The characters who wouldn’t shut up!

Tomorrow the sequel to Nate and the New Yorker will be released in electronic formats. I never intended to write another book based on these characters but it wasn’t up to me to make that decision. Somehow, Nate and his friends demanded a second outing.

Originally I wrote the first novella because my publisher at the time pointed out that, regardless of the books many of us like to write, it’s romance and erotica that sell. So I wrote my version of a romance story to make more readers know about my work. It worked, except for the die-hard romance genre fans. It didn’t fit the mould. And boy, they let me know it.

On the flip side I’ve also received some great reviews for that story and somehow, shortly after its release, Nate, Cameron, Lucy and Ben were calling from my subconscious. There was more to their story, and they wanted me to continue putting them in the spotlight.

The Nate and Cameron Series are both set in various cities I have visited. One place my partner and I fell in love with was Buenos Aires, so I wanted to capture this exotic and romantic location for the second book. I knew the tango had to be part of the story, and as I did for the first book, canvassed possible titles via a post on Facebook.

A friend came up with Nate’s Last Tango which I loved instantly. This title also helped tie it to the premise of the first book which is about a man who is learning to love second best, while the love of his life is still around. So this new book continues to put the question out there – How will Nate and Cameron make their relationship survive?

The original first edition Wilde City Press cover.

There’s not too much I want to give away except that Cam’s much loved cross dressing butler, Roger, and his lesbian aunt have more of a role in this book as they help the mismatched lovers. And while the main focus is Argentina, all characters do pop down-under to enjoy Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

I personally think this is my best book so far and I’m thankful to NineStar Press for publishing it.

Meet the Devil

He’s been sitting inside my laptop for a very long time, but finally, tomorrow, he will strut into the world. Friends, meet Preston.

He’s one of the characters in Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, the third book in the Actors and Angels series. As you can see he’s fond of a top hat and pearls. He’s also a character I originally introduced in an earlier draft of Drama Queens and Adult Themes.

You see, both books were initially the same story. Gay couple Adam and Wade dealt with their mutual infatuation for Mannix, the young nude model from Adam’s art class, then half way through the manuscript was this passage:

Imagine everything coming to a standstill. Like being sexually teased, but instead of your object of desire changing his mind, the whole scenario changes. The phone rings and your mother tells you that your Uncle Patrick died. A real mood killer. It’s not that your mum is a killjoy, it’s just that the main focus of the moment has shifted.

You may consider if it is worth going ahead with the foreplay in honour of your Uncle Patrick. One last bang in memory of the old guy. After all, he did have a wicked sense of humour and you always suspected he was a closet case. But the thought that he could be looking down from above judging your actions on the news of his death, somehow kills the mood.

At this point the foreplay, and the dramas around it, went on hold. Everything I knew of my life was being revised. This, in turn, changed everything for all the people who have contributed to this tale so far. This is why I have been left to finish this story.

After I read this initial draft, one thing was evident. The story flowed along nicely, building tension between all the characters, but then the story ground to a halt. The secondary tale began as all stories do – from the start. The momentum was gone. This was sure to infuriate my readers.

So I now had two books at first draft stage, and as they were part of the same series, it was easy to link events in both.

This is a luxury for an author. Subtle hints can be planted as you go back to redraft the former novel, that make the latter book make a lot more sense.

As evident by the title, Preston is the devil. He fosters a deal that could help Guy, the insecure angel, meet his parents for the first time. Meanwhile, Guy’s favourite mortal friend, Adam, is dealing with adultery.

It’s nice to finally have this book published. A big kiss to NineStar Press for putting it out there.


CLICK HERE to read an EXCERPT

CLICK HERE to order from the publisher.

Worldbuilding

Two decades ago I studied acting part time over three years.

Photo from Pixabay, courtesy of Un-Mino

Fortunately, I secured a job in a creative industry before I completed the course, which probably saved me from many desperate auditions and a life of poverty. But there are important factors about that craft that shaped the books that make up the ‘Actors and Angels’ series. The first, notably, came from my assessor who simply told me to write about something I knew – theatre!

During one of our acting lessons, we practised our own style of magical realism. Our challenge was to make a fantasy scene feel real. We were given hints like ‘if you are playing angels polishing the stars, polish them as if you are cleaning brass ornaments’. This is the same approach you take while writing. Make sure there is some kind of real world in your fantasy one, otherwise things get surreal.

