Monday, December 7, 2015

Author Spotlight: Avery Duran

A warm welcome to Avery Duran, the creative author behind "Matzo Ball" 

About the story:

Jacob Greenberg is resigned to his quiet, single life. When his popular best friend talks him into attending a singles party, he never expects to meet his very own Prince Charming.

Excerpt from "Matzo Ball"

All of a sudden, a smooth voice said, “Excuse me.”

I turned my head toward the voice and realized it was the bartender. He was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, with short brown hair and chocolate-brown eyes. A tight black shirt showed off bulging biceps and a broad chest. The bottom of a tattoo was peeking out of his sleeve. The bar prevented my view of the rest of him, but considering how hot the top half was, I could only imagine how good he looked from the waist down. I licked my suddenly dry lips. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry to bother you, but I could use some help. Would you mind?”

“Of course not.” As I stood, I remembered my new friend. “Tara,” I said, “it was lovely to meet you. Have a happy new year!” She looked at me, shrugged, and turned to the guy on the other side to introduce herself. I had clearly broken her heart.

I walked toward the hot bartender, wondering exactly what he wanted from me. He gestured for me to follow him. His long legs moved quickly, but I didn’t mind walking behind him since it meant I could watch that tight ass move in his clinging pants. The rest of him was just as sexy as I had expected, broad shoulders tapering down into a small waist that emphasized his perfect rear. He was a little taller than I, which would make him just over six feet. We walked through a door marked “Employees only” and down a long, winding hallway. I suppressed the voice in my head reminding me this was a set-up for an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.

Finally, some sense of self-preservation emerged and I asked him, “Where are we going?”

He turned around, smiled at me, and leaned against the wall. “Here is good.”

I looked around the barren hallway, “But...what am I helping you with?”

“It’s actually more of what I helped you with.” I was stumped. I mean, the guy was hot as hell, but I was starting to feel as if I’d fallen down the rabbit hole. I really hoped he wasn’t going to try to sell me something, or rope me into a get-rich-quick scheme. The time for me to make my escape had definitely come. Pity such hotness was going to waste. “Look, buddy, I appreciate whatever you mean to do, but I’m meeting a friend and should get going.”

He started to laugh and I froze—seriously, I could not move. When he smiled, his eyes crinkled up at the corners and his whole face lit up; I had never seen anything more mesmerizing.

He put his hand out. “Wait a minute, was I reading you wrong? Because seriously, I did NOT think you were interested in giving that woman her dream of two point five kids and a white picket fence.” He put his hand on my shoulder, “C’mon, we can go back.”

“No!” I yelled, probably a little too enthusiastically.

“L-Let’s not go back.”

“Well, I have to go back if I want to get paid, but I can get you out the back door—for a price.”

“What’s the price?”

One side of his mouth kicked up. “Your number and a kiss."

Interview With Avery Duran

What inspired you to write “Matzo Ball?"

The Matzo Ball is a Christmas Eve event for Jewish Singles. When I was single & living in NYC, I attended a few times and it was always a lot of fun. When it came time to write this story I couldn’t help but think – what if a gay man ended up at a straight matchmaking event? That's how Jacob & Ian’s story was born!

What types of stories do you enjoy reading most?

I will read anything! I do get tend to get upset when my fiction does not have a happy ending. I once threw a copy of a Nicholas Sparks book over the side of a cruise ship (not far from where the Titanic went down actually), when the ending infuriated me. Real life is tough enough; I want to escape in my books. I also love non-fiction of all kinds though, and I certainly don’t expect all those books to have happy endings!

What are you currently writing about? What can readers expect from you in the future?

I am in the midst of finishing a spin off of this story, involving Jacob’s best friend, Jason. During the course of this story, I got very attached to Jason and I wanted to know if he found his true love. I also have a short story and a full length novel to finish up. I have a job and 3 young sons, so finding the time to write is my biggest challenge. Matzo Ball was the first story I ever submitted for publishing, I am just so excited to have a chance to explore this career path.

What are you afraid of?

Clowns! They terrify me with their creepy smiles and crazy eyes. I am a huge Stephen King fan, so I blame him for some of it. My house is a clown-free zone.

What are some other interesting facts about you?

My birthday is on Christmas Day and I am Jewish. It makes for interesting cards.

I am easily distracted by shiny things.

I can’t eat Chinese, Japanese or Thai food without chopsticks. It tastes weird if I use a fork.

Diet Coke is a major food group for me, I drink way too much of the stuff.

I grew up watching the Brady Bunch; Eight is Enough & Little House on the Prairie. That may account for my love of sappy endings.

I love meeting new people! Feel free to friend me on Facebook & say, “Hi!”

Thanks so much to Angora for letting me use some of her space to introduce myself!

More About Avery Duran

Avery Duran’s first book was written with crayon at 5 years old, and ended with, “They lived happily ever after.” Although she no longer uses crayons—and her spelling has improved—every story still has a happy ending. A native New Yorker, she loves to incorporate her favorite city into what she writes. Avery lives a hectic existence with her husband, three sons, and a very fat cat. When everyone goes to sleep and the house is quiet, she writes dirty stories about hot guys finding their happily ever after.

Find Avery Duran Online

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