Inside the Book:
Title: You Are Here
Author: Chris Delyani
An aspiring painter, Peter scratches out a pauper’s living in San Francisco, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Instead, he finds himself getting involved with not one but two very different men.
Like Peter, getting involved with another man is the last thing on Nick Katsaris’s mind. Smart, handsome, and good-humored, Nick’s done more than just survive—he’s positively thriving in San Francisco. But when he meets Peter, what begins as fun and games quickly turns into a game he can’t control.
Miles Bettencourt’s days are filled with longing. For him, San Francisco is haunted by Stuart, his missing ex-lover. Desperate to win him back, Miles wanders the streets in the hope of running into Stuart again. Instead, he runs into Peter—the one man who might hold the key to what Miles is looking for.
These three gay men soon form one very unlikely love triangle. Sometimes, when people break apart and then come together, they learn that discovering that where you are is the key to knowing who you are.
Lonesome Dove in San Francisco
My novel You Are Here takes place in San Francisco. The action of the novel runs from November of 2008, right after U.S. presidential election, to the end of June of 2009, with the last chapter taking place in December 2010. The main characters are all gay men. So, what does this gay author count as one of his main influences in the writing of this book? Alan Hollinghurst? Patricia Highsmith? Edmund White? Good writers all, but the writer I’m thinking of, the one whose novel had made such an impression on me, is Larry McMurtry, the author of the Lonesome Dove.
I stumbled across his book by accident in a Washington, D.C., bookstore in January of 1989, when I was living in Washington on a college internship program. I’d been housed in a small apartment by myself with no telephone, no stereo, and no television. I also had no money. So to keep myself busy most evenings, I read novels. And the epically long Lonesome Dove, which I bought in paperback form for a few dollars, was exactly what I needed. Entertainment on the cheap. What I didn’t expect was a reading experience that would stay with me in the years that followed.
The story is about a cattle drive from Texas to Montana during the late 19th century. A western. What does a western have to do with my book? Absolutely nothing. But what strikes me is how much I can remember from that novel even though I read it only that one time. McCrae and Call, Clara and Lorena, Newt and Jake Spoon, Blue Duck and July Johnson—these characters were written so vividly that I still remember them now. They rose above their genre. And for a few gloomy winter weeks in Washington, D.C., a lonely college student got to ride on a cattle drive to Montana.
So the details might be different, but it was definitely in the spirit of Larry McMurtry that I set out to write You Are Here. I wrote it not only for other gay people, but for everyone. I’d like to think that someone out there who doesn’t know a thing about gay people will pick it up and read it, just as I’d picked up and read Lonesome Dove almost thirty years ago, and say to himself, “Huh. So that’s what it’s like.” That hope calls to my mind the memorable words of the gay author E.M. Forster: “Only connect.”
Meet the Author: