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500 Miles by The Proclaimers <- Click here for the song

Someone asked me for some details about how 500 Miles came into being.

MLR Press did a story call for an anthology called “Mixed Tapes”. My original story choice, Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us”, but that had already been claimed. Then I remembered this little ditty and a story idea came into my head. I contacted Kris Jacen from MLR and asked if it was available. She said it was. So I sat down and started writing about Mark, the young man who is in love with his brother’s best friend.

The story took on a life of its own. The characters told me which way they wanted to go and I had no choice but to follow where they led me.

This was the very first time I’d ever seen a contract, blurb request form, and the like from a publisher. It was a daunting process, but Ms. Jacen was very patient with me. She was very helpful in keeping my nerves under control and I’m grateful for that. (She took my virginity as it were…)

So now I’m walking amongst some of the biggest names in m/m literature today: Laura Baumbach, Ally Blue, Kendall McKenna  J.P. Bowie, Karenna Colcroft, Taylor V. Donovan, S.J. Frost, Kaje Harper, K-Lee Klein, J.L. Langley, Z. A. Maxfield, Willa Okati, D.H. Starr, Haley Walsh, and so many other people. It’s severely overwhelming. Each of these people has written one or more books that are on my favorites list and I keep asking myself how could I ever be in their presence?

This journey, which I thought I would never be on, just keeps getting better and better.

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By Parker Williams

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