Author Name: Lynn Charles
Book Name: Black Dust
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Blurb: Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?
Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust.
Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef’s Table, was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.
- Why do you write?
- I write because I have stories brewing inside of me that want out. I write because it’s a way for me to express my thoughts and fears and dreams in a variety of different ways. I write because words entertain and move people and it’s a kick to be at the helm of that.
- Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
- This one, Black Dust, without question. My editor says it was the sophomore syndrome, and I am having an easier time with my third book, so she might be on to something. I had so much self-doubt going into this one that I had trouble trusting my own words.
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
- Emmett Henderson is resilient, but it’s a slow resilience. He has to make many errors before he sees fit to make a change in his life, in his outlook. He loves from an emotional distance—except for Toby. He wants the best for those around him, and yes, he’s unapologetic about wanting the best for himself as well.
- How much research do you do for your books?
- A digital ton. Even Black Dust, where I was coming from a place of knowledge, had me buried in research, if for no other reason than to check my accuracy, to refresh my foggy brain, to give detail to something I only had cursory knowledge about. Sometimes, my research will even guide me in my plots—learning something new will shines a light into the characters I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
- Who designs your covers?
- We have a fantastic art designer at Interlude Press, CB Messer. After my manuscript was in IP’s hands, CB and I met and discussed ideas. Mine were put into the scrap heap because compared to hers, they were only average. For Black Dust she wanted something minimal and stark—a simple black and white—but with impact. I think she achieved it ten fold. I love the hands—who I believe to be Toby’s. I love the riggings on the back showing the life they shared. I love Emmett’s tattoo, the small detail on the binding. It’s so wonderful to know that once your story is written, it will be bound with beautiful art.
“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”
“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”
“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”
“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”
“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”
“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”
“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”
“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”
“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”
“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”
Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored—you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”
“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”
Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.
So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”
Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”
“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”
“You’ve never told me—”
“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”
“You deserve a beautiful life.”
“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”
Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”
“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”
“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”
“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”
Buy the book:
Meet the author:
Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830185-black-dust
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art and Design by C.B. Messer
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