Hi! My name is C. J. Anthony and I’m thrilled to be at The Novel Approach today to share my latest book.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
I wrote a story earlier this year called Heaven, which follows two best friends named Joey and Brian, through their high school years in the 80’s. At the age of six, Brian came to live with his Uncle Gary. Joey lived next door and the two boys were best friends from day one…until they decided to be more than friends.
I’ve stepped into my trusty time-travel machine and travelled back to 1985 to interview Joey and Brian and Brian’s uncles, Uncle Gary and Uncle Nat, so you can all get to know them a little better.
Okay, ready? Here we go!
(Knock, knock, knock)
(Rustling noises on the other side of the door. Yelling.)
“Oh she’s here!” – Uncle Nat
(More rustling, a loud bang) “Ow, dammit. When’d you move that chair? (Indistinguishable mumbling then loud bellowing) Boys, she’s here!” – Uncle Gary
More scrabbling noises and then the door is opened by Brian’s uncles. Nat is eagerly looking over Gary’s shoulder and grinning widely at me. Gary just stares at me uneasily.
“Yes, I . . . ”
Gary sighs and motions me inside while he turns and heads further into the room. “Come on in.”
Nat graciously takes over, physically pulling me inside and closing the door behind me. “Welcome to our home, Ms. Anthony. Can I take your coat? Would you like something to drink? We’ve got coffee, water—we’ve even got some of that new Coke! They just got it in at the A & P yesterday!”
I decline all offers, and we follow Gary into the living room. He looks at the empty sofa and growls under his breath. “Boys! Get yer butts down here NOW!”
“Sorry,” he apologizes as he shakes his head at me. “Teenagers.”
(Scuffling noises sound above, followed by heavy footsteps pounding down the stairs. Joey and Brian hurriedly plop down on the couch, hair mussed, shirts wrinkled, cheeks flushed and lips very red and swollen.)
Gary gives them a once over before shooting them a death glare. Brian’s face flushes an even deeper red.
Gary turns back to me, posture rigid and tense.
“All right, I’m just going to cut to the chase, Ms. Anthony. Nat told us you want to interview us? What for? How do you even know us?”
“Well, I wrote a book about Joey and Brian and I want people to learn a little bit more about all of you. So I wanted to interview you for this blog…”
“What’s a blog?” Joey interrupts.
“Umm, well it’s sort of a website…”
“What’s a website?” Brian asks.
“Uhh…well, on the computer, people post pages of information on….” I catch myself before saying “on the internet,” as I realize that will just bring another question. This is harder than I thought it would be.
“…topics, and everyone with a computer can access and read the information,” I finish with a sigh of relief.
“Oh that sounds like a magazine!” Nat perks up and tugs excitedly on Gary’s sleeve. “See? She’s a writer for magazines, just like you!”
Gary is still looking at me suspiciously. “What magazine is this exactly?”
“Um, well, I don’t know if I’d really call it a magazine, at least not the type you’re thinking of.”
“Okay listen lady, enough. I don’t know what kind of scam this is, or what kind of trouble you’re trying to stir up, but I’ve never heard of anything called a blog and I know there is no book. I’ve checked the bookstore, the library, even asked some of my other writer friends. No one’s ever heard of you and there are no books by you on record anywhere!”
Nat’s face falls. “There’s no book?”
“There is a book, I swear, but no, you won’t find it…now.”
Four pairs of eyes stare at me, waiting for explanation.
“I wrote it in 2013.”
Four pairs of eyebrows shoot up.
Gary scratches his head. “You mean it takes place in 2013? Like a science-fiction book?”
Joey leans forward to the edge of the couch. “Do we fly space ships? Do we wear space suits? I hope I look good in mine.”
“No, it doesn’t take place in 2013, I wrote it in 2013. That’s where I’m from—the future. I’ve travelled back here . . . ”
Joey can no longer contain himself. He bounces off the couch to run to the window. “No way! Did you use a DeLorean like Marty McFly?”
Brian groans out loud and rolls his eyes. “Joey, that’s a movie, it’s not real.”
Seeing no smoking, charred vehicle on the street Joey whirls around and crosses back over to the couch. “Well it must be real if she’s from the future! She had to get here some way. Did you come here on a spaceship?”
“Uh, well . . . no.”
“Do you know us in the future? What are we doing? Please tell me Brian is still not listening to Bruce Springsteen in 2013!”
Brian elbows Joey in the side. “Hey!”
“Are we . . . are there any of us still around?” Nat’s voice is quiet and his eyes full of fear. It doesn’t take much to realize who is the “us” he is referring to and why he is asking this question.
I smile at him. “Well, there is still no cure for HIV, but there are a lot of very powerful drugs that help people survive and live long lives. So many things are much better. The fight for gay rights and acceptance has made huge strides in 2013. The federal government now recognizes same-sex marriages and sixteen states so far have legalized same-sex marriages.”
Nat’s eyes tear up and his mouth drops open as he grabs on to Gary’s arm. Gary bursts out in laughter until he catches sight of Nat.
“Oh come on Nat! Really? Gay people getting married? Next she’s going to be telling us pigs fly and a black man is president!”
“Okay lady, I think we’re done here.” He stands up and I follow his lead. He lightly takes my elbow and starts guiding me toward the front door. “Did you wander away from the Armstrong home across town? I know the patients manage to wander out of there and get lost sometimes. I would be happy to give you a ride back. It may not be a fancy-schmancy time travel contraption, but my Chevy is safe and reliable.” His voice is slow and gentle, as if trying to sooth a child.
I decline his offer and barely get a good bye out before the door is shut behind me. I’m about halfway down the sidewalk to the curb when I hear the door open and shut again behind me.
“Ma’am! Miss Anthony!” Turning I see Brian rushing toward me, with Joey following at a slower pace.
“Um. Can you tell me . . . if you’re really from the future . . .” His face is pink as he hesitates over his words. “Are Joey and I still together? In the future?”
His face is about as serious and scared as it could be.
Smiling at him I reach into my purse and pull out a CD and hand it to him.
“Keep this. You will need it some day,” I say quietly.
Brian’s eyes grow wide and his cheeks pinker as he looks at the CD case.
Joey catches up and peers over his shoulder. “Ooh a CD, we don’t have a CD player yet . . . Bryan Adams? Ugh!” He groans. “Apparently you still listen to lame music in the future. I just don’t understand, where have I gone wrong with you?”
I turn to leave, smiling as they continue arguing.
Your high school years will be some of the best years of your life—yeah right. Try some of the worst. Best friends since they were five, Joey Whitcomb–a Freak—and Brian Davis—a Brain—just want to survive the landmine of their 80’s high school years. Upheaval begins when Brian gets elevated unwittingly to boyfriend of the Queen of the Popular clique. But when Brian (with a little help from Bryan Adams) comes to an epiphany about his true feelings for his best friend does he risk ruining their friendship for a little piece of Heaven?
About the Author:
C. J. Anthony started reading and writing at an early age. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging piles of books home for her to read. She loved getting lost in the people and places and adventures she found in books and it wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and travelling to the moon with her best friend.
She recently was inspired to try writing again, this time with tales of beautiful men in love speaking to her and wanting their stories to be told. C. J. has always believed in true love and HEAs even if there is angst and pain along the way–life is never perfect, after all, but everyone deserves a happy ending and someone there to catch them when they fall.
When she’s not writing, she spends most of her time juggling a day job and freelance design work on the side, enjoying music, movies, spending time with friends and, of course, reading.