Changing Planes is my first title from Loose Id, and has its roots in my return flight from the GayRomLit convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October 2012. The flight attendant's sense of humor made flying a lot more enjoyable, and I knew I had to use him as a character in a story. (And I told him so.) He became Colin Traynor, the love interest in Changing Planes, an M/M contemporary romance novella.
The official release date for Changing Planes was June 4, and you can find it on the Loose Id website. Here is the blurb and a short excerpt to whet your appetite:
For two years, Oliver Sheehan has been in a long-distance relationship with Sophia. Now he’s traveling from Boston to Sacramento for their wedding. But the trip doesn’t go as planned. On the flight out, Oliver meets Colin Traynor, a flight attendant with a wicked sense of humor who captures Oliver’s attention. And in Sacramento, Sophia announces that she’s fallen in love with someone else–a woman at her office.
Oliver returns to Boston and resumes his single life, but he doesn’t want to be single. He wants Colin, and through texts and video chats, he learns Colin wants him too. Is Oliver ready to changes his plans and bring Colin into his life?
The plane took off, and Oliver closed his eyes and breathed deeply. The plane would go up, level out, and stay in the air all the way to California. It would probably hit some turbulence, which was nothing more dangerous than a bumpy road. He would be just fine.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard flight three-seventy-five, Chicago, Illinois to Sacramento, California. I’m Colin, and I’ll be one of your flight attendants today. The others don’t matter.”
Startled, Oliver opened his eyes as the passengers around him laughed uncertainly. Colin stood at the front of the cabin, grinning broadly. “We’ll be serving snacks and drinks a bit later. I promise they aren’t poisoned, though they might taste like it.”
More laughter this time. Oliver joined in. Colin’s humor put him at ease, which was almost certainly Colin’s intention. He’d probably dealt with tons of nervous passengers. Or maybe he’d just gotten bored giving the same spiel over and over.
“In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask may drop from the compartment above you,” Colin said. “If it hits you in the head, it will hurt like hell.” More laughter as Colin took a demonstration mask out of the cupboard beside him. “Secure it this way, and don’t worry about how you look in it. We won’t take pictures.”
He put the mask on and took it off again. “If you’re traveling with a small child or someone who needs assistance, secure your mask before theirs. You won’t be a whole lot of help if you’re gasping like a fish on the floor.”
Oliver was laughing harder than the comments actually warranted, and he knew it was partly due to anxiety. But the guy was also just plain funny. He should have been on a stand-up comedy stage instead of wasting his talent on this plane.
“If we crash over water, your seat cushion will double as a flotation device,” Colin said. “If we crash over land, you’ll be pretty much screwed.”
At that, the passengers laughed so loudly Colin had to stop talking. He just smiled until the noise subsided, then went on to talk about seat belts, flight magazines, and the location of the restrooms. At the end, the passengers applauded. Definitely not the usual reaction to flight instructions. Then again, Colin obviously wasn’t the usual flight attendant.
“The captain’s telling the flight crew to sit down for a few minutes because we’re about to hit some turbulence,” Colin said. “Not to worry. He knows what he’s doing. We hope.”
The laughter this time wasn’t quite as loud, though Colin was still clearly joking. He smiled and nodded. “Yeah, yeah, time to be serious. Thanks, folks. You’ve been a lovely audience. Please make sure your seat belts remain fastened until the light goes out, and as soon as the captain gives us the go-ahead, we’ll come around to take your drink orders.”
The flight crew took their seats near the cockpit entrance, and the passengers turned back to their distractions, though there was a hum of conversation that hadn’t been present before. Colin’s comedy routine had put everyone in a better mood. Even Oliver, who now wished he could fly again just to listen to Colin more.