Romance Lives Forever is in the hands of Cecilia Tan today, who will be talking about Passion in Prose and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, her labor of love…
Would you think I was crazy if I told you I’ve been writing
a book for thirty years? (THIRTY YEARS!) I suppose it might matter how long the
book is, right? Because I’ve been writing Daron’s Guitar Chronicles since I was
a teenager. It’s not exactly a “book,” partly because of how long it
is. It’s not a novel, but it is a story. That means it’s not a
“romance,” but it is a love story.
people’s idea of a romance is so strict. For one thing, people expect the love
interest in a romance to be introduced in the first chapter. That doesn’t
happen in Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. DGC is a story about a young guitar player
trying to make it in the 1980s. He’s got conflict with his father, an uphill
battle to success, and on top of that, he’s in the closet. Finding the love he
needs to survive is an even steeper road than the road to fame.
the book? Because Daron isn’t ready to meet him yet. Daron isn’t just in the
closet. He’s deeply afraid of what might happen if people find out he’s gay.
He’s been fed homophobic crap his entire life and even though if you called him
on it he’d say he didn’t believe it, deep down, somehow, he does. He doesn’t
believe himself deserving of love and thinks he’s a pervert for the way his
hormones take over sometimes and make him act on his lust and frustration.
another. But Daron is so weighed down by self-hate, by internalized homophobia,
that before he can learn to love someone else, he needs to learn to love
himself. Fortunately, he gathers people around him who love him without judging
him, though it takes time.
get over something as complicated and deep-rooted as internalized homophobia.
Which is why this story couldn’t be told in one, short novel. It needed to
start early in Daron’s life and move gradually through all the twists and turns
of him coming of age and figuring stuff out. It’s a love story and that means
all kinds of love, family, friends, lust, and also romantic love.
from publishing it for so long. Gay publishers wanted me to cut it down and
concentrate on the coming out. Romance publishers wanted me to cut it down and
concentrate on one main relationship. Literary publishers wanted me to cut down
the pop culture references.
everything that makes the story work, everything that made my friends who read
the early drafts call it “addictive.”
on the web as a serial. You can read it for free starting here: (http://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/1)
But there is one warning. It is addictive. Readers fall in love with Daron. But
eventually they catch up to the most recent chapter, and then they have to wait
for the next installment. Just like a TV show or a comic book, they have to
wait for the next episode. The story will eventually be finished, but for now
everyone is invited to fall in love with Daron the way I have and to come along
for the ride, which is still going through the ups and downs of his life.
Kickstarter right now to raise the money to make an actual print version, and
for those who read on Kindle or other e-reader, there are already three volumes
of ebooks available. You can get them most places ebooks are sold and also by
supporting the Kickstarter as a reward gift, and for a slightly higher
contribution, get the printed book, too. For all the details about helping fund
a printed version, visit the Kickstarter page here: http://kck.st/IlE7Bi
write about. I write about sex, I write about passion, I write about trying to
make the world a better place. I write IN ORDER to make the world a better
place, whether that’s through helping readers to understand how terrible
homophobia can be, or through helping them to escape tough issues in their own
lives by escaping into my character’s world for a while. I do it because I love
it, and I hope my readers love it right back.
Daron’s Guitar Chronicles interview
about the main character in your current book. What is he like?
he was raised to think being gay is something bad, and yet he’s very confident
in his worth as a human being because of his musical talent. That makes for a
somewhat neurotic package, but he tries not to take himself too seriously. He’s
funny in a deadpan sort of way, and he tries never to let his wounds show. In
that way, he’s the opposite of a drama queen.
character was here today, what would he say is his strongest point?
doesn’t question it, even when he is insecure about everything else in life.
and sexuality. It leaves him vulnerable.
to do the things he does? What makes him want to be the “good guy?”
father’s a two-bit con man, he is taken advantage of sexually by a roommate,
and in the music business it’s very hard to know who to trust. But he tries to
be better than all that. For a while he event thinks trying to be
“good” includes denying his own sexuality.
character’s favorite guilty pleasure?
very loud funk and R&B.
Personal Info: Daron
What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Nest” is already taken, right? Just kidding. If it was written by someone
who liked me they’d hopefully title it something more like “I Love Rock
and Roll.” If it was written by someone who didn’t like me, they’d try to
get cute, a tell-all book called “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or
something insinuating like that.
object, where would you most like to live?
is. I’m on the road a lot, so I’m not home as much as I might like. But when I
am, I really appreciate how laid back things are in Boston.
describe your life?
difficult to pick one. At any given time it’s probably the song I wrote most
recently. I just wrote one called “Infernal Medicine” which is about
how relationships can be poisonous. You need that person to heal you, you know?
But sometimes they’re the wrong one. The title came from a trip to the doctor I
took. The sign said “Internal Medicine” but I mis-read it. A whole
song came out of that.
what would people use you to do?
your favorite thing about school?
The only reason I didn’t get bullied worse was because I faded into the
woodwork so much. The only good thing was probably music class, but even that
was a chore sometimes. When I got to junior high, though, and started playing
the guitar at lunch on the warm days when we were allowed to eat outside, that
was my favorite thing for sure. I wouldn’t even bother to eat. I’d just sit on
a picnic table and play and that was how I went from being a band nerd who got
picked on to being “cool.” As long as I had a guitar in my hands, I
was cool. That’s still true today, I
warning label, what would it say?
to other people as they are to me. Or to one person in particular, anyway.
Please Fill in the Blanks (as Daron)
pop. I’m supposed to hate it, I’m supposed to be a snob about it, but people
don’t appreciate how great a good pop tune is.
About the Author
writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic
literature,” according to Susie Bright. In 1992 Tan founded Circlet Press,
a category-busting independent press that mixes science fiction/fantasy with
erotica, and which added an erotic romance line, Clasp Editions, in 2011. Tan
is the author of many books, including the romances Mind Games, The Hot Streak,
and the Magic University series. Her gay high fantasy
erotic romance THE PRINCE’S BOY is a current nominee for the Pauline Reage
Novel Award for BDSM-positive fiction.
stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s
Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame for LBT gwriters in 2010, was a recipient of the
Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2001, and
won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for crowdfunded fiction in 2010 for Daron’s
Guitar Chronicles. She lives in the Boston
area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.
Find Cecilia Here