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14 November 2006 @ 02:19 am
Interesting blog discussion about Phyllida  
There's a very interesting discussion about Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander on the blog Riding With the Top Down, a group of professional women writers and publishers. Naturally, I'm honored by the attention.

Here's the link:
http://ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com/2006/11/alternative-romance.html

I've noticed that many readers naturally assume that: 1) My heroine should be shocked, outraged and disgusted at being asked to marry a man who openly and honestly admits to being bisexual (or gay, as he sees himself then); and 2) Since same-sex activity between men was a capital offense, shouldn't all the gay male characters be cowering, timid little worms instead of the rather forceful and masculine gay blades I wrote them as?

If you're interested, you can click here for the answers

1) Just because the zeitgeist is whatever it is, doesn't mean that every individual feels the same way. There will always be some people more accepting of what is taboo to the majority. I imagined a heroine who, like me, likes--no, adores--seeing men together (and thinking about it, etc.) There's no reason to suppose such women didn't exist two hundred years ago, and in fact there's quite a bit of evidence that they did. Part of the fun of writing a romance is imagining the two people who make up the perfect couple finding each other, often through luck, without knowing at first how right they are for each other. Phyllida, my heroine, only discovers how enjoyable being married to a "gay" husband is after the fact.

2) OK, yes, I made my male characters a little more open about their sexuality, and braver, than the strictest realism might suggest. Part of what I was doing, as Harriet Klausner noted in her review on Amazon.com, was satirizing the hypocrisy of society, then and now. Most of these characters are wealthy and upper class. They've grown up not apologizing to anybody for anything. My guys aren't out doing it in public; they have their fun in their club and mix with straight society the rest of the time. So long as they don't "frighten the horses," or create some great scandal, the rest of society will leave them alone. Like now, most of the instances in which the anti-sodomy laws were enforced involved some ulterior motive, personal or political.
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