Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank BG Thomas, J, Scott Coatsworth, Jamie Fessenden, Michael Murphy for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: A More Perfect Union
Author: BG Thomas, J, Scott Coatsworth, Jamie Fessenden, Michael Murphy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance
Release Date: 06/26/2016
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.
But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do”?
Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was aright they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.
To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.
From the Intro:
On June 30, 2014, my husband and I became legally married. We had to go to Baltimore to do it, but ironically, even though we couldn’t get married in Missouri, we live in a state that chooses to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
A few weeks later, same-sex marriage was legalized in Kansas. People asked me, “Don’t you wish you had just waited?”
All I could do was stare at them and say, “Are you kidding?”
Take a half-hour drive, get married, be home an hour or so later…
…or take an amazing romantic trip to Baltimore, a gorgeous historical city, and get married in a wonderful, beautiful way? A marriage that was mostly paid for by my fans and fellow writers. A wedding that I would always remember.
A year and a half later, I look down at my hand, and I see my wedding band, and I still can’t believe it. Still can’t fathom it. I am married! I am legally married! It’s not a Holy Union or a so-called Civil Union. It is a legal marriage.
Ten years ago the love of my life and I had our own ceremony. Two hundred some people came, and it was beautiful, and we jumped both the sword and the broom and were married in our hearts–the way it was done for thousands of years. That was when we were really married. After all, wasn’t the legal thing just a piece of paper?
And yet I have found it wasn’t “just” a piece of paper.
When we got legally married on that June day, when two friends came down from Washington DC to be our witnesses, when that representative of the court stood before us under that tacky arch and gave us our vows, when we repeated them, when he declared us married…
…and when we were handed that “piece of paper”?”
“In that moment I discovered something.
That piece of paper was far more than just a piece of paper!
For now, in my fifties, I finally had been given the same basic human right as every heterosexual person I knew. I was flying! I felt high! I couldn’t believe how different I felt.
Story ideas began to take wing.
I got home, and straight married people said to me, “So after all these years of you two being together, being married doesn’t feel any different, does it?”
“But it did!
And gay people? Gay people said, “So don’t you feel different? We feel so different. So amazingly different!”
They agreed with me.
We began to talk about it. And we came to a conclusion.
When someone is straight, they grow up knowing several things. They know they will go to high school and go to the prom and go to college and get married. They know it. It is taken for granted. Their whole culture tells them that. They expect it.
But gay people? We grow up reinterpreting everything. Adapting. We fantasize that maybe we will be brave enough to try and take a same-sex partner to the prom. Most don’t. We certainly didn’t when I went to high school. Or that we’ll find a neighborhood where the neighbors won’t mind that a same-sex couple has moved in next door. Or somehow find a job where our spouse is welcome at the company Christmas party.
We grew up knowing we would never get married. That the best we could hope for is some ceremony we made up, or a Holy Union, and maybe–just maybe–a Civil Union.
Never in my life did I ever expect that I would be legally married to another man!
And I am.
I think that is why I feel different.
I think that is why now, as I type this a year and half later, when I look down at my hand and see that ring, I am still flying. Because now when I say “husband,” it is more than husband of my heart–he is my legal husband! And oh, the joy!
And that joy has come out of me as pure inspiration. Inspiration in the form of stories. The stories still want to pour out of me.”
“So I began to plan them and plot them.
And then it hit me.
What about other gay men? Other gay authors who grew up in my world, thinking we could never get married? Other gay authors who are now legally married?
Were they being hit with these wondrous feelings? This amazing power? Did they feel grateful like me? Were they high? Were they flying? Were they being inspired to write stories from this energy as well?
Might they want to join me in writing some stories about men getting legally married? Might they want to take this soaring feeling and write from that “energy?
I asked J. Scott Coatsworth, a young author who I like to think I discovered. I bought his first story for my anthology A Taste of Honey.
I asked Jamie Fessenden, a writer whose work I am crazy about and from whom I have yet to find a story that I don’t love.
I asked Michael Murphy, whose novel Little Squirrels “Can Climb Tall Trees” is one of my favorites. He is also, by the way, one of the two witnesses for my marriage, and he took amazing photographs to forever commemorate our wedding day.
They all said yes.
So here it is. An anthology of novellas, written by gay male authors who are legally married and who all thought it would never happen in our lifetime. Four authors who took that stupefied, grateful, excited energy and wrote stories from that magickal place in their hearts.
I think you will love them.”
“I know I did.
This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love. … This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land. … It’s a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights…. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free…. There’s so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.
~~ President Barak Obama on the Supreme Court decision for marriage equality
About the Author
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade. They’ve been married twice. First in 2005—although it wasn’t legal. They jumped the broom (as well as the sword) and were married in heart in front of their friends and loved ones. Then in 2014, they flew to Baltimore and made it legal (and couldn’t have without the help of B.G.’s fans who practically funded the entire weekend!). He can’t get enough of seeing that gold wedding band on his hand, even two years later. /react-text
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy. /react-text
Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the stories have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of stories!” /react-text
Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”
Scott has been writing since elementary school. After leaving writing for twenty years, Mark, his husband, told him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the <a href=”http://www.queerscifi.com/”>Queer Sci Fi</a> site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
Mark and Scott have been together for twenty four years. They met at the Pacific Center, an LGBT center in Berkeley, California, in 1992. They dated for two weeks, and then Scott moved in with Mark, and the rest is history. They run their own business together, study Italian, and are almost never found apart.
Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple of short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie published his first novella in 2010, and has since published over twenty other novels and novellas.
After legally marrying in 2010, buying a house together, and getting a dog, Jamie and Erich have settled down to life in the country, surrounded by wild turkeys, deer, and the occasional coyote. A few years ago, Jamie was able to quit the tech support job that gave him insanely high blood pressure. He now writes full-time… and feels much better.
Michael Murphy met his husband Dan thirty-four years ago during a Sunday service at MCC in Washington, DC when a hot, smart man sat down beside him. Due to a shortage of hymnals they had to share. The touch of one hand on the other in that moment was electric. Sparks flew that day. Though neither had planned it, they spent the day together followed by the night. From that day, for more than three decades they’ve rarely been separated, each finding in the other their soul mate.
In the District of Columbia, where they lived, marriage became possible in early March 2010. The minute it happened they were in line to get a marriage license, only to be stumped because the license required the name of the person who was going to marry them. There was such a sudden rush of same sex couples wanting to get married that the office already had a two-month backlog before an appointment could be secured. Since they weren’t at all convinced that the Congress wasn’t going to step in and do something stupid to take away this right, they started calling everywhere to find someone who would marry them. It might be legal, but finding someone to marry them was proving to be a challenge.
When an article appeared in the newspaper telling of a small, local United Methodist Church that had decided to go against general church policy because marriage equality mattered deeply to them, a conversation started. After a series of emails and phone calls, suddenly they were seated with two retired UMC ministers who were willing to risk it all to do the right thing. A few days later, license in hand, surrounded by a handful of friends and their best dog, Shadow, they were finally legally married.
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|