In the height of the Prohibition era, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a unique speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan where men are free to explore their sexuality. When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.
Author Name: Suzey Ingold
Book Name: Speakeasy
Release Date: February 18, 2016
Pages or Words: 244 pages
Categories: Gay fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art by Colin Moore; Cover design by C.B. Messer
Heath swallows, playing over an idea that had formed shakily in his head after he saw Frankie, since Art walked through that door and possibly longer without him being fully conscious of it. “Maybe it’s time I was honest. Tell them that I don’t want to marry Ginny or work with my father. Let the pieces fall where they may.”
“You would do that?”
“If it meant being with you, I would do anything.” Heath sits up and the sheets fall to pool around his waist. “I know what I want, now. And it’s you and whatever a future with you brings.”
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Suzey Ingold, author of Speakeasy.
Hi Suzey, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me! I’m a writer and linguistics student, currently based in Edinburgh. I’ve been writing for years and had my first short story, The Willow Weeps for Us, published in 2015, in the Summer Love anthology from Duet Books. Speakeasy is about a recent Yale graduate who must discover what he really wants when he meets the owner of a unique Midtown speakeasy in 1920s Manhattan.
- Tell us something about your character’s friends.
Heath’s best friend Frankie is something of a character. He’s got a large personality and a sharp sense of humor. He’s flirtatious and charming and he cares for Heath very deeply, as though they were family. Heath’s other close friend is his younger sister, Amelia. She teases him something awful, but that’s in her nature. She’s more hotheaded where Heath is calmer, and can be very stubborn when she wants to be.
- What is your character’s favorite meal? Favorite dessert? Favorite snack food?
Heath’s favorite meal is roast duck; especially the way their cook, Louis, makes it. He has a little bit of a sweet tooth and loves ice cream—his favorite dessert of all is the Brooklyn Bridge ice cream sundae he can get from the soda fountain downtown. There’s chocolate, ice cream, cream, and syrup involved—perfect to satisfy his sugar cravings. If he were hankering for a snack, then he’d stick with the sweet things and have a PB&J sandwich.
- What activity does your character absolutely hate?
Heath can’t stand athletics. At Yale, his best friend, Frankie, was on the track team and he tried to get Heath involved too—he told him it would be a wonderful way for him to get out of the library, to get some exercise. Heath went once, to appease him, and came out sweaty, red-faced, and sore all over, and swore he’d never do it again. The closest thing to athletics Heath will do is a leisurely stroll through Central Park in the middle of the day.
- What other author’s book do you think your character would be good in?
I recently finished reading Small Wonders by Courtney Lux, which is also set in New York City, but in the present day. I think Heath could be a great friend to someone like Nate Mackey—although I think he’d be a little alarmed if he met Trip Morgan!
- What’s your favorite decade and why?
Probably unsurprising given Speakeasy, but it has to be the 1920s. There was magic to that time. The war was over and the Wall Street crash was yet to happen and there was a view that every day should be lived as though it were to be your last. I often wonder if I spend too much time fantasizing of the past, though. There’s a line in one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, that sums up my nostalgia perfectly: “…golden age thinking: the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in. It’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”
Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys traveling, scented candles and brunch. Her short story, “The Willow Weeps for Us,” was included in “Summer Love: An LGBTQ Collection,” published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (2015).
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