Jan. 6,1984 /The Star 3
Gay Author Addresses Career, Early Years
By Sasha Alyson
In his new book All-American Boys,
Frank Mosca tells the story of a teenage
love affair between two boys that should
have been simple—but wasn't. The book
raises some timely issues: about self-
defense for gay people, about role models,
and about how hard it can be for a young
author with something to say to get published. In a recent interview, Mosca dis-
cussed these subjects.
How do you get started writing?
I've always enjoyed writing ever since
grade school. In college, I took the usual
writing seminars and courses, in addition
to my major in biology, and during the
same period, I had a column in the American Racing Pigeon News. However, it
wasn't until after college, when I attended
a writing-for-market class sponsored by
one of the local cities' recreation departments, that I began to consider myself a
writer. The woman who taught that class
When Texas minister Dale Hunt says
"God bless you," it has a special meaning.
The Detroit News reports that he's
replaced sneezes with Jesus in a special
room of his Fort Worth church built to
accomodate victims of severe allergies.
Worshippers sit on plain metal chairs in
an uncarpeted, undraped room which is
preheated to avoid reactions to natural
gas. Scented cosmetics are banned, and
Hunt makes sure he wears a freshly
cleaned suit. He says he gets up to 20 people a week at his ecumenical service.
"They cling together because they have
a common medical problem" Hunt says.
But not too closely—it might set off an
showed me more about marketing my
materials in four weeks than I had learned
in all my schooling before. I won't say I
started to sell immediately—I didn't—but
at least I knew how to do so now, and I
began getting encouraging comments
from the editors. That kept me going and
so did my friends. They wouldn't let me
quit. I love them all dearly for that and
umpteen other things.
I also went to the library and grabbed
the books I remembered as being the best
I'd read. I have about six favorite authors.
I took those books home and read them
critically, trying to figure out why they
were good. In two cases, I wrote the
authors and received marvelous replies
In addition, I went to a school for script
writing and trained in that. I figure a person should know as much as possible in
his field, and if I wanted to write, I should
do everything I could.
Is All-American Boys your first published work?
It's my first book. Right now the only
other thing I've gotten published is a short
story, The Last Lifeguard, in the October
'82 Mandate. I wrote that as an exercise
for myself: I wanted to see if I could write a
piece with some humor and humanity in
addition to the sexual content. I'm now
working on a sequal to All-American
Boys. In it, I'm planning to deal with
AIDS and the reaction of family and
friends to the disease. I am also working
on a screenplay. An agent with one ofthe
high-powered agencies in Hollywood has
seen some of my stuff, and she liked it well
enough to ask to see more.
How hard was it to get this book published?
Let's just say my records show I sent it
out nine times before I found a publisher
w tiling tn handle it. I got some nice com
mentsfrom most of the others, but they all
felt it wasn't right for them. One of the
By Tututu Divine
Houston the word is he was injured in a skiing
accident. Is there another story in Dallas we
should know about??
Daisy Dauber, where is my Weller and water?
Signed. Jim Smith.
I know this is old news, since Quenton has
been telling everyone that The Private Cellar
closed its doors New Year's morning What's
this we hear about a new location?
— O —
I heard Christine flashed two Mac truckers in
Dallas a while back. C'mon, Christine, can we
— D —
Lambda is having a Movie Marathon Jan. 13—
14 at the Congregational Church, 23rd and
San Antonio. Some of the features are La Cage
Aux Folles, Personal Best, On Golden Pond
and Victor, Victoria. Donations at the door
From the bar in the suburbs known to some as
"Boathouse North" aka Dirty Sally's, special
thanks to the Boathouse and the Crossing for
furnishing their employee's for the evening of
Sally's employee's Christmas party,
— D —
Is it true the manager of Austin's number one
cruise bar dropped $100 at Backstreet Basics
on New Year's Day? Does that tell you what
kind of New Year's Eve he had7
What Austin bartender had fun and frolic in a
U-haul on his way back from San Francisco
during the holidays, and that's with no
shower? Did you have a towel?
What's more important to a Houston bar
owner, his bar or a new fur coat?
