Every Friday, I’ll answer a reader question (anonymously). I’m open to anything (it doesn’t have to be writing or book related), so don’t hesitate to send in a question. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact tab.
I actually had a different question for today, but I’m going to save it for next week. The question about Nick being “gay for the whole book” is one I’ve been getting a lot, in many different forms, and now that the book has started going out for review, I wanted to address it here.
Short answer: Yes.
And now for the long answer.
Any time I get this question, I read it in a couple different ways:
1) The person asking is wondering if Nick is going to “experiment,” decide that, gee, he’s not into guys after all, and he’ll see the error of his ways and go back to girls. This is not going to happen. There is no error. There is nothing wrong with Nick being attracted to boys, so I’d never write a book where a character tried it and decided it was wrong. A character can feel conflicted about feelings (and Nick certainly goes through that), but attraction is attraction. Desire is desire. Period.
2) The person asking is wondering if this is going to be a “gay” book, in that the only romantic action will occur between two boys. This is so not the case. This book is told from the perspectives of both Nick and Quinn (just like Breathless). Nick begins a secret relationship with Adam, and Quinn begins a secret relationship with a guy from an earlier book. Both couples share equal screen time, and both relationships are tumultuous and YA-level-passionate.
By the way, there’s a lot of Elemental stuff in Secret, so don’t feel like action falls by the wayside.
I had a male reader email me and ask how he can relate to Nick now that he’s gay. I responded that Nick goes through a lot in this book, and it’s not all related to sexuality. He’s struggling with whether to go to college or stay and help with his family business. He’s still learning how to deal with his powers, and trying to decide whether his secret sets him apart from his family. He’s trying to figure out who he is, and who he wants to be as a young man.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll like the book based on the sexuality aspect, I’d ask you to give it a try. Yes, Nick is interested in boys, but that’s not the whole story, any more than Storm was about Becca dealing with the fallout of a bad experience with Drew, or any more than Spark was about Gabriel dealing with guilt over his parents’ deaths.
If you have further questions about Breathless or Secret, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. I’m the most open person ever, and I’m happy to respond. If you’d like to ask me a question privately, shoot me an email at email@example.com.