New Literary Fiction from Samantha Waltz



The Choice of Men intimately explores the struggles of a man forced to choose between his desire for men and his wish to follow the mandates of his church and community. The novel takes the reader inside the life of Heber Averil, a gay Mormon in the ’40s and early ’50s who is grappling with how to reconcile the church’s teachings, love for his family, and his true nature. His conscience never letting up, he must decide how to soothe his shattering nerves and ease his growing despair without hurting those he loves most.

Paperback and e-books are available on Amazon. Paperback is available at Bookshop and for order at all online and local book stores.


This book began with a series of frank, open conversations with my father about his life as a Mormon active in the church and as a closet gay. I wanted to understand the difficult and damaging dynamics of my family as I grew up. After many drafts and a great deal of help from two gay men, I’m hoping in this work of fiction to share my passionate belief that everyone loses when we mandate who a person should be rather than respecting who that person actually is. While this is a historical novel, it is, unfortunately, still relevant today, not just in the Mormon church but in far too many segments of society.


Tami Tack writes in the Columbia River Reader, “Anyone who has an LGBTQ family member (and who doesn’t?) will find compassion, hope, and understanding in this book, a book that is believable, gripping, and has the power to change lives.”

About the Author

Award winning author Samantha Waltz sold her first story at age eleven to a local newspaper. Her next stories appeared in American Girl, and she later worked as a guest editor and assistant editor for Mademoiselle.

She is the author of seventy anthologized personal essays and the editor of Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience.

She has extensive editorial experience and has taught her Tell ‘Em and Sell ‘Em workshops to hundreds of writers, helping them craft excellent stories.

The Choice of Men is her first adult novel. She has been fascinated by the exploration of a theme about which she cares passionately.