Character Interview with Gil Kelly of Chasing the Sun

On October 16th, the second book of The Provincetown Series Chasing the Sun releases from Dreamspinner Press. I can’t tell you how excited I am! Writing this series has been a labor of pure, unadulterated love, and I’ve been pleased by the reception the first book of the series When Love Takes Over has received. I’m glad to know that the characters and Provincetown have resonated as much with the readers as they have for me.

Even though Chasing the Sun is part of The Provincetown Series, however, it is a spin-off of When Love Takes Over. This means that for this book (and this book only) we leave Provincetown and the kooky characters we’ve come to love like Nino, Gary, Penny Poison, Quinn, and Tara and head back to Zach Kelly’s hometown of Victoria, Texas.

Why are we leaving Provincetown in a series titled The Provincetown Series?

Good question!

We’re leaving P-town because I just had to tell the story of Zach’s father. Those of you who’ve read When Love Takes Over already know that Zach and his dad have a complicated history. Chasing the Sun fills in the gaps readers might have had regarding their relationship, and we get to see the man Gil Kelly really is and not just what his son perceives him to be.

So to celebrate the upcoming release of Chasing the Sun, I’m going to be sitting down with the main characters from the novella spin off.

But before we get started, here’s the book’s blurb to give you a bit of a background:

As a physician and prominent citizen of Victoria, Texas, Dr. Gil Kelly took a hard fall when his vengeful wife revealed his infidelity with other men. Closing ranks around her, the town’s elite ostracized him, and his relationship with his children was nearly destroyed.

After spending his life focused on living for others, he has no idea how to live for himself. He wants to find love but now settles for anonymous sex that only further clouds his world with shame and guilt. Gil believes finding true love is an unobtainable dream, what his father used to call “chasing the sun.”

Then he runs into Tom Martinez, his son’s childhood best friend, who returned to town a grown man and offers everything Gil needs. But Gil hesitates to fall into Tom’s arms, because after his high-profile divorce, the potential scandal of loving a younger man could separate him from his children permanently.

Spin off of When Love Takes Over (1st Provincetown Series book)

ChasingtheSunORIGSo first up on my interview couch is none other than Gil Kelly, a fifty-something physician from Victoria, Texas.

Gil Kelly

Gil Kelly

Gil, I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your busy call schedule at the hospital to sit down and answer a few questions.

Gil: Not a problem at all. I was actually quite flattered that you were interested in interviewing me for your Internet show. What is it you call it again?

It’s “From Gay to Z.” And though I wish it were a show, it’s not. It’s a blog. But how fabulous would it be if I got my own show? I see myself on Bravo. Or ABC. I would love to be related to Sofia Vergara’s character on Modern Family.

Gil: (laughing) Who wouldn’t? She’s a beautiful woman. I’d love to be on that show too, but with my luck, I’d get cast as Ed O’Neill’s older brother.

Oh, please, you’re not old enough for such a typecast, and you know it.

Gil: (grinning) I know no such thing! Do you not see my silver hair? I’m old, and that’s okay. I embrace my age. There’s no reason not to.

Well, it’s my personal opinion that older and distinguished men are quite attractive. And the silver hair, well, excuse me for growling at you, but I find it extremely sexy. I think a lot of my readers will too. And we should all embrace our age. We are only as old as we feel.

Gil: Well, sometimes when I wake up, I feel every year that I’ve lived in my bones.

Let me ask you a question about that: do you think you are sometimes so bone weary because of your age or because of the great emotional stress you’ve been under the past five years?

Gil: Wow. You don’t pull punches do you?

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude, but I am curious. You’ve undergone a rather messy, high-profile divorce. That had to be hard on you.

Gil: (sighing) It’s been awful. Donna, that’s my ex-wife by the way, has made it her mission to make my life a living hell since our divorce. People who I thought were my friends went over to her camp. I’ve become a social pariah. And in a town of only 60,000 that makes for some pretty lonely days and nights. But I guess that’s the price I paid for pretending to be someone I wasn’t.

