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Releases December 12, 2017

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Introduction from the Author

These are scenes and scribbles either cut from the final draft of A Charm of Finches, or written with no intent of ever being in the final draft. They were just written.

There is no arc or chronology to this collection. It’s not a story and not supposed to be. The scenes will contradict each other. Sometimes they’ll repeat. A lot of it is going straight from the notebook to the page here. It’s my weird head and The Thing.

There’s a lot of sex in here. In fact, it’s mostly sex. Frankly, friends, full disclosure and trigger warning: this is a fuckfest. It gets pretty raw and not that you need my advice, but I wouldn’t plow through it in one sitting. If you do, I suggest you have a good cleansing read lined up afterward. Like Nietzsche.

Writing all this sex served a certain purpose. Two purposes.

Purpose One: When I started to write Finches, before the character of Geno was created, I wanted to get Jav laid. Spectacularly laid. He deserved it. It was time to let him figure out who he was, emotionally and sexually. And I wanted to see what kind of game this new guy Steffen Finch had. Was he the transitional person or was he The One? And furthermore (I start too many sentences with ‘and’), could I write honest and believable gay sex?

So I poured a glass of wine and opened a new word doc. Cracked my knuckles, cleared my throat and ventured in. Don’t think about it being two men, I thought. Think about it being two humans. It’s not gay sex, it’s just sex. This is Jav. You know Jav better than anyone else on earth. Whatever Stef turns out to be, just make him good for Jav at this point in time. Tell the story.

For the next two months, I drank and told the story. Stories. Yeah, I could write this. In fact, I couldn’t stop writing it. It was time to get on with the book, but…

“These two won’t stop screwing,” I complained to my friend Camille. “I’m literally drinking wine and writing them in bed every goddamn day. It’s like my new hobby.”

Writing Jav and Stef fooling around, messing around, screwing, shtupping, carrying on and making love was a piece of layer cake. It was ten kinds of fun. It got kind of worrisome. Was there going to be an eventual book or was it going to be just a boozy fuck-ton of gratuitous boning?

In hindsight, I can say that all this fooling around, used or not, was necessary to not only establish Jav and Stef’s relationship, but to give me a solid foundation to stand on. I needed the passionate tenacity of their love to fall back on as I started researching for Geno’s story.

Which brings me to Purpose Two.

There’s always a post-partum collapse after a book is released. After five books, I expected it. I knew it was coming. But after Finches, I was a wreck. After putting this challenging and important story into the world, I was completely, totally, utterly wiped out and exhausted and drained. The tank so empty, it didn’t even have fumes. Elizabeth Gilbert says the only thing to do after a triumph or a flop is to go back “home,” wherever it may be. So I did. I went back to where Finches started, and I wrote Jav and Stef scenes until I felt better. Their love grounded me again. Brought me back to center. Brought me home.

Which is the most important job I have.

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