A lover of fast-paced crime stories and of smart lesbian characters looking for love, A.M. McKnight has combined the two and thrown her hat into the ring of writers with her debut novel Goslyn County.
Excerpts from Goslyn County:
At the back of the trailer, the fire and heat pushed Maureen away as she looked for a way in. She turned to the field behind her when she heard a motor crank and spotted a man speeding through the high grass on an ATV. She struggled to give chase then turned back and ran toward the front. She thought the rider was heading for the path that led to the dirt road. If she could get to her car, she could cut him off.
When she reached the side of the trailer, the back suddenly collapsed, the propane burner exploded, and it shot straight up through the dangling roof. It banked off the chimney and flew like a wild flare over Maureen’s head.
“Maureen!” Olivia shouted as she ran to the side. The two women nearly collided. They grabbed and held each other by the arms for a split second.
“I think we’ve talked about everything except politics and sex,” Olivia said out of the blue.
Maureen blushed and was speechless.
“Sorry, I don’t know where that came from, Maureen.”
“Don’t worry about it. You just reminded me of Carol, my receptionist. She’s far more graphic though. Let’s make another date so we can talk about politics. Then…how about a third date for sex? I mean, to talk about it.”
Like many writers, I usually find myself daydreaming about imaginary people engaged in clever conversations or deep, rambling monologues. I guess it’s my way of playing out things I wish I had said or will say one day. Whatever the reason, it’s a good mental exercise, and it lets me escape the “everyday life.” It also helps to form personalities for characters in the dozen or more manuscript ideas I’ve scribbled down here and there. So, the following is my letting at least two of these characters think out loud:
The way she loves me is…automatic. I don’t mean that in a cold, unfeeling way. I mean…she knows exactly what to say, what to do, and when to do it. She knows all of me. How did I get this…lucky? How this…good? I can’t believe we’ve been together this long. I expected to always be single and many times wondered if I should take out a personal ad in the paper, “Lonely lesbian lawyer looking for a well-educated, financially savvy, faithful partner who likes Chinese food and Aretha Franklin. Reply to the address below.” My whole world centered around eighty-billable-hour-weeks and keeping my goldfish and garden azaleas alive. (Actually, they owe their survival to my nosy sister who dropped by every weekend hoping to catch me in bed with some one-night-stand that she recommended from some swinging singles website. I swear, sometimes I can’t believe we’re related).
The more I think about where I am now, the sillier my old fears seem to be. Twelve years ago (when I first met her), I wouldn’t even think about coming out of the closet. No way in hell! Especially not to my parents who lived and breathed to see me marry a “good man” (i.e., a church-goin’ brotha with a good job). And naturally, they expected grandchildren. Good Lord, those two were like white on rice when it came to hounding me about my love life. Thank goodness my sister’s brief engagement to her chiropractor threw them off my trail.
But the day came when I finally realized…I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be touched in a way that I only experienced in my dreams. I slowly reached a “I don’t give a damn” point that pushed and pulled me out into the open. That’s not to say that I became a flag-waving, Doc Marten kind of chick with a fade. But I acknowledged a truth about myself and confirmed it when others implied or curiously(or rudely) asked. Truth liberates! And so does time. So, here I am–a middle-aged, married broad who wakes up every morning next to a woman who steals the covers in the middle of the night and who can’t boil an egg to save herself from starvation. Yet, she loves me and tells me and shows me every single day–through her actions, her words, and her gestures. It’s automatic.
Boring but Necessary Legalese: All material appearing is protected by copyright and cannot be used in any form without the express permission of A.M. McKnight.