Possibly Texas FAQs

As I threatened on Twitter a week ago, today I’m going to answer some Frequently Asked Questions about my LGBTQ+ Magical Realism novel POSSIBLY TEXAS. It dropped on March 25th, 2022 (pick up a copy or read it on Kindle Unlimited here) so it has been 3 months since its release.

It seems enough time has passed to answer some of the questions that have been asked about it.

Please, please, please keep in mind that I wrote POSSIBLY TEXAS to be open to interpretation. The answers I give are how I saw and intended things. You are still welcome to interpret the book, characters, locations, and events however you see fit. I’m totally fine with that.

***SPOILERS ALERT***

Major plot points, characters, and whatnot will be written about in this post. If you have not read POSSIBLY TEXAS, and plan to, you do not want to go any further in this blog post!

So…let’s do this! And let’s get The Big Ones™ out of the way!

Q: Is everyone in Possibly dead?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Possibly Heaven?

A: Yes. It’s Jordan’s (and the citizens of Possibly’s) heaven. In my mind, everyone who dies gets assigned to the heaven that best suits them and will help them the most. Jordan got assigned to Possibly. Maybe, one day, all of the souls in Possibly will travel up the highway that leads out of Possibly…

Q: Possibly is full of artists. You love to write about food in your books. Are there any “food artists” in Possibly?

A: I like to think that Starbuck is a “food artist.” He makes those wonderful blueberry muffins, after all! However, I did not have any specific character in mind for a food artist when I wrote it. But I’m perfectly fine with readers imagining there is one! Also, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I actually based those muffins off of real muffins I get from my favorite coffee shop!

Q: Is Emily, the girl whose name Brandon screams before jumping off of Lovelorn Pass Bridge, alive?

A: In my mind, yes. Or maybe they were separated and he’s still trying to get over her. Totally up to the readers.

Q: What was wrong with Jack that he couldn’t speak?

A: Jack is God. Humans are not meant to hear God’s voice. God tends to take a form that will help a newly dead person transition to the afterlife better.

Q: So, that means Auggie…

A: Auggie is loosely based on the mythology of the Metatron. They’re the only person in Possibly who understands God’s language, interprets for him, and teaches God’s language to others if they want to learn it.

Q: Who is Malia and why does she hang out at Bend of the Road Graveyard?

A: Malia is Death. The Grim Reaper. However you want to see her.

Q: Is Susurrus Creek like the River Styx?

A: YES! Good catch. If you notice, no one ever crosses back over Susurrus Creek once they get to Possibly. Jordan met his fate and made a decision in Susurrus Creek…just as Mystic Molly had foretold, after all…

Q: Why did Two-Mile Trail become overgrown as summer progressed? Does that mean no new souls will show up in Possibly?

A: The trail only stays open when a new soul has been assigned to Possibly and is on their way to join the other Possibilians.

Q: Where are Auggie’s parents?

A: One day, like his grandmother, they will die. And they will join him in Possibly. Or…maybe they will go to a different heaven. One day, maybe they will all end up in the same place. Only time will tell.

Q: What’s up with Windchime Hollow?

A: It’s how the dead communicate with the living. And vice versa. When the chimes make noise for a person, someone living is thinking of them or praying about them. I imagine, back in the real world, if a person is passing a wind chime and it rings for them, someone in Possibly is thinking of them or hanging an ornament on a chime in memory of them. Mystic Molly is obviously another conduit for Possibilians to check in on loved ones.

Q: What choice did Jordan have about staying in Possibly if he’s dead then?

A: Possibly is just one of the possibilities once someone dies. He could have decided he didn’t like Possibly and been sent somewhere else. To stay in Possibly–or any of the heavens–someone has to decide it is right for them.

Q: So, did Jordan’s mother just dump his dead body on the side of the road next to Two-Mile Trail??

A: This one is my favorite. The visual alone…

In my mind, there is no Two-Mile Trail in the real world. It’s just the road that shows up for a dead person’s soul when they get selected for Possibly. In the real world, Jordan died and his mother sprinkled his ashes in a place that had some significance for them–near where his stepfather, Jack, once lived. She wanted him to go be with someone they loved who had passed. The Jack in Possibly is not his real stepfather’s soul, but he expected to see Jack when he got to Possibly, so that’s the form God took.

The meaning of the name “Jack” is “God is gracious” or “God is merciful,” after all.

Q: Were Jordan’s texts from his mother real?

A: Those text messages–if you re-read them–were Jordan’s mother praying about him. Possibly at the place where she sprinkled his ashes. Sometimes Possibilians can get messages from the living, and, in their own way, Possibilians can get messages through to the living.

Q: What happens now? What do the people of Possibly do now?

A: They live happily in the afterlife, learning more about themselves, life, death, art, and peace.

Q: Will you ever write a sequel?

A: I’m glaring at you so hard right now. But never say “never.”

Q: Will you write Levi Lee’s story?

A: I’m glaring at you so hard right now. But never say “never.”

