Thank you, Kim, for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’d like to talk a little about what inspired “Out of Order,” my story in Stranded that appears with your awesome story “Standby.” Also, I’d like to tell readers about my debut novel, Secrets of the Other Side.
“Out of Order”
Twenty-five years ago today at 5:04 p.m., I was driving on an East Bay freeway speeding toward San Francisco, when the radio station I was listening to mysteriously went off the air. I pressed the radio’s scan button and discovered not one station was broadcasting. That was my only clue that something was wrong. In my speeding car I did not feel the violent shaking. I had no idea a terrible earthquake was pancaking a double-deck freeway only a few miles ahead, collapsing the Bay Bridge and old Victorians in San Francisco’s Marina, and rocking Candlestick Park moments before the Oakland A’s were to battle the San Francisco Giants in a World Series game.
Events in the Bay Area on October 17, 1989, are etched in my memory forever—toppled buildings, houses on fire, mighty infrastructure in ruins, and rescuers searching amid rubble for survivors. There was no phone service, train service, or flights in or out of the region. People were left stranded.
In my story “Out of Order” in Wayward Ink Publishing’s new anthology Stranded, Trent has flown to the Bay Area from Phoenix for a job interview on that fateful day. High up in a Financial District skyscraper, he stumbles upon Rob, an old crush who mysteriously vanished from his life and resettled in Oakland years ago. Little does Trent know he’s about to be broadsided. In a moment, Rob will make a startling confession, old feelings for him will reignite, and San Francisco’s worst disaster in eight decades will erupt around him. Even if he and Rob survive the deadly temblor, the nerve-racking aftershocks, and being stranded for the night in the chaotic, blacked-out city, Trent is not sure his heart will survive when he has to return home and leave Rob behind.
Wayward Ink Publishing:
Secrets of the Other Side
I’m very excited to announce that my debut novel was a big winner in this year’s Reader Views literary contest. The book took first place in the LGBT category, won the award for best book by a writer from the Pacific region, and was selected from all this year’s fiction entries as Best Fiction Book of the Year.
The novel is set in Las Vegas in the eighties and nineties and chronicles the adventures of Neil Ostwinkle. Like his mom Ellen, Neil always gives his heart to guys who find unique ways to break it. When he meets Zach, he hopes the sexy gamer-geek will break his run of bad luck. But he’s not too sure that’s gonna happen the night they decide to hit lovers’ lane.
THE CITY ABRUBPTLY ended at the base of Sunrise Mountain, leaving us surrounded by darkness as we drove. After we passed several unlit cars parked on the highway’s wide shoulder, Zach made a U-turn. In the valley below, glowing palaces rose from a glittering kingdom of lights.
He pulled over and cut the engine.
“I feel like I’m back in high school,” I said. “Are we really going to do this?”
“I’ll be your quarterback if you’ll be my cheerleader,” he said, climbing into the back.
He wasn’t lying. His hands were underneath my tee shirt soon as my butt touched the back seat. He’d have been unclasping my bra and tossing it on the floorboard if I were his cheer girl.
“Give me a D!…Give me an I!…Give me a C!—”
“You little slut,” he said, fingering my nipples.
“Give me an E, you presumptuous rake!”
He collapsed in my arms in laughter. I peeled off his shirt, tore off mine, and wrestled him to his back. We locked lips, thrilled to be a couple of bad boys breaking the rules. I was going after the buttons on his jeans when a flashlight beam shined on our naked torsos.
In addition to penning Secrets of the Other Side and “Out of Order” for Stranded, I’ve written stories for various publications, including First Time for Everything and Best Gay Romance 2014. I earned an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University.
When not writing, I’m usually curled up with a good book, seeking inspiration from the big screen, or hanging with great friends. I’m an avid runner and enjoy trail running and half marathons.
I grew up in Las Vegas and now make my home in Los Angeles, where I’m at work on a new novel.