Local author introduces first novel of a Montrose-based detective series.
by Donalevan Maines
Move over, Goldilocks. There’s a new bear tale in town. In fact, it’s all over Houston, as the big-hearted burly men in Bearly Obsessed visit a number of recognizable places to solve the mystery of who killed a dear friend.
Bearly Obsessed (iUniverse, iuniverse.com) is the debut novel by Houstonian Gary W. Moore, and the first installment of what he calls the Flannel Chronicle Series.
It’s a pleasing page-turner, capturing the reader’s interest from the beginning, lovingly navigating his close-knit characters in their search for a killer, while introducing new love interests and worlds as diverse as a megachurch and an alley where gang members slink out of shadows.
Moore says he uses actual Houston locations, many of them in Montrose, “to make them more authentic.” His depiction of the bear community also brings to life a group of huggable gay men whose lifestyle might be foreign to many readers.
A striking element of Moore’s prose is that he writes in present tense. He explains, “I use the present tense because I like the reader to experience whatever’s happening at the same time the character in the book does. I feel that past tense lets the reader know in advance that things will work out.
“I’ve never written anything before this book,” he continues. “I never thought I could and never knew I had an interest. It’s now a passion that has taken over.”
Moore first envisioned shooting a pilot about a fictional group of bears for cable television. “Once I was done [writing the script], my friend said, ‘You have a book. You should publish it.’”
Since reformatting the script as a novel, Moore has written a sequel, as well as another book more than 100,000 words in length, and he’s now at work on the third installment of the Flannel Chronicles.
“They will all have a ‘situation’ that could be construed as a mystery,” he says. “However, it won’t be a murder mystery like the first one. Of course, the cops will be involved, somehow.” (Bearly Obsessed introduces readers to a gay Houston police officer named Lyndon Olsen.)
In December, Moore attended his first book signing, in Montrose. “It was funny—this straight woman with her child saw my book and stopped. She said her daughter would love this. I made sure she wasn’t talking about the six-year-old by her side,” he laughs.
Moore’s favorite character in the series is Paul. “He’s handsome, funny, sensitive, and ballsy. He’s not afraid of who he is, yet he doesn’t throw it in people’s faces. Plus, I would kill to be able to grow the beard I envision on him.”
The character of Kevin, he says, was named after actor Kevin James, star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. “He’s a bear I would love to see play any of the roles,” says Moore. “A close second” would be British actor Mark Addy, who played Dave in The Full Monty.
“A lot of friends say that Victor and Hector are me and my partner. And yes, they are right,” he says.
A native of Missouri, Moore met his partner of 10 years after settling in Houston, where Moore works as a project manager for an energy company.
As he awaits critical response and public reaction to his books, Moore quips, “I always have tissue close at hand.”
For more information and/or to purchase the book, visit flannelchronicles.com.
Donalevan Maines also profiles Brad Fraser in this issue of OutSmart magazine.