Halloween is gone. Winter is creeping closer. The world is slowly going to sleep for a fourth of the year.

It’s the time of year when everything seems to hibernate and life becomes quiet and I find myself asking the same question I ask every year.

Why do I write?

Honestly, I’m not sure I have an answer for that anymore. I’ve expunged the voices from my head. I’ve told dozens of the stories I’ve been dying to tell. And I’ve brought forth creations that will still be here, regardless of their popularity, when I am gone. I’ve done The Thing™.

But that’s not my final word on the question. Even if I don’t have a definitive answer to the question, I have thoughts.

So…wanna hear me ramble again?

When I released my first book, JUST A DUMB SURFER DUDE, it was a fun, romantic, sweet little story about teenage love in an elite private high school. It explored my love of close, healthy father/son relationships and close friendships between the male of the species, but it was mainly about the love story. As the trilogy continued, I probably hit on a few other social and existential issues that were swirling in my brain…but it was about the love story.

The next book, GAVIN’S BIG GAY CHECKLIST, was pretty much the same.

I’m proud of those books, even if GAVIN is no longer in print. They started me on my path toward other books that I’m even more proud to have written.

Were they my most eloquently written stories that displayed what I’m capable of as a writer? Well…no. But I think they were sweet, fun, and entertaining stories. I loved the fuck out of writing them.

They served their purpose. And I hope SURFER is enjoyed by more readers in the years to come.

Presently, I find myself comparing those early books to my recent work.

My most recent works are different. I’m different. The world is different.

Would I write and release SURFER now?

I honestly don’t know.

Because now, I feel that I’m at my best when I’m writing about things that hit on and explain something deep inside of me that is dying to be let out. Something beyond those character voices in my head and the stories they whisper to me.

Let me take this moment to be thoroughly honest about Chase Connor vs. Real Life Me.

My online persona is very much who I am. But it’s such a small piece of me. It’s my funny, gregarious, sassy, silly side. It’s the “buy my books, you’ll love them!” side.

But the other parts of me come out more and more…the more I write.

Publicly–even in real life–I’m an extremely shielded person. I’m shy until I get to know people. I keep my life private. I don’t share my thoughts on a lot of things. I think I’m great at small talk–or chit-chat about the strange and unusual–and can be friendly and fun.

Rarely do I bare myself naked to others. People usually get one side of me. The silly, nearly perpetually upbeat Twitter guy, or shielded demure guy. Both of those sides of me are publicly acceptable veneers for everything else that makes me…me.

So…maybe writing means so much to me now because it has become the one place where I can truly be naked. I can explore my thoughts on topics that matter to me. It’s a safe place where I can explore why a bully is a bully. Why evil exists. What true kindness can do. I am safe to explore my deepest thoughts on spirituality, sexuality, gender identity, family, friendships, social issues, and love.

Does anything I write provide me with answers and solidify my beliefs? No. But it gets me closer to something that smells vaguely of truth.

And it lets me bear parts of myself I would never dare to expose to anyone except for a handful of people that are closest to me.

I can be all parts of me. All at once. I feel weightless and endless when I write now. Because it has become my safe place where I don’t fear if the thing I say or think is going to invite someone too far into my space.

Because they’re merely fiction books, after all…

So, like most beliefs and ideals in life, why I write is a creature that morphs from season to season, year to year. It’s evolving all of the time. Maybe, next year, I’ll feel differently.

I welcome that. I guess we’ll see what comes, right?

Having said all of that–and if you’ve read along this far–my next book has to be something light and happy. That would make writer me and regular ole me happy.

But I don’t want to release a book just to release a book anymore. I still have that part of me that wants to make sure that if I’m going to lay myself bare…if I’m going to get naked…I want it to mean something.

So…let’s see where 2023 takes us?

Tremendous Love & Thanks,