An Interview With Gunner Wilkes From ‘Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe’

Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the UniverseI’ll be honest. I always love the underdog, the quiet hero in the shadows. When I was a kid, the Go-Go’s was one of my favorite bands, but I didn’t have a crush on lead singer Belinda Carlisle. I had a crush on Charlotte Caffey, who played rhythm guitar/keyboards. Old-time U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm is okay, but Kristine Lilly is way, way better. I mean, we named the dog after her.

Those obscurities may or may not help you understand my great affection for Gunner Wilkes, one of the main characters in Oleander Plume’s novel, Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe. He is as nerdy as all my references in that first paragraph, and, to be honest, he is a walking, talking, yet totally fictional representation of all my kink: shy, smart, sexy, and completely oblivious to his foxiness.

July 24 may have been the day of the Guitar Slayer, but I wanted to take some time to introduce you all to, in my opinion, the hottest figment of Oleander Plume’s imagination. I say it below, but I’ll say it here, too: If it wasn’t for Gunner Wilkes, then you wouldn’t be spending the summer reading one of the best, most engaging, outrageous m/m erotic novels of the year. So, live from the kitchen in Frances, the silver ship star of the novel in question, here comes Gunner fucking Wilkes, the baddest nice boy you ever will meat … uh, meet.


(P.S. All photos of Gunner courtesy of Oleander Plume.)

Hey Gun, what’s up?

Like my dad used to say, the moon, the sky, the stars … but like Horatio would say, my dick! Hahahaha! But what is actually up is me, and early today. I’m sitting at the counter while Stiles is making waffles, writing this out on a yellow pad with a sharpie. Puppy Canis is licking my toes—pretty annoying, even though he’s cute af.

What some people may not know yet is that you’re kind of like a multi-dimensional traveler. I was wondering, is there anything you miss from home (Earth)?

Pizza. Nothing against Stiles, the master chef, but there is NO pizza like New York pizza. Can I say I miss smoking weed? Because I do. The oompa loompas might try to grow some in their hydroponic garden, if I can score some quality seeds.

True or False: If it wasn’t for Gunner Wilkes, Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe would not be a novel.

Wow. Um, false. No, wait … I guess  true, only because I invented the portal machine that got the whole thing rolling. Although Meridian started it when he captured Horatio in the first place. But, now that you mention it, I’m cool with taking the credit. Super fucking damn cool with it!

Gunner Wilkes from 'Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe' by Oleander Plume

What does a typical Saturday night look like for a space pirate on your crew?

As Sugar would say, we practice the three D’s: drinking, debauchery, and dick. Unless we have a mission. Like, for example, last Saturday, we went to Merona and stole a ring that has an actual eyeball in it—an eyeball that can see. What the fuck Snake wants with that creepy-ass thing, I have no idea. I think you can use it to peer around corners or something. Knowing Snake, he’ll use it to spy on Sugar while he showers.

BEST SONG EVER AWARD: Monotony’s “Fighter” or Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose”?

“Fighter,” always! But, I do love Soundgarden. I think Horatio was inspired by Chris Cornell, too. Not only musically, but as a human. I didn’t know the guy, but Chris Cornell came across as a genuinely good person, who didn’t buy into his own hype. Wish that guy was still around. The world needs more people like him.

Of the residents on Frances, who gives the best head (besides Horatio)?

Saber. Hands down. The dude is like a machine, and his mouth buzzes on the inside, too. It’s like getting sucked by a vibrator. But Horatio as well because he’s got those sexy lips. And other sexy parts … shit, I had to wipe my hands on my pants just now because my palms are all sweaty.

Most people will tell us never to meet our idols because they always disappoint. Now that you’ve, you know, “met” Horatio, is he anything like you expected him to be? How is he better? How is he worse (if he is worse)?

Horatio is nothing like I expected! First, he’s bigger in person, and I mean bigger … everywhere. But not his ego.

A few years before Horatio “disappeared,” he did an interview for Rolling Stone magazine. You could tell the writer didn’t like Horatio much. I think he expected what we all expect from a rock star—all ego and no substance. But by the end of the interview, Horatio won the guy over. Because Horatio is the antithesis of what we expect a billionaire rock star to be. He cares about people. He’s kind, giving, and funny. Funny as hell. If he had been born without musical talent, he could have been a stand-up comedian.

While I’m on the subject, I have to tell you, I used to fantasize about what it would be like to meet Horatio after I rescued him. I figured he’d shake my hand, maybe offer me a free guitar lesson, or a new iPhone. But did I think he’d want to kiss me or take my clothes off? Hell no. Did I enjoy every second? Hell yes!

The worst thing that happened, that I didn’t expect, was that he couldn’t play music without blowing things up. That sucked. But (spoilers!) Seven and Suki are working on a way for him to jam on the ship, and I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll finally get that guitar lesson.

Lana wants to know: What would your life have been like if you hadn’t met Horatio?

Boring as hell. I’d probably have turned into a professional student and lived in my dorm forever.

Lana wants to know in follow-up: What do you think the rest of your life will be like now that you have met Horatio?

One giant, horny adventure! I’m living my best life, seriously. I wake up in the morning and think, “What cool thing is going to happen today?”

Gunner Wilkes from 'Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe' by Oleander Plume

What’s your favorite late-night snack? With abs like those, do you snack at all?

I absolutely do. Stiles keeps the fridge stocked. (I swear, the dude cooks in his sleep.) But my favorite thing he makes are these frosting-filled chocolates that, I swear to fuck, are the exact size and shape of testicles. He actually calls them “nut creams” and has no idea why we snicker like immature assholes every time he makes a batch. Of course, me and Horatio had to have a contest to see who could fit the most in their mouth. He won, by the way, mainly because I laughed so hard, I spewed icing out of my nose. Good times!

BEST WORKOUT EVER: Sit-ups or squats?

Squats because they remind me of riding a big dick. Shit, did I say that out loud? If that’s too dirty, you can delete that.

Will you be my valentine?

Hell damn yes, I will! I’ll bring you a heart-shaped box of “nut creams,” too!

Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe is available now.