Today I am so pleased to welcome Bryan Keating to Joyfully Jay (you may also know Bryan on FB as Mickey Drake). Bryan has come to talk to us about his debut release, Paused: Based on True Events. He has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Bryan a big welcome!
Hello! First, I want to say thank you to Joyfully Jay and her fabulous readers for inviting me here today and allowing me the opportunity to share a teaser of my first novel, Paused: Based on True Events with all of you!
My name is Bryan Keating. I also tend to double as my more common name, or gay identity, Mickey Drake, a nickname given to me as a teenager. To be honest, I don’t know many young people in the gay community with their legal names ever used!
I’m here to introduce my newly released book Paused: Based on True Events, already available for purchase in its paperback edition on Amazon today and electronically on Monday, August 4th, 2014.
As the title mentions, Paused is a parody on real life occurrences and inspired by my friends, enemies, and even people I’ve just met once or twice that have stuck in my head as interesting or iconic.
Based on a rough summer in 2009, Paused follows three high school friends as they grow and separate themselves from one another, forced to become adults with poor decision making. The story begins with failed, flamboyant, reality television star Taylor Quinn exiting a one-way flight to a new life. He is convinced by his latest in a long line of knight in shining armors to remain in their hometown, Chicago, Illinois, upon the presumption that he will be fully taken care of. That serves true throughout the story, yet being taken care of just isn’t enough for Taylor, who has spiraled out of control due to fifteen minutes of fame and a lackluster role model. Stepping off of that airplane to a new life pauses Taylor’s life, as well as everyone around him, as he entirely causes erotic, outrageous, and downright vile chaos for everyone around him.
In separate but intertwined stories, Taylor Quinn’s best girlfriend, Adrienne Ponziano and his favorite frenemy, Lynn Riley, are thrown into insanity of their own with Taylor’s sudden decision. Adrienne, essentially, stars in her very own episode of Maury while discovering that everyone around her has been hiding deep secrets from her since birth. Lynn, a closet lesbian and loner, finds herself entering the gay community too quickly and uncomfortably after meeting a relentless, older woman, connected to Taylor, from the Internet via hook up websites.
The exclusive excerpt below is edited with purpose, however, it is the first time that Taylor Quinn meets up with his new boyfriend, Miles Majer, after departing from his flight to remain in Chicago. Together, they smoke marijuana and joyfully, temporarily adore their puppy love. It’s also the first time Taylor is truly honest with his feelings towards another one, specifically, one his own age.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit with me! Below are links to the Facebook Like Page and also the Amazon Page where you can garner information or purchase Paused: Based on True Events.
In the present, Taylor Quinn blissfully waits for Miles Majer to pick him up in his own vehicle, yes, a car! Taylor hasn’t met anyone around his age that owns their own vehicle and lives in the downtown Chicago area. Miles pulls up in his freshly washed, shiny, black car. Taylor is dense about cars, so he doesn’t know any of the details, like the make or model, but he definitely thinks that it will have a seat warmer and a moon roof. He steps into Miles’ car, giving him a big kiss and thanking him for spending time together. They stare at each other; Miles smells like such a man, Taylor, looking polished. On the spectrum of gay, they are total opposites, but that couldn’t be more of a turn on for both of them.
“You know,” Taylor starts, “the fact that you are always wearing a baseball hat and that your long curly locks flow over your ears, I would not even give you a second glance. Totally would think you’re straight.”
Miles laughs, beginning to drive his car onto Lake Shore Drive, a historic, beautiful highway that connects all of Chicago, from the wealthy areas to the projects, showcasing Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and Chicago’s iconic Ferris Wheel. Miles lights a cigar filled with marijuana, or a blunt, and takes puffs from it.
“You want any?” Miles asks, letting out a cloud of smoke.
Taylor smiles with glee, grabbing the blunt immediately and takes a large puff from it. “Where are we going?”
“What do you think is the most romantical place in Chicago?”
“Romantical?” Taylor laughs and so does Miles. “You are stoned! But, I’d have to say the Buckingham Fountain. You can see the whole city from there, and I love the sound of the water. It reminds me of rain, it eases me.” Chicago’s landmark is one of the biggest fountains in the world.
“Good, then we’ll go there.” The two continue to drive and smoke marijuana and are in true puppy-love bliss, not able to get enough of each other.
“So,” Taylor begins, “do you have a best friend?”
“Two. They work for my dad and me.”
“What do you guys do?”
“Do they all know you’re gay? Are they gay?”
“Yeah, they’ve always suspected it. They’re straight. They’d constantly try to get me to sleep with hoes, but I could never do it. Well, a girl hoe, I know you get around.”
“Excuse me!” Taylor laughs. “That is not something to say to a true lady! I’m selective!”
“I’m not judging. I’ll keep it real with you, so you keep it real with me. When you meet my buddies you should bring your girlfriends out, they’d warm up to you easier that way.”
Taylor wonders would a drag queen be acceptable to bring around straight guys?
“After this let’s go back to my brother’s apartment,” Miles says. “He’s coming home from Florida next week so I won’t be able to stay there anymore. I want to enjoy it as much as I can.”
“It’s baffling how you and your only brother are both gay. My mom can’t handle me being gay, and I’m her only kid! How do your parents deal with it?”
“They’re not shitty people and they love their kids, that’s how. They’d like me even if I was gay and acted pretty gay, like those gay guys who wear make-up and have nicknames instead of actual names for everyone in their phone contacts.”
