Reading Round-Up: Q & A with Author ‘Nathan Burgoine

'Nathan Burgoine 1 ‘Nathan Burgoine grew up a reader and studied literature in university while making a living as a bookseller – a job he still does, and still loves. A cat lover, ‘Nathan managed to fall in love and marry Daniel, who is a confirmed dog person. Their ongoing “cat or dog?” détente continues and according to ‘Nathan will likely end with the acquisition of a dog. They live in Ottawa, Canada, where socialized health care and gay marriage have yet to cause the sky to cave in.

Fool for Love

My introduction to ‘Nathan’s writing came by way of his first published short story “Heart” a beautiful and poignant tale of love and loss, which appeared in the critically acclaimed 2009 Cleis Press anthology Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction. My introduction to ‘Nathan came about while I was on the hunt for a second print copy of Fool For Love (my first one had fallen apart from re-reading). Coincidentally, the only bookstore in Ottawa that wasn’t sold out of copies was ‘Nathan’s, and a great thing happened when I got to the bookstore – I met one of the authors of one of my favourite anthologies.

Since the publication of “Heart,” ‘Nathan’s had over two-dozen stories appear in anthologies by some of the best publishers of LGBTQ fiction, including in: Men of the Mean Streets: Gay Noir and Boys of Summer (Bold Strokes Books); Tented, a Lambda Literary Award finalist and The Touch of The Sea (Lethe Press); and Afternoon Pleasures: Erotica for Gay Couples (Cleis Press).

‘Nathan’s story “Sky Blue” appears in Saints and Sinners 2013: New Fiction From the Festival (Bold Strokes Books) as a runner up in Festival’s short story contest for that year, and his story “Hometown Boy” appears as a 2011 finalist in Saints and Sinners 2011: New Fiction From the Festival (Queer Mojo). In July 2013, his story “Old Age, Surrounded by Loved Ones” was published in This Is How You Die: Machine of Death 2 (Grand Central Publishing). His non-fiction pieces have appeared in I Like It Like That: True Stories of Gay Male Desire (Arsenal Pulp Press) and 5×5 Literary Magazine.

Not only a writer of short stories, ‘Nathan’s also an avid reader of short fiction and combines insightful reviews of the stories he’s read with equally thoughtful observations about, among others, his experiences as a bookseller through his Short Story 365 Series.

LightHis first novel Light was released by Bold Strokes Books earlier this week, and to mark the occasion I invited ‘Nathan to participate in an author Q & A here at Indie Reviews.

Indie Reviews: Welcome ‘Nathan and congratulations on the release of Light. I must say that Light was a breath of fresh air. Can you tell us a little about how the story took root and evolved? Also, Kieran was an absolute joy to read, and I bet he was a blast to write. How did the character come about?

‘Nathan Burgoine: Oh wow, thank you. I’m really glad you enjoyed it and that it was fun and, well, “light.” Is it okay if I pun? Too late.

It feels a little embarrassing to admit it, but Light evolved from a short story that just wouldn’t obey. I couldn’t quite get Kieran’s story to flow right, no matter how many times I tried to write it, and he and his story ended up in a folder with some other stories that weren’t co-operating. On one trip to Saints and Sinners, Greg Herren asked me when I was going to give him a novel, and my answer of “but I write short stories!” didn’t fly (he has the most withering eyebrow-raise, by the way). I looked into my folder and had an “aha!” moment. Kieran’s story wasn’t supposed to be a short story at all.

Kieran himself came from a couple of places. On one hand, it was my love of all things comic book when I was younger (especially the X-Men) and how they handled what I used to think of as “superhero day off” stories – the times where the heroes weren’t saving the world, but just hanging out and being who they were. I was always more interested in how Iceman or Marvel Girl handled being a teenager than how they handled their superpowers (though of course I also loved it when they got to break out their powers) and the idea of having to hide something that was so significant a part of who they were obviously resonated with me as a gay kid. On the other hand, although comic books have come light years in including LGB characters (not so much the T, though there are some), it was always something I wanted to do – a gay superhero.

Except, of course, Kieran’s powers aren’t staggeringly super. Nor does he want to be a hero. He’s just an everyday kind of guy who happens to be gay, telepathic, and psychokinetic. Grounding the “everyday” was always where I wanted to keep the focus. Kieran is just as upset about his brother’s romantic overtures and his own dating woes as he is about the big bad happening, and I think that’s why I love the guy.

Indie Reviews: One aspect of your writing in Light that stood out for me was the tightness of those scenes in which absolute chaos ensues as Kieran faces off against Wyatt Jackson. The scenes are quite intricate and your descriptions of Kieran’s powers in action substantive. And yet, I never lost the thread of the action from beginning to end. Were these scenes difficult to write?

‘Nathan Burgoine: Yes and no. The first drafts of the four major fight scenes weren’t particularly good, and I knew they wouldn’t be. I think they were the scenes I tweaked and re-wrote the most, because I wanted to keep the pacing and the tension running high, and I’ve learned from reading thriller-type books that when you’re doing that, every single word counts. I think it would have been more difficult if I hadn’t taken the time to really stop and think about what I wanted each of those scenes to do.

They were also fun to write, and very liberating. When you can break the laws of physics, and do so while making rainbows, how can you not have a good time? When writing is fun, it flows easier.

The biggest thing I actively did for those scenes, however, was to listen to my editors. Between Greg Herren and Stacia Seaman, the amount of digital red ink on those scenes made them look like a murder scene – and that was a really good thing. I’m incredibly proud of those scenes, and think they really worked (especially the very last one), but I know they only worked because Greg and Stacia helped me make them work.

Indie Reviews: The romance between Kieran and Sebastien emerges as a strong secondary plot throughout the story. Much of the sexual tension between the two comes through their dialogue. I found that less was definitely more in regards to their sex scenes, as much happens off-page. Just an observation on my part, but please feel free to elaborate.

‘Nathan Burgoine: Kieran is an unabashedly sexual guy – though his telepathy makes for some interesting discussion about thought and sex and how the two don’t always gel well – and I wanted to throw him a bit for a loop by giving him someone like Sebastien, who is all the more confident and unabashed and way more sexual than Kieran was. It was fun to shake Kieran up a bit. But beyond their first few moments together, it all shifted off the page, and that was purposeful.

I say that without any malice toward more openly erotic prose. I happily write erotica (and enjoy writing erotica), and while there are a few moments in the book where I maybe drifted kinda-sorta onto the edge of erotica, I knew I wanted the scenes to be more-or-less “fade to black” in the book. For one, it’s more fun to imagine things the way you’d like them when you don’t have everything spelled out. For another, it’s kind of fun to toss in a phrase or comment later on that reveals something for the character – Kieran wishing, for example, they’d used rope instead of handcuffs at one point had, I hope, the desired impact of making the reader chuckle in the middle of a tense situation.

Men of Mean Streets Boys of Summer Night Shadows - Queer Horror

Indie Reviews: Have you always been a lover of the short story whether as a writer or reader? Was it difficult to make the transition from short story to novel?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I made it far more difficult than it needed to be, that’s for sure. I’m definitely more comfortable in the world of short fiction. If only from the point of view of practice, it is something I know I can do. I have always loved short stories and novellas, and think they’re very different animals than novels. I especially love shared world short stories (where different authors visit the same places and characters) or linked short fiction tales that stand alone but work together to tell a larger tale.

Writing a novel turned out to be nothing like writing a short story – and I tried to write the novel the way I write short stories, which was pretty much a huge mistake. I can plot a short story in my head, think about it over the course of a week, and sit down for a week or so (or sometimes just a weekend) and end up with a rough draft.

With a novel? Not so much. I hadn’t outlined it, and the end result was that I made so much more work for myself with continuity issues and pacing problems and all manner of troubles that would have been avoided by a very basic outline. I eventually clued in, wrote myself a map, and the second draft of Light actually worked. Is there one of those German words for “I’m such a dolt”? That’s how I felt. Thankfully, the map helped and with the help of my editor Greg Herren the end result is something I’m really happy with.

But boy do I want to write some short stories for a while.

Indie Reviews: Although most of your stories are contemporary in nature, several, including those that fall in the realm of romance, also contain elements of the supernatural. Aiden’s font in “Heart,” Fool For Love or Dylan’s water magic in “Time and Tide,” Touch of The Sea and of course Kieran’s powers in Light immediately come to mind. What is the draw to writing speculative fiction?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I love the “other.” It’s probably part and parcel of growing up a gay kid in a very straight, white, privileged family – I felt “outside” even though I looked (and acted) the part that was expected of me. That’s by no means a unique experience, but it drew me to stories that involved things not being the way they seemed on the surface. I talk about the X-Men a lot, but they’re a perfect metaphor in my mind to the gay experience: they are born to normal parents, but are not normal themselves, and more often than not, their abnormality is treated unkindly.

That said, their “otherness” is also a gift. They have powers or capabilities that are beyond the everyday. And they use those powers to make a world – and make a family – for themselves. That’s a magic I can get behind.

Also I have an odd quirk or two of my own, and that has always left me interested in the various edges of science and the paranormal. In speculative fiction, you can take those edges and peel them right back and bring all the oddities out to play and personify feelings or intuitions or ideas into something far more concrete. I like doing that.

Blood Sacraments Wings Erotica Exotica

Indie Reviews: One observation about your stories is that regardless of their length, your characters are always fully fleshed out and their world equally developed. What’s your process for character development? What’s important to you when it comes to characterization?

‘Nathan Burgoine: First, that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Thank you.

There was a panel a few years ago at Saints and Sinners where I admitted that I never had a title for any of my stories before I was done writing them, and how I almost never had character names chosen before I started writing. I got some pretty strange looks for that, but it’s true.

When I have a story bubbling in my head, it is almost always a character, or a line of dialog or two, that first sets root. I have a couple of lists I think of when I’m working on a character – some of them are pretty specific questions I keep in mind, like the character’s age, or their physical presence, or their family life. The other list is more like a personal history for the character – when did they feel the most pain in their life so far, or what’s their idea of the perfect day off? I play guessing games with them in mind, and until I feel like I could come up with a reasonable reaction to any event I throw their way in the narrative, I’m not really ready to work with the character.

Greg Herren also gave me a wonderful way to “craft backwards” when it comes to character building that I always use – if I need a character with a particular quality to come into the narrative and make a choice, I take a moment to imagine what history would teach a character to make that choice, and make sure the character has that history. It doesn’t necessarily have to be discussed to be there – I think a reader can tell when there’s more to a character than what appears on the page. When there’s a verisimilitude, it’s obvious. That’s what I’m always aiming for – if I know the character cold, then anything the character does will “feel right.” When it doesn’t feel right, I know I need to work some more on the character.

With Light, I had pages of history for Kieran that never made it to be discussed in the novel itself, but all of it helped me shape how he acts. He’s a bit of an idiot at times, and certainly has his flaws, but I hope he never seems to act out of his own character. That’s always my goal.

Indie Reviews: You’re welcome. But my observation regarding your characterization was definitely not a give away. I’ve always been a character-driven reader. Regardless of genre or plot intricacy, I rely on knowing and understanding the characters as a guide through the story. Your process for character development is definitely working because good characterization is a quality of your writing that struck me immediately with your first story and it’s been a consistent element of your writing with each subsequent story.

‘Nathan Burgoine: I’m blushing.

Indie Reviews: Which story has been your most challenging to write and why?

‘Nathan Burgoine: Of everything I’ve written, Light has been the most difficult. It was such a different experience writing a novel. This will sound a bit silly, but one of the benefits of short fiction is the ability to feel a real sense of accomplishment on a regular basis. Sometimes within days of starting a short fiction piece, I’ve got a draft I’m ready to send to someone to beta read. In the space of a week or two, I can have that real sense of joy that comes from submitting the piece, and moving on to another. It’s wonderful, and not just a little bit addicting.

With the novel, it took months to get to the point where I could show the finished draft to someone, and in all that time, there was no sense of “done” at all about Light. There was no feedback about the whole until I’d spent the year(s) working on it. When a short story doesn’t work, it’s easy to put it down and move on to something else for a while and come back to it. But a novel is a huge investment of time and effort and energy, so I felt a real pressure to be moving ahead, getting it done, and working on it. Days where it just wouldn’t flow were incredibly painful.

When I get stuck on a short story and it won’t work, I skip to another story. I recently tried to write a story for Jerry L. Wheeler’s upcoming Bears of Winter anthology three times before I realized it wasn’t going to work, and I wrote a different story instead. Even though the first three tries were a frustration, finding the right story to write after putting those three aside was overall an uplifting feeling. I didn’t have that option with Light – it wasn’t like I could just skip to my “other novel.”

From a short story perspective, though, the hardest was probably “Filth,” from Night Shadows. Horror is not a genre I generally read (though I have read a few) because it gets stuck in my head and I end up having nightmares, which is a bit pathetic now that I say it out loud. Writing horror was very difficult for me for the same reason, but I ended up taking a recurring nightmare and turning it into the story. I haven’t had that nightmare since.

Raising Hell The Touch of the Sea This Is How You Die

Indie Reviews: Let’s shift gears a little and talk about story setting. You’re an ex pat Brit who’s made the Great White North his home and many of your stories are set in Canada including Light, which is set in Ottawa. Is this important to you?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I love Canada, warts and all (and by “warts” I mostly mean our Prime Minister). Part of setting Light in Ottawa was from my real sense of pride in the city, and partly because prior to living in Ottawa, I’d moved over and over again, and this is the first place I’ve ever felt like “home.” I also think you can tell different stories in Canada than you can in the States or other places in the world just by virtue of the country – Canadian health care, for one, means that some stories just won’t “work” here. When I wrote “Heart,” I had Aiden lie about who he was to get to ‘Miah’s bedside in the hospital, but now that years have gone by since marriage equality, that’s not a scenario that would likely have to happen anymore.

Also, setting can be a character in and of itself. If you think of Greg Herren’s or Jean Redmann’s New Orleans, or New York in the hands of Rob Byrnes or Timothy James Beck, the city is alive and breathing and a real part of the story.

So yeah, I like Canada’s character. Part of Light’s setting is me crowing about Canada and Ottawa. Our country federally recognizes gay marriage, something that makes me very proud to call this country home. The mayor’s speech at the beginning of the book is very much me speaking (and that includes noting how far we still have to go in regard to Transgender rights). I’m also madly in love with the coast of British Columbia and the interior of the Okanagan valley, and some of my stories have been set in those places when I’m telling tales that have a strong natural presence, like “Wind and Tree” and “Time and Tide.” These are places of Canada that are just beautiful and give you that sense of “untouched” nature.

I also don’t want to write a setting wrong. I think I could perhaps begin to do a decent job with a story set in the United Kingdom (where I was born and grew up and have visited many times), or parts of New Orleans (where I visit each May for Saints and Sinners), but I don’t know if I have the chops to set a novel in either place. I’d be afraid to make glaring errors.

Indie Reviews: You’ve mentioned the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival and it’s a perfect segue to my next question. I’ve been following your Blog for a while now and each May, I look forward to your posts about the Festival in New Orleans. What makes this writers’ conference so unique and rewarding?

‘Nathan Burgoine: Saints and Sinners is a yearly recharge of my creativity. First, it’s in New Orleans, which is just an incredible city that hums with its own magic. Second, the event itself is full of such incredibly talented novelists and poets and playwrights. The sense of community at Saints and Sinners is brilliant – everyone is there to connect and share. I always learn so much when I go to the master classes – one year I got to have Radclyffe edit a work in progress in a group session, another year I was on a panel discussing book reviews with Radclyffe, Jerry L. Wheeler, and William Holden that was moderated by Jeff Mann, and this last year I tried to absorb every word while Jess Wells spoke about theme (she’s a brilliant teacher, by the way).

Writing can be such an isolated experience. When you can gather all that talent in one place, it’s so rewarding. Also – and maybe this is a facet of GLBT publishing in specific – the connection lingers. Bold Strokes and Lethe/Bear Bones, the publishers I’ve worked with the most, have a real sense of community to them, and so many of the authors I get to meet up with at Saints and Sinners are a part of those publishers. The GLBT community can be very good at making their own family – many of us have had practice at doing so when our “real” families cut and run. Saints and Sinners feels like a family.

Indie Reviews: On your Blog you often post about your experiences at the bookstore you manage. Have you ever considered publishing a compilation of your posts, sort of a “Tales From the Bookstore?” And while we’re on the subject, can you update on the Firefighters Baseball Team? Any recent sightings?

‘Nathan Burgoine: There are so many wonderful stories I could tell about being in the bookstore (and a few not-so-wonderful ones), and I have to admit that there’s this urge, in the back of my head, to include that more in a story or two. I have a bookstore clerk character coming up in the story “Struck” next year, and a mystery story that maybe-someday could be a novel or a novella involves ‘Miah’s boss Ian, who works at the bookstore. Those all, of course, would be fictionalized.

A compilation of real events, though, would be lovely to write – especially if I made sure to stick to the fun and the uplifting. No one needs a book of downer experiences. Maybe someday, I could see myself doing that. Maybe an e-release for a literary charity or something.

As for the Firefighters Baseball Team, since I moved to the new store, they’ve only dropped by once. It’s a real tragedy. These guys are freaking gorgeous, they’re funny, and they’re firefighters to boot. What’s not to love? I sort of feel like their adopted gay pet, but it’s actually a real joy when they come and ask me for advice on what to read (or what to gift).

Afternoon Pleasures Saints and Sinners Riding The Rails

Indie Reviews: Which authors inspire you? Who do you enjoy reading?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I think by this point anyone who knows me knows that I think they should be reading Timothy James Beck, Rob Byrnes, Greg Herren and Jeff Mann. Timothy James Beck has a way with dialog that is incredible. Rob Byrnes is brilliantly funny. Greg Herren never met a genre he couldn’t write. Jeff Mann is the most lyrical prose writer (and the most narrative poet) I’ve ever read. They all inspire me to try harder and do better.

I enjoy reading so many different styles and voices, but I think the common theme to everything I enjoy reading is that I read to be entertained. Sometimes that’s considered a kind of “low-brow” approach, and I will happily call B.S. on that. It might be the bookstore clerk in me, and I’m not saying I don’t enjoy high literary writing and the challenge of that kind of prose or poetry, but most of the time I’m reading because reading is fun and I like having fun.

Sometimes “fun” is defined as ugly-crying while I’m on the bus because a book just devastated me (see: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan), and sometimes “fun” means getting kicked out of a pizza place because I’m laughing too hard and too often (see: The Night We Met by Rob Byrnes), but I read for those moments of laughter and tears far more than I read “serious” literature.

Indie Reviews: Reading is such a personal endeavour. I’m like you though, in the sense that I enjoy all aspects of literature, whether fiction or non-fiction, genre fiction or more literary writing. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something light and entertaining, at other times, I need a real good emotional fix, or I’m in the mood for something more cerebral. Not sure if you’re aware, but you are one of my go to readers for book recommendations, you turned me on to the writing of Jeff Mann and I’ve added Two Boys Kissing and The Night We Met to my reading list.

‘Nathan Burgoine: I’m not kidding about the tissue warning on Two Boys Kissing. Seriously.

TentedI Like It Like ThatSweat

Indie Reviews: OK. I’ve held off as much as I can, but you knew there was going to be at least one question on Fool for Love. Can you tell us of your experience in having your first published work be part of such an outstanding anthology? What was the inspiration behind Aiden and ‘Miah’s story?

‘Nathan Burgoine: When I got my hands on Fool for Love I was astounded at the company I was keeping when I looked at the table of contents – for one, I was in a book with Rob Byrnes and Greg Herren and it was edited by half of Timothy James Beck! I was seriously gobsmacked. When I started reading the stories, I was even more stunned. You’re absolutely right when you say it’s an outstanding anthology (and I say that taking myself out of the picture). I freaking love that book.

From a confidence point of view, I don’t think I could have had a better beginning as a short fiction writer. I got to be involved in a book that collected some incredibly wonderful authors – and I got to meet some new ones, too. Mark G. Harris, David Puterbaugh, and Jeffrey Ricker became kind of like “anthology brothers” to me, and there was a really great sense of camaraderie that came with Fool. Chalk up another point in favour of Saints and Sinners there – most of us got to meet each other over the next few years, and I even finally got up the nerve to ask Felice Picano and Trebor Healey to sign my copy. This year, it became an audiobook through, and listening to the stories over again was like reliving those first few months. The audio performer was fantastic. It was lovely.

My story in Fool, “Heart,” came from two places. When my father was dying of heart cancer (which is incredibly rare) I was sitting up in his hospital room during visiting hours while he was in and out of consciousness, and scribbling to myself in a notebook. My future husband and I had been dating for a few months by then, and he had the supremely awkward “first meet” with my family during this time (and met everyone else at my father’s funeral, which was even worse). I watched my mother and saw what she was going through, and I couldn’t help but imagine myself in her position, with the man I’d finally found being the one who was ill. I wrote on a scrap of paper, “what if you could only keep one heart going?”

The second piece that eventually turned into “Heart” was the very vague memories I have of my grandmother, who came to live with my family when she was dying of cancer (for the record, I sincerely hate cancer). ‘Miah, Aiden, and his Nan were spun together from those two things, and my love of stories that give people a second chance to speak before they part.

Indie Reviews: Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind ‘Miah and Aiden’s story (I sincerely hate that insidious disease as well). Perhaps I’m a bit of a masochist, but whenever I think of “Heart” “beauty in sadness” always comes to mind. I had a perpetual lump in my throat while reading Greg Herren’s “Everyone Says I’ll Forget in Time” and Andrew Holleran’s “Two Kinds of Rapture,” but some serious tears were shed while reading “Heart.”

‘Nathan Burgoine: I loved “Everyone Says I’ll Forget in Time.” It’s such a truth-in-fiction sort of story.

Foolish Hearts

Indie Reviews: I’ve marked my calendar for January 2014 in anticipation of the release of Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction and am thrilled that the editors of Fool For Love decided to do this again. Are you able to give us a sneak peek of “Struck,” your contribution to this follow-up anthology? What else is on your writing horizon?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I’m going to preface by saying that it was myself and Rob Byrnes sitting by the pool in New Orleans – and maybe some wine – that made this semi-sequel possible. I’d half-jokingly said – but secretly totally hoped they’d agree – that Fool for Love needed a sequel. I even suggested a title: Fool Me Twice. The important thing is that they realized I still suck at titles but went ahead with the book idea.

Seriously though, “Struck” is a very different story from “Heart.” When I submitted “Heart” to Fool for Love I remember Becky Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert talking about how they asked for gay romance and got a dozen stories about death. I’m quite lucky they liked “Heart” enough to overlook the death in it, and I didn’t want to press my luck a second time. So I went in the opposite direction and aimed for funny. I hope I succeeded.

“Struck” is about Chris, a young man who has an encounter with someone who promises he can fix Chris’s life. It involves coffee, a zipper, the Titanic, the smell of the colour purple, an important kiss, and absolutely, positively not wearing pink. In other words, a typical romance.

As for the rest of my writing plans, as much as I’ve said I want to go back to short stories for a while, I’ve begun working on another novel (or maybe novella), dealing with the characters from my “Triad” stories. With the exception of “Heart,” the stories with Curtis the wizard, Luc the vampire, and Anders the demon (especially Anders the demon) have garnered the most e-mails and comments from readers, and they’re a lot of fun to write. So they might be next.

But definitely some short stories.

Indie Reviews: First, many thanks to you and Mr. Byrnes, and much gratitude for your poolside chat. Looking forward to an extended story on the Triad – they’re a lot of fun to read as well!

‘Nathan Burgoine: Thank you! They’re a tonne of fun to write, too.

Indie Reviews: What do you hope readers take away from your stories?

‘Nathan Burgoine: I want to entertain. If I manage to put a smile on a reader’s face, or make someone laugh, or even when a story induces some public ugly crying, I think I’ve done my job (though I’m sorry about the public ugly crying, especially to that guy who wrote me and told me he was reading while he was in the bathroom at the Mazda dealership, because…well…awkward).

I think if there’s a message I’m trying to send, it’s just to remind ourselves that there’s magic enough everywhere if we give ourselves a second to look twice.

Indie Reviews: One last question. While on this journey of writing and being published, what have you learned most about ‘Nathan?

‘Nathan Burgoine: What have I learned about myself? Egad. That’s a tough one. Wait – no – it’s actually not. I’ve learned that I’m happiest when I’m being a proponent of the LGBT writing and publishing community.

I may be a gay guy, but I’m a white gay guy in Canada with a good job – I’m in such a position of privilege. I got a letter from a teenager who lived in a town of 700 people or so in Illinois, and his letter made me realize that I truly love being a part of the greater whole that is the LGBT community (and its allies), and that I should take any opportunity I’ve got to give back to it. I can be visible and pro-active, and I enjoy doing so. I had completely lost touch with my public speaking and outreach role over the years, and writing was the first step back to that world. Putting more representation into fiction sounds like a small thing, but young-me never saw any books like that, and I can only imagine how happy he would have been if he’d found a book that had a character like him inside it.

That I enjoy it? Icing on the cake.

Indie Reviews: ‘Nathan, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this Author Q & A, and most of all for your openness in sharing your thoughts on writing and your stories. I wish you all the best with your writing, may the words always flow, and look forward to reading more of your stories.

Visit ‘Nathan Burgoine at The Redroom where a complete listing of his titles is available.

Music: Cold Wind – Arcade Fire (Six Feet Under, Volume 2: Everything Ends, 2009)

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