Novice Spoiler Questions and Answers

Why did you make Dannyl gay?

I knew Dannyl was gay from the start. I’ve known gay men, so I guess it would have seemed an unbalanced world if all the characters had been ‘straight’. I hadn’t planned to make it a part of the plot, however. (There’s a lot about each character that doesn’t get used).

When I was asked to make The Novice bigger I couldn’t add more conflict to Sonea’s story. I needed a subplot, preferably one that took the reader to other countries. Dannyl had little to do, so I made him an Ambassador and had him retrace Akkarin’s journey. Descriptions of travelling can get really boring, however, and the best way to up the tension and interest is to add a romance.

Which meant a gay romance. Some people expect that, if you’re going to include a relationship like that in a story there’s got to be some kind of point driven home. Why can’t characters just happen to be gay? If I had a point to make, it was only that I shouldn’t have to have a point to make!

I did ask my agent and other authors for their opinion. I knew it might put some readers off, but on the other hand, it might broaden the audience as well. My main concern was that I would not portray these characters convincingly. So far, I’ve had only a few negative responses and many, many positive ones.