Yesterday I released Guys on the Bottom, the final book in the Guys Series trilogy. I’m thrilled with how Zach’s story played out, especially since I honestly thought I’d never write it. I tried several times to do so in the past two years since book two, Guys on the Side was released, but kept slamming into a wall and giving up. Zach was never supposed to be the most beloved character in the first two books, even for me. He was messy and immature and basically an out of control pain in the ass, so after several tries, I convinced myself his role could never go beyond providing conflict for the other Guys, and he just wasn’t someone who could carry his own book.
I’d received a surprising number of emails from readers after finishing the 2nd book, people wanting to know what became of Zach, because I left him in such a low place. My initial reaction was pretty much WHO CARES? It’s just Zach, he’s a pain in the ass, let him fade into oblivion. But never say never I guess. I didn’t plan to write a sequel to the first book Guys on Top either, but had fallen so in love with Corey the antagonist I just wanted to dive deeper into who he was. Zach? Not so much.
So what changed? Time passed, for both me and Zach. In my past attempts, I’d been trying to take up where I left off with Zach, and it wasn’t working. But the idea of catching up with him two years later was more appealing. As Duncan says in the third book, we all change. Circumstance and life experience and reflecting on the past. But it wouldn’t have been very interesting catching up with a new, happy successful Zach, would it? So I decided to find him at yet another low point in his life.
We’ve all been there, when you think you’re finally getting your shit together only to have the wind knocked out of you once again, having to start over. We’ve all felt abandoned and alone, struggling to find the energy to put in the effort once again. Dwindling bank accounts, shitty little apartments, emotional baggage, and the surety that nothing good will ever happen to you again.
I found that finally, with the passage of time, I could reconnect with Zach, back at rock bottom and trying to crawl out of a hole again.
So while I never expected this series to become a trilogy, it felt totally right going into this third book. I was already comfortable with the side-guys and the characters I knew from the first two books. The setting of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood was like slipping on a comfy pair of old sweats, not only because of the first two books, but because I used to live there myself, for years. Going back to the pond for runs with Zach and Doug, the real locations along with fictional series hangouts like The Horse and Carriage, was so much fun, and once I started writing, it flowed faster than I could keep up with.
So thus completes the Guys Series trilogy, Zach being the Final Guy. He’s found his happiness, and will hopefully stay out of trouble now. As for the rest of the guys, I’m going to imagine that big group of friends will continue to hang out until they’re old and crusty, giving each other shit but having each other’s back for the long haul.
As always, thanks to my readers, especially the ones who pushed for Zach’s story. You make it all worthwhile! And while I usually try not to let reader feedback influence my writing decisions, this time, I’m glad it did. Because Duncan and Zach were worth it.
GUYS ON THE BOTTOM – Guys Series Book Three
Zach has worked long and hard to change his life and restore his dignity after the humiliating breakup with Corey two years ago. But bad luck has forced him to backslide again, and he fears that no matter how hard he struggles, he’ll always be a guy on the bottom. Until he meets Duncan, a much older man who takes a professional interest in Zach, boosting his shaky confidence.
But Zach is wary of Duncan’s motivations, even as he finds himself increasingly drawn in by his intense gaze and whimsical charm. To complicate matters, Duncan has a surprising connection to Zach’s ex-boyfriend Corey, forcing his past and present to collide, and Zach wonders if he’s really heading toward a brighter future, or if he’s once again on the path to self-destruction.
Guys on Top is three years old this month! Available on Amazon along with the sequel ‘Guys on the Side’.
I’m guesting at Asha King’s blog, answering questions about my new book ‘Guys on the Side’. http://bit.ly/1F4dik5
Guys on the Side has gone off to my editor, so will be out soon. Thought I’d share the blurb.
In the sequel to Guys on Top, we meet up with the Boston boys several months later. Corey has developed a close friendship with Doug, who’s still living in the apartment downstairs. But Doug plans to leave and move in with Stewart soon, and Corey finds himself feeling lost, since his own new relationship is beginning to implode—Zach’s insecurities over Corey’s promiscuous past turning from slightly annoying to downright irrational.
Corey’s stress increases when a conflict with a massage client’s homophobic family grows hostile, but through this debacle he meets Angelo, a local psychiatrist, who despite being straight, feels like a mirror image of himself. But soon this friendship becomes confusing as Angelo’s affection starts to feel not so platonic anymore. And for the first time in Corey’s life, he finds himself faced with a man who intimidates the hell out of him, and that he has absolutely no idea what to do with.
Cover for GUYS ON THE SIDE (sequel to GUYS ON TOP) coming in February.