Tag Archives: Susan Roebuck

I didn’t set out to write gay fiction

It’s Sue back again.

I’m the complicated one of the three because I didn’t set out to write an M/M, it just…kind of… happened.

Can I put a blurb in about my novel? It may help when I explain what happened.

“Perfect Score” is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

The two main characters are Alex and Sam. Alex, who lives with a wealthy uncle, is a blend of musical genius, stubbornness and firmly believes in his fantasy that his love for Sam is reciprocated. Sam has more direction in his little finger than Alex has in his whole body.

He’s strong, yet of small stature and has developed a tough outer-coating after the knocks of a traumatic up-bringing which left him homeless. His one aim in life is to earn enough money to look after his disabled sister. He has no time for a spoiled, rich, guitar player. Sam also stutters and has what is probably a severe form of dyslexia.

When Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearsome enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death?

When I set out to write the novel, I knew I wanted dyslexia and the homeless as my main themes. I also wanted to set the novel in the late 1960s because both situations were largely ignored or misinterpreted at that time.

Originally Sam (ahem) was a girl. But the more I delved into dyslexia and being homeless, the more I realized a girl, at that time, would never have survived such an awful upbringing and cruelty because of her dyslexia. I was stuck – the storyline wasn’t going where I wanted and I couldn’t figure out why. Until one of those skull-breaking flash-of-brilliance moments (few and far between, unfortunately) hit me square between the eyes.

That’s how  Sam became a man – a quick sex change that didn’t hurt him one little bit.

An added little something here (not so little, says Sam), extra stuff stuck on there  and my writer’s block was cured. Fact is, I reckon it was Alex and Sam who wrote “Perfect Score” in the end, not me.

Has this ever happened to anyone else?

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