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CONVENTIONS OF SPYING > What if-A lead protagonist turned out be gay. Would you still want to read it ? /

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message 1: by Barry (new)

Barry Sierer | 15 comments Would this idea turn away a lot of readers ?


message 2: by Samuel , Director (last edited Feb 18, 2014 11:12PM) (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Maybe for some but not for others. Barry Eisler of John Rain fame already has Daniel Larison, a rouge ISA officer who can dish out death with the best of them.

For me, it depends on how the author treats that characters sexuality (whether he devolves into stereotypes, how well he develops the character and what his or her target audience is.
The Lost Coast -- A Larison Short Story by Barry Eisler


message 3: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Donoghue | 26 comments Nope. Simple, nope.


message 4: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 167 comments I would not mind, as long as the sex part does not become prominent and that the action and suspense stays good. One example I can think about a protagonist turning (pretending to) gay is in the movie THE JACKAL. The hitman did not hesitate to act like an homosexual and drag a guy at a bar, so that he could gain a safehouse for a while. I also remember a part from the comedy musical VICTOR, VICTORIA, when a gay artist is told about a gangster being ostracized because he is reputed to be gay. His reply was: great, you can kill them, but you must not love them!


message 5: by Gideon (new)

Gideon Asche (gideonasche) | 7 comments not an issue at all...


message 6: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (ameliabaldwin) | 26 comments I don't see why it would be an issue. It's a thriller, right, not a romance novel...


message 7: by Samuel , Director (last edited Feb 15, 2015 03:26PM) (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Amelia wrote: "I don't see why it would be an issue. It's a thriller, right, not a romance novel..."

Excellent point. :)


message 8: by Gideon (last edited Feb 15, 2015 03:28PM) (new)

Gideon Asche (gideonasche) | 7 comments I'm going to take a little liberty here and share a story that I think is relevant.

You see I had an experience with a gay man once.

It was traumatic and is still one of the nightmares my wife has to talk me home from once or twice a year.

You see we were on patrol one day and we came on this open area on the side of a hill, it would take hours to go around it so we decided to just go on through open area.

I went first to look for a good route through the rough terrain. I was about 2/3 the way across maybe 30 yards from the trees on the other side when I felt, then heard the distinct WHOOMP WHOOMP WHOOMP of some asshole chucking mortar rounds out.

I knew the odds were real good I was his ”Rangefinder” so I kissed mother earth and tried to get as low as possible.

Now we had this Gay guy named Travis with us, he was one of those guys always around tagging along bossing everyone around, bandaging wounds; saving people’s lives and stuff like that.

Before the dust and rocks had stopped falling from the third explosion; Travis covered the 70 yards between he and I under heavy enemy fire and dragged my dazed ass behind a big rock,

as soon as he was sure I was just concussed and not hit, he left me where I was and stepped back out into a storm of steel and fire and recovered one of the locals who was down, he was just kind of an asshole like that; somehow he always though it was his responsibility to make sure we all came out alive.

and ya know the funny part?

It never once crossed my mind,

nope not even once…

to ask Travis if he was gay?

I was just damn glad I was on his team and he called ME brother.

Travis was killed in combat.

He was administering medical aid to one of his men, under enemy fire in a place that no one will ever admit he was. There will never be any public acknowledgement of his heroics.

I am proud to say I loved this GAY man as my brother. He proved he was worthy on many occasions.

I miss him.

He was a better man than I.

Fratribus Sine Pari.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13


message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 3 comments Wow, you are meant to tell that "story". Thank you for that.

There is so much more to all of us than just one thing, like being Jewish or gay or white or black or a woman or a man. None of these things define us. Our protagonists we enjoy to read about can be any one or several of these and it doesn't matter to the story. They need to be smart and normally are physically fit. Well then there is Lincoln Rhyme.


message 10: by Gideon (new)

Gideon Asche (gideonasche) | 7 comments Dawn wrote: "Wow, you are meant to tell that "story". Thank you for that.

There is so much more to all of us than just one thing, like being Jewish or gay or white or black or a woman or a man. None of the..."


the rest of my story is here...

Jinnik
Jinnik by Gideon D. Asche


message 11: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments OMG, these questions are like you have been reading my soon to be relaesd Golden Angel. My protagonist for several reasons questions her sexuality. It's not a huge part of the book but it's certainly a huge part of her. You'll have to read it to see how it plays out.

Would I have a problem if Mich Rapp was Gay? Yes I would. It's the ICK factor of a straight man. Would I have a problem if an equivalent woman was gay? Honestly there would be no ick factor and It could be erotic, (I know, I'm a pig) That being said, In the fantasy world that plays out in my mind while I read it makes her unattainable to me and could be a barrier to attaching myself emotionally to the Character.

So yes, it would matter.


message 12: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments Gideon wrote: "I'm going to take a little liberty here and share a story that I think is relevant.

You see I had an experience with a gay man once.

It was traumatic and is still one of the nightmares my wife ..."


As I read upthread, that sir is a very touching story. I too have no qualms with anyone. My first Skydiving instructor was gay, he and his boyfriend spent hours in the air and on the ground making me a both accomplished and safe sky diver. A gay woman taught my instructors class and she signed off on my Demo rating. I was the guy at the airshow bringing in the American flag during the national anthem. She taught me how to do that. It's really dangerous, more dangerous than it looks. These people I too adore.

However, we are talking about books. Books you may want to sell. I really believe in a market this competitive, it would make it that much more difficult to feature a gay protagonist. When people disappear into fantasy worlds, they like to "Be There" at least I do. While they are there they like to identify with people who are like them. My first Novel's reviews are chocked full of people making comments like, "I knew that Girl" "I was that girl." "I experienced that." "How do you write teenage girls so well?" (I have two of them) Only + or - 5% of the country is gay. If you can pull it off, more power to you. I just don't see it being wildly successful.


message 13: by Gopal (new)

Gopal (gopaliyer) | 24 comments Nope. No problems at all if the protagonist or the antagonist is gay. In a thriller novel, romance is not on the cards. As long as the author does not linger in the realm of sex and make things uncomfortable, I don't have a problem with the lead character being gay.

It just does not matter.


message 14: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 3 comments Gideon wrote: "Dawn wrote: "Wow, you are meant to tell that "story". Thank you for that.

There is so much more to all of us than just one thing, like being Jewish or gay or white or black or a woman or a man...."


Gideon wrote: "Dawn wrote: "Wow, you are meant to tell that "story".
Thank you for that.

There is so much more to all of us than just one thing, like being Jewish or gay or white or black or a woman or a man...."


Just picked up a copy of Jinnik! Thanks


message 15: by Ed (new)

Ed (oct1647) | 4 comments I've read a number of mystery/thrillers with gay protagonists and found most of them be more complex,layered and interesting characters. Their sexual preferences never slowed the pace of the plot development, in my view.


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