In The Memoirs of Angel King, Raph Solo weaves a tale about coming to terms with being gay and finding God in the 21st Century. Based on the author’s real-life experiences, the novel chronicles the journey of a young male model and aspiring pop singer who yearns to find true love.
Eight years and six ex-boyfriends later, he begins to doubt he will ever find it with another man and makes the bold decision to embark on a quest to alter his sexual orientation and he is forced to confront demons from his past. Eventually, the metaphorical Angel King conquers them in a cathartic battle, but not before a half-decade of self-imposed celibacy and a failed attempt at re-orientating his homosexuality.
“The Memoirs of Angel King started out as a private journal I kept as part of my reparative therapy,” reveals Solo of his first book. “I developed my entries into a novel by fictionalizing the characters and adding a supernatural sci-fi element to the setting. However, much of the book is based on experiences in my real life. Fictionalizing the elements made it a little easier to relive.”
Angel King – the name is a derivative of the author’s full name, Raphael Solomon – is an angel from heaven masquerading as a human being on planet Earth; haunted by the ghost of his former lover, Diablo Sin. Through their relationship, Solo explores the theme of Heaven and Hell and what it means to him, personally.
“I believe everybody is an angel” Solo reflects. “Some of us are fallen angels and others have only just risen. Some of us do not believe we will ever fly again and we are paralyzed by fear.” According to Solo “the greatest demon known to mankind is fear: fear of loss, abandonment, rejection, and inferiority. Fear of being used or of not living up to one’s full potential; fear of losing connection with the collective force of The Universe, God, Love, Allah , whichever you want to call it, it’s all the same.”
“Angel King is a reminder that life offers infinite possibilities in each and every new moment in our lives” he says. “In the end, we will all fly again, as we have flown before. It’s vital that we reconnect with our spirits.”
“I’ve always had a great relationship with God,” says Raph. “It got a little muddled up when I went through reparative therapy but we held it together. It was just a little misunderstanding, like any two friends might have. I thought God was mad at me for being gay and that He wanted me to be straight. I thought He was teaching me a lesson by way of showing me through my relationships that didn’t work.”
“We’ve patched things up nicely. He has proved He does love me and He has taught me how to love myself and for which I am grateful.”
The greatest lesson Angel King learns in the novel is that homosexuality is not a disease that can be/ needs to be cured.
“I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the struggles of those who are affected with HIV/AIDS, directly and indirectly, and applaud their survival. HIV/AIDS is a world epidemic.”