Parallel Lines Launch Day!

Written by Mark McElroy

Today, my first novel, Parallel Lines, launched as an ebook, a paperback, and a hard cover edition on If you’re curious as to whether this is the Atlanta-based gay sci-fi romcom for you, I’ve got sample chapters and more here on the website. You can also purchase a copy from

When I was ten years old, I announced to my parents that I wanted to be an author. They responded by buying me a sky-blue Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter! I wrote dozens of (very bad) short stories on it, and even used it to typeset several issues of a (very bad) science-fiction fan magazine.

When I was twenty years old, I went to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and earned an M.A. in creative writing under Dr. Frederick Barthelme. That program beat the preciousness out of my writing and made me a stronger, sharper writer. That was also about the time I sold my first piece of writing — a (very bad) comic book script!

Over the next several decades, lots of good things happened. When I was almost thirty, I left the church of my childhood, came out, and met my wonderful husband, Clyde. I wrote and commercially published seven non-fiction books. And about that same time, I began writing and producing corporate video scripts … and those talents eventually took me to rare and exciting positions at SkyTel and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where I wrote everything from training manuals to presentations to officer speeches to movie scripts.

Thanks to a mix of procrastination and self-sabotage … the novels I’d imagined writing just never happened. I started them, but I never finished them. Today, the hard drive of my MacBook Pro is littered with dozens of half-finished and incomplete works of art.

Even so, when I started writing Parallel Lines, I knew this book would be different. First: this was the first time I allowed myself to write stories with strong, openly gay characters who speak and act like real people. Second: I felt a passion for this story that was strong enough to carry me through almost a full year of daily writing. And third: a part of me absolutely had to see this novel through. I wanted to write those final words, to complete the work, and see Thomas and his friends through to the end of an amazing adventure.

I couldn’t have done it without a lot of support — from Clyde, from good friends (like Heather Truett), and many others. And now … the book is here!

I can promise you: as proud as I was of some of those non-fiction books and corporate video scripts, nothing –nothing! — comes close to the pride I’m feeling today.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story. I thank you for reading it, gifting it to others, and sharing the word about it with your own friends, family, and social network. I really, really hope Parallel Lines finds its audience — or connects with just one reader who loves it.

But in my mind, Parallel Lines is already a success … because I finished it. I completed the work. After forty years, I finally did what a little kid in Anniston, Alabama, set out to do: I finished and published a novel I love.

If you can, don’t let fifty years go by without achieving your own dream. And even if you have waited decades to fulfill that dream … please let the release of Parallel Lines inspire you to realize it’s never too late to pursue and capture this kind of joy. You can do this. You really can.

I hope you’ll enjoy the book. If you pick up a copy, please let me know … and please remember that leaving an honest review on is like sending me a bar of solid gold!

About the author

Mark McElroy

I'm a writer and professional facilitator. I'm the author of a dozen or so non-fiction books and hundreds of corporate video scripts. As a professional facilitator, I coach individuals, committees, and teams to change how they meet, make decisions, and plan, so they can get out of their own way and do work that really matters. I use this site to write about writing, adaptive strategy, travel, and spirituality ... and to "learn out loud" by sharing works (and what doesn't).