Long Haul; by Michael P. Thomas—Blog Tour and Giveaway
Please welcome Michael P. Thomas as he discusses himself and his books.
An Interview With Michael P. Thomas
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first “novel” when I was in the eighth grade. It’s a 32-page crime caper starring my two favorite characters, Stacey and Dolores, who I just knew were going to make me famous. They’re described as “roommates,” but really it was probably my first foray into LGBT fiction, too. After high school I took something of a hiatus from creative writing which lasted until NaNoWriMo in 2006, which eventually resulted in my first actual novel.
What was your first book you had published?
JMS Books published my first book, Kiss Me, Straight, also about flight attendants, in 2012. I had had a few pieces in anthologies—some erotica under a pen name—but this was my first stand-alone title.
Let’s talk Mile High Club. What this series about?
After almost twenty years of flying, I started to think about writing a memoir. Like anybody who’s worked with the public, I have some pretty good stories, but I didn’t like the idea of just complaining about jerks for 200 pages. (Not that I couldn’t…) It occurred to me that a series about flight attendants would be a great opportunity to explore friendship, love, and sex, as I love to do, and still have a place for the flying stories that are worth telling. I have a vital and hilarious network of flight attendant friends-who-are-family in my life, and this series celebrates relationships like these, as enjoyed by sexier people than we are.
In a nutshell, it’s a series about a little group of friends who work for a budget airline, the people they fall in love with, and the Sundays they spend standing around drinking beer.
First Flight Out is the first book in the series. Talk about that first.
This story opens with a quasi-medical incident on a plane that closely mirrors something that happened on one of my flights when I was based in San Francisco. In real life, the doctor who stepped up to help the crew was spectacularly handsome, and Jesse’s relationship with Willis, which is the foundation of this story, is basically a What if…? Jesse surprised me by becoming one of my favorite characters to write. I have promised my friend Susan an F/F for the third installment, after which I’d like to check in with Jesse again.
Long Haul, is book two. I love that it deals with such a timely issue. How did you get the book written, edited and published so quickly?
I knew that I wanted to write the second book about Tanner and Clark. I tried to write their story in April, but 19,000 words in, they were still “just” friends. I was having a hard time getting them together, and was thrilled to jump at legal marriage as the chance to do it. I knew them quite well by the time I started working on this so the story flowed with relative ease. The team at JMS Books is incredibly supportive, and they were onboard for a get-it-while-it’s-hot timeline. My editor and I enjoy working with each other, so it just kind of came together.
Introduce us to your main characters, Tanner and Clark.
They’re both flight attendants. For Tanner, flying is definitely a career. It’s an easy job with good benefits that pays better than anything else he’d be able to go do without going back to school. And he flies with his best friend Jesse almost all the time; what’s not to like? Clark sees flying as more of a foot in the door. His mom is an ex-Eastern flight attendant and he’s always wanted into the airline industry, but he’s more of a go-getter type with his eye on a downtown office. Tanner’s ten years older and kind of takes things as they come (his own impromptu wedding, for example); Clark is 23 and likes to have a plan. They explore an undeniable physical attraction in Book 1. This story’s about whether that foundation is one they can build on—and ultimately, if they even want to.
Will there be more adventures in this series?
Definitely. Book 3 will focus on Ernie, Tanner’s lesbian roommate, and I feel like Tanner and Clark might require some follow-up. I’m rooting for their marriage, but I’m not making any promises. Also, there’s a deep background character in their bar life I really want to get to know; he might get a spin-off. The Beer Bust Boys? Tanner and Jesse can drop in, like when the Fonz visited Laverne and Shirley.
Tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb?
On their first night together at Tanner’s house, Tanner’s landlord almost burns it down.
Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?
It’s November, so I’m madly NaNo-ing. I’m 900 words into this year’s novel, and the main character is waking up after a huge night out. He hears the toilet flush and has no idea who he brought home from the bar. We’ll find out tomorrow!
I’m also working with my editor, I have two Christmas stories coming out in December.
If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably Michael Chabon. I’ve had a mad crush on him since I read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh right out of its covers when I was in college. He’s terribly handsome, and a brilliant writer—imaginative, sensitive, funny, and sharp. Just a couple weeks ago I bought a collection of short stories specifically because it was curated by him and I’d love to know what he likes to read, which is kind of the used-bookstore answer to this question.
Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?
I’m an inveterate traveler. Although I read and write a lot when I’m traveling—one of my favorite things to do in new cities is go to book stores—so I’m not sure that counts as a separate answer. I’m a mad crafter, especially with supplies (see above) from foreign bookstores. I love to fool around with watercolors, I study and read the tarot, and I spend an inordinate amount of my free time going places to have coffee.
The last question is all yours. Tell the readers anything you like about you, your works, things you like. Anything at all.
The first time I visited Paris, I hated it. When I’m boy-watching, I’m especially drawn to the very thin and the very fat, the very tall and the very short. Of the books I have written so far, my favorite can never be published. And I love doing interviews, so thank you!
Series: The Mile High Club, Book Two
Flight attendant Tanner Bradac and his occasional make-out buddy Clark Arnold find themselves on a layover in San Francisco on the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. Tanner is as happy about the ruling as any of his Facebook friends rainbowing up their profile pictures, it just doesn’t affect him personally—he doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Color him surprised, then, when he and Clark get caught up in the celebratory spirit of the day and return home as lawfully wedded husbands.
The wedding may have been a last-minute light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. Tanner loves Clark—at least, he really wants to love Clark—and he figures the rest should just fall into place. How hard can being married to a guy you barely know really be?
Short Blurb: On the day the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, Tanner Bradac doesn’t even have a boyfriend, so you can imagine his surprise when he and his buddy Clark get carried away by the celebratory spirit of the day and wind up lawfully wedded husbands. The wedding may have been a light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. After all, how hard can it be?
Publisher: JMS Books
“I just don’t want to live in Boise. Does that make me such a terrible person?”
August was whipping along. Clark’s September report date loomed huge, casting every conversation, every afternoon in the park, every romp across Clark’s gigantic bed into shadow. Tanner was two cups in at the Sunday beer bust, soaking up the shade on the back patio with Jesse and Willis, eager to get the day’s whining about it out of the way before Clark arrived. His flight hadn’t landed until three, but it was four-thirty; he was liable to stroll up at any moment, and Tanner hoped to pass an argument-free afternoon. If such an animal still existed.
“It does not make you a terrible person,” Willis assured him.
“Although it’s a strike against you in the husband department,” Jesse apparently couldn’t resist saying.
“We’ve been married for two months. We’ve been together for two months and ten minutes. You don’t feel like ‘pack your shit and move to Idaho’ is asking kind of a lot?”
“I guess the only thing I feel like needs asking,” Jesse said, “is, Do you want to be with him?”
“And what, love will conquer all? Even if it does, love won’t fly me to Denver every time I need to get to work.”
“Do you love him?” Willis asked.
A perfectly reasonable question. Certainly when asked by a friend, certainly when asked about one’s own husband. Tanner wasn’t sure why it felt like a slap across the face.
Probably partly because the answer was still, “I don’t know.”
“God, you haven’t told him that?” Jesse said.
“I haven’t told him anything. He leaves in like ten days, I can’t even commit to driving back with him.”
“Tanner, you have to drive back with him. What’ll that take, two days? You can’t just wave goodbye from the curb, he’s your husband.”
“Yeah, well, I’m starting to get real sick of that word.”
Start with book one in The Mile High Club!
First Flight Out
Jesse Cisneros and his best buddy Tanner fly for Mile High Airlines, which is every bit as classy as it sounds. When Dr. Willis rings his call light on a flight from New York to Denver, Jesse is so taken with the good doctor’s looks and charm, he forgets all about the inflight medical crisis that prompted him to call for a flight attendant in the first place. Willis is handsome. Willis is helpful. And wouldn’t you know it? Willis is someone else’s husband.
Jesse can hardly believe his luck when their paths cross again on the patio of a popular gay bar. It’s been nine months, and Willis has been busy: now he’s single, he’s out, and he’s very interested in getting to know Jesse better. It all seems too good to be true! And you know what they say about that …
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About the author:
Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.