What inspired me to write Runner?
Runner came about like a lot of stories do for me. A dream that took on a life of its own. I woke one night at about 1 am, having dreamt of a man who lived alone in the woods, hiding from everyone and everything. He had something traumatic happen to him that drove him away from those he loves and left him lost and alone. He thought he liked it that way, but then one day a man shows up on his road.
Now that’s where the dream ended. I had to fill in the details about why Matt was alone, how it affects his life with his family, and who the runner that disrupts his world was. Each piece fell into place from that. It wasn’t an easy one for me, because it turns out Matt had OCD and PTSD. A friend of mine has a son who deals with OCD behavior, so I asked her if she’d be willing to read it for me because I wanted Matt to be as authentic as possible. She made some suggestions that helped me to define the story.
Now, Matt needed a counterpoint. Someone who could help to calm those impulses within him. That’s where the runner comes in. He does everything he can to put Matt at ease, but Matt still has a panic attack and it forces our runner to do something drastic. This event is the beginning of Matt’s journey with our runner, and it’s going to lead him through all kinds of twists and turns before the story is over.
Especially once the truths are revealed. (And I think that’s a good place to end this. LOL)
Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.
He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—
But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.
I COULDN’T find it within myself to talk to him for the first four days. I kept hoping he’d stop running by and my life would go back to normal. I should have known better. Ever since the incident, nothing went the way I expected it to. I continued to watch him, and I had to admit, the apprehension that coursed through me had eased. He didn’t really frighten me anymore, but the thought of talking to him filled me with dread. What made it worse for me? He’d continued to glance toward the house, and if he saw me, he’d give a smile or a little wave.
No, I wasn’t being honest. After a few weeks of him waving, I had actually started to weave that into my daily routine. I stood in front of the window, looking out at the road every day at ten thirty. One day it rained, and he was thirteen minutes late. I went into panic mode, hyperventilating and pacing around the house, chastising myself. How had he become a part of my world? Why did I now depend on him to be where I expected him to be? I grew angry with myself for that. Despite the pleading I’d done with Clay, I no longer wanted the man to stop running by my house now that I’d grown used to seeing him.
And worse, when he waved, I had started waving back.
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/runner-by-parker-williams-8706-b#
Categories: Romance, Gay Romance, Contemporary
Prize is a paperback of Runner
Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his husband of a quarter century, Parker continues to believe and writes stories where there is (almost) always a happy ending.
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