Set amid a ribald and raucous newsroom, Freak the News exposes the dichotomy of modern-day journalism: at the bottom, a cadre of well-meaning, underpaid, overworked reporters and editors trying to promote their careers and make the journalism gods happy; at the top, a few greedy, self-serving owners and executives whose mantra to 'get the story right' on most stories is so they can manipulate the public on a precious few.
Above, Freak the News was released in October 2010. Left, Harrison Thorp.
Occasionally a reader will ask me why the villains in my novel are gay.
I unerringly reply, “Why not?”
This response often draws raised eyebrows from many, but for one gay man who attended a recent signing, the response was met with respect and an air of vindication.
Who was it, exactly, who determined that gays in movies and novels had to be foppish interior decorators, fashion designers or morally bankrupt “anonymous sex” fiends?
Certainly not the majority of people who are gay. And certainly not the facts.
No, the gay sex scenes are neither tawdry nor prurient; at worst, they might be described as tacky. However, most sex in the workplace is tacky, if not tawdry.
And when sexual relationships enter the workplace, it is often about power, and manipulation. As it is in Freak the News.
When WD Drummond acquiesces to Old Man Sampson’s “needs,” it is Sampson, in fact, who is the one being manipulated. And when Drummond coos in Sampson’s ear that he’s worried about the old man’s health, the reader can appreciate the subtle irony.
If Sampson dies of natural causes, the paper will be passed on to Drummond.
While one could argue that Drummond, in the end, does cause Sampson’s demise, the irony is that Sampson’s legacy was high on WD’s agenda. Or so it would seem.
Funny how life turns out.
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Freak the News author Harrison Thorp with partner and PR consultant Martha Soto-Galicia during their stop at the Boothbay Harbor Book Fair this summer. The fair was held at the Boothbay Railway Museum.
To watch a video tease of Freak the News click here.