Welcome to Prism Book Alliance! We are pleased to have the opportunity to get to know you and talk about your book, A Place to Call Their Own. Please tell us a bit about yourself …
I live in Kansas City, Missouri with my husband, Thomas, and our two cats. We are involved in our church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, I like to read and dabble in patio gardening. With inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, I started crafting my debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, he submitted it for publication and Musa Publishing offered me a contract in early 2013. Disappear With Me is mysecond novel. Prior to novels, I did some technical writing in his career. I plan to write sequels for both A Place to Call Their Own and Disappear with Me.
You’re a new M/M author – Congratulations on your first publication! What inspired you to write A Place to Call Their Own, a story about two gay men living in 1865 following the end of the American Civil War? What can you tell us about the book?
When we moved to Missouri from Colorado, we visited Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home in Mansfield, Missouri. We also toured the Pea Ridge National Military Park near Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Combine my love of history, my adoration of the Little House books, and a real Civil War Battlefield, and voila, Frank and Gregory’s story jumped out of my head onto the pages. A Place to Call Their Own is Frank Greerson and Gregory Young’s quest to settle the American Frontier and live their lives as a couple in the 1860s.
I enjoy that you opened the story with the quote by Laura Ingles Wilder about two bachelor men living together in a house built straddling the line between their two land claims. (I actually remember reading this when I was a young girl!) Your writing style is even a little reminiscent of Wilder’s in that you weaved a historical story that evolved over several years, and in which there are important supporting characters. How would you describe your writing style?
My writing style changes with the mood, tone, setting, and characters of each novel. A Place to Call Their Own is about a simpler time so the writing tone seem to be casual. Disappear With Me takes place in 1910 Southampton, England. The style is more formal to fit the times and seriousness of the subject.
I found the relationship between your characters and the American Indians to be one based on human decency rather than fear. How did you determine how you wanted this relationship to be reflected in your book? Did you do any special research?
It’s hard to write historical fiction and have it be authentic, especially when it comes to sensitive social issues. At one point, I changed all the references to “Indians” to “Native Americans” to balance this. Then, I read an article on making historical fiction authentic, so I changed all those references back. I wanted to balance the danger of American settlers so close to the Native Americans with a respect for their culture. I didn’t do any research, so I completely manufactured the relationship. It’s my hope that we look at that situation and strive to better as our society evolves.
I would say that Frank and Gregory’s relationship is almost gentle and quietly loving. They experience virtually no conflict within their relationship, and support each other through challenges. Did you model their relationship after one you have experienced or witnessed in your own life?
A Place to Call Their Own is what happens in the happily ever after. The development of their relationship takes place before this story. But they had their problems, they both bring up different issues and talk about the rigors of war and trying to maintain a discreet relationship. And yes, Frank and Gregory’s relationship is very much based on Thomas and I’s relationship. We have been together for nearly seven years and just get along very well. There’s very little conflict in our day to day lives.
Ok, I have to ask … there is very little physical intimacy between Frank and Gregory detailed in the story. Why?
When I set out to be an author, I wanted all my friends and family to be able to read and enjoy my novels, including my mom and dad. That’s why I chose to leave out many of the details of their physical relationship. I’m a bit of a prude, so adding those types of details is a bit out of my comfort zone. There’s a few more of these details in my second novel, Disappear With Me.
What are some authors/books you enjoy reading?
Sheila Roberts is one of my favorite romance authors today. Although she writes mainstream stuff, it’s not gushy romance and there’s other plot points going on. I strive to imitate her styles as much as I can. Plus, she’s a great mentor and friend.
Tell us something about yourself that almost no one knows.
I think there is very little I don’t share on Facebook and other social media. I’m pretty much an open book, pun intended.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
The Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. They put on a Gay Pride Parade and didn’t even know it!
What’s next for you as a writer? Do you have another story in the works?
I am working on a novel called The Higher Law. It’s the story of Frank and Gregory’s grandson, Robert Young, in the 1930s. I just finished the first draft and am working on revising it now.
Where can readers find out more about you on the web?
Take a look at my blog deanpacefrech.blogspot.com
Thank you for taking the time to stop by the Prism Book Alliance blog for our chat!
Thanks for having me and thanks for reading A Place to Call Their Own.
MUSA Publishing has graciously agreed to give 1 commenter an e book copy of “A Place to Call Their Own”, put the book for sale on the day the interview is published and enter any commenter for a $10 gift certificate!
Contest ends 28 Feb 2014 at 11:59 pm, must be 18 or older to win, void where prohibited, etc.
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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