Info and Orders- Novels and Poetry by Lee Patton

My first poetry collection, In Disturbed Soil: Poems Across the West, is available from the Bookstore at Kelsay Books,

Coming to Life is Here

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Cover Artist: Tammy Seidick

Coming to Life on South High, my second novel with Bold Strokes Books, is available now, with paperback and e-book versions available at

Here’s the scoop:

For 21-year-old gay virgin Gabe Rafferty, the first decade of adulthood is unpredictable and intense. 

Flat broke upon college graduation, Gabe navigates the passage from menial work to globetrotting corporate drudge, then strives for a real chance at professional fulfillment. His journey exploring his sexuality—from inhibited innocence, to first-love crises, to random hookups—doesn’t seem to lead to the more sensual, committed relationships he wants. Then he meets Marty, an African American art student, and Gabe must face his white working-class background and racist father for a chance at true love.

Throughout, he traverses the joys and hazards of loving a headstrong cast of friends, including a lesbian couple, and Candy, a straight female friend whose life intersects with Gabe’s in unexpected ways.


My fourth novel, Every Summer Day from Bold Strokes Books, is currently available for order (

Determined to record every summer day, young history teacher Luke Devlin starts school vacation imagining he’ll describe backcountry adventures in the Rockies and sun-splashed days home in Denver. But all too soon the season veers into crisis, when his older brother faces life-threatening illness and Luke becomes entangled in a love affair that’s as fast-moving and possibly as fatal as his brother’s diagnosis.

As Luke manages the household for his absent parents and struggles with the constant pressure of his unfinished master’s deadline, his fling with a Wyoming rancher grows serious just as his brother’s crisis overwhelms him. Luke’s love of his native ground and his search for romance collide with the hard realities of mortality and loss during an unexpected summer.

Previous Novels

When sixteen-year-old Guy Dimchek comes out in 1970s San Francisco, his best friend dumps him, his mom splits, and he’s left largely on his own just in time for his first ever sexual experience.

Things don’t get any easier when Guy’s father becomes a candidate for state office. Having a gay son doesn’t do his candidacy any favors, especially under the antigay “family values” fervor sweeping the nation. Compounding the situation is Guy’s new stepmother, who opposes openness on the gay issue and especially the revelation that Guy has a boyfriend—one he might be falling in love with.

Around Guy, self-help charlatans, radical cults, and extreme politics forecast 1978’s perfect tsunami: the Jonestown massacre in Guyana, Anita Bryant’s homophobic campaign, and gay city supervisor Harvey Milk’s assassination at city hall. In the midst of a perfect storm of antigay sentiment, Guy faces the supreme test when his father’s political opponent launches a smear campaign that employs both dirty tricks and physical violence against Guy.

Following the attack, an injured Guy must confront his own flaws and reunite with his fractured family—all while staying true to himself and connected to the boy he loves.

Available from Dreamspinner Press

Love and Genetic Weaponry follows Ray O’Brien, a high school drama teacher, as he becomes involved with a one-woman activist organization, Lottie Weiss, and her quest to free a young revolutionary imprisoned for bombing a genetics laboratory. As their quest to free the prisoner turns them into fugitives taking flight across Wyoming and Utah, Ray soon realizes that Lottie is married to the lab’s lead scientist–who happens to be the man Ray is having an affair with.

For Ray O’Brien, a summer in London as part of his graduate studies in theater was a chance of a lifetime. The presence of a handsome Argentinian fellow student, Eduardo, promises to make it truly extraordinary. It had to be too good to last. When a string of savage, sadistic murders culminates in the bludgeoning death of another student two doors away, a strong line of circumstantial evidence leads directly to Eduardo. Ray’s dream summer is suddenly transformed into a desperate odyssey from London to Hampstead to Bath, through seedy gay pubs, West End Theaters, and secret gay bathhouses as he and Eduardo stay one step ahead of Scotland Yard while untangling a web of secrets that masks the killer’s identity and threatens to destroy them both.

Novella: The Faith of Power

Available in the anthology Stuck in the Middle: Writing that Holds You in Suspense from


Our ongoing narrative nonfiction project, The South Within Us, records five years of travel into every state across the American South, interviewing locals and officials in our quest to explore the struggles for social and racial equality. My fellow travelers, journalist Kristen Hannum and my boyfriend, George Ware, join me in the blog that supports our manuscript:

southwithinusFollow our journey across the American South as three westerners explore Southern identity


My first book of poetry, In Disturbed Soil: Poems Across the West, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in 2021.

I’ve collected all my published poems on the website, Stripper at the Funeral:

Bio and more info: