After years of working on it, I’m proud to announce the publication of my thriller “Corbin Milk.” The novel concerns the adventures of a gay CIA agent, a good-looking and very smart bodybuilder named Corbin Milk for whom the CIA finds the most interesting uses. I got the idea for writing this novel while reading an article in The Advocate, the news magazine of the gay community. The article concerned an anonymous Army captain who was riding slowly through the streets of Bagdad on a tank during the liberation of that city when he locked eyes with a handsome Iraqi man standing on the street. Though it could have gotten them both in major trouble with their respective communities, the two men had a great times thereafter on a number of occasions. Surely, I thought, the CIA would see possibilities in the fact that gay sex is very far off the radar in a heterosexual world. In that world men and women are constantly aware of sexual tensions between two straight people, no matter what the setting—even in church, for example. But that world is more or less blind to similar gay encounters.
The novel has been years in the making, and the whole experience surprised me in a number of ways. First was how easily it flowed onto the page—more or less writing itself. The second thing was that, while the novel is clearly a thriller about the exciting (I hope) life of a gay CIA agent in three different venues (a kingdom similar to Saudi Arabia, Amsterdam where Corbin seduces the head of the Russian version of the CIA, and the United States, where Corbin must battle a boss is making sexual moves), what amazed me was that a love story between Corbin and a man named George Yancy became a major part of the novel. Who knew that I could write a romance about two people struck dumb with their attraction to one another? This entanglement is particularly inconvenient for Corbin, since it interferes with and threatens to destroy his very successful CIA career. The final thing was that I was unsatisfied with the ending for a number of years until suddenly last fall the obvious fix occurred to me. As soon as I had that in place I was ready to publish. (I should also mention that there's quite a bit of humor in this complicated tale.)
Initially a small publishing company was willing to publish “Corbin Milk,” which was exciting to think about given how hard it is to find a publisher for new novels in the 21st century, but then one of the two founders of the company had a major illness and the company called a halt to all projects. Eventually I chose the self-publishing route, which has proved such a success for my first novel “Imaginary Friend” (an atheist thriller). Thus “Corbin Milk” is now available on both Amazon.com and Kindle (I hope to shortly have it available for Apple’s iBook too). The price is $11.84 for the paperback from Amazon and $2.99 on Kindle. The cover was designed by my husband, himself a graphic artist, and here it is:
There’s no hard core sex in the novel, though there are scenes in which sex does occur. Since I wanted the book to be accessible to straight readers as well as gays, I kept the sex to a very vanilla minimum, though I trust it will prove quite erotic in appropriate segments. At one point Corbin must explore the gay leather world in Amsterdam, and that was major fun both to learn about and then insert into the book. Experts in both the Netherlands and the leather world were very helpful, particularly the incredible Athena Lyons, once a big name in the straight leather community.
Various snippets of "Corbin Milk" have appeared in this blog (see "Related Posts" below). “The Thunderbolt” describes how Corbin met George Yancy, the love of his life, at a party in D.C., “How To Change Gay People Into Straight People,” details George's attempts to become a heterosexual, and “Choose To Be Gay, Choose To Be Straight” reprints a segment of the novel in which a five year-old Corbin Milk discovers he is gay. Finally there were two segments having minor sexual scenes; see “Fifty Shades of Leather: Corbin Milk in the BDSM World,” and "Seducing Straight Men" (which, to my surprise, has been a much-viewed post on this blog, averaging ten hits a day from all over the world).
“Frightening the Horses,” April 7, 2010
“Imaginary Friend,” June 22, 2010
“The Thunderbolt,” September 3, 2010
“Listen to Me Reading My Novel on the Radio,” December 11, 2012
“How To Change Gay People Into Straight People,” September 20, 2010
“Choose To Be Gay, Choose To Be Straight,” January 25, 2011
"Seducing Straight Men," March 3, 2011
"Seducing Straight Men," March 3, 2011
“Fifty Shades of Leather: Corbin Milk in the BDSM World,” December 26, 2012
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013