Image from Pixabay, courtesy of Bessi

As these novels are set in the Afterlife where people from different centuries reside, I had the freedom to use anything within context. In the opening scene of Drama Queens with Love Scenes, Allan and Warwick’s first impression of the Afterlife is an extravagant room. This room kind of exists. It is depicted on the inside cover of a record I own. I won’t say which album it is, but I will reveal it’s the third release of an 80s New Romantic pop group. I expanded on it in my description, but by having the initial piece of art in front of me, it gave me a base to build from.

Also in this first scene, our newly dead characters are welcomed by a blond bombshell and an insecure angel. I don’t think it’s any secret that authors base their fictional people on real ones. The angel was originally based on a person who was so self-conscious, everyone he knew assisted him in confidence building. But Guy developed his own personality as he evolved. Samantha is the hybrid of two characters from the first draft, and both these characters were based on sinister work colleagues at the time.

There’s two real life historical figures that were re-imagined for this book. One is the drag king, a minor figure who pops up in many chapters. Back in the 1930s a mysterious performer with dark skin baffled audiences, all wanting to know her origins. Her name was Nellie Small. She travelled around Australia, performing with her female admirers closest to the stage.

Another character, theatre director, Maudi, was actually an actress with London’s Gaiety Theatre in the late 1800s, although my version of her is older than the real life person was when she hit the height of her career. She’s also the character that my assessor wanted me to expand on after reading the first draft. I’m glad I listened. She adds chaotic class to the novel.

The last characters I’ll mention are Allan and Warwick. They are loosely based on Warren and I. Let me reiterate, very loosely! Unlike Allan, I was confident in my sexuality when I met Warren, and I was single. But as in the book, we met at work and were just friends for a long time until we gave in to what everyone around us already knew. There was love there. I was just too blind to see it.

Adventures in Self Publishing – Part 2

Yes it’s time for an update.

Three things have happened since my last blog on the subject that bring me just a little bit closer to seeing my first self published work see the light of day. I got advice. I’ve been contacting actors. I have my edits back.

Fellow Sydney author Nic Starr met me for lunch to tell me how she balances her Dreamspinner Press work with her indie releases. Many good tips were shared, all dutifully entered into my journal.

Nic is a technical wiz when it comes to writing, and I got the ins and outs of who to go through to format my work, how to publicise, and what I should know about tax if I have to pay any to the US.

Although this information is easy to find on various blogs and forums, it’s refreshing to get this advice over a nice bottle of white and a plate of seafood. Plus we made a vow to attend GRL next year – a gay romance literary festival held in America each year.

Photo courtesy of Start Up Stock Photos

Secondly, I’ve been trying to get the right look…

I like to cast actors for my book trailers. As any author knows, social media is an integral part of your marketing, and even more so if you’re going it alone. And as this is a book about social media, it can’t be ignored.

So far I might have a nibble with casting the main character. He’s in Los Angeles at the moment but hopefully I’ll meet him next week when he returns. The sad thing is, three others I really wanted for the shoot now live in the US. Plus, two more that emailed me back stopped communication when I tried to set up a meeting.

This has happened to me before. It’s kind of like being on a dating site and finding time wasters. You wonder if these people are actually interested in adding more to their portfolio. But unless I’m casting through an agency with big bucks behind me, I guess this is what I have to expect.

Image by Edar, courtesy of Pixelbay

Now for my edits…

It’s my designated writing day today, so I’m about to close off this blog and read my notes. I’ve worked with this editor twice before, but for the first time, I’m footing the bill. I’ve had a glance at his ‘tough love’ notes and am now about to work on the final draft.

I promise to blog about this experience soon. But for now, it’s time to work!

 

Adding Adult Themes

Tomorrow the second novel in the Actors and Angels Series will be re-released.

This book is called Drama Queens and Adult Themes, and follows Drama Queens with Love Scenes. The third in the series, which has never before been released, will follow next month.

The idea for the plot of the second book came from the first – I know that’s stating the obvious, but bear with me. The first book takes place in The Limelight Quarter, which is the theatre district of the Afterlife. One of the plays that is performed in that book centres around a heterosexual couple and a younger man. A warlock has placed the spell of lust on all three, confusing them as they come to terms with their desires.

“What a great idea for a book,” I thought.

There was a whole year between when the first book in the series was originally contracted to Charles River Press, to when they were considering its release. So with all that time I did something odd for a sequel. I took the plot from that play and made it the plot of book two. 

In this second novel, the lovers from the first book are reincarnated. Yes, I know this sounds odd, but there is a chapter in the first where Allan sees his next life, so its not too much of a stretch for readers who have entered this world. Anyway, Allan and Warwick are now Adam and Wade. They are middle aged and both fascinated with a young man named Mannix.

Stills from the Book Trailer for Drama Queens and Adult Themes

Fabien and Ipan, the two warlocks that were in the play featured in the first book, could now come to life for the second. They were joined by a kind-hearted witch named Farah who originally existed in an earlier draft of the initial novel. And of course, Guy the angel, who surprised me by his popularity with readers, also made a return.

But then I had an issue with story structure.

The first book was written in first person. In the second, not everyone knows the whole story. I had a problem. Should I write in third person or tell the tale from different points of view? I opted for the latter, and carefully plotted so that each chapter continued where the last left off, even if another character was now telling the tale.

The previous edition from Wilde City Press. Sadly this publisher is no longer with us.

I only had one reviewer freak out about this. Everyone else was fine. In fact it was quite interesting to read who preferred which book. Half the time I was wrong in my assumptions about various reviewers.

So, I’m quietly raising a glass to the re-release of Drama Queens and Adult Themes. It’s nice to know it’s out again in print and in ebook formats. This makes this the final novel NineStar Press are relaunching. Next month will see the first editions of two newbies. But for this month at least, Adam is discovering that a midlife crisis can be fun!

Exotic locations

I’m lucky.

In a world where so many people don’t have the means to travel, I’m in the minority. My partner, Warren, and I love discovering new cities and will plan a world trip whenever we have the funds.

You see, from Australia, it’s cheaper to buy a ’round the world’ ticket, which usually takes in three continents, than it is to travel to a few destinations and back. We were reminded of this when I went to the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. We played with the idea of visiting the festival, then travelling on to Mexico, then on to somewhere in South America before coming back home. This idea was more costly than circling the globe. Seriously!

In the Nate and Cameron series, I’ve shared our travels.

Although, not in an obvious way. Often when I write about these places I add a touch of the surreal to their descriptions. I do this to encourage my readers to see these destinations for themselves and work out what I am talking about. For example, here is a passage from Nate and the New Yorker

Prague. Image courtesy of LubosHouska through Pixabay

Horses clopped along, taking tourists on their way through this magical town. The Pickpocket Express, a name given to one of the local trams by travel guides, snaked its way past us. The storybook buildings had me searching for Puss in Boots, Cinderella, and various Prince Charmings.

This is Prague, a city Hitler loved, so he never bombed it. It’s where you can see how all of Europe might have looked today if history was different.

The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo

Video screens burst with bubblegum colors, demanding attention high in the skyscrapers above. Taxi drivers watched vigilantly for potential fares. Fashionable crowds filled the sidewalk, some darting about in order to meet friends on time. And a mishmash of large and small eateries flaunted plastic replicas of their menus in their front windows.

This city was not one that Warren had interest in, but he changed his mind after his visit. Tokyo is now one of his favourite destinations.

New York

Bagels spread out in another shop window, with a sign claiming they were the best in Manhattan. A busker rapped between the notes he played on his saxophone, telling us God would love us if we bought his CDs. And all this was happening as cars breezed along on the wrong side of the street.

One reviewer found my musings of New York interesting, as I was talking about their country. As she said, I was describing this famous city from a point of view she had never considered. All these places are featured in Nate and the New Yorker, with more to come when Nate’s Last Tango is released on June 26.

I was reminded how many don’t travel through a question I posed on Twitter.

I asked “Where would you like to visit?” Too many of my American followers either mentioned somewhere else in the USA, or answered “Italy”. When I asked the latter group why, they said it was because they have Italian heritage. I was puzzled.

Australians travel. Many of us have passports. It’s just what we do!

So, to any of my readers who haven’t ventured beyond their borders – please pick a destination outside of your comfort zone, and go. Once the travel bug bites, you won’t be looking for an antidote.

Loving Second Best

Imagine having the love of your life slip through your fingers.

Now imagine that someone has fallen for you but you’re not sure if you’re ready to love them back. That’s the dilemma that Nathan faces in my novella, Nate and the New Yorker, which is being re-released tomorrow through NineStar Press.

As many of us who write queer fiction know, we’re often encouraged to produce either erotica or romance to court readers, hoping to gain new fans who will go on to enjoy our more contemporary works. This was the case with this novella, but for me it was important to not stick with the traditional template for romance.

