Looking For Mr Wright

PIANOMAN_FBbanner_DSPOkay, so I promised I’d reveal the inspiration behind  my story in this year’s Dreamspinner Daily Dose anthology, Piano Man, but I’ve been holding off until those who were getting a book from the collection a day had  received their copy. And also, I didn’t want to reinforce the stereotype that we writers without evil day jobs just slump on the settee in our pyjamas watching daytime TV.

Occasionally, if I’m having one of those days where I’m running errands or catching up on reading any books I’ve been given to review, I’ll see part of The Wright Stuff. Usually, the panellists are so opinionated  they have me screaming and reaching for the off switch, though it is nice to spot Bernice, Sir Guy Masterleigh’s partner and the transsexual who almost flattened me on a bouncy castle at the Pleasuredome fetish party (long story…), in the audience from time to time. However, this particular morning, one of the guests was Mark Curry, who readers of a certain vintage will remember from his presenting stint on Blue Peter (or if you grew up in Yorkshire like I did, Junior Showtime). Somehow, the fact that Curry has come out in the intervening years had passed me by, but I was intrigued by the conversation he was having with Matthew Wright about socialising when you’re gay. He was complaining that once you reach a certain age, the clubbing scene loses its appeal, and he couldn’t really find the places he wanted to go instead. He had  in mind a gay-friendly venue where it’s possible to spend time with straight and gay friends alike, listening to good music and enjoying conversation. The outcome was that Mark and Matthew joked they should go into business together and open just such a bar.

To me, that concept fitted perfectly with the brief for the Daily Dose anthology. All the stories in Never Too Late revolve around the theme of men finding love later in life. Graham, the protagonist of Piano Man, feels old and unloved since his partner left him for another man, and  like Mark Curry, he’s tired of  noisy, impersonal clubs. So he and his best friend, Mike, set up a piano bar that will cater to their needs and that of an older, more sophisticated crowd. There’s just one problem – with the grand opening only a couple of days away, they haven’t found a pianist they need. Which is when the talented and very hot Adam appears to audition…

So that’s how Piano Man came about. Thanks to Messrs Curry and Wright for sparking it into life, and who says daytime TV is a distraction?

Piano Man is available from Dreamspinner Press as part of the Daily Dose antho or as a single story.

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Get It Before It’s Too Late!

If you’re familiar with Dreamspinner Press’s annual Daily Dose collections, you’ll know they provide a special themed short story every day throughout the month of June. And to add to the excitement, you won’t know exactly which story you’ll be receiving on any particular day until it’s available to download.

This year’s theme is Never Too Late, and all the stories in the anthology deal with the subject of men finding love later in life, whether that’s a May/December romance, a second chance at what might have been or just an unexpected opportunity to meet that special someone.

My story in the collection is a contemporary romance called Piano Man. Here’s the blurb:

Approaching fifty, Graham is tired of the gay club scene. He dreams of a venue where he won’t be judged on his age and looks. He and his friend Mike decide to fill the gap in the market by opening the Midnight Lounge, a gay-friendly piano bar in the heart of London’s Soho. After several unsuccessful auditions, Graham finds the perfect pianist for the bar. Adam Turner is young, handsome, and talented, and there’s a spark of attraction between him and Graham, but Graham’s split with his ex has left him feeling old and unattractive. He believes Adam is just stringing him along—a belief that seems validated when Adam kisses him, then claims he’s made a big mistake. Adam wants Graham, but first he’ll have to prove to Graham that age is no barrier to finding love.

The whole collection, which includes stories by a very talented line-up of authors including Andrew Grey, Claire London, Alexa Silver, Yolande Kleinn and Rob Rosen, is available at the special price of $49.99, but only until 25th May. After that the price will be $64.99, or you’ll be able to buy the stories individually from the Dreamspinner site. Click on the cover image below to find out more.

NeverTooLateFS

Once the anthology is released, I’ll be sharing an excerpt and revealing the inspiration behind Piano Man, so look out for that!