Vann Turner ~ Author

~~ Tales of the Human Heart in Ancient Rome
& in our LGBT Communities. ~~



Readers, I welcome your email.    
         Write and you'll hear back. Promise.

Sometimes Lovin' is Hurtful

Sometimes a man's dream of wife and family evades his grasp.

Sometimes Lovin' is Hurtful is an emotionally explosive novel, at times gritty, at times lyrical.
In the gritty opening scenes Robert Newell--with head-turning good looks--severs his Man-Toy relationship with Carmen
and returns to the land of his childhood, the South. He hopes he might obtain his dream there.
He acknowledges his is a humble dream, the common dream of Everyman,
the dream of wife and family.

An idyllic interlude follows. It is spent with a blind old schoolmarm in rural Missouri.
Bob and Mrs. Sloan need each other, but she sends him away that he might find his future in wife and family, in providing and caring.
"My first name is Ethel, in case you have a little girl."

In Atlanta a Marine from Vietnam pummels him in a beer joint and tosses him onto the sidewalk.
Homely gay Blaine encounters the hunk there, and with ulterior motives stops to help him home.

Over weeks a sort of friendship develops. On again.
Mostly off again.
But eventually they manage to make a home together.
And together they celebrate the negligible milestones of their lives, straight and gay.
But then bullets need to be fired. "Hands can do a lot of things, Reggie. Like building, like destroying."

The murder becomes a cause celebre for special interest groups. It is not a cause celebre for Bob.
It is the closing of his life. Outside the walls of Florida State Prison police assemble in riot gear.
Inside it is quiet as Bob talks with a chaplain.
Realization comes. Then visions.
And Bob joins Blaine as they continue their lives together.

Sometimes is an emotionally explosive mainstream novel on gay themes.
Whether you are man or woman, straight or gay, it will grip your soul.

Vann Turner's
Sometimes Lovin' is Hurtful
432 pages, 107,000 words
Paperback (ISBN: 978-0999858318), eBook (ISBN: 978-0999858363)
and Audiobook (ISBN: 978-0999858332)

Sometimes as eBook or Paperback

A free 30% sample is offered at most retailers.


Print-on-Demand by Ingram

Sometimes as AudioBook ~ Christopher Boucher, Narrator


To Forestall the Darkness

An idealist--spurned by his wife, taunted by the people and
more pagan than Christian--struggles against brutal overlords.

AD 589. In the Sixth Century Italy had been depopulated by plague and laid waste by decades of war.
Industry, agriculture, commerce and city life had all stopped.
Into this desolation the Germanic Lombards had come marching in, meeting no resistance.
Decades later, with things unimproved,
a new King appoints Titus Tribonius as his Chief Jurist for Roman Matters.

Titus, an upright man but more pagan than Christian,
seeks to protect the native Romans from the brutality of their overlords.
He has little success because the King had given him the responsibility for them
but not the authority to act.

It's a difficult time for Titus.
His wife's excessive piety shields her from his embrace.
The Romans despise him for being in cahoots with the Lombards
and he can't insult the King by resigning his office.

A friend's public castration on the cathedral steps compels him to act. But how?
Armed rebellion would be foolhardy and only increase the people's agony.
He decides on a course of action and pursues it.
After some success, his idealism rashly prompts him to free his four hundred slaves.
The Lombards see this as an attempt to undermine the very foundations of their State.
Charges are brought against him.

In this novel, Vann Turner bears witness to the dreams we cherish,
the difficulties we face and the courage we must summon when society threatens what we hold dear.

To Forestall the Darkness: A Novel of Ancient Rome, AD 589
Historical Fiction
612 pages, 158,000 words.
Third Edition, Nov 11, 2017
Paperback (ISBN: 978-0999858301), eBook (ISBN: 978-0999858387)
A free 30% sample is offered at most retailers.


Print-on-Demand by Ingram

To Abandon Rome

A RAGE that must be kept caged until the moment comes to release it.

This is a tale of the human heart in Ancient Rome.

It is about a RAGE that must be kept caged until the moment comes to release it.
It is also about the woman who must sit by and watch it happen.

Amid political machinations, the story focuses on two characters. The first is Titus.
An educated man and former Chief Magistrate to the Lombard King, he has been banished
and has sought refuge in Rome where he finds himself reduced to baking clay and lime in furnaces.
Only camaraderie with the lowest commoners softens his loss of all he had and loved.

Unknown to him the powerful are vying for position one against the other with Titus central to their schemes.
One of those factions lifts him out of the brick factory and appoints him to a minor office.