Sure, the blurb sounds like your average romance…

…as it takes one well known cliche of casting a millionaire. This, however, is a story about a spoilt kid (the dreamer) and a man hurting (the realist).

One thing I learnt quickly about playing with a genre is that the die-hard fans don’t forgive. Up until this point I generally received positive reviews for my magic realism novels, but for Nate and the New Yorker I’ve gained my best and worst review. This is a badge I wear with pride.

The original Wilde City cover. This publisher folded recently.

You have to ask, are you reviewing my book or talking about yourself?

I often found that those who weren’t happy would complain about the lack of sex, of which there is none, in this book. One vehemently opposed to a plot twist that she didn’t expect. How dare I stray from the genre! In her review she gives this twist away.

Those that loved it (and there are two camps, no in-betweeners) felt the pain of Nate trying to love second best. They liked his friends who were encouraging, and they saw the complexities of Cameron, a rich brat who didn’t really understand love.

Thanks to NineStar Press for relaunching this book. They are also releasing the sequel, Nate’s Last Tango, later this year. I went through the first round of edits yesterday.

Nate and his friends have also sneaked into a chapter of my current work in progress. Something tells me their not planning to leave my thoughts for a while.

Adventures in Self Publishing – Part 1

This is an interesting year of me.

It’s one of those years where things just seem to fall in place. My day job is moving forward with opportunities, and I got signed up to a new publisher after my former one folded.

I even got a contract for my non-queer novel which, although I had a gut feeling I would be offered, I also had a strange notion that something wouldn’t be quite right. My instinct was spot on! I was offered a contract which stipulated that I would receive no royalties until the publisher made back $US2,500 to cover the costs of editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, book proofs, printing and shipping, and legal fees. The term ‘vanity publisher’ came to mind.

The main character.

My partner congratulated me.

He was proud that I finally got a contract for this particular book. I didn’t reply to the publisher’s email. In fact, it took me a week to respond.

It’s hard when you want a contract so bad, yet you smell a rat. I went over my other contracts with other publishers and couldn’t go past the overcharging for services just to deny me my royalties. So before I actually said ‘thanks, but no thanks’, I let my social media friends know what was going on.

The futuristic city depicted in the manuscript.

People were alarmed on Facebook.

Everyone who responded was worried I was going to take the bait. Some of the comments included ‘I wouldn’t do it, Kevin. Find another way‘, ‘Do not sign. That is crazy. Better to indie pub than that craziness‘ and ‘Yeah don’t sign. Better to self publish.’

I know some very successful indie authors, so the notion of self publishing is less daunting then it was, say, ten years ago. Social media has made it easy to be seen in the right circles. And I know I could self-publish for half of what that dodgy publisher was claiming a book costs to release.

So I have a new project this year.

I’ve already arranged to have the manuscript edited by a person I have worked with before. I also know who I want as the cover designer even though I haven’t asked him yet. I’m catching up for lunch with an author friend who self publishes some of her work and always has the best advice. Another author friend who up until now has been traditionally published, is also considering her first indie release. We’ve joked about learning from each other as we go down that path. And I’ve made a list of actors to approach for the trailer. I hope they say yes.

More characters.

Do you have advice?

I’m going to keep blogging from time to time about this experience as its all quite new to me. But I also welcome your advice if you’ve self published. What should I be wary of? What was your most successful marketing method? How did you grow your social media?

I haven’t given myself a deadline except to say I want to have this work out before the end of the year. Apart from my writing, this will be a further push to my creative side.

The First Novel

Tomorrow I’m going to feel a sense of déjà vu as my first novel gets relaunched for the third time. My last publisher closed down, so I was very lucky that NineStar Press decided to re-contract my works.

An author’s first novel is special. It’s the one they sweated over. It’s the one that was redrafted more than any of the others. It’s the one where a budding author learns their craft.

Drama Queens with Love Scenes started as a handwritten manuscript titled Staging Life, and although I can’t remember how long ago I jotted down the first words into my journal, I can confidently say that it was over ten years ago. The original concept for the book had a cast of dead thespians acting in plays that taught them something about themselves, awakening them to lessons they missed while alive. As I wrote, the plot drastically changed.

