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July CSR Discussion Day: The Tampa Chronicles by BHopper2

Cia

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Well this was a nice long month between Mondays, so I picked a short story and the novella continuation of the tale written by BHopper2 in A New Life and a New Home and My Son. Did you have a chance to read them before or this month for the feature? Make sure you share you thoughts below! You might also consider writing a review for the story or copying your comments there; authors always appreciate those! But first, as always, I have an interview with BHopper2. 

 

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

The short answer is no, and yes. Back when I was still in college, I took a course in Human Reproduction and Development. One of the assignments we had involved reading over a report from the CDC about the dangers of making your bed in the morning. Basically, it is better to not make your bed so that it can air out during the day, and get rid of the sweat and germs you slept off overnight. Of course, I do make it if someone is coming over that might see my room, but overall, nope, I don’t make the bed.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

I’ve been called a cuddly bear many times by my Ex’s, so I would be a bear. LOL. In the nomenclature of the Gay Culture, I would be classified as a bear. However, I’ve been partial to cats most of my life, and I’ve always liked Snow Leopards, Florida Panthers, and good old alley-cats. So, I think I would be a cat of some sort while hoping it was a Snow Leopard. Which is odd, because my native Floridian self can’t stand the cold. Or a bear… LOL

If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do?

I have too much free time as it is. I’m disabled, and not currently working. But if I had 30 mins to spend on anything thing I want, I would look for a nice quiet place to perform meditation. I’ve started to get back into the practice of doing meditation daily, and I feel that it helps. Just need to find the quiet, which is hard when all the family is running through the house. Especially now during summer.

What brought you to GA?

I first came to GA in early 2016. I was over on Nifty, reading some stories, and it was Comicality’s story called Shelter that I wanted to see if there were any more chapters. I did a Google search, and that led me to GA. I started reading the stories here and eventually created an account to interact and post my own stories.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Depends on the day, and if my disabilities are getting in the way. But, if it’s a good day… watching sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, sipping coffee with some friends while talking about various topics, hockey, taking a stroll on Bayshore Blvd and the longest sidewalk in the world, hockey, watching the military men that use Bayshore as an exercise trail, hockey, watching some good shows, reading, and of course my Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.

What’s the best part of being an author?

Creation. Being an author it lets one create a world, fill it with dynamic characters, and tell a story (or stories) set in that world. Yes, some may use the real world, and take elements from real people to make a character, but the bottom line is storytelling is creation. We are making something from nothing. I recently relearned that according to one study it is estimated 75-80% of Gay Men have some form of Mental Illness, with the primaries being Anxiety, Bipolar, and Depression. I have all three. The feeling you get from creating a world, even if you don’t share it, can help with these issues. Most gay men will never experience the birth of a child that they help create. Not to take anything away from that experience, but writing can help fill the gap with the creation of stories and characters. My stories are my children, my legacy if you will.

A prompt inspired A New Life and a New Home. What led you to expand the storyline in My Son?

When I wrote A New Life and a New Home, I had just finished talking to the real-life person that inspired the character Chandon. I was looking for an idea to write about and saw the first line prompt. It reminded me of how the real-life version of Jill met her son’s boyfriend, and the rest they say is history. I changed the names of my friend, his boyfriend, and mother, and wrote the story. (They liked it btw.) It was the first story I worked with @Kitt on with her as my Editor. Posted it, and got some good feedback.

When I started My Son, I was actually struggling with a different story. I was posting in tim’s Chat Thread @Mikiesboy Drop-In Center about struggling, and tim’s husband Mike (@MichaelS36) suggested I try something different from what I usually do. I had notes and an outline from a story I was planning on doing, that I felt could be used.

I sat down at the kitchen table and was looking at House Design plans for a cousin that was building a house. While I was there, that’s when I spotted the house that I would use in My Son. It was gorgeous, and it sparked the first paragraph of the story. I excused myself from the family, set up my laptop, and immediately started the first chapter. Later, I took the notes and New Life and combined them as I kept thinking about Chandon and Brayon, while I was writing about Adam, Duncan, and Rob.

