Love Bytes is happy to welcome Gene Gant to their blog to talk about new release “King Geordi the Great”.
“Alas! I thought I only had a friendship for you,
but the grief I now feel convinces me,
that I cannot live without you.”
Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast
I’m a sucker for friendship to romance stories. That’s mostly because the first time I fell in love, it was with a friend. Unfortunately—for me, anyway—my friend’s feelings hadn’t blossomed into the same lofty passions that mine had. Our friendship was strained for a while after that. My friend felt awkward around me, and I worried that my feelings would never dial themselves back to the platonic levels where they began.
Eventually, things settled down between us, and we remain friends to this day, each of us having forged love relationships with other people. Despite all the discomfort that followed, I’m glad I revealed my heart to my friend. In the end, I learned how truly committed we are as chums, something that has strengthened our friendship. And if I had never expressed my feelings, I probably would have always wondered: What if? I’ve seen people who were afraid to take a chance and now beat themselves up again and again over missed opportunities. I didn’t—and still don’t—want to be one of those people.
Growing from pals into lovers certainly has its advantages. Friends have already had time to get to know each other, their likes, dislikes, dreams, desires, attributes and failings. They’ve seen each other at their best and at their worst. They accept each other for who they are, and they’ve developed a binding trust between themselves. Love is arguably easier when the foundation for a romantic relationship has already been laid.
There is always a risk when someone bares his or her heart to another, but that’s especially so when the object of affection is a friend. The friendship itself may wither and be lost if the romance isn’t reciprocated. It almost happened to me. That’s one of the things that make a friends-to-lovers story so compelling for me, the possibility that one of the friends may not feel exactly the same as the other. It is this aspect that forms the basis of my new young adult novel, King Geordi the Great.
Geordi and Toff have been best friends for half their lives. Geordi treasures Toff’s friendship, but he’s sure he doesn’t feel the same romantic attachment Toff unveils to him at the beginning of the story. He can also see how intensely Toff is in love with him. And because he doesn’t want to hurt his friend, Geordi can’t bring himself to tell Toff that he doesn’t love him back. With each passing day, he sees how Toff’s feelings of love grow deeper and stronger. Geordi is also very much aware that the longer he puts off telling Toff that he is not in love with him, the more it will hurt when Toff inevitably learns the truth.
In struggling with that dilemma, Geordi eventually takes a good, long look at himself and tries to come to terms with his feelings, not just for Toff, but for all of the people in his life who are important to him. There are a few other twists and turns that complicate things for the boys. They must both confront big issues in their relationships with their fathers, and that leads to a dramatic confrontation. Of course, I don’t want to reveal here how these situations work out for Geordi and Toff, but a happy ending was always my goal when I was writing this.
No matter how a romantic relationship begins, lovers wind up being best friends anyway. Or at least I’d like to believe so. What do you think? Can two people be partners in love without being the best of friends? Are you, or have you been, part of a friends-to-lovers romance? Have you fallen for a friend only to lose him or her after expressing your love? Or do you believe falling for a friend is something to be avoided because it’s a sure way to ruin a good friendship?
Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to know what you have to say, and I’m sure other readers would as well. Feel free to submit questions to me via my Goodreads page. The link follows. Thanks for spending this time with me. And happy reading.
“I’d like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me.
I’d like to be the help that
you’ve been always glad to be.
I’d like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
as you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me, along the way.”
Is there such a thing as caring too much?
Geordi never thought so. He knows he’s lucky to have progressive parents who support him after they discover he’s gay, but when his dad gets overzealous, things go downhill. Geordi’s friend Toff is not only hurt that Geordi hid his sexuality from him—he’s also been in love with Geordi for months. Rather than further damage their relationship, Geordi goes along with a romance he doesn’t feel. When things start to get physical, though, Geordi knows it’s time to be honest with himself and his friends, no matter what the consequences. A tragedy is about to strike, and Geordi, Toff, and their friend Jess will need each other more than ever. For Geordi to find his strength, he’ll have to first find the courage to chart his own course in life—outside the control of his parents or the pressure of his peers.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Gene Gant started out writing corporate training and policy manuals. He is happily devoting more time to writing fiction now. He spends his free time reading, watching movies, working out and enjoying the company of family and friends.