In the first draft, friends, Allan and Warwick, visit Allan’s Uncle Bryant in Melbourne. The opening chapter was a slight ode to 19th century sci-fi as a large shiny rocket in the front garden takes the friends by surprise. The uncle and his poet girlfriend, Pamela, decide that Allan and Warwick should take the maiden voyage which they agree to, never believing for once this thing would fly. Something goes wrong and they find themselves in the Afterlife in the second chapter.

When I had this draft assessed, I was slapped on the knuckles for confusing the fantasy world with the real. I was told a rocket malfunction shouldn’t appear as a cause of death because it was fanciful and interfered with the world building of the Afterlife. I was also encouraged not to begin the book at the start, and to make Allan and Warwick’s death a mystery that unfolded in flashback . I took her advice and worked with her for several more drafts.

The original Charles River Press edition featuring Guy on the cover

When the novel was first contracted I was given an amazing editor. Her name was Mary Belk. Sadly she’s passed on since we worked together, but she is to this day the person who has influenced me the most in the way I write. She made me revisit my entire manuscript by combining chapters, dropping a character, and getting me to work harder in my ‘showing, not telling’. I worked for three months revamping the novel and had my doubts about her suggestions quite regularly, but as I sat reading the final draft from start to end, I realised she was right in everything she said. I wrote about Mary in another blog which you can read here.

The mysterious Guy, watching over Allan on the Wilde City edition of the cover

The next stop for my novel was Wilde City, a wonderful gay press who closed down recently. Through this publisher I got the much needed exposure to the right audience. More glbtqi blog sites picked it up for review. And as in the scant critiques that came out previously, my angel character, Guy, was still the most popular character. He has been described as many things including the emotional linchpin of the story. One reviewer claimed that they had even put in their own request to have Guy as their guardian angel. His popularity in this book has always surprised me. I even wrote a blog about it which lives here.

Since Drama Queens with Love Scenes I have written several other novels. The sequel, Drama Queens and Adult Themes, will be relaunched next month, as will my ‘not quite a romance’ novella, Nate and the New Yorker. But what’s equally as exciting as seeing these new editions find new readers, are the first releases of two more works. One of these is Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, the third in the Actors and Angels series. And yes, there’s a horned character who I’ve named Preston in the book.

But for the time being I’m looking forward to my first born being reincarnated – fitting for a novel about actors in the theatre district of the Afterlife.


A blog which goes deeper into the story of writing this particular novel can be found here.

Guest Blog – Christian Baines

I’d like to welcome back Christian Baines to my website. When asked to join the team of authors sharing their thoughts on writing, Christian took a unique approach, and I’m glad he did. Today he offers perspective as he calls for certain characters in gay fiction to be fleshed out more honestly.

Plus he’d like to offer one reader of today’s guest blog any one of his novels, but you can read about how to enter at the end of this post. For now, he’d like writers to consider women.


All About My Mother
(and my sister, and my aunt, and my best friend, and my daughter, and my high school beard…)

Thanks Kevin, for having me back on the blog! As I write this, we’re barely more than a month into 2017, and already two events this year that have inspired me. One took place when millions of women (and men, and others) who hit the streets across the world to stand up for women’s rights in what was the perfect response to a man who waves his misogyny and hatred in our faces like the world’s most graceless matador.

(Don’t worry, this post isn’t about politics!)

My other flash of early 2017 inspiration came through Pedro Almodovar’s newest movie, Julieta, based on the stories of Canadian writer Alice Munro. Cult figure Almodovar has been Spain’s most popular filmmaker since his breakthrough hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. He’s one of my favourites, and a huge inspiration when it comes to storytelling.

Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar

Weird as it may seem to link something as important as the Women’s March to a simple movie, both reminded me (as Almodovar’s films often do) of how much we, particularly as gay men, owe to women, and how we sometimes sell them short in our stories. For the uninitiated, Almodovar is an openly gay screenwriter and director who not only brings a gay sensibility to his films, but also tends to focus on female characters. You can see it right from his first movie, Pepi, Luci, Bom. In fact, a straight male is almost never the protagonist in an Almodovar film, and Julieta is no exception, being all about the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Sometimes, he plays them for comedy or eccentricity, tottering around the screen in Gaultier couture and high heels. But in his less comedic films, Almodovar’s women have become increasingly powerful and complex, nowhere more so than in Volver, a personal Almodovar favourite in which the male characters seem almost incidental.

Even though it’s tough to find a single healthy gay romance amid the broken embraces of these movies, there is one important question for gay fiction and romance writers to address.

women

How do you effectively bring women into your gay labyrinth of passion?

