Archive for February 2011

Ethan Day Interviews P.A. Brown about L.A. Boneyard

Today we’re talking to P.A. Brown, author of the L.A. Series including L.A. Heat, L.A. Mischief, L.A. Boneyard – the book we’re discussing today, & L.A. Bytes among many other works of fab fiction. While I’m certainly not a mystery aficionado, I was so impressed after reading Heat that I promptly went out and purchased the rest in the series. I have yet to be disappointed. : )

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Boneyard NPEthan: Before we dig into Boneyard specifically, I wanted to touch on the origins a little bit. One thing I love about these books is the way you’ve blended the police procedural & crime-mystery elements so seamlessly with the gay love story of two unlikely protagonists. I mean, these are guys – even had they both been out of the closet you wouldn’t ever imagine would click, at least not outside of a fantasy fulfilling one-nighter on both their parts. But even from the very beginning of Heat, when Laine is investigating Chris as a murder suspect, there’s something there between them. At least I felt it. So give us the what, where, and how, PA. Where did it all come from?

P.A.: David had his genesis in Jonathan Kellerman. I was a huge fan of his Alex Delaware books, and especially was drawn to his openly gay cop, Milo Sturgis. I wanted to write a book with the cop as the main character instead of being a side kick. I also wanted him to be gay. But one of the things I loved about Milo was he didn’t fit the stereotype of the gay man – buff, obsessed with youth, clothes and being in the A list. I’d spent too much time in West Hollywood to accept that view of gay men. But I wanted to take it a step further. Originally, David was going to be even less attractive than he is, but that eluded me, or maybe people really can see an ordinary guy with pockmarked skin and a bit of a belly who loves American beer and baseball as sexy. Chris obviously can. Also, unlike Milo, he wouldn’t be comfortable with his sexuality. He didn’t deny it, he just kept it from the people around him. His family knew, but not many other people, especially not the cops he worked with. And he had a doozy of a partner – homophobic Martinez. Actually not really homophobic so much as he didn’t like anyone all that much. He’s one of those equal opportunity bigots.

And of course once I’d decided on a cop, I had to put him in L.A. The city fit him and he fit the city. Plus the clip_image004fact that I just couldn’t forget the place, even though I’d been gone from it for nearly two decades by that time. So he was cast as an LAPD homicide detective.

Once he existed, he had to have an opposite. That person would be the epitome of that ‘ideal’ gay man. Beautiful, out and proud, a guy who loved living, who had expensive tastes and had the money to afford the things he liked. The computer angle came about because that was what I did. Besides, in all my time reading mysteries, I had never seen a computer geek as a main character. And I personally knew some damn good looking IT guys. Thus Chris was born. Originally, I was going to put him in a house in the Hollywood Hills, but that seemed too clichéd. Everybody in crime fiction seemed to live up there, so I looked around for another place and I remembered Silverlake. When I started researching it, I knew it was perfect for those two.

Ethan: One aspect I’ve found particularly interesting about David’s character, who even after four years with Chris still wrestles with his own sexuality, is that one of the things he takes the most pleasure in with regard to Chris – his pretty boy looks – is oddly also one of the things he’s most embarrassed about when it comes to his professional life. I think it’s a very subtle way of showing that part of him still longs to be closeted. That despite the happiness he’s found, he still wishes he could go back to being one of the many as opposed to the shiniest penny in the box. It leaves me wanting to slap the SOB while liking him a little more because he’s so genuinely flawed. How did this guy come to you and have you been surprised at all by any aspect of the evolution of this character?

P.A.: Yes, he’s grown a lot from what I originally saw him as. You’re right, in some ways he’s still not totally comfortable with everyone knowing he’s gay. He doesn’t want to be known as the gay cop. He sees himself as a damn good homicide detective who just happens to be gay. But he also knows being out limits him. Before his life changed and he fell in love with Chris, he could have aspired to be a homicide special detective working the Robbery Homicide Division, the elite LAPD officers who are recognized as the best of the best. But his love for Chris makes up for it, and there are still times he will look at Chris and be amazed that this man loves him so whole-heartedly. Without reservations. Which of course makes him feel guilty for those occasional times he slips and wishes he was back in the safety of his closet. That inner conflict is always there.

clip_image006Ethan: One of the other really smart things I think you’ve accomplished in this series is setting up Chris as an actual equal to David. He’s obviously very different, doesn’t mince words nor does he care who knows he’s gay. Chris makes no apologies for who he is now or who he’s screwed in the past. But he’s also, something else that I think is crucial for David – Chris is incredibly competent at what he does. David is a great detective, probably one of the best in his field and I believe it’s the mutual respect and admiration that ties Chris is the same in his line of work that makes these guys stick. That this respect is the foundation for their relationship which everything else is built upon. Of course this is merely my impression of things. Tell us what you think binds them both to one another despite all the odds which seem forever stacked against them.

