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Protecting David by TA-TERRY


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Protecting David – Book One


by TA - Terry

Synopsis:
When it comes to protecting the ones you love, how far would you go? There are a lot of "Protecting ***" stories out there. This is the original, against whom all others are judged.

Book link (Read it here): https://castleroland.net/story-synop/?id=2507

Reader comments:
This is a THE story that stuck with me and eventually led me to try and write myself. I can only hope to write like this some day. Do yourself a favor and read this story. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get mad, you'll feel happy. And above all - you'll want more! 

I have loved this story for a long time and its one of those that I can go back to the beginning and reread over and over again.


Extract:
David started to wiggle and pull my hand out of his shorts. “No fucking! Fucking is exertion! I promised Dr.Kramer that you’d rest.”

“Okay, David, I promise to be good. Tell me about tomorrow.”

David lay down on my left side, our heads almost touching. He picked up my hand while he talked and played with my fingers. “Well, Frank and Marcy and Mike and Elizabeth are coming in Frank’s car and the boys will be driving Mike’s car. Should be here about two o’clock. I figure the boys will be able to use the pool while us ‘old’ folks sit around and talk. I told Frank to tell them to bring their suits. I figure that while they’re in the pool they can fool around a bit.”

“How do you figure they’re gonna manage that without everyone seeing them?”
David laughed.


Review by Adam.

Virgin buff ex-marine meets emerald eyed gorgeous guy and it's love at first sight. An adopted silver blond tot and a multi-million dollar company follow. 

Without shooting the plot to bits, I think I can reveal that Protecting David, at least at first glance, follows the all too familiar formula which is regrettably becoming one of an ever diminishing clutch being re-honed, re-tweaked, or re-burnished  to try to squeeze one more drop of a fresh twist of a new story out of a far too hackneyed plot. 

But, Protecting David isn't one of these!

It is saved from this Armageddon by good writing, something lacking in most of those trying to emulate this story of Mark, David and little Alex as they wend their ways through Mid-western life, California industry, Beltway politics, and a little bit of German travel for the sake of - well I'm not sure what.

The story is terribly American. The innocence of it would be impossible of anything written by a European or an Aussie or a Canuk. But that makes it so cute. It is like an adult, gay nursery story. Nothing big goes terribly wrong that can't be put right easily. The tale is a pleasant, placebo for all the nasty, hurtful, gay attack and hate stories which have been the stock in trade of authors these past years. 

Protecting David is the salve on the wound of so many stories telling of how badly gays have suffered. Here Mark and David prosper and nothing really bad happens. 

David is a business genius with the ability, and contacts, to manipulate small change into rows of zeros after a significant integer. He also ....but I can't tell you that. I can't tell you that either! Just don't take David at face value - or any other part of his body for that matter.

Mark, on the other hand is easier to deal with. He's just in looooove! With David, of course. But also with armaments. I told you this was a very American story, didn't I? His new love is Alex. How he arrives is a plot twist I shan't divulge. It's the only implausible twist in the book, unless US law on adoptions is drastically different from those elsewhere. But who cares? It's a great story. And it's loads more likely than many I've read.

Alex is a keen four year old I felt didn't grow enough and needs more depth. Whereas other characters, like curmudgeonly, yet loveable and down-the-line loyal general Frank are fuller figures. I got to know the inner Beltway crowd a bit in the 90s when my oldest was at St Albans and here the author has really nailed to a tee some of the atmosphere of the circuit and the individuals one met. 

If I have a problem with this story it is one from the position of non-gays reading it. You may say, "So what, it's a gay story. It's no business of straight people what we write!" Which presumes that gays never read straight authors! No, I constantly am confronted with the attitude that gay men (and I'm not discussing hormone charged teens here) are constantly focussed on sex. This story, where David and Mark constantly "fuck" (but never make love, I noticed) only reinforce this stereotype that gays are "just like fucking rabbits!"

Having said all that, I finished the story feeling it was knowledgeable about what it wrote. It developed it's pace and characters well, though I feel I didn't really get to know Alex enough, and it was credible. What is more, for those who are more into this "romantic" story genre than I am it will undoubtedly leave a big question unanswered. 

When is the next installment?

 

Review by Mark.

I read this story some years ago and if I had written this review back then, it would be somewhat different than the one I am writing now. Not to say I would write a completely different review but over the years, as I have read many gay stories and romances, I have broadened my horizons, as most of us do over time. 

Mark and David are the main characters and during the story you meet their friends and son and all the various characters who serve to populate their world. Join them as they move locations, build corporate empires, have medical emergencies, serve as role models, be exemplary parents, and still remain very much in love. This is the first book in a series about the two men and their family and the entire series covers decades in time. I enjoyed reading the whole series as the younger generation takes over from the older, providing a continuity that is refreshing as you know all the characters and their past. 

The writing is crisp, the dialogue sparkles and the story is well written. You come to care about Mark and David and relish the love they have for each other as they face their challenges head on. The characters are real and have real emotions, which help you relate to them. When Mark wants to throttle a homophobic man causing trouble, you can understand the passion behind it. Overall, the story is very romantic and the love between the two characters is real and evident. That love is why I read these stories. It helps make the world a better place. 

