Lucky Stevens

Gay & Lesbian, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Author Profile

Lucky  Stevens

Lucky Stevens lives, writes and plays in exotic North America. The Duplex is his 3rd novel. It was recently released and is currently among the Top 200 E-books in the LGBT Historical Fiction category--peaking (so far;) at #5. Stevens was also a finalist in a national screenplay writing contest.

Books

The Pull Out Method

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

HOW MANY HOSTAGES DOES IT TAKE TO RUIN YOUR DAY? HIDDEN AWAY IN THE CRAWLSPACE OF A BANK DURING A ROBBERY. AN INGENIOUS GETAWAY PLAN OVERHEARD. A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME CHANCE TO GET RICH. Former criminal and air-conditioning repairman Reggie Stanchion finally appears to have gotten his life on the right track…and then today happened. On what should be a routine in-and-out job, Reggie instead finds himself stuck in the crawlspace of a bank during a violent robbery. As details of the robbers’ getaway plan unfold, the scheme seems foolproof, leading to an alluring idea: take this robbery over. Hurling into an all too familiar world he was determined to never be part of again, it doesn’t take long before Reggie’s in it deep. Shots fired. People dead. A long standoff with police. With time running out and the real bank robbers hell-bent on keeping what’s “rightfully” theirs, Reggie may be in over his head with no way out. Can he leave his former life behind him or is the temptation too great? And at this point, does he even have a choice? Whatever he decides, he’s already made some powerful enemies and now Reggie must face his most treacherous and unexpected challenge yet—getting out of the bank alive.

Book Bubbles from The Pull Out Method

The Duplex

Gay & Lesbian

"...a perfect, entertaining and exceptional novel." — Reader's Favorite

Los Angeles, 1956. Shangri-La. Palm trees, swimming pools, movie stars.  And if you’re gay—persecution. In a society that demands conformity and lockstep conventionality, gay people find out quickly and the hard way, how difficult, dangerous and downright terrifying it is to be different.  

So, when the constant fear of arrests, evictions, job loss and ridicule become too much, four gay friends and lovers pull together to hatch an ingenious scheme designed to allow them to live freely, without harassment.

But their secret plan is not without its flaws.  Internal struggles and personality conflicts conspire to make their situation harder and more life-altering than any of them could have predicted, leading to valuable and universal lessons about the high cost of blending in—or not.

Book Bubbles from The Duplex

Masquerading

Impersonation, or masquerading, was a term used for what would today be more commonly called, cross-dressing. At one time, such action was illegal. And even though the courts eventually ruled against the illegality of impersonation, things were slow to change. Not everyone--the police, or the masqueraders themselves--were always well informed on what the law was, so often the harassment continued. Also, regardless of the law, a man or woman's reputation, job, and acceptance by society was always at risk when one decided to engage in impersonation. This part of the book was written to illustrate this part of our history, and also to show how things have changed.

"Flamboyant" need not apply

I wrote this scene to highlight the fact that in the 1950s not all gays were thought of in the same way, even by friends of the gay community. The action here takes place inside a real bar called, The Windup, known for its tough-minded owner, Helen. While Helen loved "her boys", she did not have much tolerance for the "flamboyant" set. She felt they were outliers who gave all gays a bad name, and invited trouble. She was overtly rude to those she saw as "obvious", her single aim being to get them to shove off.

The "Sickness" of Homosexuality

In the 1950s most people thought of gays as being sick. It was a widely held belief even among those in the psychological field. Not surprisingly, many gays were filled with shame and doubt, quite the opposite of the "Pride" we see today. This excerpt is part of a scene I wrote to highlight those feelings of poor self-esteem and the effects such feelings could have on a person's entire being.

A Closeted Narrative

In the 1950s, gay people were forced to be hyper-aware of the autobiographical narrative they were presenting to the outside world, or even to their families and friends. Putting on a good show took precedence over the truth, and the pressure to keep it up was tremendous, and stressful. I wrote this scene to highlight that reality. Being careful, and often living a lie, in some way or another, was simply part of life for homosexuals in this era. To do otherwise was a huge gamble, often leading to humiliation, arrest and loss of one's job and home.

Dating "Lavender" Style

This is part of a scene that illustrates what it was like for multiple couples to engage in what was called, "lavender dating." This ritual was a common practice among gay people during a time when homosexuality was illegal. Two or more same sex couples would go out together, sit boy-girl, and generally behave as if they were a group of heterosexual couples. This was really the only way gay couples could go out for dinner and dancing "together." What I find interesting was the camaraderie, the way gays and lesbians helped each other in their common plight, and especially the way they made the most of their situation. They had fun with it--knowing what society expected, they played up their heterosexual roles to the hilt.