P.A.: I think it is the fact that they are equals in their respective jobs. He’s a good cop, and he knows that and Chris knows it too. He respects what David does, even though he’s sometimes uneasy about David’s safety. Chris also knows he’s the top of his field. It’s not braggadocio, he works very hard to stay on top. What they really have is a mutual respect beyond their relationship. They’re friends as well as lovers, which I think is one of the keys to a strong, long term relationship.

Ethan: The addition of Jairo to this already set and solidified cast of characters was both inspired as well as a bit of a shock. He wound up having a large role and effectively stirred things up quite nicely. I found myself constantly wavering on whether or not I liked him, which I don’t think is an easy feat for an author, so kudos to you! I felt sorry for him one minute, hating him the next before finally wanting to sleep with him after another turn of the page. You kept me on a constant loop with this guy. Talk to us a little about where he came from. How did his role in the book develop and did he change on you once the writing began?

P.A.: Jairo had that affect on a lot of people. I even got an angry email from someone before the book was even released about him. I had posted a blurb about the threat to Chris and David’s relationship from David’s new partner. I got chewed a new one for even hinting David would be unfaithful. LOL. Originally the affair was going to go further, but I realized that wouldn’t be acceptable and might alienate his fans. Bad enough he went as far as he did. But I share your wavering. I loved the guy, thought he was hot, but I seriously wanted to smack him, too – and David. I mean the guy was deceitful to everyone, even worse than David had ever been in his closet. At least David never chose marriage to hide his identity. He was too honorable. Jairo had no honor. But he sure was a sexy devil.

clip_image008Ethan: I still have yet to read L.A. Bytes, but I’m greedy…so I have to ask. Any plans in the works for another book in this series? If so…let me just add that it’s totally okay to tease the animals in this joint.

P.A.: There are at least 2 more coming out. Bermuda Heat should be released February and the following one probably early next year. Right now I’m calling that L.A. Storm, and may bring back Jairo’s family to bring yet more trouble. I’m planning a trip to Los Angeles in April of this year to do a lot more research. The idea for it is still nebulous, but I think it will deal with bank robberies. Los Angeles is the bank robbery capital of the world so there will be no shortage of ideas to play with. After book six, I’m not sure what will happen.

Click Here to Purchase Your Copy

BLURB:

A letter. A secret. A tragedy. David’s mother told him his father died when he was born. His mother lied.

David Eric Laine always believed his father had died in Vietnam before his birth. His mother remarried and he was adopted by his stepfather and grew up knowing Graham Laine as his only father. Forty years later, a letter arrives and David finds out everything he thought was a lie.

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EXCERPT:

Chapter One

Saturday, 9:20 am, Rigali Avenue, Atwater Village, Los Angeles

The brown Ford squealed when it failed to take the corner at sixty. Instead it threw up streamers of dust as it bounced across a gravel verge into an empty parking lot. Martinez cursed as his partner, LAPD homicide detective David Eric Laine took the same path, their unmarked Crown Vic blowing out whatever shocks might have been left in the aged vehicle when they screeched onto the lot after the fleeing Ford. Martinez reported their twenty and called for backup, then hung on as David maneuvered ever closer to the other car’s rusted out bumper.

David ignored everything but the Ford and the two Pinoy boys they’d been closing in on for days. Since somebody stomped a Temple Street Trese boy to death and put all the Asians on edge, ready to stomp back, it was paramount they be stopped. David and Martinez were working with the local gang cops to try to stop it before it got bloody.

They’d spotted Sokun, the leader of the Pinoy’s at a liquor store on Brunswick five minutes ago, the chase had been on. David figured they would try and double back, make a break for Rigali. But then a whoop and a new cloud of dust announced their backup had arrived. A black and white roared in, lights and siren on full code three.