I had originally only planned for one chapter for My Son, but the readers wanted more. I had the notes ready to go and finished out the story of Adam and Robert coming together.

I now have Tampa Chronicles 3, which is about Duncan’s Nephew Jeremy Isen, and getting ready to start writing Tampa Chronicles 4, which will have all the character together.

I must give credit to two people though. Without @Mikiesboy’s and @Kitt’s editing help, neither story would be as good as they are.

If your story were made into a movie, could you picture anyone playing the main characters parts?

I can see Christian Bale playing the part of Adam Smith, and Duncan Isen would be played by Chris Pratt. As for the kids, Tom Holland would make a good Robert Turner. Brayon Hopper could be played by KJ Apa (Archie for Riverdale). For Chandon Bolton, I can see Cole Sprouse playing him.

What was your favorite part of the stories?

Showcasing my hometown in My Son. Tampa is just as much of a character as the rest of the ensemble. Also, the sense of love and family, I’ve tried to convey.

 

Can you share a little idea of your currently working on/future projects with us?

I’m currently working on three projects.

Getting Tampa Chronicles 4 plotted and planned. I do High Overviews in long arc stories, and I have a list of places I want the boys to go see. I have to give credit to @BabyXander1990, a fellow Tampa resident, for giving me some places for them to visit, that I hadn’t thought of. It will start off with a train trip that has Adam and Duncan taking Robert, Giles, Brayon, Chandon, and Jeremy to Boston for a bit, and then other places around the country before coming back to Tampa.

Freedom Station is a new SciFi story that I’m working on. It tells the story of Twin Brothers who were separated and adopted by different families at birth. Their biological mother was part of a government gene-therapy program, and her pregnancy wasn’t discovered when they started. So the twins are more than they seem. They are a successful splicing of Human and Alien DNA. While the story is character focused on the Twin’s reuniting and developing a relationship, in the background Earth is in danger from an alien armada which will reach the Sol System in 36 months. Earth and her alien allies are trying to mount a defense, and Freedom Station a space station in lunar orbit, will be the shield.

The last project is called Timeless, and it’s about Garrett. He’s a former US Army Ranger who was a career military officer until a roadside IED caused him to lose both legs at the knee. He’s an avid gamer and went to college to be a computer programmer. Garrett wakes up inside the game Timeless a VRMMORPG. He doesn’t know how he got there, and the story is about him escaping. Think TRON or TRON Legacy, but inside an MMO game, with other players playing normally. This is my first attempt at a LitRPG story, where it’s a story within a story, and when writing the game-world portions, there will be a discussion on game mechanics, the damage being dealt, etc. It’s a fairly new genre of stories that a major motion picture was made of one of the books called Ready Player One.

Of course, there is a lot of shorts, practice pieces, and others I’ve done that don’t get published. I would say, about 90% of what I write, doesn’t see the light of day.

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10 minutes ago, Dodger said:

I get the impression you wasn't an average, run-of-the-mill, kid. That's not an insult but a compliment. I never had any stuffed animals but like you, I still have a Teddybear in the cupboard. 

Yeah. It started off, I was the only boy my age in the neighborhood, the rest were 8-10 years older. Most of the girls were related me, extended family in a four square block area, so all my cousins, sister and their friends and I was outnumbered 12 to 1. That changed when I got into Scouts and my Church's Youth Group until then I did a lot of stuff on my own. I hated playing most team sports, except for Volleyball. Tried Baseball, Football, Soccer, and the Police Athletic Leauge Wrestling, but I was horrible and it didn't really interest me. Loved camping, was very active in the Boy Scouts of America. Give me a map and a compass, and I could hike an orientation course in no time flat.  

