Not everything I write is about flight attendants. I’ve written porn about a merman, a novel about a garbage man drag queen, and short stories about a television star, a pregnant politician dude, and Hansel of …and Gretel fame, to name but a few recent departures from the theme. But the flying public is a rich source of stories that will insist on being mined.
I strive to write original characters into engaging stories—the flight attendants in this Mile High Club are not based on me or meant to represent any particular friends, and the airline they work for is imaginary, and different from mine in size and style. But flying for a living is unlike anything else I’ve done, and certain real-life experiences illustrate how in ways that stories I might make up never could. Many of the glimpses of airline life in my stories are true, or real close to it.
The passenger who rang his call light and asked a flight attendant for morphine? Real. (The hunky doctor helping out? Very real. Hubba hubba.) The new-hire flight attendant who had to give a dead guy CPR on his very first flight? Happened. (Although, thankfully, not to me.) In my first book, Kiss Me, Straight, a flight attendant describes a passenger’s attempt to make a mid-air escape from a flight by using her head to put a hole in the side of the fuselage. One hundred percent true, and I’m here to tell you, San Francisco and Sydney have never felt so far apart. The daytime soap opera star whose hunky fiancé propositioned me during a comically lengthy thunderstorm diversion made a brief appearance in the first draft of this story, but we’re saving her fiction debut for a later installment.
My own airline has endured a few high-profile on-the-job deaths, and at least one flight attendant rather famously gave birth to her son on a layover. Two flight attendants who barely know each other getting married on a layover is a new one, I think, but it’s totally the kind of thing that would happen. Were a flight attendant reading this to inform me that real life beat me to the punch, I’d believe it.
As for the middle-of-the-night fire at Tanner’s house: for real my dad once almost burned our house down trying to drive away an ant infestation. Proving that you don’t have to be an airplane passenger to act like a crazy person. As much as it seems to help…
Flight attendant Tanner Bradac and his occasional make-out buddy Clark Arnold find themselves on a layover in San Francisco on the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. Tanner is as happy about the ruling as any of his Facebook friends rainbowing up their profile pictures, it just doesn’t affect him personally—he doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Color him surprised, then, when he and Clark get caught up in the celebratory spirit of the day and return home as lawfully wedded husbands.
The wedding may have been a last-minute light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. Tanner loves Clark—at least, he really wants to love Clark—and he figures the rest should just fall into place. How hard can being married to a guy you barely know really be?
Short Blurb: On the day the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, Tanner Bradac doesn’t even have a boyfriend, so you can imagine his surprise when he and his buddy Clark get carried away by the celebratory spirit of the day and wind up lawfully wedded husbands. The wedding may have been a light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. After all, how hard can it be?
The convivial, conspiratorial atmosphere in the office was rather infectious. While Tanner figured it might not be quite the same in backwoods Minnesota or county-seat Kentucky—and what did he know? Maybe it was—the clerks at San Francisco’s City Hall understood that they were playing hosts to the biggest party some of their guests would ever live to see. Couples who had waited years, many of them decades, for legal recognition of their relationships waited alongside eager young queer couples who’d come of age at a time when civil equality for gays and lesbians seemed rather a foregone conclusion. The line whipped along, and when Tess and Cecilia were called to a clerk’s window, Tanner and Clark strode to it behind them. The clerk looked at four smiling faces and produced two forms. “Okay,” she said, “Who’s who?” She slid the forms across the counter.
“Us,” Tess said, placing a hand on Cecilia’s shoulder. “And them.” She jerked her thumb at Tanner and Clark.
Oh, we’re not getting married. Why wouldn’t it come out of Tanner’s mouth? It was true. Wasn’t it? It’s not like making out in the Packers parking lot when they were both three sheets to the wind made two people life partners. He looked at Clark, who would obviously chime in at any second—Tanner would feel foolish when they got back to the hotel pool and Clark asked him, What was with the hesitation?
So say it, already, Tanner willed Clark, but he just smiled up at Tanner like a goof. Suddenly they were standing before a county clerk with an application for a marriage license on the counter between them—now they were going to forget how to talk? Imagine Tanner’s relief when at last Clark opened his mouth.
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Start with book one!
First Flight Out
Jesse Cisneros and his best buddy Tanner fly for Mile High Airlines, which is every bit as classy as it sounds. When Dr. Willis rings his call light on a flight from New York to Denver, Jesse is so taken with the good doctor’s looks and charm, he forgets all about the inflight medical crisis that prompted him to call for a flight attendant in the first place. Willis is handsome. Willis is helpful. And wouldn’t you know it? Willis is someone else’s husband.
Jesse can hardly believe his luck when their paths cross again on the patio of a popular gay bar. It’s been nine months, and Willis has been busy: now he’s single, he’s out, and he’s very interested in getting to know Jesse better. It all seems too good to be true! And you know what they say about that …
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JMS Books: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_94&products_id=1405
Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card
Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.