Author C G Moore talks through the inspiration behind his debut novel – ‘Fall Out’.
I remember it clearly: the smoky club. Everyone was drinking. Everyone was dancing. I wasn’t out but there, in the club, I saw people just like me – guys that love other guys. I danced, chatted and laughed the night away.
A guy grabbed my attention through the flashing lights. He seemed nice. He hugged me, kissed me. No one ever did that before. My own mother didn’t know I was gay. She thought I was out with friends, and I was, just not the kind she had in mind. I’d never slept beside another guy, never done anything other than kiss and dance in the smoky corners of that historic pub.
The end of the night came. So soon. Too soon. The guy kissed me, walked me to the cloakroom. He asked me to go back with him. I told him, ‘Yes’, unsure if I could say, ‘No’. I got the night bus to his house. It was the longest bus trip of my life and I was sweating, my stomach somersaulting inside my body.
I got off the bus and walked with him to his house. He entered the room, keeping the lights low. He stripped down to his boxers, hands itching to take off his jeans. ‘Want to see my python?’ he smirked, leaning against the wall. He sidestepped right, revealing a massive tank. Inside was a dish of water and a huge snake. He reached into the tank and dropped his snake on the bed.
I froze. Snakes: my worst fear. I tried to speak but the words won’t leave my lips. My nerves became a cold stone of fear that weighed down my stomach like lead. The snake slithered up to me. Metres away. Inches. Cold sweats broke out across my body. He picked up the snake, placing it in his tank. He laughed.
I wrapped the blankets around me like a shield that I hoped would ward him off. I could call my friends but how could they help? I hadn’t got €50 for a taxi ride to the other side of Dublin. I couldn’t call my parents; how would I even explain this situation?
I lay in the bed, downplaying his touch, hoping sleep would take me soon, because in my all-consuming, impulsive desire to be loved, I realised I’d made a big mistake.
My debut book now has a virtual launch on the 18th June. Mark it in your diaries! Lots happening, including a Q&A hosted by Calum McSwiggan!
— C. G. Moore (@YAfictionados) June 1, 2020
I know all about disaster dates – the good, the bad and the downright crazy. When I was writing my debut novel, Fall Out, I wanted to tap into the emotions and thought processes that young LGBTQ+ people feel. Much like the protagonist in my book, Cal, I went on a series of hopeless dates in a desperate bid to find love. To be loved.
I think this comes back to the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face; having to hide who we are for so long that when we do ‘come out’, all we want is to feel loved. Or at least, that’s how I felt.
As a teenager, all I wanted was to see myself represented in the books I read. Now, I get to change the lack of representation and hopefully, Fall Out will resonate with other gay boys looking to find their place in the world.
Fall Out is published on 18 June 2020.
Christopher is a freelance editor and marketer. He has previously lectured on the MA in Publishing course at the University of Central Lancashire. You connect with him at @YAfictionados on Twitter.
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