Today's featured book is What's in a Name by Pat Jenshaw.
Interview with Guy Stone
Tell us about yourself, please.
(Ahem!) My name is Stone. I'm the owner and bartender of Stonewall Saloon in Old Town Stone Acres, California. The bar's been in the family from the frontier days when my great-grandpa entertained Wild Bill Cody and other famous—and sometimes infamous—characters who roamed the West. You don't believe me, all you need to do is look at the pictures on the walls of the saloon. I'm big, burly, the kind of guy who rides his Harley in the hills to let off steam. Mostly, though, I'm pretty laid back. Ya gotta be to run a saloon where motorcycle gangs and gay men hang out. Until I met Jimmy Patterson, the guy who opened the coffee shop a couple doors down from the saloon, nobody asked what my first name was. Everybody just called me Stone. But Jimmy had to push it. But in the end, after he'd weaseled the name outta me, he agreed to call me Guy, his Guy.
Authors call what you want but cannot have "the conflict" -- what is yours?
For the longest damn time, I wanted Jimmy, but he's was living with this creepy fuck. So I kept my hands off because it just doesn't sit well with me when I see guys coming on to other guys' men. It just ain't right. You know? So I played it cagy and talked to Jimmy whenever his "boyfriend" was chatting up other guys. You know, playing it cool. And hoping a lot. Don't know if you can call that conflict. Or do you mean Tommy Thompson and his group of rough-housers who were always picking on the queers in high school? Yeah, they're still a problem, but we're working on them. You can read about it in the book.
What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
Jimmy's like smart, book smart and friendly, sometimes I think too friendly. He sees everyone as good. Running a bar, I don't. I know some guys are just plain rattlesnakes inside. But sometimes, you know, I'd like Jimmy to be right. I look at some crusty old drifter and I want to see somebody good and decent, not somebody looking for another free drink. Sometimes I wonder if I'm seeing the real world or Jimmy is. Of course, then another drifter walks into the bar and I've got my doubts again.
In the story world your author created, explain what it is you fear most and why.
No, see, you got it wrong. I'm the person everyone fears. Probably the bald head and the beefy body, you know? Cuts down on a lot of damage to the bar if everyone's just a little uneasy about how unhappy I could get if things get outta hand. Mostly what I fear is some good-looking, smooth-talking, better-than-me-stud is going to walk into Jimmy's life and he's gonna compare us and find me wanting. If that happens, I'll probably turn into the old drifter cuz Jimmy is my life.
Tell us about your significant other, that person who makes living worthwhile.
Jimmy? Well, you heard a lot about him in what I've already said. But I wanna add a couple a other things. Jimmy and the coffee shop's co-owner Felicity had a hard life before they moved here. Jimmy's happy all the time, so he gets stomped on a lot. He's funny and sweet—and God knows I've never gone for sweet in a guy before—but realistic. He's strong even though for the past year or so he says he's been leaning on me. But don't listen to that. He and Felicity have started two businesses and kept them going. People think by looking at me that I'm the strong one in this relationship. Not hardly.
Why are you happy (or not happy) with the way your story ended?
See, here's the thing. Jimmy and me? We're the real deal. The story is a hundred percent. We're in it for the long haul. If that Pat Henshaw person had ended the story any other way, we'd have had some words about that. Fortunately, she saw the truth, so I didn't have to get tough.
About the Writer
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska and has lived at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat has visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and now enjoys trips to Vermont, Oregon, and Arizona to see family. Pat spent her life surrounded by words—teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
LOL. Actually writing it. I've always wanted to be a published author—not to be confused with a published writer, which I've been since my 20s. I've written about nine full-length novels, but never had one published. I always promised myself that when I retired, I would get organized about writing books. So actually sitting down and doing what I'd promised myself was the biggest challenge I've overcome.
Why did you choose this character for the interview today?
What's in a Name? is written from the viewpoint of Jimmy, but a lot of my readers are captivated by Guy Stone. So I thought it was about time Guy had his chance to explain himself and share what he thinks about Jimmy.
Are any sequels planned for this book?
This is the first in the series and came out in January 2015. The second in the series, Redesigning Max, published in July 2015, and the third, Behr Facts, comes out in October 2015. I've submitted the fourth Foothills Pride novella, When Adam Fell, to the publisher, Dreamspinner Press, but haven't heard anything back yet. I'm currently working on the fifth book in the series. Although all the books have characters and setting in common, they can be read independently.
Why should readers who haven't picked up one of your books before give this one a try?
Because my books have no explicit sex, they are perfect starter books for traditional romance readers who are curious about the new trend in gay romance. My books are about love, not sex, and while gay romance and m/m romance books have been called erotica in the past, my books wouldn't fit into that category at all. Readers looking for sex shouldn't read my books. Readers looking for love and happy endings should read them.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers?
This has been a whirlwind year for me. My experiment to see if I could be a published author has been a success. As of the end of December, I will have published around 100,000 words with Dreamspinner and am blown away when I think about it. I want to thank my readers for making this possible and wish to pass on to them success in fulfilling their dreams.
About the Book
Title What's in a Name?
Genre Contemporary gay romance
Author Pat Henshaw
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it's a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he's dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall Saloon rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.
Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender's first name since he's worn a different name tag every time Jimmy's seen him. "Guy" Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.
While Jimmy's trying to come up with his name, he's distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.
Buy This Book
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