Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beantown Cuban parents



It's not the Oscars or the Emmys but my parents are always my dates to my book readings in Miami. I was there last Thursday for a reading at Books and Books in South Beach for my third novel, Beantown Cubans. And as they do every year, my parents always offer to accompany me to the Miami readings which is very endearing. Two years ago, they surprised me when they asked me if I could give them a ride for my Miami reading of Boston Boys Club and I remember thinking, "Um, are you sure? You know what my book is about, gay men looking for Mr. Right in Boston?" They just smiled and said "So can you give us a ride?" The same thing happened last year and again, this past Thursday. I always respond, "Sure but it's just me reading a few pages and answering some questions. You've seen me do this before." But then they each respond "We still want to go" and they get dressed up.
I'm always touched. They sit in the back row and although they don't understand everything I say, they smile and laugh when they hear a Spanish word. (Now you know where I get my inspiration from for the Cuban parent characters in each of my novels.)

Afterward, they shake everyone's hand. They even recognized some of my return readers and greeted them. Two years ago, I didn't think they would want to attend one of my readings because of the subject matter but they really do support and embrace every aspect of my life. My parents have come a long way since I first came out to them when I was 16. (What can be more loving and accepting than traditionl Cuban parents saying "Our son writes gay romance novels!"
Anyway, this is a long way of thanking my parents and everyone who attended my reading in South Beach and at the Stonewall Library in Fort Lauderdale. I really enjoy meeting my new and regular readers whom I consider part of my extended family.
The Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus attended my South Beach reading and took some photos for his blog, Gay South Florida. (Gracias Steve!) Here is a link.

For those of you who missed my some of my recent readings in Boston and South Florida, here is a video of me reading last month in SoHo. Here, I read a romantic scene where Tommy Perez bumps into Mikey, his ex-boyfriend from Boston Boys Club. Their story continues in Beantown Cubans.