What Sokun did next startled David. Instead of braking and coming around, the brown piece of crap’s laboring engine roared, tires spat gravel and the car lunged forward. The fence protecting this section of concrete river was old and worn through years of neglect and abuse. Twisted by the elements and vandals, repaired repeatedlly, it inclined at a fifty degree angle, sagging as though tired of trying to hold out the world.

The Ford slammed into it at a good twenty miles per and snapped off the single metal pole pole, puncturing the radiator and killing the engine. There was a tortured shriek of metal on metal, sparks flew from underneath the battered vehicle. The engine rattled to a stop.

Both doors flew open. Sokun and his passenger bailed. The passenger, who David hadn’t been able to ID, headed north. Sokun scrambled over the battered remnants of fence and vanished over the lip of the cement trough.

"Oh, tell me he did not just do that," David muttered.

Martinez growled what might have been a reply before he too was out the door and hot on the trail of the passenger, along with a young, female uni. David bolted after Sokun. The other uni followed.

David always figured he was in shape. He ran nearly every day with Sergeant, the Doberman he and Chris had adopted three years ago. Legs pumping, he slowed only long enough to clamber over the chain link and he was off, half skidding, half running down the angled concrete wall, avoiding chunks of broken wall, hot on Sokun’s ass.

It was long after the last winter rain. The bed of the river was little more than a few scummy patches of rainbow hued water and scattered weeds that had broken through the concrete and clung to life amid the detritus of a city. He dodged a shopping cart, abandoned with a broken front wheel. A black garbage bag split open, spilled its reeking contents down the slope. A pair of fat gulls took flight when Sokun raced toward them. They squawked and protested as they flew south toward the distant smog-shrouded basin.

Ahead of him and losing ground fast, Sokun clearly didn’t do any recreational running. He stumbled over broken concrete and his leather loafers were not designed for top speed flight. David closed the distance between them. Behind him the uni was gaining ground.

"Stop, asshole!"

Not surprisingly, the asshole in questions ignored his orders.

David came up on Sokun’s left side. The Cambodian gang leader threw one wild-eyed look over his shoulder and tried to dodge right. David body checked him and the two of them went down. An elbow caught David’s chin and he kneed Sokun’s kidney, missed and caught him square in the groin. The younger man folded with a groan and rolled onto his side, holding his bruised crotch in both hands. At least until David wrenched them behind him and cuffed him. The uniformed cop arrived seconds later and stood over the downed pair, one hand on his duty weapon, his other on his baton.

David sat on his haunches, his butt resting against Sokun’s legs. His arms over his knees, panting as he stared across at the graffiti tagged wall on the other side of the river.

"I’m getting too old for this," he muttered as Martinez appeared at the top of the concrete wall, his own prisoner looking as worse for the wear as David felt.

The uni pulled Sokun to his feet as David rose and dusted his linen pants off. "Get him out of here," he said and climbed up to join Martinez. He watched the two uniformed officers, one who barely looked old enough to be out of middle school lead their prisoner away and shook his head.

Sokun cursed in Cambodian and English.

"Either they’re getting younger or I’m getting old."

Martinez clapped him on the back. "It ain’t us, ese."

"God, I hope not." David scrubbed his hand through his shaggy hair. Together they trudged back to their Crown. He threw a glance back at the Ford, doors still open, water leaking out from underneath.

Martinez grunted as he eyed the messed up Ford. "Well, look at it this way. At least the asshole didn’t try to make a run for it down there in that." He stared balefully down the concrete slope. "That would have been a real circus."

"More like the Indy 500. Better call a tow truck." David shook his head and did his best not to think about it. "Get a warrant for that thing, too."

He put his hand on the still warm hood of their city-owned junk heap. He climbed in behind the wheel. "Might be time to trade this thing in, too. Call the motor pool. See if we can’t get this one put out to pasture." He slotted the key in and fired it up. It grunted but fired on the first try. Barely. He met his partner’s gaze. "Ever think it might be time to hang it up yourself?"

"What? And give up all the excitement? Not to mention the respect and love we get."

"You left out the fabulous pay check."

"I guess I did kind of forget that. Come on. Let’s go down and book these mutts. At least earn some of those big bucks."

