Friday, February 11, 2011

Back in the Closet

Today I am thrilled to be able to share an interview with the multi talented David Kentner AKA KevaD.  Under his pseudonym David has published two fantastic stories with Noble Publishing and his third Back in the Closet is due out on Valentines Day.
You can find all of David's books here at Noble Publishing.

This is book two in the series.  I loved book one and just wondered if life had got any easier for Chaz, Mike and The Cat Too?

A. Not at all. Mike's as loveably crazy and devoted to Chaz as ever. TCT discovers hunting can be fun, and that Chaz hates snakes. Chaz has to confront some issues from his childhood, though.
In the end, Chaz is a much better man for it and understands and appreciates just how special Mike really is in his life.
As for Mike, he'll get over that he couldn't keep an Amish as a souvenir of their time on the farm…eventually.

Please tell me your real life is nothing like the lives of Chaz and Mike

A. Okay. My real life is nothing like the lives of Chaz and Mike.

I know male/male romance wasn’t something you had written before you created book one, so what inspired you to try a new genre?

A. The critiquing group, ERAuthors, you and I are a part of. As you well know, there are some amazing writers there, and you're one of them. They challenged me and gave me the self-confidence to explore new venues and genres. Out of the Closet, written and contracted with a publisher in just three months, was the result.
I'd probably still be unpublished if it wasn't for ERAuthors.

I am a big fan and have read a lot of your work.  Your stories all vary in plot and genre but the one thing I noticed about all of them is how you take time to paint your characters.  Are they what comes to you first when you start a book or is it the plot?

A. Thank you! I'm such a fan of yours, your saying that means the world to me.
Usually, for me, it's an initial concept. In Sunday Awakening, the entire story formed around the words "Sundays are like that sometimes." The tag developed from those five words. The plot itself went through several variations until the character Cheryl stepped forward. Once she appeared, I was a goner. I had to tell her story. But she required a very special man to fall in love with. If anyone ever takes the time to really dissect the story's hero, Taylor Hughes, (and I have no idea why they would) they will find Taylor is simply Cheryl in the male persona. That's why he was so easy to write.
Out of the Closet sprang from the tag, "Chaz never once thought the day he came out of the closet no one would be home . . . except the cat. And he was neutered."
Likewise, Back in the Closet came from it's own tag line.
Obviously, the tag lines are, and remain, my original, core thoughts that give birth to the story and thusly the characters.
An exception is a novel I've had on hold for a while now, The Hummingbird, which I'll get back to working on once my current project is finished. The Hummingbird was created from the character Krisah, an orphan surviving in the sewers. I was conducting research for another work in progress when Krisah stepped into my imagination and told me his story. It's a tale too compelling not to write.

All of your books have wonderful humor in them.  The tag line for Sunday Awakening, for example, is just brilliant and when you get to the point in the story where Cheryl is living the moment it seems like such a normal reaction, for her.  Does the humor come naturally to you in everyday life or is it something your characters bring to the page?

A. Basically, I'm a sarcastic prick.
Honestly, I've been around a lot of people faced with conditions so extreme I don't know if I could survive with the dignity and grace they have. The one commonalty they all shared is the ability to find and give away a smile. My characters and people I have known inspire whatever humor I have.
I also used to drink a lot. People are really funny when you're snockered.

What things in life inspire you to write?

A. People. The human race is amazing. No matter what difficulties and horrors are inflicted on people, when they have been beaten down and have nothing left, they will put their arms around a total stranger and say, "I'm here. Lean on me." How can we not be inspired by that?

Whilst you have only been published recently, I wonder, when did you first get an inkling that you could write and when did you first act on it?

A. I'll never be convinced I "can" write, but I've been trying since before I learned the alphabet. My first story was lines and squiggles in crayon on paper. I wrote it for my mother two years ago. To tell the truth, I can’t recall a year in grade school I didn’t write a story the teacher didn’t read to the class. In high school I had a poem and short story published in a local magazine. I had every intention of becoming an English teacher and writer – life disagreed and it's only been in the last few years I've enjoyed the opportunity to return to my love of writing.

