Author Name & Publisher: Suzey Ingold
Publication Date & Length: February 18, 2016 – 244 pgs
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.
While I really loved the way this author wrote this time period. I have to be honest and say so much of this book honestly just dragged for me.
Heath falls for Art who owns a speakeasy. Well this is where I am going to say I was not a fan of Heaths character at all. For some reason he just annoyed me so much! There was a lot of up and downs between these two with what time period they were in and how the their relationship was not accepted at all, so they had to hide it.
There was some sweetness in this book between these two men along with angst. I did love the authors pretense of this story and the way she portrayed the characters in this time period. I was just not a huge fan of one of the MC’s and there were parts of this book that sadly just dragged for me…
So I will leave this review with.. I am sad to say this book was just not for me!
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.”
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
My writing environment isn’t really a stagnant place. Some days I write at home; some days on my university campus; some days in coffee shops; some days on trains (trains, I’ve found, are a pretty great working environment. I think it’s something to do with not being able to get distracted by the internet every five minutes…) The thing that remains the same is that I’ll always have my laptop—I love to handwrite but for a big project, it’s too slow going and my wrist gives out too easily, whereas I can type lightning fast. I will always have a notebook alongside me, too, though. I use this to note down any ideas or thoughts that come to me while I’m writing because I find it a lot easier to think through things on paper. There will almost always also be some water, or some coffee, alongside me too, and maybe a few snacks—I’m a little addicted to dried mango at the moment. If I’m at home, I might have a candle or incense burning, too.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I can definitely relate to Heath. In Speakeasy, he’s at the point in his life that I will soon be at: just graduated, unsure of what’s next for him. He’s also spent his life being guided by his parents’ wishes, rather than his own. While I’m a fair bit more stubborn and strong-willed than Heath is, I’ve often let my parents guide me on what they want, as I didn’t know what I wanted, or I didn’t know if I wanted what was right. Less so now, but I have definitely been in that position before.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
The truth is, I don’t really know what I’m going to be doing once I graduate—so I have no idea! I’ll continue to write without a doubt but I’ll probably end up taking on some other work, too. I’ve worked for festivals before and that kind of environment is really interesting and dynamic, so that might be something I would do.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
There were a few historical things I learned only later into working on the book that might have been helpful to have known earlier on—things I could maybe have worked in differently if I’d known them. I did a fair bit of research for Speakeasy before beginning to write but there’s probably no such thing as too much research when writing historical fiction.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
In all honesty, I don’t think so. Perhaps I could have added more to the epilogue or the aftermath of the story but at the same time I am so proud of the final book and the story as it stands, the product of a long year’s work.
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
My ideas can come from just about anywhere. Little things I might witness in day-to-day life, or anecdotes that I can fit in somewhere. I also find that once I have the characters in place, they’ll quite often just take on a life of their own in my head, and suddenly I have a whole load more things I’m scribbling down that I could use.
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve started work on a new story but it’s in the very early stages at the moment so I won’t say much more about that right now. Otherwise, I just want to keep writing and keep developing my skills; and I plan to spend a part of the summer editing a project from a few years ago and bringing it up to a higher standard.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in Edinburgh, a beautiful city in the east of Scotland. I think it influences how I write in the sense that it’s only strengthened my love for cities, which I’ve always had. There’s also a speakeasy style bar here that I absolutely adore and visited more than once during last year as “research”.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
I love murder mysteries! Great murder mysteries are so intricate and developed and they hook you in as you try and figure out the twists and turns before you reach them. I would love to write a really good murder mystery—one day, maybe!
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Shopping—I’m a complete shopaholic, to the despair of my mother and my bank account. I also drink far, far too much coffee and I have a bit of a sweet tooth, particularly for chocolate.
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).