Q: Lastly, if they’re in Heaven, why are there ghosts that haunt Possibly?

A: In my mind, they’re unsettled spirits who could never really fit into any heaven and are left to wander the afterlife.

Okay. That’s it for now. I hope this helped some of you come to peace with my trickery and nonsense. HA!

If you haven’t visited Possibly, Texas, and you plan to–or maybe you have and plan to revisit it–remember, it’s quite possibly the best place to be!

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

A Tale of Two Coats

***Before you read further, please be aware that spoilers for the first book in this series might be present***

As all of you might know, the sequel to BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE comes out July 8th, 2022. Titled THE WARMTH OF OUR CLOSEST STAR, it covers the 10 years of Enzo’s life following his one perfect night in Montreal with Peter.

For the full blurb and the pre-order link, simply click on the link above for WARMTH.

Those of you who read the first book are aware that everything began with the coat made of sugar and blue clouds being stolen from a coat hook in Enzo’s ESL class above a dumpling restaurant. The first book ended with the return of that coat and Enzo finally hearing the one word he’d needed to hear from the universe.

That one word, and his one perfect night with Peter, gave Enzo the hope he needed to move forward with his life. To try and put his life back together after so much loss and grief.

How could the sequel not be about hope? And possibility? And two coats?

In the sequel, we begin with present-day Enzo in a coffee shop in Minneapolis on a gloomy, rainy, early spring day. A bundle is in his arms, and he is ruminating about his new homeland, his life, love, and what it has all meant. About who he is now.

Then we flashback to 8 years prior with Enzo on a plane that is landing. Where has he gone?

I think we all know.

Told in 4 parts, THE WARMTH OF OUR CLOSEST STAR covers Enzo and Peter reuniting after a few years apart.

Then the love affair that follows.

But love is never simple. Love is never a linear line. Life is not simple or linear.

As we flip through the 421 pages, we’ll ruminate on life, what it means to be an American, friendship, hope, possibility, death, grief, and what could possibly be the meaning of life.

In the end, maybe Enzo figures it all out. Or maybe he realizes that the more he learns the less he knows.

But there will be love. Sex. Fights. Making up. Friendship. Lots of laughs. Family. Hope. Possibility. And creation.

In the beginning, Enzo has one question.

What is a life without possibility?

In the end, Enzo has one question left.

What does he have to be happy about?

And we’ll find out what happened to a black wool peacoat and a coat made of sugar and blue clouds.

THE WARMTH OF OUR CLOSEST STAR isn’t a simple romance–because love and life are never simple. But it is a love story. An epic love story.

And I guarantee it will leave you with hope and happiness in your heart.

Also, maybe just as important, no one dies in this one…

Tremendous Love & Thanks,
Chase

Pride 2022

TW: Mentions of suicide, drug/alcohol abuse, homophobia, racism.

I’m a proud gay man. I’ve said it many times. I don’t hide my queerness. I don’t hide my marriage. I don’t hide my demi sprinkles. Technically, I’ve never been in the closet, but ever since I first realized I was gay and admitted it out loud to someone, there was no looking back.

I try to live as openly as I can without inviting strangers to feel they can intrude on my life.

One thing that I’ve never said out loud to anyone (aside from my husband and closest friends) is that I often don’t feel at home in the LGBTQIA+ community. Many times I feel like an outsider in the community of which I’m happy and proud to be a part.

Why?

I feel that looking at my own intersectionalism, a good part of my identity is ignored. Or is not welcome. I feel that when all the flags are for sale during Pride month, the Ls, Bs, Ts, and others have options and the flag that is specific to gay men is left out. I feel that if I don’t agree with the current trendy opinions of my community (which generally come from the loudest people with the most time on their hands), I am shouted down. I feel my gay and demi identities are benched and my specific ethnic identity never had a seat at the table to begin with.

I feel like discussion and debate are no longer welcome in our community.

Fall in line or you will be ostracized and treated as a blood traitor.

Or…dun dun dun… canceled.

One can’t even say: “Hold on a minute. We’re getting carried away here.” without being branded a self-hating queer or some other buzzword that literally means nothing anymore because it has been used as a means to shut people up so they won’t argue.

Our community also favors hyperbole. Slight disagreements turn into words being twisted and, suddenly, you’re the person who said you wanted someone dead when you simply didn’t agree with their opinion.

So..let me tell you two stories. One to illustrate the types of things in this community that sadden me and one to illustrate why I still have hope.

Story One.

So far this year, I have DNF’d (did not finish) two audiobooks. It wasn’t the writing that made me put them down. They were written beautifully–from what I managed to hear before dropping them.

One was by an author who was new to me but had been recommended over and over again by people in the community. The other was an author I’d been a longtime admirer of, and couldn’t wait to read their next book.

I DNF’d these two books due to racism.

One author had me about a half-hour into the audiobook before I started to realize something was…off.

The other author did something racist on the first page. Not even the first page. The dedication.

