A Broken Promise
(Loving Again Series, Book 3)
by Mel Gough
Ben and Donnie are happier than they’ve ever been. Zac’s adoption went off without a hitch, their new home is tranquil and the perfect place to build their future.
But Donnie can never catch a break. An old affliction flares up again and as a result his physical condition is more precarious than ever. Helen is nervous about the environment to which Ben subjects their daughter, and Ben struggles to keep everything ticking over.
Then he meets Paul, an enigmatic, handsome journalist who is more than a little interested in Ben. In equal measures flattered and disturbed by the attention, Ben finds himself on the brink of a decision that might shatter the happiness he’s worked so hard to achieve.
Interview with Mel Gough:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer of mostly m/m romance books, though I’m branching out this year into some m/f romance and Reverse Harem. I’ve published five books now, including this last release. I live in London and am originally from Germany.
Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one you’ve read or person past or present)?
My favorite has been for many, many years a quote by Oscar Wilde: We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. I’ve always understood the stars to be something magical that we can see, if only we decide to change our perspective. Since I’ve started writing my ‘stars’ are the stories I create.
What’s your favorite book or a book that changed your life?
Many books have changed me profoundly, but my favorite is and always will be The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It’s an incredible story full of sadness and pain. At the heart of it is human curiosity and the urge to constantly discover more about the universe, and how much we’re confined to a certain way of seeing the world that we can never really escape from, and that causes us a lot of problems when confronted with the unknown.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’m hoping to make the jump to hybrid publishing, where I have some books that fit into the more traditional channels and appeal to a broad audience, which I get in front of that audience via an agent. I have one book like that at the moment which I’m trying to find an agent for. Other books that are suited more for a niche market and that are unlikely to be picked up by bigger publishers I want to publish myself. My Reverse Harem book is one of those.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
I quite like editing. It’s the joy of having something already on the page and making it better. (I don’t edit until the first draft is on the computer, though.) I also like typing up my first draft. I write by hand first, into a notebook, and I alternate between writing a chapter and then typing it up.
Why did you choose to write LGBTQ+ romance? Why not another genre?
I started writing in fanfiction. The slash pairings that are so popular in fanfic is what really inspired me and got me excited about trying out creative things. I enjoy love stories, but I like to mix them up with other elements, like Crime. The LGBTQ+ readers enjoy this too, so I can now try out new things for them.
What sort of reception do you get when you told your family and friends about the genre and stories you write? (I ask this question to help show stories of hope and support and that other people in the LGBTQ community could relate to)
They think it’s wonderful. My family are all in Germany but even though they struggle reading my books they love the ideas of my stories. My mother-in-law, who reads English better, is my biggest fan! I’m very lucky, I’ve always had a very diverse and unconventional bunch of friends and have worked for companies strongly allied to the communities in which I socialize. I’ll tell almost anyone I meet what my books are about.
What’s your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ communities?
I love the camaraderie and how everyone supports each other. The LGBTQ+ book crowd, and our allies, truly feel like my people. I try to be as active as I can within that community. I’m a member of the Rainbow Chapter for both the UK’s Romantic Novelist Association and the RWA.
Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP.
I’ll talk about the book that’s currently being shopped around to agents since I haven’t shared much about it yet outside the agent circuit. It’s a historical novel set in the 1950s, about an Anglican pastor and a doctor who meet in South Africa while working at a mission hospital. They fall in love, but of course, can’t be open about it as homosexuality is illegal. I set the first half of the book in South Africa because that country went through such terrible changes in that time period, too. Apartheit was becoming normalized, which is a strong sub-current to the story.
It’s not so much a book about homophobia; there are few characters who are openly hostile towards the characters, of course. But the main struggle is about how to be yourself in a society where your true nature has to constantly be hidden. Similar themes and a not dissimilar approach has been taken in Grantchester by James Runcie (and the writers of the TV scripts). Funnily enough, I had the book as good as finished when a Church of England Curate told me about that show. I was very relieved to see that my take on the 1950s wasn’t totally off the mark and that my instincts led me down the right path.
Share a few words about your latest book/WIP, other than the usual blurb.
A Broken Promise is the last book in the Loving Again series and the conclusion of Ben and Donnie’s story. The whole series was filled with drama and struggle, and this last book is maybe more so. The central story is about cheating, something that’s not many people’s favorite trope. I hope that readers will give the story a chance regardless. There’s a HEA to look forward to!
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
I think this is it for Ben and Donnie, but never say never! I might change my mind. I know that a lot of people have grown very fond of them.
I would like to thank Mel for her time and I loved getting to know what makes a great writer tick!