I’ve always been interested in tiny houses. You know what I’m talking about, right? There are a multitude of shows about the “tiny house movement” on various channels these days, extolling the virtues of going small and decreasing the carbon footprint. They are built on trailers to get around current building codes (and some states, including Florida, where I live, have declared war against them because MONEY). Some of them hook into city sewer and water while others can go off-grid.
In the last few years, I’ve gone from living in a 1000 sq. ft. house with fenced yard and full basement to a two-bedroom apartment, followed a year later by another move into a small one-bedroom place. After that, I fled to south Florida and now reside in a two-bedroom condo. Every time I relocated, I shed material goods, slowly but steadily donating/giving/dumping things I didn’t need.
If I were to move into a tiny house tomorrow, I’d have to get rid of even more!
That scares a lot of people, and I’m no exception. There is one thing I would not want to toss: my hardcover and paperback books. Despite constant winnowing over the years, I still have quite a number of them, and the thought of getting rid of them makes me sad.
Otherwise? I could so live in one hundred and sixty square feet. Though I currently have plenty of room, I live in the bedroom. Why? My neighbor is a jerk who likes to play his bass too loud, so I avoid the living room where we share a common wall; in summer, the lanai is too hot to use; the guest room is not very inviting. So I pretty much use the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. It works! I discovered I don’t need a lot of space.
Tiny house living is the idea that started me thinking about the book that eventually became Half Moon House, released 7/18. I had a starting point, but a vague idea does not a book make, so the next step was creating compelling, interesting characters.
And that’s when I came up with Jon and Cass. Jon is your typical college-educated, middle-class white guy, married with one kid, and living the good life… sort of. The original Cass was gay and flamboyant and blond and also white.
But a funny thing happened when I started writing. Cass whispered in my ear and said, “I’m not that man. I was born in Jamaica. I have dreadlocks to my waist, and there are beads and ribbons in them.” Those dreads figure heavily in the story, to the point where I briefly considered turning my boring Caucasian hair into them. Didn’t though. I rightly decided they wouldn’t fit who I am these days.
Instead, I enjoyed Cass’s beautiful dreads. Because that’s what writers do: they live vicariously through the lives of their characters.
So I was Jon and Cass. I got to reside in a tiny house with a gorgeous half-moon window in the loft. I lived next to a lake, woke up in the morning, and sat on a deck, sipping coffee and staring at the water. I saw a duppy (ghost), and I worked in a cool café near the Caloosahatchee River, wearing a sarong and eyeliner and spike heels, and in the end, well, I won’t tell you where I went next. You’ll have to read the book to find out. :)
As a human, I get one short life. As a writer, I have the pleasure of living several, enjoying cities all over the world and exploring various orientations and genders and lifestyles. I even get to have dreads and come from Jamaica. People who don’t write have no idea what they’re missing.
Half Moon House
Abandoned by an industry that has been decimated by the economy, and struggling in a marriage that isn’t quite the stuff of dreams, Jon Donovan is ready for a change. It appears in the shape of Cass Allen—as comfortable in a skirt and heels as he is in jeans—who has happily spent his life drifting from place to place and job to job.
Pragmatic and practical meets mystical and magical as they start a new business, help solve a murder, and are blindsided by a devastating betrayal neither of them saw coming.
The tiny house community has two new advocates, but Jon and Cass will only find their happy ending if they are willing to give up who they were and become the men they are supposed to be.
If you would like to enter for a chance to win a copy of Half Moon House, please leave a comment with your thoughts AND that you would like to be considered in the random drawing Thorny will do Tuesday, July 28, at 12:00 EST.