Untethered will be released on April 6 by Dreamspinner Press. You can read the full synopsis here. It’s about Frankie Norris, a young pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Besides telling the love story of Frankie and his crew chief, Jim Morrow, I wanted to show how WWII enabled gay men and lesbians to form a community of unprecedented scope and influence. The Armed Forces brought millions of men and women from all parts of the country together, providing countless opportunities to form same-sex relationships. It was a watershed moment in queer history.
What I found particularly striking as I did research for this novel was how the environment within the Armed Forces could be amazingly tolerant at times for queer men. Drag shows, surprisingly open sexual and romantic relationships, acceptance of gay men within units–you can find evidence for all of this. But at the same time, there was repression and homophobia and violence and the threat of discharge and/or prison. It was so dependent on the individuals involved and the place you happened to be. Because I’m a historian, I can’t help citing a source! I found Allan Berube’s Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II particularly useful in conceptualizing what gay men and lesbians encountered in the Armed Forces.
Hopefully I captured some of this sense of community coupled with the uncertainty and danger in Frankie’s story. It is available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press.