Strange and beautiful
Are the stars tonight
That dance around your head
In your eyes I see that perfect world
I hope that doesn't sound too weird
And I want all the world to know
That your love's all I need
All that I need
And if we're lost
Then we are lost together
Yeah if we're lost
We are lost together
My first novel, A Boy at the Edge of the World (2018) introduces our main character Daniel Garneau who moves to Toronto with his best friend Karen to attend university. In the big city, he navigates a series of misadventures in dating and relationships, before meeting his boyfriend David Gallucci. Tales from the Bottom of My Sole (2020), and The B-Side of Daniel Garneau (coming fall 2023) complete a three-book series following Daniel's tragicomic explorations of queer desire, intimacy, sex and love.
My writing is inspired in part by my own life experiences moving to Toronto, and my work as an LGBTQ+ counsellor. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of young queer and trans men, from all walks of life – sharing stories of awkwardness and confusion, joy and discovery. At the heart of all these experiences, is the search for family and belonging.
Toronto itself plays a central role in this narrative, offering spaces and opportunities unique to this city. Nowhere else can you find such a diversity of people, cultures and communities. Toronto’s ramshackle neighbourhoods, dive bars and hipster cafes, theatres and clubs form a 21st century backdrop that is both quintessentially Canadian and universal.
In media and culture, too often the camera pans away from moments of gay intimacy. It was important for me to offer a literary realism that stayed the course -- one that was affirming, honest and revelatory. By also keeping to a minimalist, documentary language, I hoped to actively engage readers in creating the story, one enlivened by their own personal, subjective meaning.
In structuring these novels, I observed how people share their lives through Facebook and Instagram. What if I were to translate this form of story-telling into narrative prose? So Daniel’s adventures are recounted in the first person, and begin with his statement: “I could remember that moment as easily as turning a page in a photo album...”
I’ve called Daniel’s story a “confabulated fictional memoir.” Of course, the autobiographical works of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs were also influences. But what was most important to me was to capture the adventure, levity and wonder of young adulthood. (There is enough gay-themed literature that is grim, sardonic or tragic.) I hope you may love Daniel's story as much as I do, and join him on his strange and beautiful self-discovery... at the edge of the world. ~DKY