A letter from Titus's wife in distant Verona finds its way to him.
In it she confesses to being raped and names her defiler: the King's Master of Horse.
Titus's heart explodes with RAGE.

The other focus of the story is Adria.
Unmarried, she is a middle--aged woman who teaches flute to support herself.
She had first spied Titus when, at the close of the workday, he would sit in the Ad Elephantos district
and read aloud to the assembled workmen and their children.
When the plague struck him, she nursed him back to health and back to the brick factory.
On his appointment to the Aedileship, she stayed with him as chaste companion and helpmate.

When word arrives that the Lombard forces were amassing for a siege of the city,
rustics stream into its walls for safety. Providing for them falls to Titus.
A senator with Germanic connections orders Titus to use his popularity with the people
to get them to clamor for letting the King enter the city.
On the opposite side, the Pope--loyal to the Emperor--appoints him Consul
and charges him with a spirited defense.

Titus sees detriment to the people in both of those courses.
He discards them. As Consul with Plenary Powers he pursues his own course:
"We'll wait out the siege within the walls."
He knows his decision will jeopardize his life once the immediate crisis has passed.

The siege befalls. In a meeting to negotiate a truce, Titus's two personal adversaries face him:
First there is the King who had stripped from him all that he loved.
And then there is the King's Master of Horse who--in Titus's absence--
had defiled his wife, his Little Flower. It was the moment for RAGE.
Adria was there, strong Adria in disguise as a man--Adria who loved him,
Adria looking on with dread.

In this novel Vann Turner continues his poignant exploration of the human heart,
how closely we bind, how the world seeks to sever,
and how we all need the courage to defend what is most dear.

To Abandon Rome, AD 593
Historical Fiction
342 pages, 85,000 words.
Paperback (ISBN: 978-0999858325), eBook (ISBN: 978-0999858370)
A free 30% sample is offered at most retailers.


Print-on-Demand by Ingram

The maps of the city of Rome in *Abandon* cannot be adequately displayed
in an eBook because the map and legend cover left and right pages.
This necessitated the eBook edition to have simplified maps.
You may view, enlarge and/or download the full maps here (PDF format):
Map of Rome
Map of Rome's Northern Regions

a short-read

The Marine, the Lady & the Hag: An Adult Fable.

This loss of innocence fable is set in New York City at the height of the Vietnam war.
In it an idealistic Marine confronts the horrors that await him
and glimpses the societal structures that enable those horrors and are indifferent to them.
It's a gripping good read (only 3000 words).
eBook (ISBN: 978-0999858349)



Biographical note

Although author Vann Turner was born in West Palm Beach, FL, he cannot call that home.
He attended thirteen different schools, in thirteen different locales, before he graduated from Pensacola High School in 1966.
His parents thought the best graduation present would be a suitcase. Vann took the hint and left.
By tending bar and cooking he earned his BA in English (Latin minor).

He went on to teach high school one year, became an avid backpacker, did a stint in the Army,
was domestic chef to British nobility in Greenwich, CT, became an amateur bodybuilder,
used his medic training to work in hospitals, then went on to transcribe medical dictation using WordPerfect 5.1.
During this time he wrote three gay short stories. The first magazines he sent them to bought them.
Maybe he could tell a story and had something to say besides.

He then began working on his first novel, completing it in 1992. That novel came close to acceptance by a major publisher,
but in the end it was no cigar. He told himself he needed to write full time, but he needed an income so he could quit his job and write.
If he had something to sell on that new fangled thing, the World Wide Web, that'd provide the income he needed.

So he learned coding. He wrote and sold medical transcription software, MedPen, on the internet.
But that decision did not pan out as he had hoped. It sapped all his time and creativity and
he wrote not a word of fiction until he sold the business in September, 2009.

The next day his long-time partner (and future husband when it became legal in 2014) asked him what he was going to do with his time.
He said he was going to write. Bob nodded approvingly and asked him to dust off that 1992 novel.
Vann responded that he had other stories to tell as well and he was going to write a novel set after the fall of Rome
but before the solid onset of the Dark Ages, a time ripe with conflicts, Roman tradition versus Germanic custom,
Christianity versus the old gods, the human heart struggling against itself and external constraints.

Vann has always been a shy person and now is something of a recluse in his mountain home with his dogs.
(His husband passed in May of 2017.) He is not on Facebook or Twitter.
You see, the mindless and anonymous blather there gives him the heebie-jeebies.
But he loves interacting with people one on one. So if you'd like to send him an email, he will answer you.


copyright 2019 Vann Turner DBA Feather Books