Unfortunately, I have been frustrated by the lack of gay heroes in nautical fiction. There have been hints here and there, but they are extremely minor characters and always come off badly in their encounters with the virile and masculine and admirable heterosexual male protagonists. One day, feeling cheated once again by such an encounter, I decided to write a story to amuse myself. I had no idea where it would lead or what I would write about, but I didn't let that stop me.
The character of Lt. Peter Thorton, a repressed gay man serving with the British navy of the mid-18th century immediately sprang full grown from my brain. It struck me that having a gay character would be an interesting twist on the usual nautical adventure -- nautical fiction is rather formulaic, and it's hard to make a fresh and interesting story when following at the heels of Roderick Random, Frank Mildway, Mr. Midshipman Easy, Ishmael, Harvey Cheyne, Jim Hawkins, Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, Lord Ramage, Alan Lawry, and the many other fictional heroes of what is very likely the oldest genre in English.
The Adventures of Roderick Random was first published in 1748 and set the mold of a roguish but resourceful heterosexual male hero, following him from his childhood of petty delinquency into his early years as a very junior officer aboard ship, the bedding of many women, humorous misadventures, and the eventual success and rehabilitation of the hero. Even that modern movie member of the genre, Pirates of the Caribbean, follows a similar course, albeit with magic thrown in for good measure.
I posted the first draft to http://www.fictionpress.com/~mkei where I have been frequently frustrated with the FictionPress interface. However, it does provide various advantages, such as tracking how many people read each of your stories, forums, and a ready-made readership that go there looking for stories. But, as I have been working on the revision to the novel, it occurred to me that I could blog it and present the story in a way that is easier on the readers -- and hopefully myself. Blogging technology is a lot less buggy than FictionPress.com, even if it doesn't give me stats on the number of readers.