The Bouncer

By A.J. Llewellyn
Several months ago, I traveled to Austin, TX, to visit my best friend, Tam. I was excited to visit her new location, meet her beautiful man and cuddle her super-delicious baby girl. Armed with a tutu and tiara for Tam’s toddler, I was excited about my short four-day trip.
I’d never been to Austin, but from the second I arrived, I knew it would be the ideal setting for a gay erotic romance novel.
Tam picked me up at the airport and we picked up exactly where we’d left off.
“I’ll show you gay Austin,” she said.
I blinked and missed it.
We circled the block and she pointed out four tiny gay bars and one lesbian cafe. I was surprised – and disappointed.
At the time, I was stunned that the most progressive and accepting Texan city is pretty much still keeping things close to the vest – the vest that’s hanging on a wire hanger at the back of the closet.
I remember posting a tweet, making a joke about the plethora of gay cowboy novels that had flooded the ebook market. I said they needed to be classified as paranormal romances.
That single tweet got me a lot of emails from authors expressing surprise at my observation.
Some of them had jumped on the Brokeback Mountain Revisited genre with gay cowboy stories. A few of them knew the gay guys on the range was a myth, others imagined with the many books on the market that sweaty, sexy, half-clad gay cowboys just prowl Austin looking for company.
Anyway, Tam, my darling Tam…what can I say about her? She’s thrown herself into motherhood the way she threw herself into being my friend.
She remains the only woman I know who sat ringside at boxing matches with me, not only loving it, but understanding it.
She remains a master chef, a master of all things…and I threw myself into her day-to-day life.
That meant Gymboree.
Yep, I know all the songs by heart. Thanks to Tam, I wake up with that bloody “Cleanup” song in my frickin’ head. As I chased bubbles with the little kids and applauded their sharing. caring and cleaning efforts, the idea for The Bouncer came to me.
Jumping from my favorite what if starting point, I wondered, what if a single gay guy came to Austin to help his brother run his new gay bar…and got into trouble and had to do community service in an inner city gym…with toddlers?
The result was The Bouncer, one of my favorite stories to write.
Tam will recognize her street with its dried and crackly lawns thanks to watering ordinances.
She may recognize the honey butter references for which she is responsible since she introduced me to the lovely, sweet-yellow stuff.
But most of all, I hope she recognizes some our conversations in this.
She is a goddess, a true creator. I am certain we were friends before this life and will be in the next one, too.
I hope by then the “Cleanup” song leaves my brain. If not, I’ll shrug it up to a lesson learned, and kept, from The Bouncer.
What about other authors/readers? What was your fave experience that inspired a story or a piece of art or music? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of THE BOUNCER…
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Aloha oe,

One Response to “The Bouncer”

  1. I loved the post. Simply lovely to have a friend like that. 🙂

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