I did have several issues with the story, especially after re-reading it and admittedly they are purely my opinion. As much as I believe there is love at first sight in the world, the way the story started was a stretch for me. A tiny part of my brain was thinking, ‘Really?’ when reading the beginning. And as much as I like a good sex scene, I felt the author went a bit overboard on the sex in the beginning. A good sex scene should help the story evolve, not be a reason the story exists, as it felt during the first few chapters. However, they were well written and you could not help but feel the passion wash over you. Finally, a lot of stories are divided between characters with money and those not so fortunate. As a piece of escapist romance, I can understand the pleasure of reading a story about people who have money. However, I think at times a story can be enhanced when characters face life without a well padded bank balance. 

I do recommend the story - heck, the entire series - to people looking for a story about two people who deeply love each other and show the world what that love can mean to their friends and family, down through the years and generations. It is a feel good story and if it helps a person cope with today’s world, all the better. 

 

 

INTERVIEW

by Adam

 

If you have read my stories on The Castle, you will know that I tend to write for younger readers than you do. Consequently, in preparing my questions I thought it wise to ask two gay friends from different cultures to read your story and see if the questions they sought to pose you were similar or the same as those I had devised. One friend was a middle aged Spaniard from Bilbao and the other an university senior studying in Massachusetts, but originally from Virginia. I am a fourth generation white East African. So we are a pretty cosmopolitan trio.

It would have been better if the "interview" was structured so that I could ask follow-up questions to replies to earlier ones, but this email method of posing queries is not conducive to that. So we'll do the best we can, eh?

So, Terry, here goes:

Your story of David, Mark and their adoptive son Alex could so easily have fallen into the trap of becoming formulaic, and thus a big yawn.

You're right about the trap of writing this type of story, and friends who are writers too, have warned against it.  But I never intended the story to be one thing or another.  I created the characters and let them write the story.  Readers have often asked me what was coming next and I usually say that it's up to the characters.  It's like I'm watching television and writing down what they do.

In addition to that, I think I'm kinda writing and creating characters that I've missed in my own life.  It's like psychotherapy.

 

Obviously, you must have been aware of there being scores of these "rich man adopts kid and everyone lives happily ever after" stories out there. What did you do at the outset to set your story apart from the herd?

I didn't do anything.  Mainly because I wasn't aware of those stories, although because of what I already said it wouldn't have made any difference.


Were there times in writing when you pulled yourself up and said, "Oops! I'm dangerously close to becoming a slave to the norm here. I have to introduce a new twist to maintain my uniqueness."?

Never.  I never gave that any thought.


Many writers introduce into early stories some elements of autobiography. Without being too personal, are there incidents in this story which draw on events in your own life experience?

Yes, there are scenes that come from my life, more so in The Good Doctor series, but also in Protecting David.


You've tended to downplay tensions between David and Mark in the story. In fact, throughout it is a feel-good tale, with barely a bump on the road of life. Was this written as an antidote to all the grim tales of darkness surrounding gay life which has been written over the past 20 to 30 years, a balm to sooth the pain of the hurt of the dark years of the late 20th Century?

No, it's just how I thought the characters would live there lives.


One of the criticisms straight, or at least non-gay people often make when in ignorance speaking of gay men is all are sex crazy and focussed on sex beyond anything else. While I recognise that this is a story, and thus maybe partly designed to titillate, isn't there some justification in the argument that the constant focus on "fucking" in this story, rarely referred to as love making incidentally, simply perpetuates this false perception of gays as human rabbits?

Absolutely!  There was a lot of sex in the early chapters, but readers told me they just skipped over that part, so, I thought, "Why put that in?"


You have obviously enjoyed writing this story. It is a credible representation of inside-the-Beltway life, as I experienced in the 90s. With this knowledge and your skills as a writer, together with a story obviously left only party told, what are your plans for Mark, David and Alex? It would be a shame to put those Tuscan olives to waste!

Oh, those olives won't go to waste.  Christopher has big plans for them.


Finally, my European colleague asks me to inquire whether you ever wonder why characters in stories based in the US, such as yours, invariably show themselves to be far more unaware both of their own sexuality and of how to relate to others at even early teen years?

I love this question because it highlights just how crazy we are as a country.  We are the most insanely religious country on the planet and a country that ends up producing people who are very well educated, and other people who are as dumb as a box of rocks.  When I was growing no one mentioned sex, ever.  When I was in the Navy I was stationed in Iceland for two years and there were light years of difference.  I worked with a guy who was having an affair with a woman in a town near that base and it drove him crazy that they'd be having sex and her kids would sometimes look in and watch them.  When he complained about it she said, "How else are they to learn about sex?"  Anyway, it always seems like European countries do a better job of getting a certain basic level of education into everyone.


Thanks, and feel free to add a comment, particularly about your future writing projects, perhaps why you began writing in the first place. And, please, object openly and vociferously here if you think any of the questioning has been unfair or irrelevant.

Thanks again.

Adam
 
 
 

Extra

 

Protecting David is book one of a series. If you enjoyed this book you can follow the series on the CRVboy site (list of stories and link below).

Protecting David I (complete)
Protecting David II : Growing Up (complete)  http://www.crvboy.org/stories/ta/s003/c01.html
Protecting David III : Alex’s Story (complete)
Protecting David IV: Finding Christopher (complete)
Protecting David V : The Brothers (complete)
Protecting David VI : Christopher Grows Up (in progress)

The Good Doctor (in progress)
Lost and Found (in progress)

All these stories are on CRVboy, under the name Audette T – http://www.crvboy.org/authors.html

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