Inside the Book:
Title: You Are Here
Author: Chris Delyani
An aspiring painter, Peter scratches out a pauper’s living in San Francisco, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Instead, he finds himself getting involved with not one but two very different men.
Like Peter, getting involved with another man is the last thing on Nick Katsaris’s mind. Smart, handsome, and good-humored, Nick’s done more than just survive—he’s positively thriving in San Francisco. But when he meets Peter, what begins as fun and games quickly turns into a game he can’t control.
Miles Bettencourt’s days are filled with longing. For him, San Francisco is haunted by Stuart, his missing ex-lover. Desperate to win him back, Miles wanders the streets in the hope of running into Stuart again. Instead, he runs into Peter—the one man who might hold the key to what Miles is looking for.
These three gay men soon form one very unlikely love triangle. Sometimes, when people break apart and then come together, they learn that discovering that where you are is the key to knowing who you are.
Betting on My Novel
As I wrapped up the final draft of my novel You Are Here in January 2012, I faced a difficult question. What should I do next? I had devoted many years to the writing of You Are Here, and suddenly I was staring at a void—an endless march of days where I had nothing to work toward, nothing to write about. Not to write seemed a dead option. And yet I didn’t know what to write.
Then I read in the newspaper about a website called StickK.com. As stated on its website, StickK is a “free goal-setting platform created by behavioral economists at Yale University.” It’s designed to help anyone with a goal—quitting smoking, to play the guitar, to write a novel, anything—achieve that goal. The premise is simple: it forces users to define a goal, to establish a timeline for achieving it, and to put something at stake, for example a money wager, in the event the goal is not reached.
Who would be paid the money wager? It could be anyone the user selects, but the most effective payee is someone or an organization that you absolutely hated. Imagine making a public bet to quit smoking, or else fork over a hundred dollars to your worst enemy. Wouldn’t you do anything to quit smoking?
So that’s what I did. Instead of paying my money over to a person, I chose something worse: the anti-gay marriage charity the National Organization of Marriage. I’m strongly in favor of marriage equality (hell, I’m married to a guy) and so are all of my friends. So I made sure to tell everyone that I’d have the first draft of my third novel written in 100 days, or else a hundred dollars would go to the National Organization of Marriage. I wrote the draft in 90.
Mind you, it took me a lot longer than 100 days to whip the manuscript into presentable shape. But it didn’t matter that the draft was a mess. Drafts are supposed to be a mess. The draft had characters, conflict, and most importantly, a beginning, a middle, and an end. It was good enough to call a draft.
So if you feel writer’s block coming on, consider putting a little money down to unblock it. I couldn’t believe how fast my pen could move in the face of a looming deadline.
Meet the Author: