Hi, fellow readers! Welcome to the first of our Countdown to GayRomLit 2016 guests this week, Featured Author P.D. Singer.
Book Readings and Other Public Exhibitionism
One of the unique experiences GayRomLit brought into my life was the book reading. Oh sure, I’d been down to the Tattered Cover to hear Tony Hillerman read from one of his Navaho mysteries. I read to my kids for years, including five Harry Potter books. But since I’d come to writing fiction rather later in life than many writers do, the idea of reading my own work to an audience had never crossed my mind.
Then, in Atlanta, I signed up for a reading as one of my events.
I’d listened to and enjoyed readings from writers like Eden Winters, Amelia C. Gormley, and Andrew Grey. Hearing Eden read the “bacon or porn” discussion from Collusion made me laugh, and I wasn’t alone.
This would be a hard act to follow.
Okay, pick an entertaining scene. Hmm, I’m not known for comedy, but I have my moments. Once scene from a recent book came to mind.
The text required expanding to a size I could read in whatever light was available. I do a great “mole in sunlight” imitation: I miss the fine print on menus in dark restaurants all the time, and have learned to like “Surprise me” in several regional cuisines. So I printed out my passage in type large enough to see from space.
Now to make sure I would stay within my allotted time. I also wanted to be sure I’d be able to read fluidly, without any stumbles over words I never, ever said in real life. This required practice.
My sons were teenagers at the time. Teens who could move very stealthily.
Blood on the Mountain is written in first person. Jake the forest ranger is telling this story, and I’d chosen the lead off scene. The strip archery scene.
There I am, standing in front of the mirror with my best posture, reading aloud with a timer. Nobody in the house to hear.
Or so I thought. I reached “The last thing I needed was a close encounter between my dick and the bowstring,” intoned with the proper frisson of horror.
The gasp of breath to one side alerted me to my error.
There in the doorway stood two young men, completely aghast. “Mom! What the…?!”
Time to be cool and collected, right? Which means I waved my pages. “Practicing?”
I didn’t have to explain: they fled too fast.
The GRL attendees expected such a story, and they didn’t bat an eye at adventures of “my” body parts. By this time, I’d read the passage enough times to be natural about it, and there was applause.
I’m braced this time around, and any reading I do will have this experience to back it. Maybe this time I’ll stick to a mushy scene.
October’s coming soon, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there. And if we only know each other through my books, please imagine them read in a masculine voice.
Here’s the book I read from: the strip archery scene remains a favorite.
Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school—and the luxuries of electricity and running water—can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn’t have to come out. He doesn’t plan on Kurt’s vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.
“Your future, your fear, and me,” Kurt tells Jake. “You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.” Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful but deadly crop that doesn’t belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake’s reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.
Kurt’s skills and Jake’s silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess—how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?
About the Author
P.D. Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, two rowdy teenage boys, and thirty pounds of cats. She’s a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain PD has skied down a mountain face-first, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.
When not writing, playing her fiddle, or skiing, she can be found with a book in hand.