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0 comments | Sunday, September 21, 2008

Every now and then I come across an amazingly talented individual who blows me away with their skill and commitment towards seeing their dreams come into fruition. I like to surround myself around these types of people who have a sense of purpose and a relentless drive to succeed. New gay author and Atlanta resident Christopher Beckwith is one of those people and his debut novel titled 'What's In It For Me'? will no doubt do for him what Invisible Life did for E. Lynn Harris.

The similarities between the two authors are many, both call Atlanta home and like the early days of self-publishing for E. Lynn, Christopher Beckwith is gaining an audience by word of mouth and from selling books locally at bookstores, beauty shops, even from the trunk of his car.

'What's In It For Me' tells the fictional story of Ronald Davis, a promising Atlanta architect who has grown content with the coveted life that he has accepted as his destiny. Although there's no questioning the fact that he's been dealt a desirable hand, the lack of true love proves to be the underlying attribute missing from his otherwise fulfilling existence.

At the request of his boss, Ron finds himself compelled to travel to Houston on an untimely business trip with his co-worker Steve Sullivan. Making the best of the situation, Ron soon realizes that Houston has more to offer than he expected. To his surprise, the visit presents him with a positive twist as he meets the love of his life in the least likely of prospects. After spending several fun-filled days in Houston, Ron returns home to find himself blindsided by the tragedy of a lifetime. Forced to confront the heartbreak head on, Ron grievously ponders the question, "What's in it for me?"

I read a lot of books and I must say that this is one novel that is extremely difficult to put down once you've started. I've been waiting to read a book that has a black gay character that is central to the plot that isn't consumed by internalized homophobia, living on the down low, estranged from his biological and church family due to his sexuality or extremely pessimistic about the prospect of settling down with another black man.

The reality that all of these things are possible for gay black men come to life in the 414 pages of this novel. The well written and steamy love scenes between Beckwith's gay and straight characters always enhances the plot and are never contrived. Every character is written with such clarity an emotional depth it's nearly impossible not to become invested in each persons journey.

If you're looking for a new book to read by a fresh and exciting author I highly recommend that you order a copy of 'What's In It For Me'. I'm reading it for a second time and making sure my friends get to experience Christopher Beckwith's work too.

Get into Christopher Beckwith's first reading and book signing held last week in Atlanta below and learn more about him first hand.

You can order the book on Amazon by clicking here.


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