I have lived in a very different environment than the majority of people. I was sentenced to 99 years in prison for robbing a white female motel clerk when I was nineteen years old. In that kind of setting a person sees a lot of different situations. Homosexuality is very prevelant and often, even those who aren’t gay wind up being someone’s girlfriend either for the protection it affords them, or because sometimes they can’t handle being alone. Often people coming into prison are gay and proud of it. These are the ones who like telling stories about their lives on the outside, and they’re the ones I’ve taken story lines from.
Sex & Chocolate is a novella about an interracial couple, Jim & Steve, who have just gotten together. Jim’s ex, Alan, unexpectedly comes back into Jim’s life to tell him he has AIDS, and the story continues with how Jim copes with Alan’s news and how Steve supports his new lover through that period in his life.
Although I was surprised to read that homoerotic romance is a top seller among straight women, I didn’t write Sex & Chocolate solely for titillation purposes, although there is a lot of that in the story as well. I wanted to write something that also had meaning and maybe get someone, whether gay or not, to think about the consequences of their actions. Unprotected sex can kill you, and AIDS does not differentiate between gays and straights. Even though AIDS might be an extreme as far as some readers are concerned, unprotected sex can also cause unwanted pregnancy, syphillis, gonherreha, herpes, hepatitis, and various other STD’s. And if I can write an entertaining story that also carries a message, then I’ve succeeded in what I intended to do in the first place.
Although I am published and have a new release entitled Soul Searchers, coming soon, I am new at the writing game. The best advice I can give anyone is to keep trying and don’t give up no matter how many rejections you get. I read once that Stephen King had over 700 rejections before he was published for the first time! Now that’s perseverance!
Reese Johnson is the author of Sex and Chocolate. You can visit his website here.