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Title: The Sparky
Author: Marek Moran
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Release Date: 03/03/2017
Aaron’s been living in what his friend Howie calls a sexual desert. But an oasis appears on the horizon when Paul, a divorced electrician with a five-year-old daughter named Sam, moves in next door. He’s a country boy from northern Australia, and although he’s never been with a guy before, he has an impression that anything goes in the city. They find that the ordinary things in life—books, footie in the park, looking after Sam—lead them into an unlikely relationship.
But as their relationship slowly deepens, with Aaron spending time on Paul’s family’s cattle station, it becomes clear that Paul might have a harder time leaving the country behind. To him, happiness means a conventional life—including a mother for Sam. Being with his old friends convinces him he’s on the wrong path with Aaron, and he starts a relationship with a girl from his hometown. If he cannot find the courage to go after what he truly needs, he and Aaron will become nothing more than awkward neighbours.
A New Book and an Old One
Hello, Reader! I’m a keen reader myself, as most writers are; for me, that’s led to other books playing a pretty important role in my first novel The Sparky. One of them’s Maurice by E. M. Forster, which is a novel (and movie) I like a lot myself.
For those of you who haven’t read or seen it, Maurice follows the eponymous main character through early adulthood, as he first goes to university, and discovers a previously unknown side to himself when he meets the handsome Clive, who introduces him to the idea of M/M love via the Greek classics. Their relationship is all rather restrained and English—they’re at Cambridge, after all—and it fizzles out when Clive decides he wants to get married and have a political career. Later Maurice meets Scudder, an under-gamekeeper, and ends up in the sort of relationship he wanted all along.
It’s an old novel, written 1913-14 although only published in 1971. It mightn’t feel like such a big deal now, when you can get a whole trove of M/M romance (including mine!) at the click of an e-reader button. But having a story like that at that time, with its implied HEA, is pretty amazing.
Being a century old, the actual story has a definite feel of the English class system about it, which prevents you (well, prevented me) from feeling totally at one with any of the characters. So, long before The Sparky was even a kernel in my mind, I’d imagined what Maurice and Scudder’s relationship would look like as a modern-day one. This isn’t what The Sparky is—it changed a lot from that initial germ of an idea—but it does feature in the story, as something that bibliophile Aaron has on his mind.
The Maurice movie is good too. The actors who play Maurice and Scudder make a good-looking pair, and the script adds a few racier scenes that Forster didn’t include in the novel but—given his own inclinations—probably wouldn’t have been too unhappy about.
So if you don’t yet know Maurice, I encourage you to read it or watch it!
We’re lying on his bed. I’m on my back; he’s on his side, one elbow bent, his head resting on his hand, facing me. I’m looking at his legs: one thigh has a large freckle, and his cock is snaking along that thigh. His stomach is tight but not ostentatiously six-packed; there are another two freckles on his right side. On the arm that’s propping up his head, the bicep looks like there’s a small football under the skin, and along his wrist, the veins are so prominent and so blue they look like a river delta.
“Am I Scudder?” he asks.
“How—” I’m at a loss for words. “No. You’re too thoughtful. And I’m not Maurice.” I think for a bit. “How do you even know about Scudder?”
He grins. “There’s this thing called Google, and you can find out lots of stuff using it.” I open my mouth to say something. “On Sunday when I wandered into your house, and you flicked off the movie, you looked so freaked out. Like I’d caught you wanking. Which I wouldn’t have minded, by the way. But I saw the DVD case, so I did some detective work. Fortunately the local movie rental place had a copy.”
“And this is why you’re not Scudder. He was good at climbing up to first-floor windows, not so good at detective work.” I clear my throat. “I was just watching it because I thought I was fooling myself into thinking you were interested out of some literary fantasy. Misinterpreting things like your footie tackle.”
“Actually, you didn’t misinterpret that. But you didn’t react, and even when you said that thing about liking guys falling asleep on you, I couldn’t tell whether it meant you were interested. Too cool, you were.”
About the Author
Marek Moran is, in his day job, a computer science professor. If you want to know about shortest path graph algorithms, he’s your man. However, that’s probably not why you’re reading this. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia, and has previously lived in France, Germany and the US, enjoying travelling around and listening to people talk: he’s learnt to respond to enquiries after his wellbeing with a ça va merci, sehr gut danke or copacetic, thanks.
The only member of his book club to like George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss, he’s discovered that he enjoys writing romance as well as reading it; the other members of his book club don’t yet know this. He plays piano, squash, and his cards close to his chest. The Sparky is his first novel.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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