A second black and white rolled onto the lot and Sokun was loaded into it. The two shops rolled back out onto Rigali, followed by David and his grinning partner.

"Another fine day on the force."

"Hey," Martinez said. "We’ll look back on this someday and remember all the fun we had."

© Copyright 2010 P.A. Brown

Click Here to Purchase Your Copy

GayRomLit’s Reader Registration

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FQ 2

Registration will open tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm CST, that’s 5 pm Eastern & 2 pm Pacific. I believe that will make it 9 am in Sydney, 10 pm in London, & 11pm in Italy.

The Events page should already be live, so people can go over and check out what we have planned and peruse the schedule. http://gayromlit.com/events.php

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone down in New Orleans come October!!!

Ethan Day Interviews J.P. Bowie about Nowhere to Hide

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With an impressive backlist to his credit, and the author of several incredible series, including My Vampire and I, and Nick Fallon to name a few, there’s no shortage of gay fiction with the name J.P. Bowie on the cover. His novel, Time After Time, was my first foray into his work, having become one of my favorite books of 2010. One of my cohorts organizing the upcoming 2011 GayRomLit Retreat in New Orleans, JP can also be found as the sexy voice behind the audio books available at MLR Press. : ) He was kind enough to spend a little time satisfying my curiosity by answering some probing questions about his latest book, Nowhere to Hide, available now at Total E-Bound.

Nowhere to Hide NPEthan: The choices an author makes are somewhat of a fascination of mine, forever wondering about the why of it all. When you planning and plotting your latest book, Nowhere to Hide, what made you decide to set this romance against the back drop of Darfur, a region filled with such unbelievable turmoil, strife, and sadness?

JP: I’m a great admirer of Doctors Without Borders. These men and women go to the most godforsaken parts of the world and do amazing work, despite sometimes having to dodge bullets and bombs from the very people they are trying to help. I wanted to, in some small way, using Mark’s dedication to his work and patients as a kind of token of my respect for those doctors. Doctors Who Care International, the organization I invented for the book is a reflection of DWB. Most of their work is done in regions like Darfur where death and suffering is an ongoing problem.

Ethan: Expounding on that topic a little more, living where we do it’s difficult to imagine a parent willingly parting with a child, let alone selling one for money. What was it about Ghali that made him so important to this story and to our hero’s?

JP: In some parts of the world children (and women) are treated heinously. Obviously in a war-torn country, without law and order, children are very often the first to be victimized. Ghali represents those children. Actually, he was supposed to be a minor character in the story, but as it progressed, his voice grew stronger, letting me know he had to be an integral part of Mark and Jack’s story. I think maybe the softie in me had to ensure Ghali was protected and cared for, and who better to do just that than Mark and Jack?

Ethan: You touched on this topic briefly, gays in the military, and I wondered if in your research you’d found a different mind-set from our friend’s Down Under than what see here in the good ole USA? I wondered simply because Mark seemed to be the only one of them that worried much about the consequences while Jack was business as usual. It was apparent he never wanted to flaunt it, but at the same time Jack doesn’t hide anything either. It does feel at times that the US, who’s supposed to be the great and shining beacon of freedom and democracy, seems to be falling behind the times when it comes to issues of equality, so I was curious if this approach to these two characters had been intentional for that reason.

JP: Gays have served in the Australian military since 1992! The US and Turkey are the only two NATO countries that still uphold the ban—or I should say the US upheld the ban until very recently. So yes, when Mark wonders about Jack’s situation as a gay man in the military I was making a point. That brave and honorable men and women who want to serve in the military should be able to do so without fear of debasement or physical harm. Jack, for me, and I hope for the readers, represents that kind of man who inspires confidence and respect among those he leads. Of course, he’s also the kind of guy that if anyone got in his face about his sexual orientation, he’d just lay them out.

Ethan: Jumping onto the topic of Jack, who is obviously the kinda guy we’d all want by our side when in a pickle – a slight understatement for Mark nearly being sold into slavery, I know. : ) Obviously, he’s a very heroic guy, but I found myself wondering if Jack hadn’t kept himself so busy all these years because he never found anyone he wanted to settle down with as he says, or if perhaps there might have been a little part of him that never stopped because he was subconsciously trying to avoid falling? The fact that he meets the good Doctor the way he does, it was certainly chance or perhaps even fate – but he definitely wasn’t looking. Do you feel like he was really running until, or was there perhaps a part of him running away?

