Author Name: Lynn Charles
Book Name: Black Dust
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?
Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”
“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”
“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”
“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”
“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”
“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”
“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”
“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”
“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”
“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”
Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored—you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”
“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”
Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.
So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”
Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”
“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”
“You’ve never told me—”
“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”
“You deserve a beautiful life.”
“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”
Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”
“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”
“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”
“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”
INTERVIEW WITH LYNN CHARLES
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust.
Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef’s Table, was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a writer?
A couple things come to mind: when you meet your word count goal, especially after days of struggle; when you finish the scene or chapter, especially after days of struggle; but mostly, when you least expect it, a character says something that takes you by surprise—not necessarily in its meaning, but in the turn of phrase, or in the depth of feeling. The moment the words on the page reflect the kind of author you hope you’ll one day be. Because it is a constant state of growth.
Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you hadn’t originally planned?
Not the whole story, no. But sometimes they’ll steal a scene or a conversation. In the project I’m working on now, without realizing it, I learned a supporting character has a trans brother. It was never in my plan, I hadn’t thought much about his character or why he behaved the way he did, but as the words spilled out of me, so did reason. Now, it feels like the most natural part of who he is.
How did you celebrate the release of your book? Well, as of this writing, my book hasn’t yet been released! But, I will be taking off for New York the day after. So, practically, I’ll celebrate by packing. But come the day after, I’ll be snuggled up on a plane with my sweetie to fly to our favorite city. I’m assuming there will be a nice meal, a walk in one of our favorite neighborhoods ending with a drink at a bar we find along the way. Or a stop to Schmackery’s for a cookie or two.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
This idea came to me years ago when I was realizing it had been fifteen years since we lost a cousin of mine to an auto accident similar to the one we see in Black Dust. I began to wonder what happened to the two girls who survived the crash—the driver, and the one injured, but not fatally. Since I had no answers to that, my mind began to spin answers of its own. And a story was born.
Have you ever written naked?
Ha! Great question. I might have, on my iPad, jotted down dialogue that came to me while in the bathtub. (Is that not where some of the best ideas are born?) But, the meat of my writing is done at a computer or while sprawled across my bed doing some handwriting. Unless it’s a rare event I’m forgetting, I don’t think I’ve ever done that without some clothes on anyway. Maybe I should try it for my third novel—you never know what could come of it!
Buy the book:
Meet the author:
Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830185-black-dust
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art and Design by C.B. Messer
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