Book Title: When Heaven Strikes
Author: F. E. Feeley Jr
Cover Artist: Goonwrite.com
Genre/s: Gay fiction and literature, romance little (r)
Length: Words: 60,400/No. of Pages: 298
Can love survive heaven’s wrath?
Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.
Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.
Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.
Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.
Talking with F.E. Feeley, Jr:
How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
Since I can remember. I’ve always read and in my early years attempted to write stories. I used to enter scary story contests for Halloween when I was in high school. I would win every year.
What are your ambitions for your writing career and what’s your favorite part of writing?
I would love to have a book of mine made into a movie. A serious, Hollywood adaptation, with a cast and a director and a budget.
My favorite part of writing is when I’m in the midst of it. When I’m halfway through and it’s just coming and I am pounding away at the keyboard.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
Oh, wow, talking about stepping in it.
The truth is I didn’t choose romance. It just seems that all things ‘gay’ these days is brought in under romance. Which is fine, to some degree. I think romance is a noble genre despite its detractors. I mean, let’s face it, it’s something we all look for in our own lives to varying degree. Otherwise match.com and companies like that wouldn’t be the multibillion dollar industries they are today. Without Jack and Rose, Titanic would have been a 3-hour documentary.
When I wrote my first book The Haunting of Timber Manor, I went to look for a publisher. I was looking for a queer publishing house. I knew nothing of m/m.
While I’ve been here, I’ve yet to write a straight on romance. While there are romantic threads running through my books, my focus has been on the characters being who they are in relation to the situation that they’re in.
I’ve been gay my whole life. I know gay people. I feel like other people have come before me and paved the way for me. Introducing the world to who we are and how we love.
I’m just taking the torch, so to speak, further into other things.
What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?
Timber I was overjoyed to write.
Objects in the Rearview Mirror – when taken in as a whole – would make me cry.
Still Waters I was happy when the bad guys bit it every time.
And in When Heaven Strikes – the banter between characters made me laugh even though the subject matter made me cry. So….
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?
It’s a story about the suddenness of life. It’s about how fast things can change from one moment to the next. When Heaven Strikes has many meanings in this book. Throughout – I break literary rules, happily, joyfully.
As you meet the characters and see where they are in life you’ll understand why.
What genre does it fall in?
The book belongs more in literary or contemporary fiction perhaps and what I call romance ‘little r’.
Share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb.
When Heaven Strikes is a personal story. It’s scratched out from the scars on my heart that I’ve taken my pen across. People I knew. A life I once knew and am now able to look back on and study. I may not have known these people exactly and the situations were not all the same but I knew the type. To be honest, this book was self-talk, really.
I think in some way a lot of my stories are to some degree. But then again, I think that of anyone who writes. We are in our work more than I think.
Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?
Ted Armstrong is a painter, an eccentric, and lonesome man. Life’s handed him some rough cards and he did his best to play the hand he was dealt with. He lives alone with his cat, Mr. Thomas Jefferson and isn’t much in the way of looking for a relationship.
Anderson is a cardiac surgeon at a local hospital. He’s sort of in the same boat as Ted except he had a champion in his grandmother, Eleanor. However, he is lonely and had been made a fool of by a friend who used Anderson’s sexuality against him.
They’re both deeply passionate men who love what they do. But they are forced to deal with the world at large and the characters that come into their lives as they try and figure themselves out.
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
I think this is a standalone.
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I think Luke McFarlane would make a good Anderson. Ted, I see as Henry Cavill.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
I would love to say that I sit down every day and type a couple thousand words. I don’t like lying so I won’t say that. I do write often, sometimes it’s poetry that I post on my blog. Most of the time, however, if I’m knee deep in a story it’s late at night, after the husband is fed, the dog walked, the lovin’ had, where I can put the headphones on, turn on Amazon music and just go.
What’s weird about it is I have the Word doc open along with fifteen other pages. It’s like I need the distraction.
What sort of books do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? What did you enjoy about it?
For research concerning this book, I read Kim Cross’ What Stands in a Storm about the Tuscaloosa, Alabama EF5 Tornado several years ago. I was terrified reading this book. She does such a marvelous job in recreating the lives of those who lived through that terrible storm. It’s truly a remarkable book in the sort of vein The Perfect Storm was written in.
Art is an act of compassion not only for the observer but for the creator as well. It’s an exorcism of deep seeded emotion and the beginning stages of healing the wounds those emotions created.
F.E.Feeley Jr is a poet and the author of six published works – four full length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and a good deal of poetry.
Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.
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