What is a typical day for KevaD?  Do you have set hours when you write or do you only get to hide under the stairs when life allows?

A. When life and wife permit. I try to hide from my wife, but the three-legged cat tells her where I am. He gets upset because he wants to use the litter box and there isn’t room for both of us.

I have heard you talk about your muse, so give me a description and tell me who is in charge, you or them?

A. The muses are definitely in charge. One is female. She offers gentler stories and helps hone works in progress. Her specialty is refining plots and character motivation. The male is a bit sadistic. He enjoys murder and revenge. The things he whispers in my ear are terrifyingly mouthwatering. I've been sketching out a storyline he's been pushing. It's disgustingly interesting.

When do you usually get plot motivation?  How do you keep hold of those ideas before they disappear into thin air?

A. Anytime I am alone or my wife is asleep. More than once I've pulled over to the side of the road and jotted down notes. I joke about my best story concepts coming while I'm mowing the lawn, but there's a lot of truth in that. The engine noise blocks out extraneous sound and I can lose myself in my thoughts for the five to six hours it takes to mow our yard. When I'm finished, I sit down at the computer.

What has been the most exhilarating moment to date in your writing career?

A. Truthfully, being accepted in to ERAuthors. To have a group of superior writers welcome me into their fold was humbling and exciting. I'm totally in awe of the stories these people create. I keep saying it because it's true – I wouldn't be published if not for ERAuthors.
The two previous moments were my first story being accepted by a magazine (Faraway Journal) and placing fourth in a national fiction competition (Mensa's Calliope magazine).

As well as writing stories you also devote yourself to supporting others.  I know you run great interviews on your blog for example. What else do you do to give back to the writing community?

A. The blog interviews are actually the unedited versions of interviews I conduct for GateHouse News Service, an agency that distributes stories to newspapers across the country. It's true I don't receive any pay for writing my weekly column. I do it because I love to write, and if my love of writing helps promote other authors, regardless of genre, we all win. I'll pretty much help anyone, anytime with their writing, though I learned the hard way that I need to be a tad more selective. More than once I've spent hours on end trying to help improve and hone a story, only to discover the writer had no intention of ever trying to see it published.

So, what next for KevaD? Any new stories in the pipeline you can share with us?

A. I'm wrapping up my latest novel Whistle Pass, a MM intrigue tale with a strong romantic thread set in 1955. It's a complex story with loads of twists and turns set in a time when our government openly considered homosexuality a mental disorder and treatment included lobotomies and court ordered commitment to insane asylums. I should be ready to try and find Whistle Pass a home in about a month, if all goes well.
Krisah and The Hummingbird have really been insisting I return to that story.
And my male muse's story of betrayal and revenge refuses to go away, so I better do something with that one, too, before he inflicts some of the torture on me he has planned for characters in the novel.
Oh, yeah. SonRise. Can’t forget SonRise. That WWII intrigue novel is nearing completion of revisions before I try to find it a home also.

Now some questions just for fun

Looking back over your life what was your favorite year and why?

A. 1978 – It has a nice ring to it.

Favorite movie and favorite movie quote?

A. Yellowbeard – that movie is insane and full of unforgettable lines.

Yellowbeard: She couldn't be your mother. No woman ever slept with me and lived.

Yellowbeard: Who're you talkin' about?
Betty: The fruit of your loins, sugar drawers.
Yellowbeard: Are you mad, woman? I haven't got fruit in my loins! Lice, yes, and proud of 'em!

Betty: When little Dan came along...
Yellowbeard: Who's Dan?
Betty: My and probably your son!

If you were stranded on a desert island what book would you take to read and why?

