Why do I write romance?
Whether I’m writing young adult as Will Parkinson or scribing something a tad racier as Parker Williams, the reason I write what I do doesn’t change: People need to see others like themselves.
When I wrote Pitch, I did it because when I was a teen, there were no books about growing up gay. Yeah, there were some adult books, but even they were ‘safe’ reads, nothing too racy or challenging. As a young adult, though, the pickings were extremely thin. Books like “Reflections of a Rock Lobster” by Aaron Fricke were like gold, as far as I was concerned.
As a kid, I enjoyed writing. Even if they weren’t stories I’d ever share with anyone, I had Grant and Rusty, and scores of others to keep me company.
Now that I’m an adult (cough), I write some YA stuff (as Will Parkinson) to give back to my younger self. To show other kids that they’re not alone in the world. Pitch was my first effort. I didn’t know the ‘rules’ of YA stories then, and I’d like to think that my writing has gotten better thanks to the friends that I’ve made (KC Wells, Sjd Peterson, Tom Webb, Laura Harner, Becky Condit, Max Vos, and so many others).
I think Wet Paint (my current work in progress) is going to be better than Pitch. At least that’s my fervent hope. It will be a tougher read than Pitch, that’s for sure. Issues that were raised in the first book are resurrected in this one. Addy, one of the characters in Pitch, will have to deal with some emotional baggage he’s been carrying around forever.
On the other hand, Parker Williams is teaming up with K.C. Wells and revisiting her Collars & Cuffs world with new characters Scott and Ben. Favorites in Alex, Leo, Thomas, and Peter will show up and another character gets a mention. Working with Kc was a very heady experience.
So now you know (at least a little better) why I write what I do. It’s important for kids today to have access to YA literature of all shapes and sizes, but it’s vitally important for them to know that there are characters like them in the worlds that we create.