Chessen Parker, better known in Atlanta as YouthPride leader Frances-Ann Moran, reads from her debut novel tonight at Outwrite.

From LGBT youth outreach to murder mysteries

Moran, an attorney, served as president of the YouthPride board and is still a board member. But being an advocate for gay youth and an attorney wasn’t enough.

Under the pen name Chessen Parker, Moran has written a novel, “Blackbeard’s Curse,” the first installment in a planned Crystal Coast mystery series.

“I chose a pen name because, prior to ‘Blackbeard’s Curse,’ I have only published filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission and non-fiction in legal industry and academic texts, journals, and magazines — a google of my real name produces some pretty boring subject matters,” she says in an interview with The Indie Spotlight. “It’s OK, you can agree with me.”

“Blackbeard’s Curse” focuses on attorney Clara Dare Ivankova and her best friend, Detective Tara Thompson.

“As a straight ally of the Pride Community, I hope that my portrayal of a lesbian main character bridges relationships and understanding of how equality can work in all of our lives. At the request of friends and colleagues in the equality movement, Tara Thompson’s sexual orientation is accepted and respected, just like the majority of real LBGTQ family, friends, and colleagues in our real lives (i.e. there is no coming out struggle, no crazy relationship drama to accentuate her orientation, etc),” Moran says in the Indie Spotlight interview.

In an interview with Project Q, Moran says she doesn’t feel the need to specifically label Thompson.

“I never use the ‘L Word’ to describe Tara,” Moran says. “Her life is full and rich and is described as such, but we don’t have to say the word. So many fictional characters are too closely tied with their sexual identity, and I don’t want that to happen to my characters.”

Chessen Parker
Tuesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.
Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse
991 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30309