A. Kama Sutra – there's bound to be a knothole in a tree somewhere.
Seriously – the Boy Scout Handbook. That book contains everything anyone needs to survive – and it has pictures. Gotta have pictures. Tying a square knot's a bitch without pictures.

What is the stupidest thing you ever did?

A. Legally?
Legally, it was as a police officer. There was this behemoth tearing up a place. I was the commander of the night shift at the time and my officers called for me to come to the scene. They had a standoff going with this monster. I walked in and the gentleman shouts, "You think you can arrest me?"
I was having a really, really bad night. So, gathering all the stupidity I could find, I took off my cap and gun belt and said, "Yeah."
It wasn't pretty.
Or did you want the truth?

Be sure to check out David's new book on the 14th at  Noble Publishing and if you haven't read the first one you are really missing out on something special. 

Sometimes the best-laid plans don't mean you get laid.
Chaz and Mike are inaugurating their life together as an openly gay couple. Bliss is inevitable, until a dead relative rises up and brings their plans to a screeching halt.
Chaz's not-so-dearly departed Amish Uncle Silas has bequeathed his nephew his farm . . . and a $60,000 tax bill if Chaz doesn't play by the rules.
With empty wallets, the duo and their kitten, TCT, head off for Iowa to live on the farm for ninety days - without electricity or plumbing . . . or sex.
While Mike finds trees to climb, horses to ride, and a big ax to play with, and TCT discovers a wide array of critters to chase and capture, Chaz faces a past veiled in mystery.
As a young boy, Chaz spent time on the farm. Why can't he remember the giant oak tree or the ancient barn? Each time he tries to enter the barn, terror stops him cold.
Chaz will need courage he's never had before, along with all the strength in his partner's lusciously muscled body, to solve the riddles plaguing him. Keeping Mike and his axe from chopping off the wrong piece of lumber might not be a bad idea, either.
"Chaz, it's a dick, not a birthday candle." Mike rolled his eyes.
This wasn't working out at all like I'd thought it would. It had become painfully obvious the best-laid plans didn't always mean you got laid.
I looked up from between Mike's muscled thighs. The un-bottled perfume of his heat and pearly drops of natural lubricant hung in the air. "Then why do they call it a blowjob?"
I certainly didn't know. I'd bruised myself the first time I tried to beat off. The epiphany - and me - came when I massaged my swollen member to ease the pain.
He flopped his head onto the pillow and rubbed his brow in an attempt to stave off the obvious headache. "I don't know, man. Why do they call showing somebody your ass, 'shooting the moon?' The moon doesn't have a butt crack through the middle of it."
The size of the monster in my hands set my tongue on a collision course with my quivering nerves. "Actually, it has nothing to do with the moon. Well, not in the classic idiom of the earth's singular satellite. The terminology relates to the concept of bringing darkness into the light. The adage purportedly has historical references as far back as Adonis. You see, Adonis, by popular opinion, somewhere along the line became confused, intertwined if you will, with a nonexistent god named Adidas. Thusly, Adidas holds reference to 'false identify,' which in turn may, at times, depending on the debate, also mean 'to bring out the reality of that concealed.' In layman's vocabulary, 'shooting the moon' is a primitive means of revealing something previously hidden. I can explain it further if it would help?"
His left hand joined his right in massaging his temples. "No. I've got it. Thanks."
A muffled shriek rose from my throat. "You're losing your erection!"
"Ya think?"  Rolling onto his side, he patted the black silk sheets. "Come up here and lay with me."
Begrudgingly, I obliged him. It was to be our first time. Not just as a couple, but as an openly gay couple. Two virginal homosexuals surrendering our homosexual virginity to each other. A beautiful, life-changing experience, and I'd blown it . . . sort of.
