Category Archives: General

Getting mired in religious argument again

It’s amazing how quickly my novel By That Sin Fell the Angels has started pushing my buttons again.  It really isn’t easy writing from the perspective of a character that would like to see me — the author — imprisoned or institutionalized to keep me from “corrupting” young people (by telling them it’s okay to be gay).  I’m rapidly approaching the end of the novel.  Just two more sections from the minister’s perspective, until I get to the final confrontation between him and the teacher.

He needs to realize that his position is too narrow; that he’s holding up an impossible standard for young people to achieve and it’s hurting those he cares about and wants to protect.   But how to get him to come around? 

I’m the writer.  I can do anything I want, theoretically.  But if it isn’t believable, I’ll lose the reader.  And I’ve seen that done so often.  Especially in movies and television where, frankly, the big studios never seem to put much thought into what they’re pumping out, still people are trying to figure out which country has the most titles on netflix to watch this movies.  Over and over again, I’ve seen good stories ruined by a sudden, implausible change of attitude in the antagonist — triggered by something that would almost never cause a person to change their attitude in real life.  A cute little child saying something unintentionally astute (with an “adorable” lisp).  A diary entry revealing something the character never knew about someone he loved and/or admired.  (Actually, I have to confess that I’m using that one — god help me.  I’m just trying to make it not the entire reason for the transformation.)  Santa giving him the toy he always wanted for Christmas, when he was a kid.  (A recent Hallmark movie turned this into a joke by having the villain respond, “I always wanted that…when I was five.  Get real!”)

The story’s theme is that love often trumps belief — that most people, when confronted by someone they love who doesn’t fit the belief system they adhere to, will adjust their beliefs to accomodate that person.  Conservative parents will learn to accept their hippie children.  A strict religious father will learn to cope with his gay son.  And a staunch liberal will learn to adjust to his conservative spouse.  Not always.  Not often enough.  But often.  And in this story, that’s what’s going to happen.  I simply don’t want to take a shortcut and make Isaac’s revelation come to him easily.  I also don’t want him to do a complete about-face and start advocating for gay rights.  But there has to be a way to bring him around, so that he can at least learn to cope with gay men and women.

And that also has to involve a certain amount of biblical argument.  He’s built an armor around himself of biblical passages.  And ultimately it will have to be these same passages that show him the chink in that armor.  And any readers who are interested in a story about a Christian boy struggling with his sexuality probably know all the more common arguments and counter-arguments.  There are some that show a little promise, but I haven’t found anything that would persuade a character like Isaac yet. 

Which means I have a lot more digging to do.

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Filed under General, Young Adult

“Naughty or Nice” Advent Anthology

I would like to encourage everyone to purchase the Advent Anthology “Naughty or Nice” from Dreamspinner Press!  Well, maybe not everybody — it’s gay holiday romance with a highly erotic element, so if you’re under 18 or that’s just not your thing, it’s probably not for you.  But for everybody else…

Naughty or Nice

It’s $39.99 if you purchase it during the month of October, but it goes up to $49.99 in November and $64.99 on December 1st. That’s for 31 stories delivered to your inbox, one a day, for all of December. If you were to purchase each story separately, the total would come up to about $90.

At any rate, it contains my short story “The Meaning of Vengeance,” so it’s got to be great!

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Filed under Christmas, General, Viking

My author’s bio page is now up at Dreamspinner!

Dreamspinner Press has put my author’s biography up on their site now, and the Advent Calendar anthology that contains my Viking short story is listed underneath it:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_356

If you click on the anthology, then expand the “Excerpt” section underneath that, you’ll see my short story “The Meaning of Vengeance” listed among all the other stories, along with a brief description.

I admit to checking their site daily for this to show up.  It hasn’t been long since I gave them my bio — just over a week — but I’ve been going nuts waiting for it to appear.  Now I can finally point to a website and say, “Look!  I’m published!”

Well, almost.  You can place an order for the anthology (please!), but it won’t start arriving in your inbox until December 1st.  Then throughout the month, you’ll receive a new story every day!

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Filed under Christmas, General, Viking

Hello world!

I thought about changing the name of this first post to be something more original, but as a computer geek, I appreciate the “ancient” tradition of your first program in a new computer language being something that just prints the words “Hello, world!” on the computer screen.  So I’ll leave it as it is.

My name is Jamie Fessenden, and I’m a gay man living in southern New Hampshire who writes fiction with gay central characters.  I’ve just signed my first publishing contracts, so, as of December this year (2010), I will be able to officially call myself an author.  I’ve been doing it for a while, of course, but without anything actually published, there was always that nagging voice in the back of my head, adding the caveat, “Well, sort of…”

Dreamspinner Press  will be publishing my short story “The Meaning of Vengeance,” about two men in Viking Age Iceland who, as the sole survivors of a fifteen-year blood feud, chose to put the feud behind them and end up falling in love.  Dreamspinner will also be publishing my long novella, “The Christmas Wager,” a Christmas story that takes place in Victorian England.  I’m incredibly excited to be working with Dreamspinner and hope to publish many more stories with them, in the future.

Since “gay marriage” (I prefer the term “marriage equality”) is now legal in the state of New Hampshire, my fiance and I are going to be married in a Victorian-themed wedding this November, after having been together for nine years.  We’ve already bought a wonderful house together on nearly eight acres of land and adopted a lovable oaf of a black lab, so my life is pretty fantastic, right now. 

I’m a moderately prolific writer of gay fiction, so I intend to use this blog to talk about stories I’m working on and hopefully promote stories that get published.  I have a few young adult novels that are in various stages of completion.  I’ll be shopping those around soon, though at the moment, I’m at a loss as to where to send them.  And in November I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo again, knocking out the adult murder mystery I’ve been outlining.

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Filed under Christmas, General