Excerpt #1 from A Kind of Death

As I was writing A Kind of Death, I kept joking that the subtitle should be “Killian Discovers Grindr.” Killian grows up a lot in this book, and part of that is becoming more comfortable with his sexuality. His dating life is an important subplot. Here’s a little taste from a conversation with his friend Chris.

Chris rolled her eyes and set out across the campus at a brisk pace. I hurried to keep up. After a moment, she asked, “So what’s up? You said you needed to talk. Everything okay?”

“It’s… fine. I just had two horrible dates in a row.”

“Two dates? In two days? And you’re complaining?”

“But they were terrible dates.”

“Most dates are.”

“So you’re telling me that dating is always this awful?”

She laughed. “Yeah, pretty much. What’s the old saying? You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince?”

“But I don’t like kissing frogs. This sucks.”

“Killian, it’s been two dates. Did you expect to meet the perfect guy on your first try?”

“No. I mean… I guess I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never really dated before. I was seeing Asher in high school and then I met Micah. I guess we dated, but it wasn’t like this. We met, hit it off and then he asked me out.”

“So, what happened with these dates that was so terrible?”

“The first guy was a meathead who only talked about himself and the second guy was just trying to get more people to come to his concert. I’m pretty sure he was on something. And he grabbed my butt.”

A few beats passed, then Chris said, “Oh, is that it?”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Just that those sound like pretty run-of-the-mill bad dates.”

I sighed.

“I’m sorry they weren’t what you were expecting,” she offered. “And that last guy sounds like a jerk. He shouldn’t have grabbed your butt without your consent.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled. Then, after a few moments of silence, “They both made me feel like a piece of meat. All they wanted to know was if I was a top or a bottom.”

“Oh, Killian, you sweet innocent angel, welcome to the wonderful world of gay dating.”

“But like, why does that matter so much?”

“Well, as you may have noticed, I’m not a gay man, so I can’t speak from experience, but from what I’ve heard, guys don’t want to waste a lot of time getting to know someone only for them to turn out to be sexually incompatible.”

“But I’m more than just my preferred sexual position!”

“Then say you’re versatile.”

I glared at her in mock indignation. “There’s no need to lie.”


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