Mike pulled me in close. Even had I wanted to resist, which I didn't, the strength of the high-rise construction worker wouldn't have allowed me to. Tall and lean, the man's muscles had muscles.
His abs weren't washboard, they were those warning strips the street department puts down to wake up drivers so they don't cruise through a stop sign. I swear his eyelids could lift as much weight as my spindly arms could. I leaned against telephone poles. Mike climbed them - upside down.
Warm, wet, his lips pressed a kiss onto my throat. My cock responded with a few drops of its own wetness, then shuddered and throbbed when his hand engulfed it.
"Let me show you how it's done." The words, throaty, all man, thrust more blood into my erection than I thought it could handle. My testicles tightened when he dotted my chest with kisses, a trail of wanting to my waist.
"Mrrrrowwww. Ssssss."
The Cat Too. TCT for short. A tuxedo kitten Mike had given me, the traitorous creature had abandoned me for Mike. Sat on his shoulder like a parrot.
I'd put it out of the bedroom. If it was going to throw a hissy fit every time Mike and I made - tried to - make love, we needed another plan.
Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz, bzzz. The doorbell? Great. Just fricking wonderful.
The moment, and my erection, waning, Mike rolled onto his back and sighed. "You get the impression this isn't supposed to happen today?"
"There's always tonight." I whispered, kissed his forehead, then tumbled off the bed. Slipping into gray flannel shorts and a T-shirt, I opened the bedroom door. There stood TCT, back arched, tail perpendicular, eyes focused towards the entrance to our apartment. He hadn't thrown a fit about us, he'd known before the bell rang somebody was at the door.
"Good, kitty." I stroked his back. He responded by wrapping his fur ball body around my hand, sank needle-sharp teeth and claws into my skin, then left me bleeding while he bolted through the doorway and scrambled up the covers to lie next to Mike.
My cat. Yeah, right.
Wounded, both in body and spirit, I opened the front door.
"Chaz Westerbrook?" the woman asked - in a baritone voice.
"Yes?" I scoured the face. Nothing about it held any familiarity. Either as a male or female. The orange bouffant looked nice, in a Folies-Bergere sort of way. The Adam's apple had a point capable of popping balloons. He was tall enough, that's where my line-of-sight rested.
"Would you autograph this for me? Please?"
In his hand he held a copy of my debut novel, "A Kiss From the Shadows," the first book of my gay love trilogy. A fan. My chest and ego swelled with pride.
"Certainly." Taking the novel from him, I asked, "Do you have a pen?"
He unbuttoned the top three buttons of his lavender paisley sundress and pulled a pen out of his black lace bra.
I opened the cover. "Who would you like it to?"
"Jasmine. If you don't mind?"
His smile was priceless. Really. All of the teeth were capped in gold with diamond insets on the canines. I didn't want to ask why. He might have told me.
"To Jasmine," I said aloud. "You will always be in my thoughts. Chaz." It was true. How could I forget him? His chest was hairier than TCT. I handed the book back to him. "Have you ever considered filling in your cleft? You remind me of a young Kirk Douglas." I left out the part about a young Kirk Douglas crossbred with King Kong.
"I get that a lot." He embraced the book to his chest, licked it – yuck – and opened a lime green shoulder bag. "You seeing anyone?" The long-lashed, brown eyes looked a little too hopeful.
"Yeah, snow cone." The growl came from behind me. "He's in a relationship, so hit the bricks."
"Well," he huffed. "In that case . . . ." The book went in the bag. When he withdrew his hand, a sheaf of papers thumped against my chest.
"You've been served."
He spun on a heel with an exaggerated swish of the loose-fitting dress and sauntered to the waiting elevator. "Your book sucks dingleberries by the way."
A whirlwind of heated anger shoved past me. "I'm gonna kick his ass."
"Mike. Mike!" I couldn't grab his shirt, because he didn't have one on. So, I grabbed the waistband of his shorts.
