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Camp Spartacus Comes Out Today!

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Sep. 18th, 2013 | 01:37 am

My short story Camp Spartacus came out today, and here's the best part -- all proceeds go to OutServe, a charity supporting LGBT military members and their families! This is an amazingly appropriate charity for my stories, since both Camp Spartacus and my novel, Don't Ask, star a teen who's gay and who serves in Future Servicemembers of America, the school military club. Think something along the lines of junior ROTC or Air Cadets.

(Camp Spartacus is a sequel to Don't Ask, but you don't need to read one to enjoy the other. They're both self-contained. Camp Spartacus may spoil you about some basic things in Don't Ask, but it's no biggie.)

Camp Spartacus is also a team love story. Each of the seven members of the team is a unique individual, and together, they form more than the sum of their parts. My inspiration for creating the teammates came from imagining different reasons that a high schooler might choose to join Future Servicemembers--and, not only that, but to come to the optional summer camp for hard-core cadets.

Ruggiero may have joined FSA because he wanted to hide his gayness behind a macho mask, but somewhere along the way, he fell in love. He geeks out about procedural details, and he truly, honestly believes in the values of honor, courage, and service. (Mike Ruggiero's story begins in Don't Ask.)

Lewis is a natural leader and high achiever. He could probably do anything he sets his mind to. But he comes from a modest background, and doesn't have many role models illustrating effective paths to success--except a cousin who's in the military.

Bailey represents the wholesome, "real America" family values ideal. He's the kind of white, blond, crew-cutted, apple-cheeked boy that Uncle Sam always dreamed about.

Walker may be small, but with her loud mouth and quick temper, she has no trouble keeping up with the meatheads in her squad. She was happy to join a mostly-male club because she's always gotten along better with guys. If she meets someone, that's okay, too. Not within the squad, though. These guys are more like her brothers. And if you'll excuse her, she has to go yell at them for being idiots.

Dante dreams of someday living off the grid and being completely self-sufficient in a self-made cabin in the woods. He figures Future Servicemembers will test his stamina and teach him valuable wilderness survival skills.

Medina is a simple man. He loves video games, Mythbusters, and anything that makes a loud noise. He's not entirely prepared for the physical challenges of military camp, but man, is it fun to hold a gun.

Hudson's reasons for coming to camp are closest to "my mom made me." A military brat, Hudson comes from a long line of celebrated officers. Hudson isn't nearly as serious as his family. He's a bit jaded about military pomp, hard to impress, and quick to flout the rules. But in his heart of hearts, he's just as in love with team as everyone else. He wouldn't trade this summer for anything else.

My favorite part of writing Camp Spartacus was getting to know the teammates, and I hope you'll love them too!

Every year, the great authors at Torquere Press put their money where their mouth is, donating their time writing stories for our chosen charity. Those same authors donate any royalties earned on their stories to the chosen organization, with Torquere matching those donations 100%. In the past we've raised $5000.00 for Lambda Legal, over $3000.00 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and more than $10000.00 combined for organizations such as NOH8 and Doctors Without Borders.

For the 2013-2014 Charity event, which will premiere September 18th 2013, we've chosen OutServe-SLDN as our donation organization. OutServe is a non-profit that provides legal services and support to LGBT military individuals and families, working toward equal representation and benefits.

Our Bloghop Starts Here: Torquere Press

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