Debut Novelist Dawn Tate

1. What was the first Romance novel that you read? Did you love it or hate it? I truly don’t remember the name of my first romance novel – though there was a stash of old ‘Sue Barton, Nurse’ romance novels in the attic I’m sure I scavenged through. However I distinctly remember when I was ten, my Aunt Pauline brought over a brown grocery bag filled with True Secrets, True Romance and True Confessions magazines. They were for my mom and grandma, but I would sneak into them every couple a weeks and devour what I pilfered up in the hayloft.

2. What was the first M/M Romance novel that you read? “Without Reservations’ by J L Langly. It was followed by ‘The Bay City Paranormal Investigation – Oleander House” by Alley Blue and a slew of books by Andrew Grey. To this day, they remain some of my favorite authors and I have every book written by them.

3. What was the first story you ever wrote about? In fifth grade (1975), I was infatuated with the Ellery Queen television series. I wrote a gay mystery romance with Ellery Queen as the hero – in pencil, bound by red yarn on loose-leaf notebook paper. The story itself was more mystery than anything… I think the romance amounted to the guys holding hands, kissing and ‘just sleeping’ in the same bed in their underwear. Pretty hot for an eleven year old!

However, my teacher, Mrs. Vanderveer, confiscated and read the story and she was practically foaming at the mouth. She threw it in the trash and sent me to the principal’s office. Mr. Brooks called my mother. Mom had a fit that I was in trouble for exercising my creativity and chewed both the principal and my teacher out something terrible UNTIL she found out the story had men kissing each other. She still stuck up for my rights, but when I got home I was grounded from writing for a couple of weeks. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. A few months later, I fell in love with reruns of Star Trek and by the time I was in sixth grade, had two stories under my belt on the undying love between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock! LOL

4. When did you first realize you wanted to write fiction? When I was in 3rd grade. I remember reading a story and thinking “If I was a writer, I would change this ending and make it a better book.” I think I’ve said that a hundred times since. LOL.

5. Who was the first person to encourage your writing? Growing up, I would have to say all the students in my elementary classes (they made great beta readers to feed my ego), then eventually everyone at Hillman Community Schools supported my dream. In fact, my senior year, I was voted in the 1983 year book as ‘The one best in telling stories.’

I would like to take the time and acknowledge two high school English teachers who made a big difference in my life, Mr. Gordon Phiffer and Miss Carrie Beard. Though very private people, it was ‘assumed’ they were homosexual – and they never said anything to argue otherwise. During this time in our small, northern farming community, the gay lifestyle was something people didn’t talk about in polite company. Everyone knew about it, but they didn’t acknowledge it in public. Those who were vocal either supported with hushed tones or vehemently spat at the issue with fire and brimstone.

Mr. Phiffer, Miss Beard, and a handful of other semi-closeted gays in Hillman influenced me and thereby my writing by showing their love and life was no different from anyone else. It helped me come to accept my own diversity and I can never thank them enough.

Thank you so much for sharing your blog time with me!

Hometown Secrets

Blurb = An old secret. A new secret. A surprising secret. A dirty secret.

Coming to terms with his sexuality, Pete Stubbs has found his ‘Mr. Wonderful’ and wants to celebrate his happiness by coming out. Yet admitting he is gay to his family is taking more courage than he originally thought, especially when his mother stuns him with her unexpected homophobic hatred. He starts to wonder if his coming out will be more selfish than freeing.

Out and proud Asher Gilford is tired of always being the ‘throw away boy’. He deserves to be loved by a man who’s not ashamed to be with him. Though his current lover reassures him it’s only that ‘more time is needed’ before they can go public, Asher fears he’s becoming someone’s ‘dirty little secret’ yet again.

When a church sponsors Pete and Asher for a charity event, it explodes a series of startling secrets within their hometown. As Pete watches life crumble around him, he realizes that by remaining in the closet, he could lose more than his family. If he doesn’t step up, he could lose Asher.



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