LGBT History Month: Neil S. Placky
|Written by Ian Maloney on October 17 2012|
Neil S. Plakcy is an American writer, editor, and associate college professor who lives in South Florida with his partner and their golden retriever. Plakcy grew up in Yardley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia; he received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied creative writing. He also attended Columbia University in NYC where he studied real estate and operations management. He also received a MFA in writing from Florida International University.
Plakcy currently teaches English at Broward College in Pembroke Pines. He has stated that he always wanted to be a writer since he was in high school and had to write a report on the novel A Separate Peace. Although he has been writing since he was a high school student, after attending Columbia, he worked as a construction site manager building shopping malls and commercial buildings, a job that inspired several of the characters in his body of work.
In 2005, with the publication of his first novel “Mahu” (a derogatory Hawaiian word for gay men), Neil established himself as a mystery writer. Mahu’s main character Kimo Kanapa'aka is a police detective in Honolulu, who, after discovering a dead body behind a gay bar, is forced to deal with his own sexuality, in a very public way. After he wrote Mahu, Plakcy knew that he was not finished telling Kimo’s story, so a series was born. To date, there are 7 books in the Mahu series, but hopefully Plakcy keeps the stories coming, which seems likely, since he has said: “Kimo Kanapa'aka …has had a powerful hold on my imagination for many years. I love writing about him and hope to keep doing so for a long time.” It would be great if gay mystery lovers could have a series like Robert B. Parker’s “Spencer” novels, which follow the characters throughout their lives. Just one mystery series is great, but Kimo wasn’t the only character who was running around in Neil’s brain. In 2010, he published the first in the “Have Body, Will Guard” Series. This series’ main characters are Aiden and Liam, two handsome American Ex Pats living in Tunisia, working as bodyguards, who fall in love with each other. There are now four books in this series, but at the rate the author writes, there are sure to be more to follow. He has also published several anthologies of gay erotic fiction, written several “dog” themed mystery novels, and has a set of books that take place in South Beach.
Plakcy’s characters are everyday people dealing with their “gayness” and the problems many of us faced (or thought we would face) when we finally dealt with our own sexuality. His desire to tell a story that sets homosexuality in a nonthreatening, positive light help move our community forward. They help tell our story and show us that, in fact, it does get better.
On October 19, Neil S. Plakcy’s newest novel “The Buchanan Letters” hits shelves. He will follow that up with a military themed short story “Mixed Up” that will be released just in time for Veteran’s Day.