Isn’t it funny how life changes? Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. In spite of it all, though, life never seems to lack entertainment value. As a kid, in my wildest dreams I would never have imagined myself waking up one morning and saying, “Hey, I’m gay. Let’s throw a party (and don’t forget to invite the Naval fleet).” But it happened… well, all but the Navy part (damn it). This, then, led to more discovery about myself. My likes, dislikes, attractions. Questions abounded. Why do I keep looking at guys when everybody is telling me that I am supposed to be looking at girls, and what is this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach? Am I a cat person? Am I a dog person? Am I afraid of ice cubes?
Through all these discoveries and advancements, one constant remained steadfast: my wild and vivid imagination. It was through this that I managed to cope with my days in grade/high school where I was mercilessly taunted and teased (and yes, threatened) daily for being the ‘queer’ boy. The funny thing was that those guys seemed to know of my leanings even before I did, which makes me now wonder what they were hiding about themselves. Incidentally, I suspect that these bullies are either long gone, now doing time in prison, or secretly cheating on their wives with guys in dark alleys. Under assumed names. Wearing ski masks.
Throughout my younger years, my imagination continued to expand in ways unexpected. First I found a proclivity toward composing and performing music. Jotting down plays and short stories came next, with the inevitable conclusion being the creation of novels. Writing had become, and continues to be, an escape. An adventure. Through this medium I am able to live the perfect life I can only dream of living. Only the best people (yes, the villains, too) are allowed to visit me in my delusional brain… well, there was that one guy I thought up who insisted that he was thinking me up. We parted ways quickly before either one of us made the other disappear.
The first manuscript of great length to make it out of my typewriter (remember typewriters?) was simply entitled “Billy”, so named after the lead character. Originally, Billy was straight, but sadly, the poor fool stuck around too long and found himself being dragged out of the closet, kicking and screaming. Oddly, his surprising metamorphosis just happened to coincide with my own coming out. I wonder if there’s any possible correlation? Nah. It was at that time that the entire story underwent a massive rewrite. Not only that, but having become so familiar with the cast and Billy’s sexual revolution (my own, ironically, stagnating before my eyes) the book was added to, years later being published as; Billy: A Gay Trilogy. It was at that moment that my path to writing gay novels exposed itself. Fortunately, there were no police around at the moment.
Meanwhile, back at my life, something else was happening. I had always been extremely interested in things that went bump in the night. This intrigue was really nurtured along by my really living in a couple of really haunted houses. Really! A single one of those stories would have you sleeping with all the lights on, and since I refuse to be held responsible for increased electricity bills I will keep my ghostly tales to myself. Anyway, the point of this is that it was only a matter of time before the subjects of gays and ghosts melded together, and once that happened there was an ethereal explosion of creativity. “The House on Capitol Hill” and “Face Your Fears” were my first ventures into this new and exciting realm. In such stories freedom is the key element, leaving me to bypass the restraints of reality, thereby allowing my mind to wander where it will. Hopefully it will return, some day. I do kind of miss it.
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