“Surely,” I said to myself, “this is a misunderstanding, and I should do a little internet research before I jump the gun here.”

Because that’s what reasonable and reasonably intelligent people do.

After looking into the issue with the first author, I found that they were aware of the issue and didn’t care. In fact, they presented themselves as a white savior type figure in interviews and op-eds about the issue.

The second author I found out wasn’t even aware why what they did would be offensive. Which forced me to think back on all of their books, wondering if I had missed their racist writing before.

In the past, had I been so ignorant to overlook these things because I loved their books so much?

Both of these authors are gay white men.

It made me wonder why so many authors are canceled for the problematic things they do, yet two of our prominent gay white male authors are given the thumbs up and adored.

Now, I’m not looking to try and cancel anyone (which is why I’m naming no names). And I don’t like talking shit about other authors (I’ll whine to my husband and besties). I don’t think these authors are racist. I think they’re ignorant. But they could improve with a little understanding of the harm they’ve caused to other marginalized peoples.

Regardless, these two situations made me feel even less welcome in this community. It made me feel sour about how our community treats marginalized ethnic and racial groups.

I was pretty sad about both situations for a while. I’m definitely not okay with it now–and I never will be–but I’ve decided to not let it occupy any more headspace.

Story Two.

The greatest (unexpected) gift I’ve gotten from writing and publishing is other queer people telling me their stories. People read my books and, suddenly, feel they know me. It makes them open up to me. It makes them want me to know them in the way they think they know me.

Complete honesty–sometimes people can be creepy. Because some people aren’t reaching out just to connect as one queer person to another. Intention matters. Luckily, the creeps are incredibly rare now.

The queer people who reach out to me and touch my heart the most are the elders. People who were teen or adult queers when things like the Stonewall Riots happened.

Recently, I got an email from an elder reader. In an email that brought tears to my eyes, I got to read about a queer person they knew who got disowned by their family, and their struggle with alcoholism and depression for over a decade before they took their life fifteen years later.

I didn’t know this person who wrote to me out of the blue to share this story. I had never spoken to or interacted with them in any way before this email. But I’m honored they trusted me with it. That they wanted to add to the pieces of our history that live in my heart and brain. I felt honored that they simply wanted to connect with me as another queer person and share something utterly human.

Grief.

Typically, long emails I get from readers have to wait until I have time to read them–though I always try to respond within 24-48 hours. However, when I glanced and saw a few lines from this email, I read it immediately. Then again. And again.

I struggled with my response (and to see my monitor through my tears), but I hope that what I sent back touched them in the way they touched me.

Regardless, this story sent to me was obviously heartbreaking. However, the sender of the email told me about all of the things they’ve tried to do for our community in the 30 years since the person’s suicide to honor their memory. To not let their family’s abhorrent behavior towards them be the defining moment of their short life.

To not let homophobia and hate win.

In some small way, it reignited my hope for, not just LGBTQIA+ people, but all of us.

I’ll forever be grateful for that email. And I will probably think of the person who sent the email, and the queer man they told me about, at least once a day for the rest of my life.

I’ll forever be honored by that email.

Why do I tell you these two stories? Because I feel that we’ve lost our way as a community. Our mission should not just simply be fighting against governments who do not want to assure we have the same rights as others. Or to try and cancel everyone who disagrees with us (over big or small things). Though we should NEVER stop fighting the government.

A big part of our mission should be to solidify our queerness as valid–regardless of race, color, creed, sex, gender, religion…we are all valid. We are a family. None of us are safe until we’re all safe.

None of us are safe if Black people are not safe. We are not safe if Muslims are not safe. We are not safe if Jews are not safe. We are not safe while women are not safe. We are not safe while Asian and Indigenous people are not safe.

You get the idea.

So…my hope for Pride 2022 is that we all reaffirm our commitment to each other. That we work to uplift each other and fight against the wrongs done to each other, even if we don’t share the same identities. Because what else is Pride for?

What do we owe each other if not the active commitment to ensure we are ALL treated equitably and equally? If we’re not fighting against racism, sexism, and bigotry of every kind, we may as well not bother worrying about hate towards our community.

That should be where we shift all of our energy starting immediately. Not these petty fights, disagreements, and the desire to cancel people over matters that…ultimately…don’t matter.

And please, if you feel safe enough to go to a Pride March or other Pride activity, look out for the queers who look out of place. They may need someone to take their hand and offer to be their Pride Buddy. It might be their first time, and the first Pride can be so scary. Be particularly mindful that our elder, disabled, and BIPOC family members are made to feel welcome and loved and have the necessary tools to participate. Be mindful that all body shapes and sizes are made to feel beautiful and worthy of love. If you’re going in a group, that’s several sets of eyes to watch out for the queers who might need love from your group to feel welcome. Organize and make a plan for how to make sure you can help those who need it.

Pride is still so integral to our community’s safety, education, and advancement. Pride is STILL a protest. But also make sure it’s the beautiful love fest it should be.

Happy Pride.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase