Gay Book Review is thrilled to have Kelly Jensen with us today talking about her latest release Counting Fence Posts.
How Could He Not Know?
One of the editors for Counting Fence Posts asked me how, at the age of twenty-eight, Marc could not know he was gay. I decided to save my answer for a blog post. 🙂
There may come a time, maybe five years from now, or ten, or twenty, when the fact Marc either hasn’t figured or accepted the fact he is gay will be a totally foreign thought process. Sexuality will be a more personal question, and only the business of the person(s) we’re interested in pursuing. Identity will be more fluid and easy. We will no longer fear what we don’t understand.
Then again, maybe the question of gender identity and sexuality will always be fraught on some level. It will always be a very personal question and those are the sort we agonise over. Definitions of self and the difference between what we think we are and who we’d really like to be form a huge part of figuring out who we are. I’m forty-eight and I’d like to think I have most of it down. I wasn’t able to say I accepted most of it until I got to forty, though.
…this was an enjoyable shortie with a Christmas feel to it. I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.Ele's ReviewFor Marc, the answer is twofold. (There are more than two wrinkles, but we’ll deal with those first). One is that he does have very definite ideas of who he is and who he wants to be. Unfortunately—and he’d likely not admit this—those ideas are very tied up in what his parents want for him. He’s not trying to conform. Rather, he’s doing the opposite, and in his defiance, he’s ignoring a lot of little whispers. The second is that he is very good at ignoring the stuff that doesn’t fit into his plan.
Marc knows he’s gay. Strip away nearly every other facet of his ‘self’ and that would be one irrefutable fact. He also doesn’t know he’s gay—because until he met Henry, his sexuality wasn’t in question. Or not up for question. He’s simply so busy defying expectation, he hasn’t stopped to consider why his dates with women are more miss than hit. Why he doesn’t enjoy sex.
I think the most telling answer, however, is the one he gives Henry, when Henry questions his curiosity. “I’m not bisexual,” he says. It’s an instant response, one he doesn’t have to think about. I got another question from the editor at that point. How does he know that? He’s been with women, hasn’t he?
Yes, but only because they fit his plan. 😉 By the end of Counting Fence Posts, he has to formulate a new plan—and I’ve written that story too.
You can read an excerpt of Counting Fence Posts here. Follow the tour for Henry’s side of the story, a character interview and playlist, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win copies of my previous novellas with Dreamspinner Press and a $25 credit at the Dreamspinner Press store.
There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve, and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.
As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight… maybe… and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat… and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. At lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
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