Love knows no gender.
Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.
They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”
But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.
Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.
Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.
Can you describe your dream home?
My dream home is my home now. I live in a horror house. I painted all my walls black and using stencils, I covered them with images of Jason, Freddy, and skulls. I have ghosts and clowns that hang from my ceiling. I have horror-movie themed curtains, stools, eating utensils, bedding, rugs, and shower curtains. I think it’s the coolest thing ever! It’s also a big house with a two-person garage and finished basement. For what houses typically cost right now, it was a bargain for the square footage we got.
If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
That’s hard because while I cook almost everything I eat from scratch, I’m always worried that my tastes are too different for other people. However, my husband can smoke some amazing ribs, and who doesn’t love ribs, right? I would make some fresh corn with roasted red pepper butter, some sour cream and chive dinner rolls, and maybe a rocky mountain cheesecake or Irish cream cake for dessert.
Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
Since Grayality is my debut novel, I haven’t received fan letters. I can recall one from my teaching. I was in Denver for my kidney donation surgery. It was the end of the semester, and a student was angry at me for a grade and attacking my teaching. With the extra stress of the surgery on my shoulders, it really got to me. Then I opened my email to find a message from another student who was confiding in me about a problem and shared that he/she/they trusted me completely and really needed my guidance. I needed to hear something like this that day. I hope fan letters will be that good.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
This is a hard question. If I could just go anywhere, I would want to go to Peru, Cape Town, or some place in the Middle East. I prefer to see places and experience cultures that significantly differ from my own. However, I am a little scared about traveling some places as a transgender person.
Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
My publisher, Pride Publishing, helped with the cover art, and it was designed by Kelly Martin. I provided some character descriptions and got to choose from three designs. I would be willing to share the other two that didn’t get chosen for any fans who are interested. I thought it turned out really well. I love the Montana mountains in the background.
Now for an Excerpt:
We sat on his sofa, me sipping water through a straw and listening to a punk rock station that Stormy had found just for me. He held a bag of ice in a washcloth against my jaw for me, and I eventually laid my head on his lap to make it easier to ice.
“I know it’s hard to talk, but I don’t know what transgender means. Would you explain it to me?” he asked.
Moving my mouth the best I could, I shared my story with Stormy. I told him how I’d never felt like a girl but rather a boy always trying to be something he wasn’t. I told him about the baggy clothes in high school, the sports bras and binders to squish down my breasts, and Oakley, loving me as a girl but not as a man. I even told him about the suicide attempt. At this point, I figured he had already seen me get assaulted. He had already seen my vagina. Everyone in town already knew. What more could I lose?
He just listened in intent silence. Surprisingly, words flooded out of my swollen jaw, and I kept drooling as I talked. Stormy wiped it away with the washcloth and kept listening. The hours flew by until I saw the sun shining in through his blue curtains and heard the early birds chirping outside. I was exhausted.
Carey PW (he/they) is a debut author, college instructor, and mental health counselor. Carey is currently completing his next manuscript, Acing the Game.
Carey lives in Montana, and identifies as nonbinary, transmasculine (AFAB) and panromantic asexual. Due to the lack of resources in rural communities, Carey has discovered that writing about his lived experiences is a therapeutic outlet for him and hopes that his readers relate to his own personal struggles and triumphs shared through his characters’ narratives. Carey is particularly interested in exploring relationship conflicts around sexuality and gender differences. He has also worked as a high school writing instructor and college writing instructor, earning a B.A. in English Literature, a M.Ed. in English Education, and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education all from the University of Georgia. In 2020, Carey earned his second M.Ed. in Counselor Education and works as a licensed clinical professional counselor, LCPC. He has a strong passion for working with the unique mental health issues of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Readers can learn more about Carey from his blog, www.careypw.com. When he is not writing, Carey is busy training for marathons, parenting his six cats, sharing his culinary talents on social media, serving on the board for the nonprofit Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) and learning photography.
Carey PW loves to hear from readers. You can find his contact information, website and author biography at http://www.pride-publishing.com.
Author Blog: www.careypw.com