Though Jeff's novel takes place in the late 1990s, I think the situation he envisions is still apt today: a country musician is outed and finds himself struggling with his sense of identity and self-esteem. Country music is arguably not a safe haven for many gay singers (pop music has a longer tradition of being open-minded to queer elements, such as Freddie Mecury, David Bowie, and Elton John). And while we have openly gay country singers today, it's still not an easy road for these men.
Being a proud Southerner and Appalachian author, Jeff knows that a novel's setting is an vital element to the story: readers are given a virtual tour of West Virginia, the land, its people, its culture. And yes, its gay men, who still, in 2016, face discrimination. Thankfully, Jeff's fiction can comfort the lonely and broken-hearted as much as any country song can.
Here is a new interview with Jeff about Country.