Can I write about Smart Alex? Oh, yes, I can. This is the first book I wrote back in 2007 when M/M was all so new to me. I’ve said before that I saw Brokeback Mountain and loved it, ordered the DVD, and got the manuscript with it. While reading that I thought that I could do write about guys in love. I went back online looking for more, not knowing of the whole M/M genre. I found books on online and was thrilled. I read them, ordered more, and I was hooked. Soon after that I heard that there was a drag show in my town. Mind blown! Here? Really? I had to go. (The funny part is that when I walked into the smoky dark room a young guy came up to me and asked, “Didn’t you use to teach at ?? Elementary?” OMG. Yep. Busted. Hilarious.
Anyway, while there I watched this couple dance in between the acts and I fell in love. I used that scene in Smart Alex. That right there started my writing in the M/M genre. That smaller guy holding on so tightly to the back of the taller guy’s shirt as if he’d never let go was an eye opener for me. “This is mine,” is what he was saying. He danced with others, but not like with this guy. They were so clearly a unit.
I started writing Smart Alex. I like that Smart knows he’s gay but has never had a chance to act upon it. He’s so excited to be going to college and hoping he’ll meet someone. Right off the bat, he meets Tommy and Mike and through them he learns what he wants for himself. The three become fast friends and the story develops from there.
Tragedy comes in the form of a fierce beating to the most vulnerable of the three and through that trauma he meets Alex. Through the story Smart and Alex become close and they all work together to help their friend recover. There is parent drama, police drama, sweet hot love, a cool dog, and a happy ending. And now, in the reissue of Smart Alex, there is an epilogue that shows where they are after graduation years later.
A neat little aside. Kris Jacen, at MLR read Smart Alex, loved it, and went to the owner and they decided I needed to write for MLR. It remains one of her favorite books to this day and I couldn’t be happier because that first endeavor has brought me so much. I love what I do and I hope you all love it, too.