Fictional protagonists that is. It’s something I’ve wondered about. Could I live with the four, gay, polyamorous men who comprise my County Durham Quad? I like them all, but would I want to share my life with them? Take Raith, for instance. Artist, ceramicist, and extremely high-maintenance. (Not financially. Mentally and emotionally.) He’d wear me out. Here’s Nick (who isn’t one of the four) expressing echoes of my own thoughts regarding Raith’s relationship with the rest of the quad:
No wonder it takes three of them. They can pass him to the next one when they’ve had enough. He pictured a conveyor belt, Raith travelling along it. Lifted off at appropriate times. Redeposited a little later. Then he felt ashamed of himself: it was an unkind thought.
Unkind, maybe, but understandable. Raith’s lovely, but he’s such hard work!
So, what about Raith’s husband, Phil? Colorectal surgeon. Conscientious, caring, careful. Maybe too careful for me, which isn’t to say that he’s boring; he isn’t, and he has a sense of humour (tho’ I’d have to dig deep to find it). He lives life in a bubble, though. His work and the quad. Nothing else really matters. Phil would always be there when I needed him – he’s very reliable, the antithesis of Raith – but I might want to shake him at times, screaming “Let your fucking hair down!” Phil’s lovely, too, but he’s a bit too ‘safe’ for me.
Mike, on the other hand – biker and ex-cop – is anything but safe. If Phil is a list of ‘C’s, then Mike is a list of ‘A’s – apparently. He’s the action-man. Aggressive. Adventurous. Assertive. In some ways, I really admire him, but I think that I’d find his attributes almost as hard to live with as I’d find Phil’s quiet safety especially as, beneath the genuine toughness, Mike is the most anguished, agonised man in the books. Mike is so intense. He’d sacrifice himself for love – and drag everyone else down with him. In his own way, he’s as much a liability as Raith is. As much anti-hero as real hero. So, no. I couldn’t live with Mike. I am hard to please! Would Ross, Mike’s civil partner, do instead? (In England, there are options: marriage or a civil partnership.)
Ross is bright and lively and clever and friendly. He’s at ease with himself and his lifestyle. He’s very… nice, I suppose. He did a really crass, stupid thing when he was younger, though, and that would worry me. Yes, lots of us do things that, with hindsight, we regret, but it adds a question mark to Ross’s… not reliability exactly. More his scruples. I think that Ross could still act underhandedly if he felt he had to so, no, not Ross either. Oh dear! I love them all as book characters. Their differences mean that they are individuals within a four: they think and act differently; they speak differently. I have fun (and tears) writing about their adventures, but, no, they might love living with each other, but I wouldn’t love to live with any one of them.
If you’d like to read about the quad and see if you’d feel more like having them around the house than I would, their latest story, Body Parts And Mind Games, is available as both an e-book and a paperback. The e-book is free on Amazon from 16th to 20th January (2020) inclusive (midnight to midnight Western Pacific time) tho’ it’s always free on Unlimited. If you’ve already seen refs to it, that’s probably because of the great work done by Lily at Gay Book Promotions, and by Dani and the crew at Love Bytes Reviews. Buy links and links to their sites below. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a very very happy 2020!
All four County Durham Quad books are available via my Amazon Author Page at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07PDGWWPG . The first three are also available through Rowanvale Books at http://www.rowanvalebooks.com.
Gay Book Promotions https://gaybookpromotions.wordpress.com