Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.
Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.
Releases 7 August, 2015.
You Are the Reason – the book that came out of nowhere.
I’ll take you back to 2013. I was writing with the hope that I would be “good enough” to publish “one day.” I had a plan in mind. I was giving it 12 months to practice before I would try to publish something. Starting in January 2013, I wrote a novel called Windmills of my Mind, which was a hetero-romance. Then Loving Jay, my first attempt at M/M romance.
After Loving Jay was finished, I was ecstatic with it, and plunged straight into writing another M/M romance. I had this idea for a book that involved a blind man whose life was bland and colourless, but was turned upside-down when he met this new housekeeper who didn’t give a shit that he was blind. The new housekeeper, Jake, was a vibrant character with a rather sad history and a sucky attitude.
At the time of writing The Blinding Light, I had no idea it would be published. It was written for me – I just thought it was a nice story and I would enjoy re-reading it. While writing it, I submitted Loving Jay to Dreamspinner Press, hoping that when they rejected my story, they would give me some feedback on my writing.
Two weeks away from finishing the writing of The Blinding Light, Dreamspinner accepted Loving Jay. I was equal parts astonished and surprised. Eight weeks later, they accepted The Blinding Light and The Tav series was on its way.
I truthfully had no thought of writing a series. I was just writing an interesting story.
That’s when the readers got involved. They wanted more. More of Jake and Patrick. But especially they wanted Davo’s story. I laughed long and hard. If I was going to create a hero for a story, I would pick someone other than Davo.
Excerpt from The Blinding Light:
My good mate Davo is a top, 100 percent of the time with no exceptions to the rule. Ever. He has a standard pickup line: “Are you a bottom? Yes? Hi, I’m Dave.”
I guess that stops any disappointments later on during the relationship—the whole fifteen minutes of it, anyway. Davo has been topping his way through life since I’ve known him.
Davo was borne from the need to tell Jake’s story. In The Blinding Light, Jake was desperate for any job. As well as housekeeping for a blind man during the day, he worked the bar at night. And of course, if your mate worked the bar at a rocking pub, wouldn’t you hang out there? Davo was created to give Jake someone to talk to. When a man is unsure why his straight employer kissed him, he needs someone to talk to. I dreamed up Davo, giving him a personality that was a contrast to the caring, family-orientated Jake. Davo is living the “ideal gay life” for a single gay man. No ties. No need for ties. No desire for ties. And hooking up every weekend with the myriad of men he finds at The Tav. He is crude and straight shooting – telling Jake how it is.
Excerpt from The Blinding Light:
“So do you think that straight guys can get turned on by gay guys? Does it matter if the hand on your dick is male or female?”
Davo leaned against the wall and gave it serious thought. “To me it doesn’t matter if I’m desperate. I’ve had BJs from women before. You just close your eyes, you know?”
How the hell was I meant to make Davo into a character for an M/M romance. A romance for goodness sake. There wasn’t an ounce of romance in Davo’s attitude during The Blinding Light.
Which meant I needed to find someone special to ignite the romance in Davo. If I found Davo another tough-rough blokey guy, then they would probably have a fifteen minute relationship, and move on. So who could I find to capture Davo’s attention?
I would need a guy who is in touch with his emotions. A guy who has patience with Davo’s attitude. A guy who will melt Davo’s heart. But where would I find such a guy? At the first sign of femme in another gay guy, Davo runs the opposite way. So it needs to be someone who would slip under his radar without setting off the alarms.
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: How about a woman? Davo wouldn’t be running from a woman’s presence. A woman could capture his interest unexpectedly.
Renae: But Davo’s GAY. Remember? We’re writing a gay romance.
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: What about if Davo doesn’t realise that the person is really a guy?
Renae: What do you mean?
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: C’mon! We’ve seen some great guys who pass as women when dressed in their finery.
Renae: No. It would never work. Davo will never be attracted to a woman.
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: What if “she” gives him a BJ? The best in his life?
Renae: No. Davo would be angry if he realises “she” tricked him.
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: Do you really think Davo would put emotion above lust?
Renae: Look. I just can’t write Davo’s story. It won’t—
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: Give it a go.
Renae: No. We can’t—
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: If you write it, the story will come.
Renae’s Inspiration Centre: Try it!
And so You Are the Reason was born. I hope you all enjoy.
In order to celebrate my release of You Are the Reason, I’ve organised a scavenger hunt. I will be releasing ONE WORD as the hunt item on several stops of my blog tour. In order to WIN an eBook copy of the book, follow along the blog tour and find a minimum of FIVE unique words. Email the five words to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before August 16th to be in the draw.
Today’s word is: INSPIRATION
I look forward to hearing from you.
Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.
Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.
How to contact Renae: