Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead. They're not crazy about the idea so to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel.
They are soon drawn into the world of theatre - Afterlife style, with all the bitchiness, back-stabbing and ego usually associated with the mortal world.
Allan also has a secret. He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick, but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro.
Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.
Excerpt from Drama Queens with Love Scenes (Book One):
Guy was still dragging me along the streets of the Limelight Quarter. The crisp night air was reviving my spirits, albeit through my drunken stupor. Many colorful folk whisked past, some briefly staring at us as they made their way.
"You realize Pedro will be there," I said.
"That's why we're going to call Warwick to come downstairs. You need to talk privately."
We arrived outside of their balcony. I rubbed my arms to keep warm as Guy placed his hand on my shoulder.
"Warwick!" I yelled. "Are you there?"
There was no answer. A couple adorned in bohemian black, stopped in their tracks the moment I shouted to my ex-lover.
"Broken heart," whispered Guy to the interested onlookers.
"I understand," replied the woman. She looked up to her man. "Poor thing."
"Go on, Allan, call out again."
"Warwick! Warwick! I love you." My voice echoed from the building as I looked to my angel friend. He nodded and caressed my shoulder. The couple nodded as well. "Warwick, are you home? I need to talk to you. Will you come down, please?"
"Keep going, Allan."
"I really need to talk to you. I have so much more to say to you. I should never have let you walk out of my door the other night. I've wanted to talk to you so many times during the last few days, but there's nowhere private at the theater. Plus I'd probably break down, which is not a good look when you're wearing white grease paint."
A few onlookers came out from their balconies. I glanced at Guy who was joined by a small audience. Some parents had let their kids stay up well after bedtime, and their freckled little girl was giggling at me. Her mother shushed her so she sat on the ground, sulking.
"Don't worry about it, Allan. Just go on."
"Yes, we're right behind you," said an elderly lady with bad teeth. "You make him listen."
"Warwick, I love you, and I know you love me. You told me so. You said you've been waiting all year for me to make a move, and as you know, I've been waiting for you to make that move too."
"You tell him, love!" interrupted the old woman.
My support team began to chant Warwick's name. I was empowered. I encouraged them to clap their hands in time. They did. There was about ten of them now, and their support gave me a warm glow in that frosty breeze. However, Guy looked worried.
"Allan, shouldn't you wait until he comes downstairs?"
"My dear friend, Warwick is a coward. I know he's up there, but he's too scared to come down because he doesn't want to hurt that imbecile's feelings. The very imbecile who tried to hurt me physically during his dumb-arsed play!"
"No one should ever break your heart," alleged a handsome older gent behind me.
"Thank you." I turned back to address my ex-lover. "Now listen here, Warwick! You told me that you'd been waiting for me to make a move. I did. We made love over and over under that so-called playwright's nose. And what happens when the going gets good? You freak out. What the hell for? Was the sex that bad that you preferred old teensy-dick instead? Was it all getting too intense for you? Is that the reason?" The crowd became quiet as I felt the bitter cold again. "Were you too scared of being in love? Too much intimacy for your murky heart to deal with? Too much real emotion for your juvenile soul to cope with? Too much effort to be in love with someone who's madly, deeply in love with you? Too much…" I shuddered. "Too much…"
Guy grabbed me from behind as I felt my legs give way. He eased me to the footpath and shielded me with his wings. I howled, before tears streamed down my face.
"It's okay, Allan," said the angel. "This is a big step for you."
"He doesn't love me, Guy. He doesn't love me the way I love him."
"I don't think that's true."
I began whimpering like a child being punished.
Adam’s about to discover how much drama a mid-life crisis can be. He’s obsessed with Mannix, the nude model in his art class. But Adam has been married to Wade for nearly two decades, and they don’t have an open relationship.
Little do they know that Fabien, a warlock from the Afterlife, has secretly cast a spell of lust on Adam and his potential toy-boy.
As things begin to heat up, Adam’s guardian angel, Guy, steps in. But what’s the best way to save the relationship? Should Guy subdue Adam’s wandering passions or instigate a steamy threesome?
Excerpt from Drama Queens and Adult Themes (Book Two):
He had the perfect vee-shaped torso. The kind that would turn on a dozen potential lovers if he wandered into a gay bar. And while his faultless crew cut was artificially red, his other natural features were as intense as James Dean's. I could go riding in his sports car, feeling the breeze as we headed to Lover's Lane. He'd admire me with his penetrating eyes before undressing me for a lovemaking session so powerful, not even a night with a handpicked selection of porn stars would compare.
But unlike anyone I'd ever met, he was blessed with soft charcoal-colored wings. This was Guy's boyfriend, Joshua. I was back at that thespian drinking haven, the Pedestal, at some stage between going to bed and waking up the next morning.
I tried not to drool at this bad boy, while picturing myself taking off his well-fitted leather jacket, slowly. I wanted to let out an orgasmic moan, before any foreplay had begun.
"I think you need to sleep with Mannix," he said.
He sipped on a Bloody Mary.
"Joshua!" his loving partner reprimanded.
"Joshua, we tried," I said.
"And what happened, sweetheart?"
"He freaked out. He gives us all the signals and then runs off in terror."
"Tsk, tsk. Now why would he do that? You're not exactly on the ugly scale."
"Thanks," I replied. "I think."
"Joshua, that's not the issue here," Guy said. "I've been watching over them, and they're getting obsessed with Mannix. And just as odd, Mannix is obsessed with them. It doesn't make sense."
"What's there to make sense of, Petal? They're grown men looking for a bit of spice. This Mannix dude is the spice. Supply and demand. No problem."
"But Guy has a point," I said. "This is doing my head in. One minute, Wade and I are respectable grown men, the next we're one step away from toupees and face-lifts."
"And is this causing you two to argue? Fight? Split up?"
I picked up my cocktail, resting the top of the glass on my lower lip before sipping slowly.
"Joshua, it's still causing drama," continued Guy. "Adam and Wade have their heads in no-man's land, and Mannix is just as bemused."
"Oh my darlings, they're men. Adult men. Every one of them. That which doesn't kill them, will make them stronger. Or separated but I can't see any hint of that. Can you, Adam?" I nodded tensely. "There, you see, Guy? It might be causing a bit of grief, but in the end, they're men. Once they stop questioning it with their emotions, they'll solve it physically and wonder why they didn't get down and dirty sooner."
I sat with the two angels, none-the-wiser. That dark-skinned woman was back on stage. Sultry jazz was her genre of choice today, and her small ensemble cruised into mellow tones that could set you adrift on a small boat. As she crooned the first lines of "Someone To Watch Over Me", Guy sang the words with her under his breath.
Around me, the mismatched furniture complemented the mismatched cast. A lone African woman, wearing more colors than a peacock's tail, stood transfixed as if the singer was secretly robbing her soul. Her fingers tapped on an imaginary piano, and her wide-eyed stare gave me goose bumps.
An old lady, dressed in clothes her own granddaughter would wear, clutched her wine glass like it was a precious jewel. At the same time, she gazed into the eyes of a mature athletic man who looked like he once had a passion for ballet dancing. Their loving gaze reminded me of the way Wade sometimes looked at me.
"So, Joshua, you think we're making too much of a big deal about this?"
He rubbed the tip of his sculptured jawline as Guy casually leaned toward him.
"Adam, darling, there are men who put themselves through hell and back trying to do the right thing. They won't act until they work out all the final consequences. And let's face it, as much pontificating as humanly possible is not ever going to let you know the final outcome, really! And there are men who are a lot more spirited and take life as a challenge. Go forth and take the risk and see where it leads you."
"Joshua, Adam understands that," Guy said. "But there's Wade to consider. What if their marriage falls apart?"
"Darling, seriously. From what you've told me, they're not going to fall apart. It's all just a bit of fun. Mannix is a new appliance, like a fridge or a vibrator. Something that has a use. And think, Adam. Think of the uses you can come up with, with your new appliance."
Many reviewers have fallen in love with my insecure angel, Guy. This came as a surprise to me as he is one of the co-stars, but not the main character. Yet bloggers have called him the ‘emotional anchor’ of the first book, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, while one critic was disappointed with his love interest in the second, Drama Queens and Adult Themes, believing Guy’s boyfriend wasn’t good enough for him. So I had to sit down with my most loved character and ask him what he thought of his fans.INTERVIEW WITH GUY, THE GAY ANGEL
Q: Why do you think people warm to you?
I’m not sure if they warm to me. Maybe they’re just fascinated with the fact I’m an angel. Humans seem to make too much of a deal about it, and I never understand why.
Q: You’re playing your popularity down. One blogger wrote that she put in a request to the Afterlife for her own personal Guy as her guardian angel.
That’s sweet. I’m touched by that, honestly. Most of my life people haven’t really warmed to me. No, that’s not true. They’ve tried to, but somehow I haven’t really connected. Well, not before I met Allan, anyway.
Q: I’ll ask about Allan later. Why don’t you think you’ve connected with the friendships that were open to you in the past?
Shyness, I guess. Everyone around me seemed to have their heads screwed on, even though it was my job to help them work through their issues. And that’s where I succeed. No one’s ever confronted by my humble personality. But when it comes to them extending that friendship past my help, I freeze.
I don’t know if I can answer that?
Q: Why not?
Not because I don’t want to, because I’m not sure why. Maybe deep down I never thought I was good enough. Maybe because I didn’t know my parents, somehow it affected me on a deeper level.
Q: So how did Allan break down your friendship walls?
I’m almost too embarrassed to say this. It’s because he’s just as screwed up as I am. I mean, he showed up here in the Afterlife, pining over his best friend. He had years to tell Warwick how he felt, but he kept it to himself.
Plus he took time out to help me grow. He tried to help me pick up a one night stand on the dance floor. He got me drunk, time and time again. We talked endlessly about our feelings. For the first time I met someone who I felt equal with. Is that bad? Am I really that insecure?
Q: As an angel, what’s the most important thing you’d like to tell mortals like us?
You only regret the things you’ve never done. It’s true. I get so many souls here in the Afterlife with unfinished business, and I try to get them to continue what they’ve started, or at least take the first step in the direction they should have when they were alive.
Again, take Allan for example. He was in love with Warwick. They were soulmates. But Allan never got around to telling his friend how he felt. So Maudi and I were stuck sorting out their overdue romance.
Q: You’ve brought Allan up for a second time. Why is that?
Oh. Okay, he’s a bit of a favourite of mine. With all the years I’ve been doing this job, he was the first one to care about my problems. But I’m repeating myself.
Q: There’s no other reason?
None that I’m aware of.
Q: The importance of a true friend, I guess. You said you help lost souls all day. Can you elaborate?
It’s my job. Here in the Afterlife I welcome the new arrivals and sort out their issues so they have a pleasant stay. That’s why we go to the trouble of giving them accommodation full of belongings that are a carbon copy of what they had on earth.
Sounds a bit like the old television show Fantasy Island.
I guess. Ha ha. The only difference is we bring them to a certain time here in the Afterlife. A time where the right individuals from any era in history are there to help them move forward. It’s better than therapy. And cheaper!
Well I look forward to my stay in the Afterlife. Thanks so much for talking with us today, Guy.
My pleasure. Just don’t arrive with too much baggage. See you when you get here.
AUTHOR INFORMATION & LINKS
Kevin lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.
From an early age Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.
Kevin’s first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, has been relaunched via Wilde City Press along with the sequel, Drama Queens with Adult Themes.
Kevin is currently working on the third in the series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, and a romance novella, Nathan and the New Yorker. Author website – www.kevinklehr.com
Currently Available at:
- KEVIN KLEHR'S ABOUT.ME
- KEVIN KLEHR’S WEBSITE
- KEVIN KLEHR'S BOOKS ON AMAZON
- KEVIN KLEHR'S BOOKS ON BARNES AND NOBLE
- KEVIN KLEHR'S BOOKS ON KOBO
- KEVIN KLEHR ON SMASHWORDS
- iBOOKSOne evening a friend asked me about my writing. I talked about my surprise at how my gay angel character, Guy, seemed to win many readers’ hearts. And as the night flowed with much conversation and wine, I had an epiphany.DREAMING UP A GAY ANGEL
You see, back in the mid-80s when I moved to Sydney, I met a man who was an aspiring artist. He sold his soul to his paintbrush, determined to be as successful as the many avant-garde creatives he admired. He quickly became one of my closest friends.
He had an awkward personality, and although he was liked by those who I introduced him to, his social graces were underdeveloped. This had more to do with the fact that he was self-conscious of what he said and how he acted, and this combination brought out the parent in those he met.
He was unique. He was a guy who balanced part-time work, socialising, and art, making sure there was plenty of time for the latter, as this was his dream. So many hours were spent alone at the easel.
He shared several exhibitions with other artists, but there was one upcoming event he was really excited about – his own individual showcase in Perth. He never made this important event. He died of an asthma attack over the Easter weekend of 1990, one week before his important show.
In my novels, Guy the angel is awkward. He is self-conscious. He brings out the parent in his friends. Yet this character is loosely based on a completely different individual. When I talked about Guy after many wines the other night to a friend, I started wondering if he was really my old buddy.
My artist pal was twenty-eight when he passed away. Guy is about the same age. Both are tall. And in the second paragraph of Drama Queens with Love Scenes, my angel is described as having “a vanilla hint of gayness”. My artist friend denied it, but if he had lived…
The last time I saw him was a week before he died.
He actually said “good-bye”. It sounded so final. This was strange as whenever we parted he’d always make the point of reminding me of our next engagement, which on this occasion, was three weeks away.
I hugged him and something inside told me not to leave. That little voice was encouraging me to stay the night and get drunk with him. But it was Sunday evening and I was catching up with someone else. I always regret not listening to my gut feeling.
The character of Guy developed into his own, but I wonder whether I really just channelled my old friend. Was there a possibility that my subconscious had bled onto my keyboard? And as writers, are we simply doing this all the time without even realising it?