JP: Jack’s been in the army most of his life, and I think he comes across as a man totally in love with what he does, and dedicated to the safety of the men under his command. He’s a straight-ahead man, no frills, no fancy talk, but despite the death and destruction he’s witnessed in Iraq and Somalia, he’s still an optimist, with a goal of one day, owning a horse station in Australia. Romance wasn’t part of the equation as far as he was concerned, and that’s when fate stepped in, as it sometimes does, to give him, perhaps, a shot at something more than he had dreamed of. I don’t think he was running away, or ruling out the possibility that one day he’d meet his mate. It just wasn’t uppermost in his mind, until he met Mark.

Ethan: And Mark turned to be quite the surprise for me in the book. From the beginning of the story, I would have never guessed Doctor Mark would have hailed from the background in which he did. From privileged society drop-out to Darfur, he is quite the changed man – which I would venture to guess was no easy feat to overcome. The fact that he decided to go back to the refugee camp after his first brush with disaster, it really did feel as though Mark had something to prove – to himself maybe more than anyone else. With regard to themes, was redemption as important to you as the author as it was to his character?

JP: You’re right. Mark is a more complex character than he seems at first. When Jack asks him if his being in Darfur is a form of punishment, he almost nails it. Mark sees it as more of a form of penance for the time he had wasted in a life of drugs and booze, the wakeup call finally coming when he reached bottom. His determination to do something worthwhile was his motivation for joining Doctors Who Care International. Mark’s the kind of man who wants to see things through—for example, he was willing to wait it out until the authorities finally built the hospital they had promised for the refugees. After his first run in with the slave traders, and against Jack’s advice, his decision to return to the refugee camp, may appear foolhardy, but it’s important to him because he feels he owes it to the people, to accomplish what he’d set out to do. I’m not sure a longing for redemption is his driving force, more a stubbornness to see the job done, even though he knows dealing with the Somalian authorities is near impossible.

Ethan: Thanks again for spending a little time with me and thank you for letting me read, Nowhere to Hide. It was most definitely an afternoon well spent. : )

JP: Thanks for having me.

Click Here To Purchase Your Copy

Blurb:

An American doctor meets an Australian soldier in the wilderness of Darfur, and soon their passion burns hotter than the desert sun.

Doctor Mark Hamilton working for Doctors Who Care International and stationed at a refugee clinic in Darfur, never thought he’d meet and fall in love with someone like Sergeant Major Jack ‘Boomer’ Caruthers in the middle of the strife torn territory—nor could he ever imagine being sold as a sex slave to an exiled Prince!

Fortunately for Mark, it’s Jack to the rescue. The two men make a daring escape into the desert and are picked up by Jack’s team, but Mark ignores Jack’s warning not to return to the clinic, with dire results.

Once again made captive by the slave traders, Mark can only cling to the hope that Jack’s love for him is strong enough to face the dangers he will encounter in the vast deserts of Somalia.

Excerpt from Nowhere to Hide:

“Nice place you got here.” Jack’s lips twisted wryly as he looked around the small tent. Because of his height, he was forced to duck his head to avoid bumping it on the canvas roof.

“Have a seat.” Mark indicated one of the two camp stools. “It’ll be more comfortable.” The stools, along with a narrow bed, a box full of books, a radio, and a rack from which hung Mark’s clothes, was all the tent could hold.

“How long you been living like this?” Jack asked, watching Mark pour them both a drink into plastic cups.

“Three months and two days.” Mark handed the Aussie one of the plastic cups filled with Scotch, and sat down on the other stool. “They keep telling me it’s temporary, but so far I haven’t seen any sign of the promised permanent hospital. I know this is only a refugee camp clinic, but half the time, I feel like I’m the forgotten man. Cheers.” He touched his cup to Jack’s and smiled. “I’m glad you’re here—I mean, I’m sorry for the reasons, but it’s kinda nice to have good company.”

“Cheers, mate.” Jack threw the Scotch back in one long swallow, then grinned at Mark. “Good stuff.” His piercing blue-eyed gaze swept over Mark, taking in the fine-boned, almost delicate planes of the young doctor’s face, the shock of blond hair that fell disarmingly over his forehead, and the striking green of his eyes.