That is the exact type of gay guy Taylor is. He feels shame. “It’s so unfortunate that someone being effeminate is considered ‘pretty gay’. We’re all gay. Are there different types of ‘straight’?” he asks.
“Hmmm. Well, there are metro-sexuals,” Miles tries to answer.
“You’re right, but some of them are also gay. Some are just momma’s boys.”
After being blessed by finding on-street parking, the two walk holding hands to the Buckingham Fountain. They marvel in the refreshing sound of water crashing into itself and continuing the motions while cars become stuck in traffic on Lake Shore Drive, some not moving at all. The two spot a couple taking wedding pictures in front of the fountain, something Taylor wishes he had the legal right to do. They look at the happy couple, smiling and rejoicing in their love.
“What kind of love do you believe in?” Taylor asks his new beau.
“Just me, another guy, and lots of sex. I want someone who will take care of the house and the kids, and I want to provide all the money for us.”
Taylor nearly faints, actually feels lightheaded, as that’s what he dreams of! Miles sees that and grabs Taylor, pulling them close together, noses touching. Taylor smiles, biting his somewhat dry lips, preparing them for a passionate kiss under the boiling hot Chicago summertime sun. He becomes distracted by the pure blue sky and smell of love in the air. Nothing could beat Chicago during its summer season, not even Los Angeles.
“You have the cutest smile,” Miles declares.
“I was voted ‘best smile’ in high school,” Taylor boasts.
Miles grabs Taylor’s butt, pulling each other’s bodies even closer together.
“Tell me, Miss Taylor Quinn,” Miles jokes, “what do you think is love?”
Taylor rests his head on Miles’ shoulder, staring at the happy wedding couple still frolicking around the fountain. Tears well up in his eyes as he speaks.
“Love, what is love. I don’t know. I honestly have no idea. I haven’t really seen love besides in the movies. I keep thinking I’m in it, or I know what it is but I couldn’t be further from love. Like, my mom is single, miserable even. My best friend takes advantage of her love and my roommate, like, confuses me all the time. Because of him now, I don’t know what’s love or lust. It’s something I want so bad, but can I handle it? Love is supposed to set you free but what is it setting me free into? I feel free right now.” Tears drops from Taylor’s face. “Holy shit! I’m so sorry, I swear I’m never this emotional, your weed has me all types of crazy right now.”
“I call it Love Potion, it makes the love pour out of you,” Miles says with a laugh, moving Taylor’s body from side to side, slowly dancing.
“Where can I buy this? This is that loud!”
“What?” Taylor giggles. Miles looks deeply into Taylor’s eyes, pushing the tears away from his dimples.
“I grow. I sell. I’m a dealer,” Miles admits.
“And I’m a mess,” Taylor responds, giggling.
Miles whispers into Taylor’s ear while squeezing him tightly. “This is love. This will be our love. This will be our love story,” he states.
Taylor doesn’t say a word. Like a deer in headlights, he stares at the ridiculous amount of traffic and stopped cars on Lake Shore Drive during the middle of rush hour. He, unlike the impatient drivers, is happy to be paused in time. He isn’t ready to choose a direction to travel yet.
After ditching a flight for a new adventure, former, reality television star, Taylor Quinn, is scrambling the colorful streets of Chicago with notorious addictions. Taylor quickly begins dating a privileged drug dealer who unknowingly provides him with the necessities he desires. Just as he starts to better his future, Taylor’s destructive roommate reenters his life and the two struggle to feed their addiction to addictions. Unfortunately, Taylor consistently causes chaos into the lives of his loved ones as he strives for an escape.
In separate but intertwined stories, Taylor’s best friend, Adrienne Ponziano and his favorite frenemy, Lynn Riley, have impulsive adventures of their own. Adrienne, while unhappily engaged, romances numerous men in hopes of gaining the true love she desires. Her actions activate her hidden family history sending her on a chase around Illinois. Closet, lipstick lesbian Lynn turns towards online dating websites to explore her hidden sexuality. Her double life leads her to a mischievous woman connected to everyone she seems to know.
Hello new friends and supporters! My name is Bryan Keating! I’m an eccentric, ridiculous, twenty-four-year old, flamboyant gay man born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I attended Columbia College Chicago, majoring in screenwriting and fiction writing, which has gained me the skills of an acquired author. I am releasing my first novel, Paused: Based on True Events.
Let me not bore you with generic facts about myself and education, but relate to where my novel, inspired by my life and those iconic to me takes place.
I’m from the south side of Chicago. People in the city tend to call it “the ghetto.” Since birth, I was bullied and looked at slant-eyed for being openly homosexual, honestly, it baffles me that my family was in denial for so long. It wasn’t until I started my freshman year of high school that I would befriend beautiful girls who truly put my life into purpose and to some, entertainment.
My first published novel, Paused: Based on True Events, takes place in a hazy time to me. I fell in love quickly during an unstable time. Fortunately enough, I had plenty of lost people around me who were also finding themselves. We were teenagers, thrown into the middle of the fire of maturity and forced to get out of it on our own. I did what I could. So did they.
Moving forward from my peril and past loves, I’m currently living in Los Angeles, California. I’m sociable, bubbly, and a determined, full-time writer. I’m an artist, I refuse to be considered anything less.
I’m excited to speak with each and every one of you and cannot wait until you read my novel, Paused: Based on True Events.
Bryan has brought an electronic copy of Paused to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday August 6th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
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- Void where prohibited by law.