QSFer J. Scott Coatsworth has a new Fantasy book out:
Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos any more. Not that he wanted to stay.
Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain.
But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.
In the end, Jerrith took off his shirt and wrapped his body around Cas’s gingerly. They lay together on the blanket for a long while, looking out over the lights of the valley and the spray of stars high above. The golden moon had set, and a cool breeze blew up from the Red Hills.
Cas was momentarily at peace for the first time in as long as he could remember. He’d lost track of the time he’d spent with the caravan, days that had rolled into weeks, weeks into months and more. It was close-on two years since he’d been exiled by his father, the King, from the Autumn Lands.
His back itched, but he’d learned to ignore that by now.
Jerrith seemed to notice, though. He pulled away to stare at Cas’s back, his warm hand feeling the nubs there. “What are these?” he asked, and Cas felt a shiver of pleasure go through him at the man’s warm touch.
“That’s where my wings used to be,” he said softly, and squeezed his eyes shut. The darkness swelled in his chest again and threatened to overwhelm him. He could still feel the pain from when they had been cut off, at the order of his father. That he remembered. He pushed the darkness back down, and glimpsed something, almost lost in the pain. A strange wisp of a memory of his wings being removed, not cut off, crossed his mind. He shook his head to clear it and turned to look at Jerrith, sitting up behind him.
Jerrith’s face was drawn tight in a mixture of confusion and concern. “Wings?” he said, his brow furrowed. “You had wings?”
Cas nodded, sitting up. He was totally at ease with Jerrith, as if they had known each other forever, even though they’d only met hours before. It was a strange but pleasant feeling. “All of the Nevris are born with wings. You didn’t know?” There was something wrong with that statement, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
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Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.