adult
Listening to Dust:
Murder touched Stephen Dobbins when he was a young boy and left him living in a void of aching loneliness. A chance meeting with a young American chased away the fear that he would always be alone and brought him the prospect of a new existence.
Dustin Earl joined the military and escaped his small town Southern upbringing with the hope that he could give his mentally challenged brother a better life. But Dustin had never known real love, an honest hug, or a simple kiss. He considered his sexuality a weakness; a threat that had been used against those he cared about.
For eight months their relationship blossomed until Dustin suddenly returned home. He cherished Stephen, but felt his responsibilities to his brother outweighed his own chance at happiness.
Shattered, unable to function and unwilling to accept Dustin’s departure, Stephen flew three thousand miles to get Dustin back and rekindle what they had. But what he would learn when he got there… he could never have imagined.
Value of Rain:
Charles is 14, and after being discovered with his first love he is forced into a mental hospital to cure his sexuality . For the next ten years he endures mental and physical torture as part of that treatment and when he is finally free, he begins a relentless quest for vengeance against the woman who abetted his commitment, his mother Charlotte.
The Value of Rain chronicles Charles’ journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption, and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.
10% of ALL Brandon Shire books go to LGBT Youth charity.
About the Author:
BRANDON SHIRE is writer of contemporary LGBT fiction. Some of his writing touches upon serious subjects, but most is seriously smexy. (Choose carefully.) Mr. Shire was chosen as a Top Read in 2011, Best in LGBTQ Fiction for 2011 & 2012, and garnered several Honorable Mentions and a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction.
10% of the proceeds from the sale of any of Brandon’s books are donated to LGBT Youth charities combating homelessness.
Connect with him at: BrandonShire.com
Prism has offered a $10 Allromance eBooks gift card to 1 lucky commenter.
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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