elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Ronald L. Donaghe (born May 6, 1948)

"I grew up in the house(s) my father built. He and my paternal grandfather built the first house in Deming, New Mexico, when I was about four years old. It was made of adobe bricks. At the time, my father was a carpenter and worked on a large crew that built one of Deming's largest 1950s subdivisions. Then when I was about seven, we moved out into the country to a farm that my father owned. He had been renting it out and working in town. So he took up farming, and I took up residence with my three sisters. When I was fourteen, my parents had another son and then a year later, another daughter.

So I grew up in a large family, did chores on the farm, went to a country school of about 110 children from first grade to eighth grade. We had an eighth grade graduation ceremony. Then I went to high school in Deming, where I took "college prep" courses. I also "came out of the closet" to myself in high school, mainly because I had a crush on a boy there my age. I dated girls and was one of the "popular" students among the girls, though among the student body as a whole, I was also kind of an odd-ball, though I didn't realize it. A friend and I formed Deming High's first chess club, and it is still going almost 40 years later!

Went to college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I studied English and majored in education. Came out of the closet to others and, for about six months frequented the gay bars in El Paso, Texas, 45 south of Las Cruces. There, I had a couple of stormy, youthful affairs, and then in 1970, like taking a wrong turn into the Twilight Zone, I married a woman I had barely met. Within another six months, I realized my horrible mistake and joined the Air Force during the waning days of Vietnam.

During my short time in the Air Force, I came out again, this time to everybody in my flight (in the Army, it's called "company"), met a fellow airman and went into a 14 year relationship with him. I finished my bachelor's at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Later, I returned to Las Cruces, went in and out of the bookstore business, went to graduate school at New Mexico State, where I majored in technical writing and computer science.

Got a job as a technical writer in 1980, broke up with my male lover in 1986, worked all over the U.S., and my first novel, Common Sons, was published in 1989.

I've basically been a writer of fiction ever since, while also maintaining my day job as a technical writer. Writing, my husband Cliff, my two cats and—did I say writing?—is my life. I'm enjoying every moment of it, too."


Further Readings:

Common Sons by Ronald L. Donaghe
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (June 27, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0595097081
ISBN-13: 978-0595097081
Amazon: Common Sons: Common Threads in the Life
Amazon Kindle: Common Sons: Common Threads in the Life

The Book: Set in a small town in the middle of nowhere in the mid-1960s, Common Sons not only anticipates the coming gay revolution, but delineates its fields of battle in churches, schools and society, pitting fathers against sons, straight teens against gay teens, and self-hatred against self-respect. From the opening scene (where a reckless bout of drinking at a dance ends in a very public kiss between two teenage boys), the citizens of the small town of Common, New Mexico, become aware of the homosexuality in their midst. The two boys are unable to deal with their struggle in private as the story of their public kiss spreads through the small town. Some seek to destroy the relationship between the two boys, while others seek to destroy the two boys themselves. Common Sons is a moving tale of self-discovery, love and finding the courage to come out and come to grips with truth in the face of hatred and adversity. Reading some novels is like meeting somebody at a cocktail party, enjoying the chat and never seeing them again. Other novels become like friends whose company is enjoyed over and over. Such a book, for me, is Common Sons. --Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front Runner

More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Tags: author: ronald l. donaghe, in the spotlight

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