First Review! 1947: When Nick Met Carter

1947: When Nick Met Carter

First review for 1947: When Nick Met Carter!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book – in one sitting. I bought the next one, and then the one after that, and came back online to buy the fourth. I particularly liked the hard-boiled, old fashioned detective style writing. I also appreciated the reminder of what it is like to live in a society deeply and openly homophobic and racist. Most of all, I loved this darn good story.

Hooray!

2014: Winter to Spring

2014 was the last year that I was really on the road and all over the place. Here are some pics from the first three months of that year, as I moved from winter into spring.

Everglades National Park (January 25, 2014). Not pictured: alligators in a cold-weather stupor.

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Zion National Park (February 19, 2014).

Zion National Park

Mountain pass on I-90 going over the Cascades on my way to Seattle (February 27, 2014). This was the first significant snowfall that year and there was a lot of it, all at once.

Cascades mountain pass

Rest area on I-5 in Oregon (March 7, 2014). Spring!

Spring in Oregon

Redwoods somewhere near Yreka, California (March 12, 2014). Not sure exactly where.

Redwoods

Big Sur Coast (March 20, 2014).

Big Sur Coast

Everybody dies

2008: When Nick & Carter Got Married

In the final episode of one of my favorite TV series, Six Feet Under, something quite extraordinary happened. It’s been 11 years since that episode aired, so I’m going to give away what it was: everybody died. It was a magical way to wrap the series and, to be honest, I walked around devastated for about two weeks. I remember everyone I knew who’d seen it seemed to have the same reaction. It made us think about ourselves and then, at least on my end, my nieces and nephews, and how there would be a day when they would be talking to their kids and grand kids about, “Crazy Gay Uncle Frank.”

The Nick & Carter books, like the others that I’ve written, are channeled. I sit down and watch the unfolding scenes, interpret what I’m seeing, and transcribe the dialogue. I never know what is going to happen. Sometimes I do get visions of what’s coming. And that hit me a couple of days ago when I sat down to write the first chapter of 2008: When Nick & Carter Got Married.

You may know that 2008 was when the California State Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in California. This only lasted until the next election, but that’s a whole other story.

In this first chapter that I wrote out, an 80-something Nick wakes up to his assistant Robin telling him that same-sex marriage is now legal and that it’s time to go to City Hall and get married to Carter. As Nick is getting dressed and as they’re all driving down there, he reminisces about the past.

At first, I thought this was just really interesting. Then, the next morning I realized this was the start to the final (in chronological order) book of all the Nick & Carter books because this is the one where they die.

Then the tears started. And I don’t mean an occasional tear & sniffle, I mean the full-on ugly, wrenching, I-might-break-my-face kind of crying. I finally had to call in some help so I could uncover what was really going on (and that’s another story altogether).

It feels right to share this experience. Everyone dies. And, in the light of today, I’m going back and re-reading the 1947 romance book where Nick & Carter meet. It feels wonderful to be able to see the beginning and the end and to know that filling out the middle is going to be a delicious experience!

I love these characters. And, underneath the notion of writing a book, I feel like I’m simply transcribing Nick’s story. In fact, I had a vision that… Whoops! Will save that tidbit for the book.

One last thought I’ll share:

Terry Gross: So, isn’t it a bit unusual to write a book where the main characters die before you’ve written all the other books?

New review: The Amorous Attorney

The Amorous Attorney

New review for The Amorous Attorney!

If you completely enjoyed The Unexpected Heiress, as I did, and read it in one or two days, as I did, then you’ll really enjoy The Amorous Attorney. Maybe it was just my schedule, but I was able to take my time a bit and savor all of the twists and turns. Just as with the previous, there is plenty of unexpected surprises, but this time, we get to explore them more. Never once did I say, “I saw that coming,” and never once was I disappointed. Giggles and chills will be had, as well as a Cheshire cat grin. It’s hard to not love the guys and gals in this book. I highly recommend it!

Woo hoo!

Revisiting Perry Mason

I decided to start reading the original Perry Mason novels from the beginning, so I just grabbed a copy of the very first one: The Case of the Velvet Claws, first published in 1933. I’m looking forward to the rough and tumble Perry Mason from the early years of Erle Stanley Gardner’s famous series.

In some ways, Nick Williams is similar to Perry Mason. Or, at least the early Perry Mason. For one thing, they are both operating in a grey area of the law. They often seem to be at the wrong place at the right time. I love that kind of story.

As I wrote in the Acknowledgements of The Unexpected Heiress, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing an all-gay satire novel, similar to Mabel Maney’s take on early YA mainstays: Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys. For starters, Perry and Paul Drake would be on-again, off-again lovers. Della Street would be right in the middle of a torrid affair with some Hollywood starlet.

I’ve even thought that the first story could be about what happens when Veda Pierce is released from prison after serving seven years in a women’s penitentiary for the murder of her step-father, Monty. A worried and frightened Mildred Pierce (with Bert — they’ve reconciled — and she’s now the C.E.O. of Mildred’s Famous Pies, Inc.) would be in Perry’s office to find out what they could do to protect Veda from her own worst enemy: herself.

That sort of thing.

Who knows? Maybe I will at that…