Men - really, really, well-built men - have this indentation in their firm little butts. I wanted to glue my cheek in Mike's when the shorts ripped off in my hands. Damn, the man was so built.
A black and white streak of fur shot past us and into the elevator just as the door closed. Shit. This wasn't over.
I'd made it a third of the way to the stairs when Mike slammed into the stairwell. By the time I hit the first landing, his one flight, one-step cadence had him on the ground floor.
When I arrived in the lobby, a woman stood in front of Mike, offering him her card. But by where her eyes were focused, had the police asked for a description of the naked man, she'd probably only been able to say, "Six inches by two inches limp."
I could attest to the fact, erect, it more than doubled that. Hence my nervousness in the bedroom. The thought of Mike's love tool nailing my virgin ass scared the beejeezus out of me.
TCT, asleep in Mike's arms, purred his contentment.
"Where's Jasmine?" I asked, though more than a bit concerned of what the answer might be.
"Garbage can out front. And the tranny ain't no tranny." Mike headed for the elevator.
"Call me," the woman cried out. "The number's on the card. On the card. My number?"
She caught me at the door. "What happened to his nipple?"
"Cat bit it off."
In disbelief, she slapped my arm. "Seriously, what?"
Truth was, TCT's predecessor, The Cat, bit the thing off. "Last woman he screwed got so excited she ripped it right off with her teeth. He carries hers in his wallet."
I left her to mull it over and went outside.
Jasmine was trying to push his way out of the curbside can. The dress bunched at his waist exposed a pair of denim mid-thigh shorts. I grabbed his legs and jerked him out.
"Thanks," he heaved. I didn't pull the used condom off his forehead or the brown lettuce leaf out of his hairdo. In Jersey, such things were to be expected in trashcans.
"You've got shorts on under your dress." Pissed, I gave him my best slanty-eye look along with a droop-mouth frown.
"Hey," he mumbled, shrugging. "Whatever gets me to the mark so I can get the papers served."
Oh, yeah. Boiling piss mad. "You're not a fan of my writing?"
He pulled the book out of his bag. "This crap? I wouldn't read this if you paid me."
I snatched the book from his grasp, did a three sixty, and smacked him in the face with it. He fell unconscious against a parked car, setting off the alarm.
"Bitch." I hissed, and walked back into the apartment building.
The woman stalked me all the way to the elevator. "What's his name?"
"Rock Hard, the actor." The doors closed over my lie.
"I knew I recognized him!" She screamed her false victory so everybody could share in her stupidity. "Tell him to call me!"
* * * * *
Mike flopped down on the couch next to me.
"So, what's up?"
I leafed through the papers. "I have to be in court tomorrow to confirm my tax-exempt status before being awarded my uncle's farm in Haven Glenn, Iowa."
"Your uncle? You've never mentioned him."
"Yeah. I know." Nobody ever talked about crazy Uncle Silas for fear his insanity might be contagious. "He died a while back, and it looks like he left me his farm."
"Why? You his favorite nephew or something?"
Not having an answer, I shook my head. I didn't get this at all. "No. He refused to speak to me after 'A Kiss From the Shadows' hit the bookstores. Wasn't a big fan of gay unless it involved nubile virgins, ribbons, and a Maypole."
"What's this tax-exempt status thing about?"
"I have no idea, Mike. I'm as much in the dark here as you are."
He sighed and leaned into the cushions. "I guess you're gonna be gone a while?"
"I don't know. Maybe. Come with me. I don't want to go without you."
"Nah. You can do your writing and accountant job from your computer. The union isn't gonna buy my disappearing overnight. I can come when they clear my request for some time off. That good enough?"
I laced my fingers through his and smiled. "Yeah. Good enough. I'm going to miss you until then."
"One thing." His brow dipped. Something appeared to trouble him.
"What is it?"
"Where is this place?"
"Haven Glenn?"
"No. Iowa."
"It's . . . ." I had to think. Iowa wasn't exactly on a New Jersey boy's lists of sights to see before he died. "I'll get my laptop. Maybe Google can find it."