Returning to Your Hometown
One of the biggest plot points of Growing Pains is the return home or returning to the hometown trope. The idea that my two heroes were already in a relationship and they're going home was always the main part of the story right from the outset. For one of them, returning was going to strengthen their bond while for the other it was going to weaken it. Reconciling the two was my challenge.
That isn't to say that returning to your hometown has to be a traumatic experience! The concept of a hometown is fascinating to me, because it's a place that’s both comforting and suffocating, or perhaps something in between. Perhaps it depends who you ask. From what I've gathered, the roots that connect people to a certain place can be very deep indeed – the intimate knowledge of your town, the everyday stuff that turns out to be a little weird with some distance, seeing the same faces, the same streets, the same buildings, the small-town grapevine/rumour mill . . .
There’s no place quite like home, but yet there seems to be a universalness to a hometown. A microcosm of larger things. And I’ve found, whenever I’ve returned to a place I used to call home, the experience has always been slightly surreal. It's interesting to see what's changed and what's remained the same, who's still there and what they're doing, and who's moved on. The changes always seem massive, while the static stuff keeps the familiarity of the place intact (and might even go unnoticed). It also reminds me that the place exists and goes on without me there – my being there has no effect on it whatsoever. That's quite humbling and, uh, maybe a little too existential for a post like this! It’s also very interesting to notice just how I’ve changed outside of the place, and that’s the key thing Brock and Gigi realise in this story. (I promise, Growing Pains doesn’t get existential.) Also, for no real reason beyond it’s thematically-related, here’s Tim Curry singing about going home.
About Growing Pains
Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn’t the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister’s wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn’t quite on board.
Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he’d never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn’t an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There’s just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.
It’s magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn’t all you need.
Available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/growing-pains
About Toronto Connections
The winters might be cold, but hearts are warm in Toronto. Canada’s largest city is home to a big lake, a big tower, and a big queer community. People here are trying to get by like everyone else: pay the bills, deal with life in the city, and maybe find some happiness along the way with someone who’s sweeter than maple candy and more constant than a Canadian’s love for Timmie’s coffee.
For some, falling in love is a real challenge. For others, falling is the easy part—it’s the happy ever after that proves a little more difficult. But in the end, love is worth every complication, misunderstanding, and occasional swear word.
About Cass Lennox
Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.
Connect with Cass:
- Twitter: twitter.com/CassLennox
To celebrate the release of Growing Pains, one lucky winner will receive $15 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!