Things I want you to know about me, The Layover and Slovakia

TRhe Layover novella

Things I want you to know about me, The Layover and Slovakia


#1 It’s a love story, but…

… the facts matter. I won’t pretend that The Layover is anything more than a love story. Two people who like each other, fall in love and find happiness. But the happiness would be impossible without certain legal circumstances like the level of protection of LGBT+ folks in Great Britain, or free movement of persons within the Schengen area. If I’d moved the story ten years into the past, Jamie & Ondro would end up in tragedy. That’s why I wanted all the background information on LGBT+ rights in Slovakia to be correct. It’s grim. It matters. And it needs to change.


#2 I overdid the research

Some readers complimented me on the accuracy and authenticity when it comes to Ondro’s background. Thank you, lovely people! However, I don’t like being a fraud so full disclosure: I’ve been doing the “research” since I was nineteen—I’ve visited Bratislava countless times, learned the language, and got the husband. 🙂


#3 Jamie loved Bratislava

Some of my best friends including my man were born and bred in Slovakia. Generous, intelligent, kind-hearted people who are working hard to make the world a better place. The Old Town in Bratislava is magical, and the pubs serve my favorite food of all time, halusky (recipe).


#4 Don’t call it Eastern Europe

The people will at least wince, give you a nasty look, or a lecture you on Russia and the communist oppression. It’s Central Europe! And If you ever visit Central Europe, do it like this: linger a few days in Budapest, Hungary because it’s awesome, then take the train to Bratislava, Slovakia and stay in the Old Town, and then continue by train to Prague, Czech Republic. Hop off in Brno on the way (it’s halfway between Bratislava and Prague, I grew up there) and have a beer in one of the pubs hidden behind the Church of St. James. Don’t forget to wander off the main tourist routes, take a trip to the countryside, hike in the Mountains, visit small towns and try the wine!


#5 Support LGBT+ rights in Slovakia

Q-Center in Bratislava offers legal, social and psychological counseling to LBGT+ folks. Info in English and donation here.

You can support Pride in Bratislava by donating here.

Transfuzia is an organisation for trans people in Slovakia. They do counselling, support groups, education, etc. Website in Slovak here.


  1. EWaken
    August 26, 2017 19:58:pm Reply

    Hi Roe,
    I found the Layover deeply moving. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in awhile. I must confess I’ve been in the dark about the situation in Slovakia regarding LGBT+ rights, and all your research and attention to real world facts is appreciated. It’s a pretty incredible thing when fiction can inspire us to learn more about others’ experiences. I’m really excited to see what you write in the future.