You mean pretending to be straight.

Gil: Yes. Back when I was growing up, being gay just wasn’t an option. You were expected to find a gal, get married, and produce as many children as possible. At least that’s what my parents wanted. Especially my dad. He was pretty hard on me. Not wanting me to hope for things I couldn’t have. Definitely more of a pragmatist while I was always more of a dreamer. He didn’t support my decision to go to college or medical school. He thought I was trying to be more than I was destined to be.

What were you destined to be?

Gil: Well, according to my dad, a working class man just like him. He didn’t believe in higher education. He put faith in his strong back. A man was a man if he got dirty and worked hard. He didn’t understand that I didn’t want that for myself. That I had a passion for medicine. He said that my dreams were like “chasing the sun.” I was after the impossible and I would never catch it.

But you did. You became a doctor even though your dad didn’t support you.

Gil: I did. And by chasing my dreams, I alienated myself from him. He said he didn’t know me anymore now that I had an education. He claimed I was somebody new. Someone he didn’t recognize.

That’s sad.

Gil: (nodding) It is. But now that I’m older and a bit wiser, I think he was worried that I’d think less of him. As if I’d see him as a worthless worker bee like so many others had seen him as. I only wished I had realized that before he passed away.

So you always had a difficult relationship with your father. Were things better between you and your children?

Gil: You would think it would be, wouldn’t you? But no. Things weren’t better for me and my kids. My daughter Sami and I were close, but that was more because her mother basically neglected her in favor of our son Zach. I tried my best to make up for that with Sami, but I never felt as if I was enough. As for Zach, well, I think Kelly males are destined to forever be at odds. No matter how I tried to reach out to Zach as a child, he resented me. Nothing I did ever seemed to be right. And truthfully, I can’t say that I blame him. I was hard on him. I wanted him to be whatever he wanted, but I think my desire to have him chase whatever sun he wanted ended up with him resenting me for pushing so hard.

What about after the divorce? Did things get worse?

Gil: Boy, did they ever! After Donna got her revenge by exposing my secret, my children were destroyed. Our relationships, which were already tenuous, dissolved almost completely. I haven’t spoken to Zach in years, and Sami, well, she tries, but I can tell her heart isn’t into it. I don’t think she will ever be able to forgive me.

And Zach? Do you think he will forgive you?

Gil: Never. Not even in a million years.

I’ve got to be honest, Gil. Your life sounds like a mess. And not even a hot mess, which can be fun. You’ve lost your family and your friends. And you intimated that you basically live as a hermit. Is that correct?

Gil: Sad but true.

Do you plan on being alone forever? Is there no light at the end of your tunnel? No sun for you to try to catch?

Gil: To be quite honest, I think the sun has set for me, Jacob. At least in terms of a normal life. Maybe one day I’ll see the light again, but I think I’ve consigned myself to the darkness. It’s not like I’m lonely all the time. Thanks to the wonders of technology, there are hookup apps and websites for men like me who are unable to sustain relationships. I might not ever find love again, but when I need it, I can at least be consoled by a stranger’s touch. While it lasts at least.

I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time. I truly am. But somehow, I don’t think you’ll live in the dark forever. The sun may sometimes set, but it always rises again. Somehow. Some way. I guarantee it.

Well, Gil, that’s all the time we have today. Thank you again for stopping by and sharing a bit of yourself with me and my readers.

2 thoughts on “Character Interview with Gil Kelly of Chasing the Sun

  1. I felt so bad for Dr. Kelly. I too am in my 50s and went through a divorce (for different reasons) and to make a long story short I could in some ways identify with him. I suspect his story is far more common than a lot of people would realize.

    • I agree, BJ. I’ve been there and done that as well. It’s a very difficult to come out as a gay man, especially if you are married.

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