From scrambling naked across the floor as an Irish vigilante in The Boondock Saints to zapping machines and reading minds as a telekinetic albino in Powder, actor-producer-director Sean Patrick Flanery tends to go for the more interesting roles.
He also has Texas roots: he was raised in Sugar Land, graduated from Dulles High School and attended the University of St. Thomas before heading west for a successful career in television and film. Now he's returning home, in the form of a debut novel based on his experiences growing up in the Houston area.
Jane Two is described as a love story and introduces a character based on his Grandaddy Charlie, a deputy sheriff who has much to say about life, love and especially manhood. Flanery also includes many themes familiar to those who grew up in the '70s: Speed Racer, Vans 95s and Schwinn Sting-Rays. He says the transition to writing something other than a screenplay has elicited a few criticisms.
“Everyone knows actors can’t write and people look at that and ask, ‘How dare you try to do this,’” he says. Flanery has seen this kind of negativity before, "people want you to suck," but he says he wrote the best book that he could. “This is something that’s been ruminating in my head for a long, long time, and there are a number of things that caused me to write it,” he says.
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“It’s a collection of things I’ve wanted to write about for awhile,” he added. “There are things that happen to you that make you want to share them.” One of those things is first love, and how that powerful first taste sets the bar, often leading us on a lifelong chase to recreate the often elusive feeling.
He published the book with Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, and his overall experience has been positive. “I’m not talking about sales success. Even if I just showed it to my friends and family, there’s a feeling of achievement and accomplishment that can’t be replaced by anything else.
"I can show it to my kids and tell them, ‘This is what I did. Your dad wrote this.’"
Sean Patrick Flanery will be reading from his book and signing copies on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive, 281-497-8675, bluewillowbookshop.com. Free.