It was with distinct pleasure and tremendous privilege that I read an advance copy of A.J. DeWall’s Forever Man, soon to be published by Interlude Press. I was an early and frequent commenter on the story that started it all, Someone Like You, by IconicKlaine, and I know I speak for so many people when I say that the original story was a game changer. It was beautifully written, lush in its descriptions of people and places, and dotted with wonderful cultural references that drew us all in. There is a reason that it is considered among the best of the best in the world of Klaine fanfiction.
Forever Man retains the magic of the original story and reimagines it through new eyes. Ren Warner is an interior designer relegated to the desert of Santa Fe to decorate the home of a Manhattan socialite. Cole McKnight is a record producer for the international superstar, Alegra, in town to record her latest soon-to-be smash album. Old friends for more than a decade, Ren and Cole run into one another in a Santa Fe hotel bar by chance (or is it fate?) and come face-to-face with a 14 year flirtation that may finally have reached its boiling point. Both carry with them obligations and commitments - to other people, different continents – so will this magical time in this magical city be just a brief moment, or will it represent the moment that changed everything? The community of friends and strangers that they meet in Santa Fe change their lives and ours as readers.
This story is really two love stories interwoven to create one unforgettable tale. The love between Ren and Cole is powerful; the longing that they feel for all that might have been is palpable and the sense that their union was inevitable pervades the story. The story is also a love letter to the city of Santa Fe. The imagery of the landscape, local customs and rituals, and the inclusion of actual Santa Fe locales make this book part romantic novel, part travelogue. It has very much instilled in this reader a deep desire to visit Ren and Cole’s Santa Fe!
I cannot recommend Forever Man highly enough and cannot wait to see what else A.J. DeWall has in store!
You’ll see I’m wearing black now; I’m very accustomed to it.
But at one point while I was helping with all the auditions, I’d worked with Ryan Murphy. He was always interested in who the person really was, not in how they interpreted his character—he wanted to change the writing to match them. And so I thought, musically, let’s do the same thing. When they’re doing a song, let’s make it so that it’s from them—they’re singing from character; vocal considerations are second. And I think that worked for Ryan; I mean, it helped him find his people.
And at one point he just turns to me and says, ‘Get used to wearing…black.’ Right? So I thought, well, the guy always looks great; he’s a fashion maven, so I may as well.
Well, the next day we’re bringing in people who are auditioning for Jenna Ushkowitz’s part, and I’m dressed head to toe black. And eventually he notices that, and he’s like, ‘Not NOW. When you’re on the SHOW.’ And I said, oh, so not at the meetings; just when—why would I be on the show?
And I thought, ‘I know why he wants me on the show; I make everyone so comfortable when they’re singing; that’s why he wants me.’ And it might be, but his first note was, ‘You hate ALL of them. You hate the teacher, you hate the students, you hate minorities, you hate women.’
So in my own little head….for me, I consider that my character has had an arc from hating everyone to grudging acceptance. Because directors come in and they have no idea that that’s the one major note that I have, and they go like, ‘You should laugh at that; you should think that’s funny.’ And I’m thinking, ‘But, but Ryan said….oh, okay,alright.’ So I consider that an arc.
They asked Curt and Dominic about filming the klaine proposal and Dominic said he got SO emotional because it was groundbreaking and really close to his life. They said it was incredible to see Darren completely transform into Blaine and it was one of the first times when he’d really felt like he was his character. It was like seeing a friend get engaged!
We’re freaking out they loved it so much!!