‘PETER’ is a Novel about a 15 year old boy who suspects he’s gay.
It’s a very personal look at a boy’s awakening sexuality and follows Peter’s deepest feelings, and often savagely honest thoughts as he struggles with the confusion of trying to figure out who he is.
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ABOUT THIS STORY:
‘Peter’ was first published in 1991 and at that time there were very few books about gay issues for teenagers. In fact I had a lot of trouble trying to get it published. The first five publishers I approached said flatly, ‘No thanks!’ They didn’t even read it. Another two read it and said, ‘Sorry, but we don’t want to take the risk.’ They were concerned about public response and possible backlash from both public and private school systems.
But one brave publisher – Omnibus Books – said yes, and I’m forever in their debt that they were prepared to back me and the story. ‘Peter’ was considered pretty confronting in those days. Compared to today’s Gay Lit books, ‘Peter’ is more than a little tame, and a lot of readers find the end disappointing. Had I wanted to take my characters further than I did, the book would never have been published. It was a compromise I had to accept. In fact, the book was never published in the UK because at the time it contravened a law making it a criminal offence to promote a gay lifestyle. This book was part of the struggle to win basic human rights for all people to live the life of their choosing.
The eBook is a slightly revised version of the original print book, and several times I’ve been tempted to over-write the ending and give it a more up-to-date, modern-world resolution. But every time I try, I find myself writing draft after draft and always throwing them away. I think I have to accept the story is as it us. Actually, in my mind, the book never was about being gay, it was about being who are you, whatever that happens to be. But I did want to state loud clear for young people in particular: IT’S OK TO BE GAY. If the book does that, then it’s served its purpose, however out-dated or tame or otherwise lacking it may be.
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You’ll find reviews of ‘Peter’ at the following links:
‘Peter’ – Book Awards:
Honour Book (Runner up) Australian Children’s Book of the Year, Older Readers – 1992
Shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Award – 1991
“ South Australian Literary Award – 1991
“ Talking Book of the Year Award – 1992
Highly Commended (Runner up) Australian Human Rights Awards – 1991 Selected for American Library Association’s Lists:
…………………..Notable Books of the Year - 1994
Best Books for Young Adults - 1994
Best Books for Reluctant YA Readers - 1994
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Keywords: gay fiction, gay literature, gay lit, gay boy, gay boys, gay teens, homosexuality, holiday reading