Andrew Grey – Why I Write:
I have been interviewed many times for blogs, radio, television and the hardest question I have ever been asked is why I write. It’s difficult because there isn’t an easy answer. I never set out to write and it wasn’t a dream of mine growing up. In school I was terrible in English and the most sure fire way to make me groan was to say that I had to write a paper about some god awful topic. However about nine years ago I started reading gay romance and I fell in love. Soon I got an idea for a story of my own and decided to write it. I have to say that I didn’t tell anyone about it until the initial draft was half done and by them I was having too much fun to quit. I finished the manuscript and immediately started another. That was nearly a hundred manuscripts, with sixty of them novels, ago with no signs of stopping.
Needless to say I’ve written a lot of stories and created many hundreds of characters. At the time I was writing each story I fell in love right along with my characters. However there are some characters that have stayed with me well beyond their story, Geoff and Eli, Wally and Dakota, Dakota’s father Jefferson, Cliff and Len, Bull and Zach. There are others I could add to that list, but their stories aren’t out yet. However there is a couple I want to talk about briefly, Terry and Red from Fire and Water.
This story started as a Beauty and the Beast idea. Red was injured and his face was scarred in the accident that took his parents from him. Red has a heart of gold, but very few get to see it. Terry is a swimmer with the sleek body that goes with it along with a gorgeous face, but he never looked any deeper and his life became the definition of shallow. I devised a way to put these two together and stood back to see what happened. I expected them to fall in love, but what I didn’t expect was the way they touched each other and changed each other, themselves, and their outlook on the world.
So to come back to my original question of why I write, I have to give Terry and Red as part of my answer. Sure I write stories that I love and it fulfills a creative outlet I never knew I needed until I started writing, but there are times when everything falls into place and I write something that shows just what two people can do when they put themselves second and look beneath the surface. Then I fall in love with them all over again. What better job can their possibly be?
Fire and Water, by Andrew Grey
Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.
Overhearing one of the officer’s comment about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.
Red and Terry’s world collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.
“Terry Baumgartner,” he answered, swallowing hard. “He and his friends were horsing around on the pool deck. I told them more than once to stop and was about to ask them to leave when I turned away because a little girl had approached my seat. And when I looked back, I saw him under the water. I dove in, along with Julie.” He motioned to the young woman in a red one-piece swimsuit who stood a little ways away. “I reached him first and pulled him out. We started resuscitation right away and continued until we were relieved a few minutes later.”
“Who called this in?” Red asked.
A man stepped forward. “I did. They yelled to call 911, so I did. The kids were roughhousing, and I remember thinking someone was going to get hurt.”
“Daddy, is Connor going to be okay?” a little girl in a wet bathing suit asked as she walked up and took the man’s hand.
“Yes, honey, he’s going to be fine,” he said, soothing the kid’s fears before turning back to Red. He swallowed as he met Red’s eyes. Very few people did that anymore. “What he said is the truth. The kids were asking for trouble. If the lifeguard did anything wrong, it was not kicking them out earlier. But he did warn them.”
Red glanced to Terry, who nodded. Some of the worry seemed to slip from his aqua eyes, and his godlike, lanky body lost some of its tension. He lowered his lean arms and let them hang down from his sculpted shoulders. Damn—the kid wasn’t big, but he was perfect, as far as Red was concerned. “Thank you,” Red said, turning back to the man. He took down his contact information and asked a few more questions before thanking him again. He then talked to the other lifeguard, Julie, who confirmed what Terry had told him. Red was satisfied that this was an accident and that the lifeguard hadn’t been responsible. He then spoke with the manager of the facility and got the necessary information from him. He was very helpful and seemed concerned and relieved at the same time.
By the time Red was done, Connor had been taken to the hospital, and most everyone else had been dismissed. He was getting ready to leave when he saw Terry and Julie standing off to one side, talking animatedly back and forth. Their voices weren’t as quiet as he assumed they meant them to be, because he heard little snippets of their conversation. “I’d die if that happened to me,” he heard Terry say and saw the kid looking his way. Red ignored him and walked carefully over the wet tile toward the door. Beauty was only skin deep.
Publisher and Publication Date: Dreamspinner Press, December 15, 2014
Purchase Link: Dreamspinner
Length: 200 pages
Formats Available: mobi, epub, pdf, html
About Andrew Grey:
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.