Meet Picayune from Beloved Unmasked by Brita Addams.
Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.
Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.
A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband's middle name, with an additional d and s.
About the Book
Title Beloved Unmasked
Genre Gay Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings R):
Introducing Picayune/David Reid
Welcome to Romance Lives Forever! We're happy to have you here today.
Name: Picayune, later David Reid
Age: at the time of this interview, I’m 24.
Birthplace: Storyville, New Orleans
Describe your body and build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars.
I’m tall, tanned, and slim, with a full head of dark hair that needs pomade.
Who is the significant other in your life?
You’ll have to read Beloved Unmasked to find out. I’m not being coy, here, but it’s best you read about it.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
As a boy, I spent as much time as I could out my mother’s way. She hated me. She named me Picayune, for crying out loud. What kind of mother does that? Said I didn’t deserve a last name. With a great deal of help, I’ve overcome a lot, but something tells me I’ll never stray too far from Picayune. To forget him would do him, and me, a great injustice. I plan a better future, but I’ll always wonder if I deserve it.
How do you dress?
As a kid, I worked for the ragman, as well as Mr. Anderson, the mayor of Storyville. More often than not, I wore baggy overalls, with one broken buckle, but, what’s that, right? My yellowed shirt itched and was at least two sizes too big. My shoes were something. Nester, the man who took care of all us kids at the Gem, he tied my soles on with rope.
Nowadays, I like my suits and two-tone Oxfords. Emile says I spend too much on clothes, but I tell him that is born of deprivation.
I’m told I’ve got a Cajun accent. I used to talk like everyone else in Storyville—dese, dem, doze, but people don’t take you seriously when you sound uneducated. I’ve spent many hours trying to speak like the people I went to school with. Now I sound like them, except when I get excited, and I still have an accent.
Are you book-smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
All of the above. I read a lot and I was a good student. I raised myself on streets where you learn quickly, mostly things you shouldn’t learn. Nester and Miss Effie, they kept me straight. I never got into trouble, though Sapphire, my mother, saw fit to discipline me, mostly for no good reason other than she was angry at something.
On what special skills do you rely?
I draw and play the piano. I have a fair-to-middling singing voice, too. When I draw or play, nothing else matters.
Are any of your skills a source of pride or embarrassment, and if so, which ones and why?
Miss Effie always said we shouldn’t be prideful, but I’m a fast learner. King Oliver himself taught me to play piano and he didn’t mess around. He’d play a few notes, then tell me to play them. I’m proud I learned all I know about music from the king himself, and from hanging out at the Funky Butt Dance Hall. They had a kid over there, Louis Armstrong. Man, could that boy play that cornet of his.
Do you care about what others assume about you?
Don’t we all care about what others think of us? I have more secrets than most people I know, but to defend myself, I’d have to reveal them. Spence calls that a double-edged sword.
If someone from your past showed up, who would you most want it to be, and why?
All my life, I’ve thought about who my father might be, but there’s no way of tellin’. The why in that question is obvious. I’ve read stories about families, but they don’t have anything to do with me.
Can you keep a secret? Why or why not?
Sure, because I have so many of my own.
What is your biggest need?
I want someone to love and who’ll love me. *Bows head*
How do you handle challenges?
Straight on. That’s how Nester taught me.
What is your breaking point?
In the book, Beloved Unmasked, Ms. Addams wrote about it. A man has to make a decision and stick to it. That’s what I did. Let’s just say it has something to do with a broken broomstick.
How emotionally expressive are you to others?
I have my moments. I’ve spent a long time finding my heart.
Who in your life has the power to hurt you the most and why?
The person who loves me. He has my life in his hands.
What would you like to tell your writer?
Thank you, Ms. Addams, for being patient with me. Some of the stuff you pulled out of me wasn’t easy—for either of us.
What would you like people who hear your story to know?
We are all responsible for our happiness, and we have to be a person someone wants to care for.
Buy This Book
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