Today, I’m honored to be part of the launch celebration for A Place to Call Their Own by L. Dean Pace-Frech. Dean is here to talk to us about his novel. Let’s have a look at the blurb:
When the War Between the States ended in 1865 many Americans emerged from the turmoil energized by their possibilities for the future. Frank Greerson and Gregory Young were no different. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Frank yearned for his own farm, away from his family—even at the risk of alienating them. Gregory, an only child, returned home to claim his inheritance to help finance their adventure out west.
Between the difficult work of establishing a farm on the unforgiving Kansas prairie, and the additional obstacles provided by the weather, Native Americans and wild animals, will their love and loyalty be enough to sustain them through the hardships?
A Place to Call Their Own is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through Musa Publishing.
Tricia: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Dean: My name is L. Dean Pace-Frech. I am originally from Nebraska, lived in Colorado for thirteen years, and have lived in the Missouri for the last five. I live with my partner, Thomas Pace-Frech and our two cats. I work for thirteen busy doctors during the afternoon and early evening so that I can write during the mornings. In addition to writing I like watching movies, reading, and patio gardening.
A Place to Call Their Own is my debut novel, published by Musa Publishing.
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Dean: In 2006 co-worker shared with me that her goal was to write a novel. It took me two years to find my premise for A Place to Call Their Own, so I started writing it in 2008.
Tricia: Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
Dean: When I started writing A Place to Call Their Own, I just started writing. I knew who my characters were, their background and a bit about where they were going. In early 2012, I had been working on manuscript for four years and wanted to finish it that year. I figured out (outlined) how to the bridge the story to where I wanted it to end, and I finished the first draft in March.
So with that lesson in mind, I outlined and made some notes before I started writing my second manuscript, Disappear With Me. Even though I had a solid outline, there was still plenty of room to make changes and adjustments along the way. With the outline it only took me four months to write Disappear With Me.
I am getting ready to start a third manuscript, tentatively titled, The Higher Law. I have 110 pages of notes (this time my partner said, just write the book!).
Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Dean: A Place to Call Their Own is an underdog story. It is the story of two young gay men in 1865 who just want to find their place in the world together. This is a story after the romance, this is the “happily ever after.”
Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?
Dean: A Place to Call Their Own was inspired by a visit to the Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas. The park was the site of an early battle in the Civil War. I also found inspiration from the quote that is in the beginning of the book.
Tricia: What would you like to tell us about your book or your writing that someone wouldn’t discover during a casual review of your blurb or website?
Dean: Although my characters are gay, the book is classified as LGBT fiction, and I am gay, my goal was to make the story universal. Frank and Gregory could be any couple facing parental influences, natural disasters, or societal prejudices.
Tricia: What is your primary goal as an author?
Dean: My goal was never to create an allegorical story or political statement with my novel. I started out writing what I wanted to read: historical fiction with strong LGBT characters. With our current political climate and the issue of marriage equality, it’s difficult to deny that there are some thematic elements that support equal rights. I read in the mid-1990s that just being an out gay man at the time was a political statement. I think it’s hard not to be an LGBT writer right now and avoid any thematic messages about marriage equality or other civil rights issues.
My goal as a writer to create stories that are interesting to different types of people. If just one person who doesn’t understand the fight for LGBT equal rights is persuaded by my novel to be open to those discussions, then I have done my job.
Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Dean: I grew up reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Young Adult category didn’t exist when I was growing up, so I graduated from those books and went on to read historical dramas like Roots, The Blue and the Gray, the Kent Family Chronicles, and the North and South Trilogy. It’s inevitable that I write historical fiction.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Dean: I am currently polishing a manuscript titled Disappear With Me. It is the story of Reverend Leander Normal who is accused of sodomy in 1910 Southampton, England. After I am finished with that, I will be ready to write a third manuscript, tentatively titled, The Higher Law.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Dean: 1. Just write. Write as much as you can, any time you can. Remember: making notes, outlining, etc is writing and editing is writing.
2. Create the routines that work for you. If you have a blog, “they” say you should blog every day, but that didn’t work for me. Missing a day caused me to miss two, three days in a row and soon I was going months without blog entries. When I sat down and figured out I could commit to four blog posts a week, that worked for me. Since March 2012, I’ve only missed two posts, one because of some controversy surrounding my topic (an “America’s Got Talent” contestant) and one recently just because.
About the Author:
With inspiration from some historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, L. Dean Pace-Frech started crafting his debut novel, A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN, in 2008. After four years, he submitted the manuscript for publication and Musa Publishing offered him a contract in early 2013. A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN will be released on July 5, 2013. Dean continues to write novels; prior to novels, Dean did some technical writing in his career.
Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his partner, Thomas, and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean enjoys reading and patio gardening.