Guest Blogger: Deanna Wadsworth

Posted: September 3, 2013 by sidlove in Guest Post
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Politically Incorrect?

My latest book EASY RYDER takes place during America’s Bicentennial weekend during the summer of 1976, back in a time when changes where happening in the world, but a lot slower than they do nowadays. The common  understanding is that a historical novel usually is fifty years minus the current year, (2013-50=1963) so my book while “historical” also takes place in a time that many today easily remember. Personally, I was born in 1976, so I had to do my research and A LOT of fact checking. For instance, I had to cut the reference to some woman having hair like Farrah Fawcett because Charlie’s Angels first aired about six weeks after my book takes place. I even used googleto check what the weather was like in the cities and times when Snake and Michael rode thru them.

One of the things I was worried about was the very 70s mentality of my characters not being relatable to the modern reader. Hero #2 Snake *gasps* smokes Salems, he puts a drunk girl in her car and sends her on her way—a big no-no for modern romance novel heroes.

But hey, it was the 70s. Waaaay before we even knew what it meant to be politically correct. And I think Snake is just so damn sexy, well we can give him a free pass.

It was easy to find friends willing to share stories of that memorable summer, all the patriotism that swept the nation. But also, I needed to know the not so pretty side, asking people how they viewed the LGBT community before it even had its own alphabet. While books, thesis, and essays have been written on this topic and I am not claiming to be an expert (I write romance novels not encyclopedias), I hope my version of the time rings true for readers.

In interviewing a broad scope of people in preparation for writing EASY RYDER, both gay and straight, men and women, it was fascinating to watch them be amazed by how close-minded they had been or others they knew, and to sometimes see their embarrassment as they told me the way they had been raised to think about homosexuals. It made me a tad proud to hearingso many say things like “we just didn’t know how ignorant we were being.” While the fight is not over, it did show me how far the country has come in accepting all of our fellow Americans as equals.

The narrator of EASY RYDER, Michael Ryder, is young and innocent, and from a small town in Pennsylvania. While the word “gay” was used in the seventies, after interviewing many people, including a couple of gay men who were teens in the 70s, I chose to have Michael identify himself as “queer.” Though after the Stonewall riots in NYC in ’69, this was before San Francisco had their first Pride parade, before any protester shouted “we’re here we’re queer, get used to it.” Even if others around the country were more aware at the time, my main character was a kid from the sticks, with no cable TV or MTV, no internet and no access to information about why he was “different.” In fact, his entire desire to get to San Francisco is because of a TV news segment he saw about Harvey Milk. He feels like there is a civil rights movement happening for guys like him and he wants to be a part of it.

While Michael has wholeheartedly accepted who he is even if he knows he must hide it, Snake has not. This causes a large conflict in their budding relationship which I hope readers will enjoy watching it unfold so they can find their HEA.

Real life participants on my “historical” time period are still walking around and might take a different take on what life was like in the 70s, I endeavored to be as accurate as possible, while still weaving a tale of suspense, sexual awakenings and a coming of age story for my lead hero, Michael.I hope you take the time to check out EASY RYDER and enjoy the flashback to a different America where things might be politically incorrect, but they also help define how far we have come as a country and how far we still need to go so that everyone has the freedom to love.

~Deanna Wadsworth



Easy RyderBLURB:

It’s July 3, 1976, the beginning of America’s bicentennial weekend, and everyone seems to be celebrating their freedoms except eighteen-year-old runaway Michael Ryder. Fresh from rural Pennsylvania, Michael is doing whatever and whoever it takes to get to San Francisco, where he hopes to find a new life with the freedom to love without fear.

While hitchhiking, a mysterious, tattooed biker named Snake offers him a ride west—on the back of his customized Harley chopper. During their journey across Route 66, Snake introduces Michael to new and steamy pleasures, leaving Michael aching for more than just a physical relationship. But a violent encounter with a cruel biker gang and a harrowing secret from Snake’s military past might destroy their unlikely relationship long before they reach the end of the road.



Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

You can find her online: Facebook,Twitter,Blog, and goodreads

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press and Decadent Publishing or any reputable eBook seller



  1. KJ Charles says:

    It’s a really interesting question: how to write about the attitudes of the past without repelling readers in the present. Smoking, yes; casual sexism, racism, antisemitism and homophobia, obviously; and even things like beards. I write Victorian settings and I am guiltily aware that it’s improbable to have quite so many clean shaven men but, well, I just don’t find the Anthony Trollope beard particularly sexy. I guess you avoided the Dennis Hopper ‘tache? 🙂

  2. Deanna says:

    LOL KJ, I ALMOST gave Snake a mustache!!! But I changed my mind after a few chapters.
    Facial hair aside, when writing gay historicals, modern ideals needs to be checked at the door IMHO. Part of why I enjoy them is because it’s a window into the past, including all the struggles and prejudices. While I want a book true to its era, it’s a fine line to please historians AND readers. Ultimately a romance novel is meant to be enjoyed and have a HEA, so naturally, we WILL take creative liberties to achieve that end 😉

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