“It’s like that movie Big—only gay and in reverse.”
By Brad Boney
Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it.
Last spring, as I was finishing The Eskimo Slugger, I saw the movie 13 Going on 30 pop up on Netflix. It had somehow escaped my attention when it came out ten years ago, but I read the description and thought, “Oh, it’s a female version of Big.” Since the Tom Hanks classic is one of my favorite movies of all time, I was instantly onboard. I gave it a watch and then said to myself, “Wait. Isn’t there a movie with Zac Efron that does the same thing, only in the opposite direction?” Indeed, the name of that film is 17 Again, and co-stars Matthew Perry.
Three movies all telling basically the same story? That’s almost a genre, right?
Then I got an idea. What if I wrote a gay version?
I talked to my best friend Royce about it at brunch that weekend, and he encouraged the idea. I started to think it through. If I wanted to write a romantic comedy, I couldn’t have the protagonist be thirteen years old. Remember how the whole thing between Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins was kind of creepy? That would never do.
But I could build a romance around an older man who wakes up twenty years younger. I was certain I could make that work.
From there, I wrote the whole book by the seat of my pants. I settled on a main character, put him into motion, and watched what happened as this magical thing happened to him. Other characters popped up along the way. Obstacles and complications presented themselves on every page. It was the easiest book I’ve ever written, and definitely the most fun.
If you liked those movies, I think you’ll enjoy this book. It’s called Yes.
Title: Yes by Brad Boney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, M/M, Romance
Length: 220 pages
What if youth wasn’t wasted on the young?
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over.
With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.
On a flight home to Austin after his 40th birthday, Ian Parker wakes up from a nap to discover, in the airplane bathroom, that he is two decades younger. He returns to his seat and his best friend Mark.
Ian dried his hands and took a deep breath. He opened the door and practically knocked over the young woman waiting in line. He apologized and hurried past her down the aisle. He took his seat next to Mark, shook him, and lifted his sleep mask.
“Wake up,” Ian said. “I’m having a really bad trip.”
Mark opened his eyes and recoiled. “What the—? Who in the hell are you?”
“What are you talking about?”
Mark shook off his nap and looked around. “You must have overshot your row or something. Someone else is sitting there. What’s your seat number? Do you have your boarding pass?”
“It’s me. Ian.”
“Ian?” Mark glanced up and down the aisle. “Okay. If you say so. There’s no point in getting into an argument about it.” With a look of subdued terror on his face, Mark reached up and pushed the flight attendant button.
“What are you doing?” Ian said. “Don’t you recognize me? I thought I was hallucinating. Tell me I’m hallucinating.”
Mark removed the pillow from around his neck and swiped off his mask. “Let’s let the flight attendant handle this, okay? I don’t want any trouble. Please, whatever you’re doing, you don’t have to go through with it. Think about prison at your age. Have you ever seen Turned Out? Or Oz? Sure, I know it looks hot when it’s Chris Meloni, but this isn’t fiction, young man. You’re on a real plane, and I’m a real person. These things have consequences, and there’s no point in ruining your life before it’s even begun. I’m sure your cause—whatever it is, religious or otherwise—I’m sure it’s a worthy one. Have you been wronged by the American political system? Well, take a number and get in line.”
“Mark, it’s me. Can’t…? Look, I’m wearing Ian’s clothes.”
“And that’s supposed to convince me? You’re wearing jeans and a plain white T-shirt. If they belong to Ian, then what have you done with him? What’s your angle here, kid? Why do you insist on pretending you’re Ian Parker?”
“I’m not pretending.”
“Then prove it,” Mark said.
“I can… I can tell you things I know about you, like your favorite TV show is RuPaul’s Drag Race. You’re obsessed with Robbie Rogers, which I totally don’t get. And you have a dog named Kitty.”
“Practically anyone who follows me on Instagram could know those things. Have you been stalking me? Does this involve sexual blackmail? Because let me tell you right now, I—”
“We met at Jester Hall twenty-two years ago. You live on West Thirty-Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. You used to have a boyfriend named Troy, but I called him Sparky for no other reason than I thought it suited him better than Troy.”
Marked paused, and it looked like maybe Ian had convinced him. But then Mark shook his head and said, “Still not conclusive. Are you Al-Qaeda? Or maybe NSA? It’s so hard to tell the difference these days. What have you done with my friend? Did you lock him in the bathroom? Is that what you did? Because if you’ve hurt him in any way, I swear I’ll—”
“I am your friend. Why can’t you look at me and see that?” Ian glanced down the aisle and saw a female flight attendant heading their way. He had to think of something fast. He turned to Mark and whispered, “Okay. I didn’t want to go there, but could practically anyone else know you have a thing for twincest porn? Maybe Elijah and Milo Peters? Or the two brothers from Brazil?”
Mark’s jaw dropped.
“I thought that would do the trick.”
Mr. Boney is giving away ONE digital copy of Yes. Here’s how to enter the Saturday Spotlight contest:
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5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Monday afternoon.
*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*
It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. Mr. Boney will e-mail one lucky winner a digital copy of Yes. The winner will be posted HERE on Tuesday.
***The eBook in this giveaway has been donated by Brad Boney.***