 

If it was a SciFi related item, I tried to get it, borrowed it, secret borrowed it, or knew someone that had one. LOL. My dad would try to get me to go fishing with him, or play football like he did. Hated both. I hated working on cars, which again he tried to get me into. I was very active in my Southern Baptist Church youth group and did missionary work with them. Inner-city Atlanta, and Willmington, NC. At one point, I was slated to go to seminary school, with the church paying for it. That change in a huge way. LOL

 

And nightmares, and night terrors... lots of them, and suffered with them near nightly until I was 19-21. Still, have them, but now it's more insomnia.

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1 hour ago, BHopper2 said:

Yeah. It started off, I was the only boy my age in the neighborhood, the rest were 8-10 years older. Most of the girls were related me, extended family in a four square block area, so all my cousins, sister and their friends and I was outnumbered 12 to 1. That changed when I got into Scouts and my Church's Youth Group until then I did a lot of stuff on my own. I hated playing most team sports, except for Volleyball. Tried Baseball, Football, Soccer, and the Police Athletic Leauge Wrestling, but I was horrible and it didn't really interest me. Loved camping, was very active in the Boy Scouts of America. Give me a map and a compass, and I could hike an orientation course in no time flat.  

 

If it was a SciFi related item, I tried to get it, borrowed it, secret borrowed it, or knew someone that had one. LOL. My dad would try to get me to go fishing with him, or play football like he did. Hated both. I hated working on cars, which again he tried to get me into. I was very active in my Southern Baptist Church youth group and did missionary work with them. Inner-city Atlanta, and Willmington, NC. At one point, I was slated to go to seminary school, with the church paying for it. That change in a huge way. LOL

 

And nightmares, and night terrors... lots of them, and suffered with them near nightly until I was 19-21. Still, have them, but now it's more insomnia.

You have led an interesting life, although obviously not an easy one. Maybe you should write about it, if you haven't already. :)

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3 minutes ago, Dodger said:

You have led an interesting life, although obviously not an easy one. Maybe you should write about it, if you haven't already. :)

Thanks, Dodger. Making me blush now. Parts of my life are in almost every story on GA. Not a lot. Some are just composites for characters, like in the first TC Book, Jill, Chandon, and Brayon are all real-life people I know, and it's a bit more there story, that I wove together. Granted names and places they work are changed.

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Congratulations on this CSR promo! I'm very happy that trying something a little out of your comfort zone has turned out as it has. Well done!

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10 minutes ago, MichaelS36 said:

Congratulations on this CSR promo! I'm very happy that trying something a little out of your comfort zone has turned out as it has. Well done!

Thanks, Mike. And thank you for challenging me that night.

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On 7/30/2018 at 9:12 AM, BHopper2 said:

I notice the mentions didn't pick up in the blog...

@Kitt

@Mikiesboy

@MichaelS36

@BabyXander1990

 

Wow, I'm surprised that I'm mentioned. I mean, I'm just talking about the sites of Tampa (one of my character in my story is from Tampa and he'll be having a flashback about being on 'Beer Can Island' with his friend. Beer Can is an island in Tampa Bay and it is an unofficial nude beach.), Tampa has many areas that is nice... especially Seminole Heights with its restaurants...

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1 minute ago, BabyXander1990 said:

 

Wow, I'm surprised that I'm mentioned. I mean, I'm just talking about the sites of Tampa (one of my character in my story is from Tampa and he'll be having a flashback about being on 'Beer Can Island' with his friend. Beer Can is an island in Tampa Bay and it is an unofficial nude beach.), Tampa has many areas that is nice... especially Seminole Heights with its restaurants...

don't be surprised.. that's A ... credit where credit is due.  He's a good person.

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8 minutes ago, BabyXander1990 said:

 

Wow, I'm surprised that I'm mentioned. I mean, I'm just talking about the sites of Tampa (one of my character in my story is from Tampa and he'll be having a flashback about being on 'Beer Can Island' with his friend. Beer Can is an island in Tampa Bay and it is an unofficial nude beach.), Tampa has many areas that is nice... especially Seminole Heights with its restaurants...

Like tim said, credit where credit is due. You, Xander, gave me a TON of places, and more information on some places that I didn't know. And I was born and raised here. LOL.

 

Hmm, Beer Can Island. That's right there off of Harbour Island. Nah... I won't steal it from you. Though, I've toyed with talking about the "Men in the Mangroves," thing that happened along Gandy Beach. One of the public Gay Cruising sites, where people were arrested for public sex. Like Upper Tampa Bay Park is, but not with all the publicity.

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14 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

don't be surprised.. that's A ... credit where credit is due.  He's a good person.

Thanks, tim.

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1 hour ago, BHopper2 said:

Like tim said, credit where credit is due. You, Xander, gave me a TON of places, and more information on some places that I didn't know. And I was born and raised here. LOL.

 

Hmm, Beer Can Island. That's right there off of Harbour Island. Nah... I won't steal it from you. Though, I've toyed with talking about the "Men in the Mangroves," thing that happened along Gandy Beach. One of the public Gay Cruising sites, where people were arrested for public sex. Like Upper Tampa Bay Park is, but not with all the publicity.

 

I mean, the water taxi up the Hillsborough River to Rick's or to ZooTampa, the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, the ferry from Tampa to St. Pete in the fall...Even going to Flea Markets...and maybe seeing a dirt track race at East Bay Raceway...

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51 minutes ago, BabyXander1990 said:

I mean, the water taxi up the Hillsborough River to Rick's or to ZooTampa, the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, the ferry from Tampa to St. Pete in the fall...Even going to Flea Markets...and maybe seeing a dirt track race at East Bay Raceway...

Funny that you mentioned Flea-Markets. It's not seen in the story, but going to Flea-Markets, Swap Meets, Farmer's Markets, and Yard Sales is something Adam and Duncan enjoy doing as a couple. For most of a chapter, in TC3 they are at one while Rob and Jer are home together. Currently, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 are in the editing queue with @Kitt. Lord, I don't know how she does it. Working a hard full-time job, almost seven days a week, and then comes home to family. On top of all that she volunteers her time to edit, not only for me but for several others too. We all flooded her with submissions at the same time. :blushing:  Chapter 4 is about halfway done.

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On 8/7/2018 at 12:12 AM, BHopper2 said:

Funny that you mentioned Flea-Markets. It's not seen in the story, but going to Flea-Markets, Swap Meets, Farmer's Markets, and Yard Sales is something Adam and Duncan enjoy doing as a couple. For most of a chapter, in TC3 they are at one while Rob and Jer are home together. Currently, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 are in the editing queue with @Kitt. Lord, I don't know how she does it. Working a hard full-time job, almost seven days a week, and then comes home to family. On top of all that she volunteers her time to edit, not only for me but for several others too. We all flooded her with submissions at the same time. :blushing:  Chapter 4 is about halfway done.

 

How about racing at East Bay... the place is nice... I admit it, I'm a racing fan... I even go to Derby Lanes for greyhound racing and Tampa Bay Downs for horse racing and then Clearwater for the Boat racing...

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12 minutes ago, BabyXander1990 said:

How about racing at East Bay... the place is nice... I admit it, I'm a racing fan...

I can watch it, but I'm not really into it. I do like this Japanese car show where they would race two cars, first to see who has the faster quarter, and then they go full out for top speed. I have an acquaintance who goes over there for the Tokyo Auto Salon every year, and he'll record the shows and the car show.

 

I noticed you said trains... There will be train travel in the first chapter of TC4.

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6 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

I can watch it, but I'm not really into it. I do like this Japanese car show where they would race two cars, first to see who has the faster quarter, and then they go full out for top speed. I have an acquaintance who goes over there for the Tokyo Auto Salon every year, and he'll record the shows and the car show.

 

I noticed you said trains... There will be train travel in the first chapter of TC4.

 Union Station is nice, I love how it backs into the station... Ever see it? I watched it a few times, since the tracks are behind my job...

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1 minute ago, BabyXander1990 said:

 Union Station is nice, I love how it backs into the station... Ever see it? I watched it a few times, since the tracks are behind my job...

Yes. I've been on it a few times, too. They really need to make the train service more viable.

So, you work in Ybor?

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