Cops and Gays 1950s

In the mid-fifties being gay was illegal. The punishment for committing this "crime" was often jail, and loss of one's career and friends. In short, it was the fast track to becoming a social pariah. Chapter One begins with Cliff Lonigan's experience with entrapment. He's the kind of guy who just "can't" go to jail for homosexuality and would do anything to get out of it.

"Even My Own Lawyer..."

Because of their own concern for how the public would see them, many lawyers stayed away from the business of defending homosexuals. In the 1950s it was akin to representing pedophiles or sexual perverts. Because of this, those accused of the "crime" of homosexuality had to take what they could get in the way of representation. This often meant being represented by a lawyer who was gay himself, whose business it was to take the cases of scared homosexuals and charge them a hefty fee due to the "vice-like" situation. In a classic racket, these attorneys were sometimes even in cahoots with dishonest cops such that the "crime" of homosexuality was being used as a money making operation by the unscrupulous.

"The Fruit Tank"

This scene is part of a bigger episode of the storyline. I wrote it to illustrate the fear, humiliation and indignity involved in being busted by the police for simply exercising one's right to live the way one wished. After arrest, many gays ended up in what was called "The Fruit Tank," a section reserved for "deviates" at the Lincoln Heights Jail. Being arrested for a sex crime, such as homosexuality, was often just the beginning. Such an arrest often led to family and societal ostracization, job loss, and eviction from one's place of residence. The severity of this situation will not be lost on small-town boy, Jerry Ripley, in this scene.

Impersonation

Impersonation, or masquerading, was a term used for what would today be more commonly called, cross-dressing. At one time, such action was illegal. And even though the courts eventually ruled against the illegality of impersonation, things were slow to change. Not everyone--the police, or the masqueraders themselves--were always well informed on what the law was, so often the harassment continued. Also, regardless of the law, a man or woman's reputation, job, and acceptance by society was always at risk when one decided to engage in impersonation. This part of the book was written to illustrate this part of our history, and also to show how things have changed.

Being "Obvious" Could Be Quite Unpopular

I wrote this scene to highlight the fact that in the 1950s not all gays were thought of in the same way, even by friends of the gay community. The action here takes place inside a real bar called, The Windup, known for its tough-minded owner, Helen. While Helen loved "her boys", she did not have much tolerance for the "flamboyant" set. She felt they were outliers who gave all gays a bad name, and invited trouble. She was overtly rude to those she saw as "obvious", her single aim being to get them to shove off.

Homosexuality as a Mental Disorder

In the 1950s most people thought of gays as being sick. It was a widely held belief even among those in the psychological field. Not surprisingly, many gays were filled with shame and doubt, quite the opposite of the "Pride" we see today. This excerpt is part of a scene I wrote to highlight those feelings of poor self-esteem and the effects such feelings could have on a person's entire being.

Chapter One+

THE DUPLEX is a thrilling tale, set in 1950s L.A., of four gay friends who hatch a daring scheme to live life on their own terms, during a time of systemic governmental persecution. My book will be available on Amazon starting 5/12/20 and I hope you will check it out. Each chapter is narrated by one of the four main characters. Please enjoy the first chapter+ of THE DUPLEX!

New to Hollywood

I wrote this part of the book to illustrate what it was like for newcomers to Hollywood in the middle of the last century. Notice the train travel, and the fact that this particular character was from a small town. Hollywood was a whole new world for these farm boys and farm girls. In that sense, Hollywood then, was much like today. On another note, part and parcel of living in L.A., if you were gay back then, was being forced to deal with a very aggressive police force, led by Police Chief "Wild Bill" Parker. Powerful forces, like Parker, were determined to clean Los Angeles up for "decent citizens."

Living a Lie

In the 1950s, gay people were forced to be hyper-aware of the autobiographical narrative they were presenting to the outside world, or even to their families and friends. Putting on a good show took precedence over the truth, and the pressure to keep it up was tremendous, and stressful. I wrote this scene to highlight that reality. Being careful, and often living a lie, in some way or another, was simply part of life for homosexuals in this era. To do otherwise was a huge gamble, often leading to humiliation, arrest and loss of one's job and home.

Lavender Dating

This is part of a scene that illustrates what it was like for multiple couples to engage in what was called, "lavender dating." This ritual was a common practice among gay people during a time when homosexuality was illegal. Two or more same sex couples would go out together, sit boy-girl, and generally behave as if they were a group of heterosexual couples. This was really the only way gay couples could go out for dinner and dancing "together." What I find interesting was the camaraderie, the way gays and lesbians helped each other in their common plight, and especially the way they made the most of their situation. They had fun with it--knowing what society expected, they played up their heterosexual roles to the hilt.

Entrapment

In the mid-fifties being gay was illegal. The punishment for committing this "crime" was often jail, and loss of one's career and friends. In short, it was the fast track to becoming a social pariah. Chapter One begins with Cliff Lonigan's experience with entrapment. He's the kind of guy who just "can't" go to jail for homosexuality and would do anything to get out of it.

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