Hi there. Jamie Dean, here. The author of the new male-male romance Not Just Passing Through.
I’ve been asked several times what inspired this book, and the simple fact is, I wasn’t inspired so much as I was compelled. Not Just Passing Through was an anomaly.
That’s the thing about writing, though. It’s never really the same, from story to story. Sometimes the characters and dialog flow out like a river after a heavy rain. Other times the idea that was so exciting in concept takes twenty extractors and an act of Congress to get the words right in practice. Both of those can even happen in the same story. There will be times when some detail is just wrong for the story, and I won’t realize it, and I’ll try to keep writing, expecting the flowing river, only to be met with extraction detail. And then I will see the detail, the rock that’s holding everything up. Once I remove it or shift it even slightly, suddenly the flow begins again.
Some stories seem to arrive in dribs and drabs. A few are sparked from a tiny concept and build as the writing happens. The most rare is when the idea comes almost whole, from start to finish when all that’s left is filling the details into the gaps between the plot points.
Not Just Passing Through was a unicorn. Magical, rare, and beloved, right from the start. God, I loved Avery and Chase, as soon as they walked onto the stage in my mind where the scenes played out. I don’t always fall in love with my characters, but I sure did with these two.
Avery was so funny and weird… and so much stronger than he realized. And Chase? Well, what’s not to love about a bad boy who’s actually not bad at all, but only trying to protect himself? Both of them so achingly, undeservedly lonely and in need of someone who accepts them as they are. Loves them for who they are.
They’re two of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. They remind me a bit of two of my favorite modern romantic characters, Keith and Watts from the John Hughes classic, Some Kind of Wonderful. Avery as Watts, constantly wanting to shout, “You’re my best friend, and I love you! Stop looking over there and look at me, look at me, look at ME!” and Chase the lonely, searching Keith, taking far too long to realize he’s been ignoring what’s right in front of him, and how the only place that feels like home is standing next to his best friend.
Unlike with Watts, who is in love with Keith at the start of the movie, though, in NJPT you get to watch it happen. You get to see Avery falling in love with Chase by degrees. As for how Chase differs from Keith, well, you’ll just have to read and find out, I guess 😉
I mentioned Keith and Watts being a couple of my favorites, but who are some of your favorite romantic characters? I’d love to hear your choices in the comments below.
And if you’d like to hear more about the book or writing or my other books or something else, you can find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by my handle jamiedeanwrites, or feel free to leave me a comment on jamiedeanwrites.com. Thanks for reading.
Socially awkward, closeted virgin Avery Malcolm passes his days and nights running his bigoted aunt’s motel in rural New Mexico. He dreams of getting away and hitting the road, but with one friend, a few acquaintances, and no real life to speak of outside his duties as front desk clerk, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get a chance.
Fate sends hot drifter Chase Lancaster to the Red Ram Motel, riding in on his sexy black motorcycle. Within twenty-four hours, Avery’s life is turned upside down. Before long, even though Chase’s sexual interests seem to run exclusively toward women in bars, Avery finds himself falling for the beautiful biker with no permanent address. Chase is much more than his bad boy persona, so while it’s nice to have another friend, Avery doesn’t know how he’ll survive with his heart intact when Chase inevitably moves on.
Review by Janice Birnie
Not Just Passing Through is a story about life in a small town, loneliness, friendship, unrequited love, and being true to yourself, no matter the consequences. It is also a story about hope and reaching for your dreams, even when they seem unattainable.
Avery Malcolm is a handsome, hazel eyed, blonde haired, shy young man living in a small town where everyone knows each other, and people have little to occupy their lives. He is a gay man, trapped by circumstances, in a dead end job managing his Aunt’s motel. Gossiping and drinking at the local pub is about as exciting as things get in this town. There’s very little in the way of entertainment, particularly for a closeted twenty year old, and a night off is usually spent watching movies with his only real friend, Jenny. Finding love seems like an impossible dream, until a sizzlingly hot stranger rides into town on a motorcycle, and turns Avery’s world upside down.
Chase Lancaster is a gorgeous, dark haired, blue eyed, drifter. Arriving at the only motel in town, to have a break from the road, he is surprised to find a young man running the front desk. When Avery eyes him, in a not too subtle fashion, Chase laughs it off. He knows both men and women are drawn to him and he enjoys the attention, even though he’s clearly straight. A week turns into two and then three and these two young men form an unlikely friendship. They bond over beers and late night conversations, movie marathons and bike rides. Avery may be failing in love but as Jenny warns her friend, there’s no future in loving someone you can’t have.
I fell in love with Avery from page one. His sweet nature and optimism shone through despite his limited life and circumstances. Chase’s cocky arrogance seemed to mask a deeper story, and as he opened himself up to Avery, and their friendship developed, he completely won me over as well.
There were a couple of times that the story slowed a little too much for me, but that may well have been impatience on my part. Other readers may not have this issue. Overall I found Not Just Passing Through to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. The kind of novella you read in one sitting and finish the last page with a smile on your face
Rating: 4 stars
Bio: Jamie Dean is passionate about food, beer, and hot men wading together through a sea of angst, sarcasm and sexy times.
When he is not reading or writing gay erotic fiction from his front porch swing, he might be painting, playing with his dogs and cats, or cooking experimental meals for (or drinking beer with) Jay, his husband and muse. He loves old cars, science fiction, road trips, and spending time with family and friends.
He came to terms with his sexuality only later in life, so that struggle is a frequent theme in his work. He has since embraced it with pride and considers himself an LGBT* activist, a feminist, and a champion for equal rights.