Arthur “Buck” Mahoney’s earliest memories are of Cape Cod. “In the late fifties my family ran a motor court in Wellfleet,” he remembers. “We’d drive in to this little cottage and spend the whole summer there.” Cape Cod “stuck with me,” he says. “I grew up on a lake but I was always drawn to the ocean.” He and his first partner came to the Cape on a regular basis; “it was one place where we felt we could catch our breath. It became a goal; it was a state of mind.”

Mahoney’s partner didn’t live to see the dream, but eventually Mahoney and his current partner bought a home in Provincetown. “That was 20 years ago,” he recalls. “Then eight years ago I retired and came here to pursue writing full-time.”

It worked. Mahoney took his first partner’s name—A.C. Burch—as his pen name, and wrote The Homeport Journals, a novel that’s part gay romance, part mystery. Dissatisfied with his publisher, he went on to found the Provincetown-based HomePort Press to publish his next book and do things right. “I realized that there’s market that large publishers weren’t pursuing,” he says. “I started out wanting to give local authors an opportunity to connect with readers through co-promotion, but one of the authors pointed out that I could actually publish the books. So I learned the logistics and technology to make it happen.”

Oddly enough, Mahoney trained as a classical musician: he was an orchestral trumpet player. Realizing that the life wasn’t for him, he turned to IT, where he’d worked in the past. “There’s a correlation between being a musician and programming,” he says. “The IT background and the ability to understand technology enabled me to have a career.” But even then he knew he wanted to write. “I used to live next door to Roger Skillings and Heidi Jon Schmidt. Roger was the dean of Ptown writers,” he says. “I was writing but needed to really focus on it.”

Mahoney writes LGBT fiction. “I write Ptown romance/mysteries about the people Maupin calls the ‘logical’ family,” Mahoney says. “I like doing stories about unlikely heroes, about people facing life-challenging moments, about leaving your life behind and going somewhere else. Sometimes,” he adds, “that place is Provincetown. It’s about finding yourself by being somewhere else.”

HomePort Press publishes genre mysteries, short stories, and soon m/m romance stories. A recent novel was a coming-of-age story set in World War II. “We’re open to anything with a local cachet to it. Even poets! We don’t want to limit ourselves too much—because that was the problem with the large publishers.” He pauses. “I think that our success comes because of our being local.”

That local character permeates Mahoney’s work both as an author and as a publisher. “We’re fortunate that the Provincetown Bookshop has the best booksellers in the world,” he says. “They keep us abreast of what people are looking for. There’s a nice synergy we have going on there.”

His hobbies include sailing. “I’ve loved it since when I was 10 and rowed my boat into the middle of the lake with a bed sheet, and let the wind blow me back in,” says Mahoney, and laughs. “I was an idiot. I did it over and over. The next year I started sailing in a real boat. I ended up with my current boat—it’s a 34-foot sloop that my partner refers to as the Other Woman—called Nepenthe. She’s a big love of my life.” His other loves include photography and walking his dog (“Dori the Wonder Dog,” who comes complete with her own large Facebook following). Mahoney says ruefully, “I wish I had that big a following for my books!”

And the photography? “Whatever catches my eye when we go for walks,” Mahoney says. “Sunrises, the ocean, early mornings. My partner Ed is at the Cortile Gallery and he often paints what he sees in my photographs. So the images go to good use!”

Mahoney lives year-round in Provincetown, although he goes away to South Beach for a few weeks at a time in the winter. “I love the down season in Ptown and the space it goes you to write and to work,” he says.

You can learn more about A.C. Burch on his Amazon author page, and about HomePort Press on its website.

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