I Choose Pain
DRAMA EROTICA LGBT ROMANCE MEMOIR RELIGIOUS
REDEMPTION, LOVE, ACCEPTANCE
THE BROTHERS, THE BEST MAN, MOONLIGHT, BLACKBIRD
• LIONEL: 30S, SUCCESSFUL, TALENTED, DISOWNED BY HIS FAMILY
• JOJO: 30S, SWEET, CARING, IN LOVE WITH LIONEL
• COREY: 30S, MUSICIAN, FLAMBOYANT, TORTURED PAST
• PEEP: 30S, FUN, FASHION FORWARD
• JIMMY: 30S, DEVOTED, PEEP’S HUSBAND
• GARRETT: 30S, BIG, STRONG, ACCEPTING, COREY’S LOVE INTEREST
Lionel was disowned by his mother. Joseph was abused by his mother's boyfriend. Felipe was turned away by the church. Cordell was abandoned by his parents and shunted to an orphanage. Four Black Gay Men preparing for an escape cruise in the Bahamas. Are they in for a rough ride!!
Target Gender: LGBT Leaning,Male Leaning
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Eros Da Artiste
Year Published: 2018
The first few chapters serve as backstories for the four gentlemen. A denouncing letter from Lionel's mother (as well as a downhill Mother's Day call and memories of a break-up) begins the novel. Cordell comes to drag Lionel out of the house to the Link where he meets a potential lover/friend.
The novel ends on a concert of a symphony composed by Cordell attended by all the Fellas and Cordell's newly found love (A Blast from the past). In the epilogue, we learn that all the events of the novel were penned by Lionel in a blue notebook he plans to place in a time capsule.
Gay and Lesbian
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Sexual Abuse,Nudity,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist,Philosophical Questions
Plot - Premise
Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Voyage and Return
Main Character Details
Name: Lionel Shedrick Davis
Key Traits: Complex,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Educated,Insecure,Leader,Naive,Underdog,Masculine,Sexy,Selfless,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Aspiring,Charming
Additional Character Details
Name: Joseph Stanley Thompson
Key Traits: Charming,Underdog,Adventurous,Gracious,Flexible,Faithful,Engaging,Empathetic,Educated,Honorable,Insecure,Naive,Romantic,Selfless,Sexy,Strong Moral Code,Seductive
Additional Character Details
Name: Felipe Alexander-Walker Hartfield
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Heartthrob,Gracious,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Narcisstic,Sexy,Religious,Outspoken,Funny,Sophisticated,Seductive
Additional Character Details
Name: Cordell Rodgerick James Kennedy
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Crazy,Engaging,Educated,Honorable,Insecure,Sexy,Religious,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Visionary,Romantic,Secretive,Seductive,Strong Moral Code,Manipulative,Unapologetic
Imagine being a gorgeous black man well into his late thirties who happens to be gay. You are still grieving a father whose death raises questions as to who killed him and why he died. You catch your boyfriend in bed with your coworker after you worked to support the former when he lost his job. You go to a support group to handle the depression tied to the breakup, subsequently deciding to come out of the closet. Your mother disowns you through a letter and a blistering phone call you placed on Mother's Day. But you have three best friends to pull you out of depression, one of them you’ve known since the day you were born (he nurses a deep romantic love for you, but is too afraid to tell you). Your friends have their own personal hells, but you all stand together. You support and love each other, alternating between providing comfort filled with affection and giving much-needed kicks in the ass. Through the gay bashing, the depression, and the search for mental therapy, you all are preparing to take an escape cruise where truths, both healing and devastating, are revealed. But these truths embolden you all to face life and move forward both individually and collectively. This is Lionel, Joseph, Felipe, and Cordell’s story- A story for the “fairies”, the “bulldaggers”, the “faggots”, the “queers”, the “queens”, the “weird” ones, and the “dykes”. In short, this is for the hated who have it in them to love those that can never refer to them as who they are, PEOPLE.
ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, LGBT, DRAMA, RELIGION
Four successful black gay men are best friends. Each one has painful secrets from their past. They support each other through thick and thin as they find love, confront their pasts and inspire each other in all aspects of their lives.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
The profile does reflect the book accurately.
Draw of Story
The intimate details of the each of the characters in their introductory chapters drew me into the story immediately.
The graphic nature of sexual scenes were a bit hard to take at times. This could be addressed in development as the filmmakers decide what sort of MPAA rating they wish to pursue.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The characters are engaging and relatable. The audience roots for them and wants them all to come out healed on the other side of their traumas.
This definitely has a built in fanbase in the LGBTQ and black communities. However, it is also appealing to a more general audience who are interested in inspirational and positive stories.
This could potentially be an Awards contender in several categories since it hits some popular demographic and diversity markers.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE BROTHERS, THE BEST MAN, MOONLIGHT, BLACKBIRD
What’s New About the Story
The story is familiar in that it confronts universal topics in family dynamics, hate and other issues facing the black LGBTQ community. Though the characters are well developed, adding more personal details to each of their intertwining stories could make it more original.
Lionel is a dynamic, successful, and ultimately, an admirable man.
Uniqueness of Story
Overall, the story is quite good. Focusing more on the deep connections made by the characters rather than on graphic sex would make this more appealing to a wider audience.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
There is definitely an audience for this if a discerning filmmaker is chosen to adapt it.
Four best friends, each with their own personal tragic histories stemming from their sexual orientation, comfort and support each other as they travel the road to redemption.
What We Liked
- The topical subject matter of prejudice based on race and sexual orientation is an important contemporary issue. Many people suffer from rejection, depression, abuse, etc. and this story has an ultimately positive message that could help those struggling see a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Film: A film adaptation of the book could present a compelling look at the tragedies and triumphs of the group of friends as they fight the uphill battle to be accepted in a world that isn’t very receptive to those who are considered “different”. It has a positive ending and could be potentially inspirational for a particular set of audience members.
- TV: The book could be adapted into a television series that follows the lives of the four best friends as they move through their own personal stories. There are infinite possibilities for story ideas and plot lines.
- Key points: Positive ending; Characters as role models; Cultural relevance; Inspirational; Diversity.
Lionel S. Davis, is a talented marketing executive with a successful career. He is wealthy and well adjusted, but suffering from depression stemming from the fact that his mother has disowned him for being gay.
Cordell “Corey” Kennedy is Lionel’s flamboyant and fashionable friend. He is a music professor who has been working on an autobiographical symphony since he was 14 years old. Corey came up in an orphanage and was profoundly and sexually abused as a child. His traumatic past haunts him and he keeps his secrets buried deep inside.
Corey comes over to cheer Lionel up. He helps him find a fierce outfit and takes him out to the gay nightclub, The Link. Lionel and Corey meet up with their other best friends, Jojo, Peep and his husband, Jimmy. Jojo, whose real name is Joseph S. Thompson, has a successful career in the financial sector. He and Lionel have been friends all their lives. Jojo’s past is also filled with traumatic sexual abuse at the hands of his stepfather. Felipe A. Walker-Hartfield, also known as Peep, is happily married to his husband, Jimmy, but is still haunted by guilt over his sexuality stemming from his dysfunctional relationship with the church. The best friends all have a great time at the club until Lionel and his ex-boyfriend, Nate, get into a fight and ruins the mood.
When he arrives home from the club, Lionel has a message from a beautiful man named Garrett, who saw him in the club. Garrett and Lionel begin a friendship, but there is no romantic attraction between the two. However, Garrett is a good fit for the group and becomes friendly with all of Lionel’s friends.
The friends come together in support when Corey is savagely beaten in a hate crime. They are all devastated for their friend and sickened by the social commentary. Corey physically recovers, but the emotional scars take longer to heal. Garrett soon reveals his romantic feelings toward Corey and they begin to get to know each other better.
Lionel continues to be hurt by his mother and some of his siblings who are not accepting of his lifestyle. In addition, Lionel learns that his mother killed his father years ago and let his gay lover, Troy, take the fall for it. Lionel is completely conflicted over it, but after visiting Troy in jail, he realizes this is the way that Troy wants it.
Since things have been so hard, the guys decide to take a week long rainbow cruise to the Bahamas. As they prepare for the events on the ship with shopping for fabulous outfits, they get more and more excited about the trip. When the guys board the ship, they meet some new friends. Garrett surprises Corey by joining them on board and the fun begins. Jojo has been in love with Lionel for years and Lionel is just now starting to be open to a romantic relationship. They have ups and downs as they take their relationship to the next level, but they ultimately decide that they love each other and want to get married. Corey and Garrett are shocked and amazed when it is revealed that they knew each other as children in the orphanage. This connection gives them yet another layer to explore in their relationship.
The friends support each other again through the death of Jimmy’s beloved mother, Irene, and a heartbreaking encounter Lionel has his mother, who still refuses to accept him. However, Lionel manages to forgive his mother despite her bitterness and reconciles with some of his siblings, most notably, his older brother, Andre.
Their personal growth as well as their growth as friends is apparent when they attend the triumphant premiere of Corey’s symphonic rendering of his life and times. The love between the friends is on full display when Corey thanks them all from the stage where he is conducting his symphony. The epilogue shows a successful and happy outcome for everyone involved.