I received some exciting news last month which I want to share with all of you!
The International Book Awards announced the winners and the finalists of the 2019 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA) on May 11, 2019. My novel, Diego’s Secret, is an Award-Winning Finalist in the LGTBQ Fiction category!
This news was especially gratifying to receive, as I never felt this book gained the attention that it so deserved. When I wrote the book, my intent was to reveal a love story between two opposites—extreme opposites, in this case.
Winston is a conservative wealthy white man and Diego is an undocumented Hispanic man born in Mexico. These two wonderful characters couldn’t be more opposite from one another. Like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, separately, they each have a purpose and together, they blend into something really wonderful.
After releasing the book, some accused me of having an agenda by writing it. They were absolutely right, I did. In all of my books I have wanted my characters to have to overcome some type of moral dilemma in their pursuit of love. I also want my readers to read something that is magical and yet, authentic. My hope is that each one of my books gives you a moment of pause, not for sympathy, but for empathy.
I was never attempting to change someone’s view on illegal immigration, but, rather, to show the reader this character’s personal story. I wanted people to experience the ‘feelings’ of the character, and his experience, like I do for the characters in all my books. Sadly, some didn’t want to feel it. Maybe Diego’s scenario is just too current for them.
We, as a nation, are polarized in some of our views and thoughts. Unfortunately, immigration is one of those polarizing points of view. Changing this is beyond my paygrade, but I can certainly take part in the conversation.
Just recently, I had someone leave me the following review: “B T Clark is one of today’s brightest and significant writers of gay genre novels. Taking taboo subjects and weaving words into some of the most beautiful novels of this generation.”
This review is exactly why I write the books that I write. I want to immerse you, the reader, into a story in which you can not only feel the pain as it is unfolding on the page, but also, experience the triumph of love winning out. In my latest release, Escaping Camp Roosevelt, I take on the issues of homelessness, sex work, addiction, and mental illness. These are dark issues—but real issues, woven into forgiveness, hope, and triumph.
Writing romance is beautiful. It allows the reader to see the dance that two people do when getting to know one another; including the butterflies they feel in their bellies with just the thought of the other person, as well as their fears of rejection and distorted thinking. We all have baggage. Life is rough, but isn’t it grand when love prevails!
A big thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read and appreciate Diego’s Secret. I can’t be more ecstatic over its latest recognition. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, now there is one more reason to read it.