Give Us Strength Or Tear Us Apart

Vincent Traughber Meis Author Interview

First Born Sons follows five different groups of people in the LGBTQ+ community whose lives end up intertwined due to a series of events. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

All the major characters in First Born Sons have come from three of my previously published novels, Four Calling Burds, Tio Jorge, and Deluge. Though I’ve never written sequels, several of my fans expressed an interest in knowing what happened with these characters. At the end of the respective books, all of them would have been living contemporaneously and in the same geographical area. I had the idea of not only continuing their stories, but having them interact and in one case fall in love. The background to the events is the Covid pandemic, but it’s not really about the pandemic. The personal issues the characters are dealing with are complicated by the health crisis though it’s only one of many crises that take place in 2019-20. Others include wildfires, Black Lives Matter protests, divisive politics, and general racism and homophobia.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

In general the characters confront the notion that families, both alternative and traditional, can give us strength or tear us apart depending on how one handles the issues. Simple love doesn’t alone conquer all. It takes perseverance and being true to oneself.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

One narrative tackles gender identity and how transition causes upheaval not only for the person changing but the loved ones around them. Another story revolves around extremist politics causing disastrous consequences for a family. Still another examines an older gay man finding love when he no longer believed it could happen. And one of the main themes is two gay men trying to protect their mixed-race son as he deals with the complications of becoming a teenager in a society that still struggles with racism.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Since I’ve gotten over my hesitancy to write sequels with this novel, I have embarked on a new project, which follows the story of the coming-of-age character in my novel The Mayor of Oak Street. It’s 45 years later and he is dealing with growing old after a life of love and loss. My intention is to make it more of a romance, but we’ll see how things develop.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

A group of coastal Californians battle wildfires, racism, and their own demons in five distinct narratives set in late 2019 and 2020.

First Born Sons is populated by a cast of LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies who struggle to find love, comfort, and fulfillment. As the novel progresses, characters interact across the separate narratives and are brought together for a birthday and a disastrous Black Lives Matter demonstration. A man returning to the horrors that made him leave Mississippi, a blind gay man flirting with love, an FTM transgender starting hormone therapy, a woman struggling to protect her sons from her ex-husband’s surge to right-wing politics, and a teenager with two gay dads searching for his Black surrogate mom paint a disturbing tableau of modern-day America.
Praise for First Born Sons:
“Vincent Meis’s First Born Sons is at once a sprawling epic with a global scope and an intimate mosaic of stories, touching on important issues like race, gender, pandemics, and prejudice — but never forgetting the humanity at their core. These are characters you’ll want to know, and this is truly a novel for our times.”
– Eric Peterson, author of Loyalty, Love & Vermouth
“Meis once again proves to be an assured chronicler of our times. Never one to shy away from humanity’s darker impulses, this spellbinding story of love and immigration, civil unrest, and political polarity amidst lush, tropical locales is the perfect book for summer. A rip roaring ride!”
– David Jackson Ambrose, author of Unlawful DISorderA Blind Eye, and State of the Nation

“I raced through the pages of First Born Sons, unable to put it down. Meis explores the traumatic events of 2020 through an engaging group of characters, whose personal lives are upended by events far away and close to home. This is an exciting work that deftly captures the tensions, anxieties, and hopes of our turbulent times.”
-Gar McVey-Russell, author of Sin Against the Race

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 21, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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