Vindictive Too – 1 Year Anniversary!

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing. – Sylvia Plath

TODAY, DECEMBER 14, marks the 1-Year publishing anniversary of my sophomore novel, Vindictive Too, a companion to my debut novel, Vindictive, which celebrated its 2-Year anniversary last month. Both launches were days filled with joy, excitement, and pride in knowing that something I had created was now a part of the world outside my head and computer. My goals and desires were made manifest through publishing: a complex, often frustrating, yet exciting process. 

And it was a long time coming. I was in my 40s before I saw my first book in physical, printed form. And a hardcover! My dream!

There was no small amount of anxiety occurring around these times, knowing I had exposed myself to both the delight of others who read my work and their criticism. But like the drag duo The Boulet Brothers’ postulate, art is subjective, and I’m incredibly grateful to all those who have enjoyed my novels. It’s all good. I wrote these books for me, first and foremost. 

 As Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This is precisely how I feel about my books and how I felt when writing them. I wanted something that was the child of Twin Peaks and Revenge but set in Canada and with queer characters. I could always find pieces in books of what I wanted to read, but never my entire vision, my desired fiction. Especially the queer Canadian-set melodrama. Thrillers that were missing the quirkiness and the camp. Gay Romances that were too cozy with not enough vengeance! I read some great stuff, but I was looking for something else, something more specific to—well, me! Not too bold a statement! LOL 

I initially endeavoured to add a supernatural element to the narrative but found it distracting from the thriller aspect. So, I went for a straightforward revenge-thriller route but amped up the soapier, dramatic segments to compensate for the absence of a supernatural twist. And I think it worked, as Kirkus Reviews said Vindictive is “…an entertainingly soapy affair!”

In Vindictive Too, however, there are moments with Chloe’s character where you wonder if her perceptions are entirely psychological or if something else is happening. Did I dabble into the supernatural, or is it all in her head? It’s open to interpretation. I took a much more defined route in the first draft concerning her character, but ambiguity breeds curiosity and exploration, which can make for a more compelling read. 

I do have a surprise in the third book. You may get a clue if you read my novella (I can’t say the title yet, sorry!), which will be published in 2024. And that’s all I’m giving away!

And, speaking about my love for soapy melodrama—

I’ll say it: I’m a gay man who has done his fair share of throwing shade, admittedly, only sometimes for humour. Yes, occasionally, I’ve been petty and intentionally mean-spirited. I’m human. I learned to use words as weapons early as a defence mechanism. So, ya, I wanted to add a component of sass and bitchiness to a few of my characters. Reading someone to filth to destroy their confidence or to punish arrogance with a devastating set of well-timed remarks can be, well, fun. Just ask Jules.

Or ask Kirkus Reviews, who also called my work an “action-packed tale of spite.” Sounds fitting.

How fellow LGBTQ Thriller author Matthew Dante described my novel. And he’s not wrong.

Sometimes the reads are funny. Other times, they’ve been absolutely meant as daggers. In any case, I’ll let my readers decide how these shady moments come across—how they perceive them.

Currently, I’m working on the third book in the series, which has a working title of Final Vindication. I’m taking my time with no set-in-stone deadline; it will be done when the muse says so. That said, definitely look for more of my work next year—but with a twist! I know you won’t be expecting this tale! 

Again, thanks for joining me on this vengeful journey! And congratulations to whoever wins my Instagram/Facebook Giveaway! A personally signed hardcover copy of Vindictive and Vindictive Too will soon be yours!



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