Today, as I eagerly 'pimp out & promote' Tom Spanbauer's new book, I Loved You More, via Twitter, I realized that there is a handful of writers that inspired me to become a writer myself.
Tom is one such author.
Before I'd moved from L.A. to Portland, Oregon in 1993 and before Tom began his Dangerous Writing sessions, I was given a book by a High School friend in 1991. A gay friend who was twenty-one and had already contracted HIV. It was a birthday gift, the book - that is.
I'd never had a modern novel affect me so completely. The poignancy of the love story hit my heart in many ways. The bravery involved in creating a character so unique in their person-hood, multi-faceted in their sexual identification, and in such a harsh, unforgiving setting and time, was a profound reading experience for me.
I'd been aching to read a book like The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon and hadn't even realized it yet. (My GoodReads Review)
I cherish that book. To this day...
That's why an author like Tom Spanbauer has been on my radar my entire adult life. Loyal and true, I am, to this love of a good writer who can swallow me whole into their created realms, worlds, and the experiences of their characters. The art and craft of truly skilled writing is a love story in and of itself. Unbeknownst to him, it was the deft bravery he took in creating such a richly texturized sexual being that enthralled me. And so very human.
That it was set in Idaho was so curious to me, yet perfect. I too shared part of my childhood in Idaho. A West Coast resident, I've had the pleasure of living in every West Coast state - California, Idaho, Oregon and now, Washington.
This is also why I've spent the last year writing the West Coast Erotica series. In one way, it's been a life-long endeavor. It's my way of creating a lush and fictionalized landscape of some of the very inspiring individuals I've had the pleasure of knowing throughout my adult life. They're all there, bits and pieces thrown together. The stories are definitely fiction, but the character traits are borrowed and tried on for size based on the delicious array of people who've come and gone from my life. Parts of myself are in there, naturally.
So, here I am, twenty years later making an attempt to enthrall a reader or two...
Some may call this fan-girling. To get attention, perhaps? (Fine, I admit it... :)
For me, its esteemed respect I offer. Thank you for taking me on your inner journeys and sharing your character's worlds. Thank you for inspiring me to create characters and worlds to share, myself.
A loyal reader,