I write what I live and live what I write.
For ten years until just recently, I wrote a thrice-a-week blog under the banner of “Confessions of A Straight Gay Man,” based on my half century myriad of experiences as an out and about gay man. I stopped writing my blog when I realized I had pontificated on just about everything in gay life I wanted to – both its serious and plain silly sides – and had not much more to say.
But ironically, my truest, most real experiences are those portrayed in my works of fiction, largely set in the two places where I have spent most of my
life, the Greater New York metro area, and Fort Lauderdale where I retired to
in 2002. I view myself as much a chronicler of what gay life was like during the last quarter of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty first as I am, I hope, a good storyteller.
In “Not In It For The Money,” my first novel published in 2010, I chronicled gay life in New York at the turn of the millennium, especially the West Village’s gritty leather and levi scene, now all gone, a scene I was very much a part of as a young leather man; and the emergence of what would dominate today’s gay world, for better or for worse, the pick-up sites on the web. Also playing a focal point in my story is 9/11 which I saw unfold painfully upfront and personal as an executive of one of St. Vincent’s suburban hospitals – St. Vincent’s in Manhattan is just blocks from the World Trade Center – there that faithful morning for a system-wide meeting.
The experience my main character country boy Josh lives that morning as his life comes crashing down around him was my experience.
“The Czar of Wilton Drive,” is a story within a story, where a twenty one year-old barely out of the closet kid from suburban New York inherits several of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular bars from his late great uncle and is submerged in the underbelly of Lauderdale’s leather and drug scene.
Much like I was as a retired newbie in town.
Jon, my main character, finds Uncle Charlie’s life story on his laptop in the beach front condo he inherits which tells Jon as much about his own life as his uncle’s. Those memoirs, with very little fictionalization, are my own.
The two young drifters of my third work, “Buy Guys” are Jersey boys much like as I was – I grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey – and virtually all their encounters as male escorts down in Fort Lauderdale are encounters I had with other men including a few I had during the month, already in my sixties, l researched the book as a “rentboy.” The funeral home industry plays a quirky but powerful role in the book and is based on my recollections as a teenager cleaning a local funeral home in my hometown in Jersey with my mother. My sister who Mom also dragged along on those Saturday morning junkets agrees that our detached views of death are much different from most people because of those experiences.
Finally, there is “The Love of Samuel,” published in 2017, set in both NYC and Fort Lauderdale, which is arguably my most autobiographical work to date. Outside of its fantasy theme, the return to his youth by my 51 year-old protagonist Billy through the prowess of the dog tag of a Civil War soldier (I’m an amateur historian of that Great War Between the States and that’s where dog tags were first used), just about every character and every experience in the book are people I knew and experiences I lived.
The now young Billy leaves his home in Manhattan for Fort Lauderdale and falls in love with the handsome Black Irish forty four year old Dare, a security guard at the Gearshaft, modeled after Lauderdale’s leather bar, the Ramrod where Billy works as a barback. Dare is the spitting image of my current lover who is old enough to be my son and the love scenes between my two characters are out of our playbook, verbatim.
For more about me as an author and my books, visit: hardcoregayeroticabyrpandrews.com