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David Eric Laine
Hi David. Tell us a little about yourself.
David Eric Laine. You can find me in L.A. Boneyard, the third in my L.A. series. You can find various buy links for my books at:
What makes you special?
I'm an LAPD homicide detective who works out of the Northeast Division with my partner Martinez Diego. We've been partners for seven years. The thing that distinguishes me is the fact that I'm gay. For years I kept it secret, I didn't want anybody I worked with to know that. It wasn't always easy, I hated all the lying, but it was safer than having them know. But when I met Chris I couldn't stay in the closet anymore, not if I wanted him in my life. And I did.
Tell me about your most current adventure.
L.A. Boneyard was released in November last year. A 911 call reports a body in Griffith Park. I was up, so our supervisor called me in. Martinez was on loan to 77th, so I had a new partner, Jairo Hernandez. I knew he was trouble the minute I laid eyes on him. But I'm professional so I introduced myself and we went to work. We processed the scene and he was sharp enough, but he has an attitude that grates on me.
If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
Show some of my lighter side. I'm not always so dour for Pete's sake. Chris and I know how to laugh, we go to dinners with friends and we talk about more than my job.
Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
I'd be a lot happier if they'd stop seeing me as the gay cop. I'd rather be a cop first, a gay man second. I don't know what it is about some people, but when they find out you're gay all they seem to be able to do is look at you and imagine you in a bathroom someplace, having sex with strangers, or worse, with kids. I'm an LAPD homicide detective. I'm a good one too. I think I'm a good person and that's got nothing to do with gay or straight.
Tell us a little bit about your world.
I live with one foot in light and one in darkness. Chris keeps me in the light just by being himself. I know it sounds ridiculous but he really is a breath of spring air. The darkness I live in so often can wear a person's soul down. Every day some new horror – even after all these years I can still be amazed at what people can do to each other. What happened to those women in L.A. Boneyard are only three of hundreds. I don't know where I'd be without Chris to bring me back to the light.
Is humor important? Why or why not?
Without humor you have no soul. How else do you stay sane? Sometimes the humor can be black and maybe a lot of outsiders wouldn't understand it, but it's a defense mechanism that's necessary. It beats drinking or whoring around to find release. Safer too.
Is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
Yes and that's always been a bone of contention with Chris. He has no problems showing his love, no matter where we are. I can't be so open, though I try. Thankfully he knows I love him no matter whether I show it in public or not.
What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you?
Finding out my real father was still alive, but that's a future story and one I'm not ready to talk about.
Did you do anything special after your first adventure?
No, I've always been a reticent person. I'm more comfortable with my old lounger, a bottle of Bud and a baseball game on TV than celebrating. Chris changed that a bit, he draws me out and I socialize more these days, but it's still hard at times.
Is there a message you want to get across in this interview?
That I might be a cop and I might be gay, but I'm just a man like any other man. I like to respect the rights of other people to be the way they are, all I ask in return is to be respected for who I am.
What was the least interesting thing that has ever happened to you?
That's a hard one. If it was really uninteresting, I probably slept through it, or it never registered. Maybe the time I retiled the kitchen floor? Not much more boring than renovating.
If you could pull your author into your world, what do you think would happen to them?
I'm not sure she'd be as tough as she thinks she is. But then again, maybe she'd surprise me. She's had her own rough patches and survived when others might not have, so who knows.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Back to the 50s. They knew how to make cars back then. What I wouldn't give to drive a mint Chevy or Cadillac.
What other characters have influenced you?
Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly's detective. That guy knows how to get things done.
Share a little bit of the ‘real’ you with our readers. Any Dark secrets?
I smoked marijuana a few times in college. The first time I had sex with a man – with anyone was after a party when I ended up back in the dorm with Eddie Black. We never talked to each other again after that. I have no idea what happened to him.
What has been your all time favorite question from another character?
Why did I choose to be a gay cop. I tell them I didn't, it's just what I am, and what I've always been. I'm not ashamed of who I am.
What motivates you to continue on these adventures?
I still think I can make a difference in the world. Being a cop is the best thing in the world. I wouldn't have half the fun doing anything else.
What does your significant other think about your adventures? And how do they deal with it?
He's always afraid for me. I tell him being a homicide detective is no where near as dangerous as TV shows make it out to be. The cops that face danger on a daily basis are the patrol cops. They're out there every day and from one call to the next they don't know when something bad is going down. By the time I arrive on the scene the violence is over. I'm just cleaning up the mess someone else left.
If you were brought into this world, what would be your first order of business?
Pretty much what I do now.
If you had the chance to meet another character, who would it be and why?
The character Mike Kirby that John Wayne played in the Green Berets. I'm a huge fan of John Wayne. What can I say, I'm old school.
What is your most favorite thing to do?
Watch a good Angels game or the Lakers.
Have you ever lost control?
I pride myself on keeping control. But I think I came closest when Chris was being threatened by the Carpet Killer in L.A. Heat. I never wanted to kill a man as much as I wanted him dead.
How many sex partners have you had? How many at one time?
I'm ashamed to say I've had several. Back before I came out, I'd slip down to Palm Springs for a weekend and find someone to spend the night with. And once, while Chris and I were separated I did have a threesome. I don't like thinking of those days.
What’s the kinkiest thing you’ve done? Stupidest? Craziest?
One Halloween I borrowed a night in a bondage room from a fellow cop and Chris and I spent the night trying all kinds of things I had never imagined myself doing. Only Chris could bring that kind of thing out in me.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still being a cop. I'd like to see myself moving to Homicide Special. I think I've earned it, but I don't know if the LAPD is ready for a gay cop in that elite group.
What was the best sexual experience you’ve had?
The first time Chris and I made love. I never knew sex could be so spectacular.
Do you think you are a superior being?
What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen or done?
My first West Hollywood Halloween parade where Chris made me dress in a costume after I swore up and down I wouldn't do it. I told you he brings things out in me that I would never do on my own.
If you could change one thing about you or someone you loved, what would it be?
I would like Chris to be less fearful of my job. I'm always careful and I want him to stop fretting over me when I'm on a job.
What’s the one thing you wish you could change about yourself or someone you love?
I wish I could be more demonstrative in my love for Chris. I wish I had the words to tell him how much I love him.
How do you deal with stress?
Go for a run with the dog – we go down by the reservoir and run around it until both of us are exhausted. Then come home and have a couple of beers and couch potato with Chris and the animals.
Tell us about your first day as a patrol officer.
My TO – training officer, was Sergeant Roger Standish. He was an old timer, on his last year on the job. A cynic, and very much stuck in his ways. He was a hard ass, but after my probation with him I knew I was going to be a good cop. Our first day he told me two things: always know where I was, and never lose track of where your partner is. He told me you do either of those things and my family would be invited to a twenty-one gun salute with my name on it. I never forgot that.
David, it’s been very interesting having you with us. I’ve never spoken to a member of law enforcement without having to erase their memories. I hope we can do this again, soon.