Let’s welcome Ofelia Grand today, to talk about her new release, Quinny, Focus! about love in the time of social distancing!
Thank you for having me here today. I thought I’d swing by and talk a little about my newest release, Quinny, Focus!
2020 Happened and the World Changed
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna get political. We all know what state the world is in, we’re all suffering in one way or another, and we’re all trying to cope with the situation at hand. For me personally, the pandemic has meant a lot more time to write than normal since I only work a handful of hours a week at my day job—if that. It is what it is, and I’m blessed. I’m a writer which means, for a few hours every day, I escape reality and live in whatever world I’m creating. Normal years, I write a lot of paranormal stories, and I’ve written some this year too, but I’ve mostly written contemporary—contemporary like it was in 2019. I’ve comforted myself by dropping my characters into a world that’s familiar to me.
With Quinny, Focus! that’s changed. JMS-Books came out with an in-house call, requesting short stories that tackle the challenge of finding love when you have to stay six feet apart.
How do you date while staying six feet apart?
I thought it would be fun to explore, so I came up with Quincy Dean, a twenty-sixyear-old man who’s lusting for his neighbour. Now, there is one thing you need to know about Quincy—he’s not the most observant person in the world. He should know better, but don’t judge him too harshly.
For a second, Quincy was at a loss for words. “You want a relationship?”
“Of course not! Have you seen the offerings out there?”
“You hang around the wrong places.”
“I haven’t left my apartment in months.”
Quincy bit his lip. “True, but when all this is over. Do me a favor and don’t go to The Blue Horse to hook up.”
The Blue Horse was a small pub with rainbow wallpaper and sculptures of two huge, blue horses by the entrance and a few blue horses, though smaller, inside. Subtle it was not, and the clientele matched the decor.
“Why? If I want to score, I know I will if I go there.”
“Yes, but it’s a risk going there without wearing bio-hazard clothing.” Quincy shot to his feet as there was movement in the window across the yard.
“Sweetheart, right now you need bio-hazard clothing wherever you go. Do you have a face mask matching your outfit?”
Quincy squinted, the sun was reflecting on the glass, but was there someone else in Will’s apartment?
Quincy raised a hand to shield the sun, but it didn’t help the reflection.
He jumped. “Yes, sorry, I’m here.”
“Ty, I need to go. I think there’s someone in Will’s apartment.” He was about to disconnect when Ty shouted at him.
He held the phone away while trying to see what Will was up to. When Ty had quieted, he brought it back to his ear. “What?”
“Don’t do anything stupid! I swear to God, you have the brain capacity of a fouryear-old.”
“I do not.” Though he pouted like one. “And what if I do? I like my men a little older than me.”
Ty snorted. “Older? Will is twenty-nine.”
The sigh traveling the line made Quincy frown.
“If you Google his address, it lists his birth date. He’s twenty-nine. You’re twenty-six, love.”
“Yes, but I look twenty-two.”
A breath-long silence followed, then Ty spoke again. “I give up.”
“What, no, you can’t give up on me.”
Ty chuckled. “Don’t do anything stupid, Quinny.”
“Stop calling me that.”
Ty made a noise, could be affirmative, but Quincy didn’t dare hope. “Does he know you live across from him?”
“I assume…” Did he, though?
“You haven’t told him?” Ty’s voice grew in volume.
“Well, I assumed… I know who he is, he must know who I am. There aren’t many people named Quincy Dean in the world, he has to know it’s me.” He frowned for a second then shook his head. Of course, Will knew it was him he was talking to. “Who flirts with strangers online?”
Ty laughed. It started like a surprised chuckle, but it grew and grew until Quincy wanted to tell him to shut up.
“Oh, dear. You are priceless.”
“Okay.” Ty blew out a breath. “Do me a favor and don’t do anything that will give him cause to call the police about a stalker in the neighboring house, okay?”
“I’m not stalking him. I just want to know if he has company over there. Why would he allow anyone inside his apartment?” He pressed his nose against the window glass and squinted at the light. “I think it’s a woman. Sure looks like long hair.”
“Quinny! Stop it.”
“But it’s soon time for our three o’clock coffee.” Was Will having coffee with someone else today? He hadn’t mentioned it when they’ve talked over breakfast.
“Sweetie, maybe it’s his sister, maybe something happened, maybe it was a surprise visit and—”
“They’re not six feet apart! He’s giving her a hug.”
Ty sighed. “As I said, maybe something happened. Maybe, there was an accident, someone in the family might have gotten…sick.”
Quincy swallowed. Shit. “Yeah, you’re right.”
“I know, I am.”
Maybe something had happened, and Will was comforting his sister. Quincy would have to be there for him now.
Quincy Dean is one lucky guy. After months of virtual flirting, he’s convinced the man of his dreams is living next door. True, they’ve never spoken face-to-face, and William Johnson has never posted a picture of himself, but how many William Johnson’s could there be? Quincy is positive the two of them would be great together. But if he’s ever going to get the chance to convince Will of that fact, he’s going to need to do it before his perfect man figures out he’s too good for Quincy’s little corner of Whiteport and disappears from his real life forever.
But how do you woo someone when you have to stay six feet apart? Direct messages are great, but they aren’t very romantic. And when Quincy begins to notice that Will’s messages don’t always match up with what he’s seeing through his blinds, he worries that even online he and his dream guy are drifting apart. Six feet or not, it might be time to ask Will out on a date.
About Ofelia Gränd
Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy. Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.
When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.