The Storyteller’s Creed

Current mood:  energetic
Category: Writing and Poetry

It’s my turn to blog at Seven Wicked Writers and here is what I posted:

By A.J. Llewellyn

I was on an author chat the other day and a woman who’s never read gay erotic romance…anything gay for that matter, asked me if my books have happy endings. I wrote back, “Yes!”

She seemed stunned. I was surprised by her reaction. “But Gay men are so promiscuous. They can’t be faithful,” she said.

I wondered how many gay men she actually knew and decided she probably reads the trashy supermarket magazines where gay and straight celebutantes hop on and off each other like fleas. Sure, I know a few gay guys who play around, but I know plenty of straight guys who do too.

Most of my gay friends are in longterm, monogamous relationships and work hard at them. They are my inspiration. When I was a young adult, I worked for a company here in L.A. that sold products online, most successfully late at night when lonely, insomniac people feel their money burning a hole in their pockets.  I worked the phones, armed with a computer. We were shown a demo of the ad running that night. We’d all groan when we’d see it was an ab cruncher – people who buy those want to talk to you for hours about their problems. People buying the onion chopper were more business like…whatever. We were armed with the ad schedule across the country and banged out those orders like crazy when people called in to liberate themselves from their money.

The pressure was intense. My paycheck was deducted if I took more than a minute to respond to a call and if I took more than three minutes with each customer. My eyes would fly between the electronic clock on my phone bank and the computer, where I typed in the customer info. So many times people’s credit cards were maxed out…or they couldn’t find them…man, people are dumb!

But I digress…

I worked a horrendous schedule, 10pm to 4am. During my two breaks, the women I worked with – there were twelve women and two men – sat glued to their romance novels in the break room. They passed a few well-thumbed paperbacks onto me. I remember reading one by Betty Neals set in Holland. I have to say Betty influnced my own work all these years later because her detail on Amsterdam was rich and had such texture to it, I felt I was there.

For the fifteen minutes I raced through a couple of chapters, I was there with the heroine, walking those cobblestone streets, sipping coffee in ancient cafes. It was a blessing to be carried away on such a carpet ride and those books got me through one of the most stressful jobs I’ve ever had.

Gay or straight, I believe in happy endings. I used to pine for my breaks so I could back to those books we all passed around. Let me tell you, those women I worked with would have been pissed – PISSED – if the hero said at the end, “You know what bitch, you’re cute but I’m just not that into you.”

Readers want happy endings…there is a formula and I believe a happy ending is essential. If I want an unhappy ending, I’ll call up my last ex boyfriend to remind myself how happy for now feels. Or I’ll just read a different book.

Because I believe in The Storyteller’s Creed. I follow it. It is my law:

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge,

That myth is more potent than history, that dreams are more powerful than facts,

That hope always triumphs over experience,

That Laughter is the only cure for grief.

And I believe that love is stronger than death.

Aloha oe,


Currently listening:
Gently Weeps
By Jake Shimabukuro
Release date: 2006-09-19

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