He made headlines last year with Star People, but now gay author Paul Burston is ready to tackle the best sellers list again with his new book, The Gay Divorcee.

This time Burston leaves the world of Hollywood to tell a complex tale of two marriages. The reader comes face to face with protagonist Phil Davies, a sexually confused young man who marries a woman called Hazel. Twenty years later, we learn how much things have changed.

They’re together for a short time, before she runs off with her driving instructor. Then we catch up with Phil now, busy planning his civil partnership to his much younger, trophy boyfriend Ashley ­-” or -˜The Incredible Sulk’ as Phil’s friend Carl calls him, Burston told Sydney Star Observer.

The only trouble is, Phil neglected to get divorced, so his straight past comes back to haunt him in ways he never expected. The story is divided between Phil making his wedding plans in gay London and Hazel coping with her family traumas in South Wales.

The Gay Divorcee was partly inspired by a friend of Burston’s who married his boyfriend in a civil ceremony after being previously married to a woman when he was much younger.

I started by basing Phil on my friend, then slowly bits of myself went into him, as happens with all my characters. You have to find a point of identification with your characters, or they don’t come to life, Burston said.

Phil certainly isn’t a closet case in the traditional sense. He’s an out gay man with a straight past.

Burston said he enjoyed bringing gay characters to life in the pages of a book.

Gay fiction is a great way to bring gay characters to a wider audience, he said.

It gives me a great sense of achievement that I’ve managed to make them care about these characters I brought to life by sitting in front of my computer for hours on end.

info: The Gay Divorcee is published through Hachette Australia. For more details on Paul Burston visit paulburston.com.

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Author Paul Burston … -˜Gay fiction is a great way to bring gay characters to a wider audience’.

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