While bringing our classic pairing of two male MCs out in the live flesh, it can be easy to forget our female characters. They might slot awkwardly into overused tropes, or even come off as nasty obstacles to budding love. I’ve read women in gay romance played as bitchy homophobic relatives, or as bitter ex-wives or girlfriends…which is not entirely off limits. There’s definitely room for these characters and all of their dark habits. But as authors, we need to be careful not to reduce them to stereotypes. If they’re not properly developed, with real motivations for their nastiness, characters of any gender come off as cartoons. A male author writing such female characters looks misogynistic, and a female author writing them looks insecure, or at best, appears to be making some weird attempt to ‘protect’ her gay babies. While that formula might appeal to certain readers, it’s kind of condescending. It also doesn’t reflect the important roles women often play in our lives as gay men, and I’m pretty sure most readers can tell.

My experience is obviously going to be different to yours, but we each know who the important women are in our lives, and why. Maybe it was a mother or sister, who gave us the freedom to explore our interests and gender identity free of traditionally ‘male’ expectations. Maybe it was an aunt who inspired us with her eccentricity, or came down hard on us to build up the strength we now use to deal with prejudice. Maybe it was an understanding or inspiring teacher, coach, boss, colleague, or counsellor. Or maybe just that really good friend who played prom/formal beard, or took us to our first gay bar because we were too scared everyone was going to hit on the fresh meat, or who pushed us to go say hi to that cute guy who was so far ‘out of our league.’ Or maybe it was an acquiring editor who said ‘Yeah, this is good. Can you send me the full manuscript?’

Or, just the one who read something we wrote and told anyone that would talk to her about books to check it out.

Image courtesy of Voltamax, via Pixabay

It’s kind of impossible at this point to count the women who’ve played a role in my growth as a gay man and writer, or who’ve helped me in some way to feel comfortable in the skin I live in. But there are lots, and I’m pretty sure many other gay and bi men can say the same. There’s no strange law of desire, even in gay romance that says female characters should be any less developed in our stories. Sometimes they might even be a part of the romance (but oh, don’t get me started on the response I’ve had to doing that!). Sometimes they’re authority figures like Patricia Bakker, or lifelong friends like Isobel, who know the protagonist almost better than the protagonist knows himself. Sometimes they’re…whatever Mary is in Puppet Boy. All need just as much effort and development as your male protagonists.

One of my pet peeves in fiction (of any kind) is the strong woman. It’s a well-meaning cliché, but seriously? Men get to be smart, conflicted, snarky, insightful, reserved, assertive, etc etc etc… You will never hear a book promoted as having a ‘Strong male lead.’ Yet women are supposed to be satisfied or grateful if their representation is ‘strong’ and…that’s that? Really? We owe it to our female characters, readers, and the real women in our lives to go beyond this. ‘Strong’ should be the starting point of the character’s development, not the end. And if she’s not strong…does it really matter? Is there really no room in our fiction for characters who aren’t ‘strong’ (whatever that means)? In a character development pool of hundreds of potential traits, is ‘strength’ really the only way to make a character stand out in an interesting way?

Of course, good gay stories don’t need female characters in major roles order to be effective. Worse than an absence of women is a token character that’s been shoe-horned in there just to ‘represent.’ But it shouldn’t exclusively be an all-boys’ club either, because our lives aren’t. I’m so excited when I read complex, well realised female characters in a gay novel. Where it’s clear the author has thought about how important women can be to us, or is giving us an insight into a real woman who had a positive effect on their lives, or whatever. To me, it’s a sign gay novels have truly achieved mainstream acceptance, where gay love and sex is neither taboo nor fetishized, but is just another part of life, like the wonderful women we know.
Though I’ll probably never write a tell-all book all about my mother (insert ‘Christina’ gag here).


One thing I love about Christian Baines is that like me, he’s a film buff. So he has a question for readers who’d like to win any novel-length title from his backlist. Those who answer correctly will go into the random draw. The question is:

How many Pedro Almodovar movie titles are referenced in this blog post?

To be in the draw, please contact with your answer by using the email form at https://kevinklehr.com/contact/

 

beast puppet Baines

This giveaway closes on Friday April 7.

Thanks to Christian for being a guest blogger for the second time, and sharing his thoughts once again. His last post asked if there really is a happy ever after. You can read his thoughts on that topic here.

For more on this talented fellow Australian author, check out both his personal blog, Fiendish Whispers, and his author site.

Thanks again, Christian.