— D —
Speaking of bar owners, we heard Preston Porter was laid up on his back after his truck got
plowed into. Of course, we heard that about
Preston before he was injured. Of course, in
By Helen Dish
Who is the
Darrell is the hot new bartender we've been
seeing at The Crew lately. Drop by and say
San Pedro will soon be the home of a new club
with a dance bar downstairs and a cruise bar
upstairs. Their location is a closely held secret,
but I will say that it is located next to Snuffy's
— D —
Don't forget the retreat for SAGA Jan. 21 & 27
at the Guadalupe River Ranch.
Hog Wild has an interesting bronze plaque on
their front, starting with an arrow pointing
north, "To North Pole—4189 miles," Why7
— D —
TORA will be meeting this Sunday at 2:30 at
— D —
Who is the new lover-on-leash running around
S.A. Town with Ms. L.J. OUT with '83 and in
— D —
Rumors abound about the Gay Community
Center, and it is still in the works. People are
working together towards its formation
Cahoots was closed this past Mon & Tues
because the employees were in need of recuperation'? . .
Frank Mosca, gay author, is also a racing pigeon enthusiast
most disappointing times was when I
showed the manuscript to a woman working with a film production company in Los
Angeles. She liked it and sent it to CBS,
New York, for possible production as an
Afterschool Special for kids, CBS like it,
but this was the period when the Moral
Majority and others were screaming about
Tony Randall's gay character on Love,
Sidney. They returned the script.
Quite honestly, at that point I got
depressed and, like a fool, I stuck the
manuscript in my drawer for six months
before I Bent it out again. Thankfully, I got
over that piece of stupidity and hopefully
will never repeat it.
Why did you choose to write a work
about high-school-aged characters?
At the time I started the book, I went to
Books in Print and checked all the books
on homosexuality that had been written
for young adults. The common thread was
that they were told from the viewpoint of
the sympathetic nongay friend. I thought
it was about time a gay person told his
own story. I went the young adult route
because it's an important age and one
where important questions are asked. I
hoped to answer a few of them. Alao, a
friend told me that youngadultpublishers
were into "real life concerns," and I won.I
stand a chance of being published tht re
that I might not otherwise.
Is this book heavily autobiographical'
No. Writers are always told to write
about what they know. When they do, people says it's autobiographical. In the sense
that everything I write is filtered through
my own perceptions of reality, then, of
course, it is. Rut hell, I didn't even attend a
public high school. I was at a private
Catholic minor seminary in Holliston,
Mass. I wanted to be a missionary priest. I
didn't even come out until I was 21 and a
junior in college. My own coming out was
hell, and I mean that literally. I had to deal
with all the guilt trips the seimnary had
left on me. Once one of the guys was
thrown out for being gay and we were all
talked to and we were told that he had
ruined his life and would never be happy.
Immediately after that, we were each
hauled before the rector and grilled as to
whether we had made it with him. As I
remember, I admitted that I had because
he'd already given my name, but I denied
everyone else they asked me about.
It wasn't until I got involved with the
Gay Student Union at the Claremont College in 1972 that I met openly gay people.
They were the greatest. I still remember
my first party about a month after I met
them. I sat in the corner of the room and
watched. They thought I was bored, and I
didn't know how to explain I was almost
in tears because I saw men dancing with
men and women with women, and it was
beautiful. It was as if I'd been kept outside
a pastry shop my whole life half-starved,
and suddenly one night they opened the
door and said it's all for you.
Those people helped me to see the beauty
in myself and in the others around me.
They also were politically active, and I
liked that and joined in when I saw the
garbage we were being forced to swallow
even on a supposedly liberal college campus. I wound up by being the co-ordinator
for the GSU for two years and was actively
involved in many ofthe early Californian
student projects around the state.
There's a scene in my book where Neil
finds out Paul is gay. and he's shocked.
Today it's no revelation to know that gay
people are everywhere—thankfully we're
making ourselves known—but I was like
Neil at the beginning. I'd meet people and
say, "You're gay'" I won't say I thought
they were all supposed to be in dresses—I