A recent casting news for a BL drama series in Thailand is creating plenty of buzz. You see, this is no ordinary series.
Written by Utain Boonarana (or Doctor Patrick Rangsimant, Neurologist), it is a trailblazer of sorts. While most BL stories adapted into TV series are written by female writers, My Ride I Love You, is created by a man.
And so? Statistics are not even available as to the ratio between male and female BL authors. It could be 1% versus 99%.
Let’s hear Doc Patrick himself then!
On Gay Rights
As outsiders, all we know about gay people living in modern Bangkok is that life is easy and fun. Is that true in general?
Yes it’s fun – in general term – and I think Bangkok’s fun isn’t different from other cities. On the other hand, what we are concerned isn’t about fun, it’s equality. I think we have enough fun.
What we need and have to focus now for Bangkok’s gay community is equality especially in legal terms
Gay equality has been attacked recently and as far as we know only in Latin America is where equality are making some headways. But in Africa and Russia things are getting worst.
I understand that there is already some kind of movement in Thailand. Can you update our viewers?
We are still at the same point – tolerance not acceptance.
Yes, from the outside you may see that being gay in Bangkok is, at least, better and more fun than in some countries. But we, gay people in Bangkok, are just being tolerated and not fully accepted.
Last year before general election, the government promised to release the general laws for same sex marriage. Gay people were so happy with this news. However, the raw bill did not apply the same rights for same sex marriage compared to male-female marriage.
We are still restricted. And you know what? This bill is still in the drafting process, even though it’s more than a year from the day they promised.
It doesn’t mean I am not happy with this city. Trust me, I had many chances to go out and work in another country but I chose to be here every time. Even if I have to choose again, I will definitely choose Bangkok. I love this sick and funny and lively city 😉😁
This is the longest relationship in my life.
I trust in Thai people that one day we will go to that point. The point that we turn from tolerance to acceptance. Gay people will not only be having fun lives here but a stable and rightful lives too.
Publisher Note: We started with some serious questions because – for some people – watching BL or specifically gay movies maybe for entertainment. But there are serious issues associated with the people working behind the scenes.
My Ride I love You
Could you tell us how did you negotiate for My Ride to become a drama series. How did you come into contact with K10 Global?
Big story short, my agency sold it to K10, that’s all. 😂😂
Ok, let’s try the long version.
In 2018 my first book “Wake up, Bitch” was produced to a TV series and it’s famous. That’s the time I met Miss Oh, my agent.
She’s working for Jamsai Publishing in department of online marketing and website. With her sweet invitation and her great personality in talking, I agreed to write a new novel for Jamsai’s website exclusively. “My Ride, I love you” is that novel.
Unfortunately, that department didn’t make enough revenues and had to be shut down at the end of 2018. So Miss Oh started running her own private agency company. By using her connection – while she’s still working in Jamsai – to contact the TV producer to pitch the novel for adaptation to TV version. My book was one of her products.
2019 there are 3 companies wanting to buy MyRide, but K10 is the best choice, Miss Oh said.
Ok since Miss Oh had a strong recommendation on K10, I trusted her and the deal started since that day.
After reading the first 3 chapters of My Ride. I was transformed into another world that reminded me of good old days when I was reading gay coming of age novels and semi-bio from the great gay writers of America like Felice Picano and Edmund White.
You have described your characters in such vivid terms.
Is it possible to narrate your journey into becoming a gay writer? I have not been entertained by a book for a long long time, except when I read Call Me By Your Name a few years ago.
You have a special gift. Please let us know how you have evolved into the writer you are today.
Thank you very much, I’m blushing right now reading your message. You made my day 😁
About the writing, I think every writer shares the same start, it’s reading. I read a lot since I was young. You know 90’s kid has restricted choices for leisure, reading is the most common choice. (I’m 38 , in case you don’t know).
My dad, who was a pilot for the Royal Thai navy, always tells me that “reading makes you get closer to the writer’s heart”.
I think in my old house we had a poster of this quote posted on my dad’s working room wall. Well, reading is my family’s tradition so I keep reading until I grew up.
As you know there are a lot of BL novels in Thai book market, most of it tells the same story about young boys, collage love especially in engineering school. For me, those stories are cliche, I didn’t mean to accuse the writers, it’s just the matter of fact.
One day while I wandered through the aisles of bookshelves in Kinokuniya bookstore, I questioned myself “Is there a book that tells the love story of the mature gay guy?” I mean a real gay guy, not a fancy gay guy in girl’s imagination, and I had to spend more than 2 hours in Kinokuniya looking for it.
The answer is NONE. So what’s next? I went home and started writing a novel.
That’s how I started a new chapter of my life as a novelsmith, my personal term from combine novel and blacksmith together. 😁😉
Publisher Note: Novelsmith is how Dr. Patrick describes himself on his Twitter handle.
I have no special gift, but I have marvelous teachers!
David Levithan, you may not believe me but I read all of his books. ALL OF HIS BOOKS. My first BL romance book is Boy meets Boy and I suddenly fell in love with his books after the last page.
Even though I have never met him, reading his books taught me a lot for writing BL love story. You may sense a little smell of his story style in mine, that’s because he’s my first mentor in the writing world.
Joseph Campbell, the author of “A Hero with a Thousand Faces” teaches me through his book, that exact book. It says about the hero’s journey. All stories in the world share the same rhythm of telling. I learn about the structure of storytelling, novel, and adapt the hero’s journey to tell the love story in my style.
It’s not a big story of evolving myself LOL but I’d rather call it classic. Thank you for your question.
Aside from My Ride, I think that many fans and lovers of your work would like to know of any upcoming adaptations. Let us know also some of your future projects and goals as writer.
For the series, in 2020, as you know, there will be 2 series from my books #รักนายMyRide and #WakeUpชะนี Season 2.
My Ride I Love You, is just the first book in this series. There are another 2 books:
- “My Cop, I love you” which is about Dao-Neou (means north star) younger brother of Tawan;
- “My Ex, I love you” which is about Seang Tai (means south aurora) the older brother of Tawan.
I’m writing these 2 books and I hope that director Nam will make these 2 books to be the sequels of My Ride.
I’ll also release a paranormal romantic novel called “My Imaginary Boyfriend” on Wattpad.
If you guys love Mork and Tawan, you will definitely love Pai and Klong in this book for sure.
— Utain Boonorana (@PatheNeuro) December 15, 2019
What would be your message to a young gay boy or girl who is a bit worrisome about the future?
First of all, be yourself. I know it sounds cliche but it’s timeless, indeed. I use to doubt myself, is it good to be me? Just being myself is enough?
Listen, I’m almost 40 now and one thing that I have learned during these 4 decades is being yourself is enough. It will lead you to the right way, eventually.
And don’t compare yourself with others. If you wanna compare, make it with yourself of yesterday.
Being the better version of you is pretty good enough. Moreover, it’s healthy for you mentally not to look down at yourself.
The PsychoMilk team truly appreciates Doc. Patrick for this interview!