We have Catherine with us today talking about what inspired her to write Some Other Freedom. Don’t forget to read what Mark has to say about the book and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy.
Some Other Freedom by Catherine L. Byrne
Author: Catherine L. Byrne
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Release: 21st February 2015
Genre: M/M (contemprorary)
Harassed teacher Anthony, who is firmly in the closet, works at a very conservative school, carefully living up to expectations in order to further his career.
After drinking too much at a wedding, however, he meets a gorgeous man and can’t resist sharing a passionate kiss with him.
Weeks later, Anthony gets engaged to his girlfriend, but then his secret crush turns up at school as the new teacher in his department…
Note: This book contains my characters acting out scenes from ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare.
I must admit I started to reading this book with a sense of trepidation. Why? Well, after reading the synopsis I was a little concerned that it dealt with a closet case that cheated and hurt other people's feelings along the way. I'm happy to say that it wasn't the case. Was there cheating? No, not really, a least not in the physical sense and not on the side of the MCs. The one who cheats is a nasty piece of work and deserves every thing she gets anyway.
Antony works in a catholic school which is so up itself with its morals that teachers get the sack for living together without being married. Seriously??? I would like to think that in this day and age this wouldn't be allowed and would lead immediately to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal, catholic school or not. Combine that with the fact that Antony's parents are the most bigoted people you could ever have the misfortune of meeting then no wonder the guy is so far back in the closet he has no way of finding the door.
At a wedding he declares to his family that he is now dating his life-long friend Francesca. This of course delights both families as this brings all their plans together. This was what I really hated!!! Both Francesca's and Antony's parents are the worst kind of bigoted, conservative, "Gays should be hanged" kind of family. Only interested in their own careers in politics / business, their reputation and of course that includes who their children marry, etc. Everything planned down to the last detail. No wonder Antony has the issues he has and who could blame him. Due to this I could understand Antony's behaviour as your upbringing is never an easy thing to shake off. Didn't mean I liked it or excused the way he treated Jake.
He meets Jake at the wedding and had a quick make out session in a hotel room until interrupted. Here you see Antony's true-self. Jake however turns up at work as the new teacher in Anthony's department. Quite the shock.
Jake has it bad for Anthony although common sense says that he should stay well alone from such a closet case, it will only spell trouble and broken hearts. Especially his.
Now the fun can begin. Anthony trying desperately to deny everything he feels about Jake and Jake feeling exasperated, used to some extent and frustrated that Anthony is unable to admit to himself what and who he truly is due to the emotional prison that he and his family keep him in. This really only shows Anthony's good nature in not wanting to rock the boat and make waves but sacrificing and denying the one thing that could make you happy due to a sense of duty to his family. Grrrrr, I just wanted to slap him!!!!
However, every human has their limits and even Atnony can only take so much. What I love are family dramas - HAHA! A least fictional, soap-opera ones. Anthony reaches the end of his tether with all the bigotry and family scheming going on, his temper explodes and at last comes out to his family that he's gay. Oh my!!! Now that certainly set the cat among the family pigeons - HAHA - loved it!!!
Of course this was the one thing he had to do in order to win Jake's affections who he could see slipping further and further away from him and of course nothing gives you a wake up call more than when you see the love of your life about to walk out of it and slip through your fingers
I really enjoyed this coming out story very much. It was for me a story about one person living in denial of who he truly is, meeting the catalyst that has the potential to bring him true happiness, makes him see he's only living a lie, but there is a long way to go and many hurdles to jump before the chains are broken that are holding Anthony back so he can be free and happy at last.
A Word from the Author
What inspired me to write Some Other Freedom
I’m always interested in forbidden or unrequited love, and a man in Anthony’s situation—hiding in the closet because he’s scared his family and work colleagues would reject his real self—was an interesting character to write. He did annoy me to start with because he was so fake, but he mellowed as the story continued and I found out more about him. There are so many people these days who hide their real selves due to thinking somehow they are ‘unacceptable’ or ‘abnormal’. It is a shame we can’t all be accepting of each other.
Jake also annoyed me at first, I thought he might be another fake person, maybe a bit shallow, but because he had to suffer as he wanted Anthony and couldn’t have him, it made him develop into a kinder person. Anthony and Jake are two fake people who through the course of the story find their real selves and live life in a happier and more authentic way. I must admit I just thought of that idea!
The other thing I wanted to explore in this story was homophobia. So many people in the 21st century are STILL homophobic and people I am (unfortunately) related to have said that homosexuals should be given the death penalty or put in prison! They may be joking but it’s a sick joke, obviously! It is hard to imagine why people would think such things, I certainly can’t. So I put their horrible ideas into the speech of some of the horrible characters in Some Other Freedom.
It’s unbelievable that people are still so upset and frightened by homosexuality. Around the world, there are terrorists, rapists, paedophiles—THOSE are the types of people to be scared and worried about. Not gay people who are just going around living their daily lives.
People need to get their priorities right.
I feel very strongly about this subject so tried to put the ideas into Some Other Freedom to show another major reason Anthony is hiding far in the closet. So unfair and sad but you will see what Anthony does about his difficult situation!
Meet Catherine L Byrne
Catherine L Byrne amused herself writing as a hobby for some years until she had her daughter, but becoming a mum made her realise she now had a purpose and time was limited, so she must get on with writing seriously.
The winter of 2009 was severe and as she and her family live in a small village, they were house bound by unusually deep snow for southern England. So she settled down in her office (i.e. the corner of her bedroom) and began her first book, which was published in 2010.
She hasn't stopped writing since, generally on the theme of forbidden or unrequited love, and often including erotic scenes.
Connect with Catherine
Catherine will be giving away three PDF copies of Some Other Freedom to three lucky winners. Just enter the Rafflecopter draw below.
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