What a corker this bloke is, he thought. A beautiful man, maybe too beautiful for his own good around these parts. His cock swelled inside his shorts as his gaze fell on Mark’s lush lower lip. I’m going to taste that mouth before I leave this tent

“Like another?” Mark asked.

“Uh…yeah. Good on you.” He watched, his lips parting in a silent gasp of lust as Mark bent to pick up the Scotch bottle, his shorts tightening across the curved swell of his butt. That is one beautiful bum

“So, why do the men call you Boomer?”Mark refilled Jack’s cup.

“Uh…oh, well, it’s a bit of long story…”

“I’ve got time.” He glanced at his watch. “Just have to check in with Asima before lights-out.” He smiled. “I know, you’re an explosives expert.”

“Not exactly.” Jack gulped his Scotch.

“Well, what exactly? There must be a reason for a nickname like Boomer.”

“Well…uh…it’s m’ feet, if you must know.”

“Your feet?” Mark chuckled as the sergeant’s handsome face slowly filled with colour.

“Yeah, well…” He stretched out his long sun-darkened legs and both men looked down at the feet in question. “Boomer’s the name we give kangaroos. They’ve got big feet and, well mine…they’re big, y’see…”

“Yeah,” Mark murmured, “they sure are.” And not the only things, he thought, his gaze travelling back up Jack’s legs to the bulge in his shorts. He reached for the Scotch bottle and refilled the sergeant’s empty cup.

Jack gave him a lopsided grin. “You trying to get me drunk?”

“Do I have to?”

Jack grabbed the front of Mark’s shirt, pulling him in close until their mouths were a fraction apart, then he said, “No,” and planted a forceful kiss on Mark’s lips.

Startled, Mark gasped into Jack’s mouth, but as the heat of the other man’s lips seared his, Mark opened to him. Every nerve ending in Mark’s body responded to the sensuous sensation of the other man’s tongue as it swept inside Mark’s mouth, finding and caressing each and every part of his moist warmth. He wound an arm around Jack’s neck and held him, returning his kiss with a fierceness that surprised himself, his free hand sliding under Jack’s shirt, stroking his muscled torso, bringing soft moans of pleasure from both men.

Mark pulled back slightly and smiled into Jack’s blue eyes. “I think I’ve found another reason for your nickname.”

“Oh yeah?” Jack’s breath warmed Mark’s lips. “What’s that?”

Mark chuckled softly. “You make my heart go boom, Boomer.”

“Smart one, ain’t ya?” He toppled Mark over onto the floor and lay on top of him, grinding his bulging crotch into Mark’s. “What else?”

Mark stared up at the bigger man with lust and longing. “I think you could ream my ass any time you want.”

© Copyright 2011 J.P.Bowie

Click Here To Purchase Your Copy

My Valentine’s Day Post

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Good morning everyone! Today, my holiday post, titled My Slutty Valentine – A Singles Guide to Survival, is up at Jessewave’s. Just in time for the holiday weekend! I know…a giant sigh of relief was shared by all. : )

I’m off to work, but I’ll be checking in early this afternoon when I get off…from work!! Dirty minds!!

A great day to one and all!

Click here to be redirected to Jessewaves.

Just in time for Valentines Day…

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I’ve been hard at work on my Valentines Day post for Jessewave’s coming up on Friday. I found this little gem whilst pissing away time on You Tube. Of course I’m now totally hooked and want more. Anyone know anything about starting up one of those grass-roots letter writing campaigns?

Anyway, I think the theme here fits in nicely as a pre-curser of things to come on Friday so I wanted to share. Plus it made me laugh, which as most of you already know, is about all it takes to win me over. Yep folks…I’m really that easy.  : )

If you like this you should totally check out this guys website: http://www.derryproducts.com/ The voiceover track alone is worth a listen. Plus you’ll find other examples of his work. I think his name is Michael…but it doesn’t actually say on his bio. His cartooned-likeness is totally hot though. I think it’s turned me into a Toonie!?!

Without further ado…the very funny Troy

 

You can find the You Tube Profile Page here: http://www.youtube.com/user/troytooner

I also found a Troy Comic’s Site and a Facebook Page!

http://troycomics.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Troy-Comics/151811768198197?v=wall

I hope you can all stop by Wave’s on Friday!