We’ve read our share of book acknowledgments. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, but this one is sure to warm your heart. Author Byron Lane was looking for a unique way to propose to his boyfriend and fellow author Steven Rowley when he realized he needed to combine their love for each other with their love of books. If you turn to the final page of debut author Byron Lane’s, A Star is Bored, you will find a bookish proposal you won’t soon forget.
“And thank you to Steven Rowley, my morning light, my nighttime star, and all the magical blue skies in between. I have so much to thank you for: reading endless drafts for this book, helping me live some whisper of what’s in these pages, and lovingly building an exciting and crazy life with Tilda and me. I love us. I love you. Will you marry me?”
Obviously, Steven said yes, but this wouldn’t be the last time their relationship was acknowledged through their work. Byron says, “All of our books are sort of a blueprint or a map of our time together.” Let’s dive into this couple’s blueprint and see how their relationship inspired their novels.
The First Date
Steven and Byron met for the first time on Okcupid, and we can definitely say Cupid is looking out for these 2. This couple met in 2013 before either of them had published their first novel. They met up for their first date to get frozen yogurt, and Byron will never forget the bold sight of Steven turning the corner in his bright yellow pants. The couple instantly hit it off, and Steven went on to write about this encounter in his novel Lily and the Octopus. Steven based a character in his novel after Byron to replicate the “There you are” moment Steven felt upon meeting Byron.
A Battle with Cancer
The couple faced many ups and downs leading to the proposal, including the beginning of Byron’s battle with testicular cancer in 2015. Fortunately, the cancer was caught early, but it would later reemerge in 2020, causing Byron to require chemotherapy. Byron chose to focus on his memories with Steven during this time rather than allow the cancer to overtake his mind.
Steven went on to write his novel The Celebrants based on their experiences during this time. Byron learned about the reappearance of his cancer right as his debut novel was set to be published. He claims that Steven’s supportive and caring actions during this time are what motivated him to propose. Byron last minute, called up his editor and threw his proposal into his debut novel.
Steven’s Proposal Response
Steven reveals he didn’t want a big flashy proposal, but the acknowledgment was perfect. Steven immediately accepted, and a year later, fans were happy to find out that Steven answered the proposal in the acknowledgment of his own novel, The Guncle.
“Finally, to Byron Lane: a thousand times, YES (In the acknowledgments for his novel ‘A Star IS Bored,’ Byron proposed. In case anyone has read his book—you should—and then was waiting for my next book to see what my answer was, NOW YOU KNOW. At the very least, I wanted my acceptance documented in the Library of Congress alongside the contents of Abe Lincoln’s pockets and a lock of Walt Whitman’s hair. I’m so damn lucky to spend my life with you.”
The couple went on to get married in 2021 and had what they called a “Little Gay Wedding” as Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. The 5-minute ceremony took place in an old house from the 60s and went on to inspire another novel. Byron wrote the book Big Gay Wedding in honor of their special day. The novel debuted the same day as Steven’s novel The Celebrants. What can we say? Authors who publish together, stay together.
Byron and Steven acknowledge the importance of telling their story through their novels as it depicts an LGBTQ couple having fun and living a full life. Steven recounts growing up watching LGBTQ characters depicted as lonely with dark futures ahead of them. Now he finds himself fighting with Byron about who gets to incorporate the latest hilarious memory into their next novel. Pick up one of their novels today to be inspired by their writing style or simply to enjoy a beautiful love story.