Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Guest Post by Kelli Wilkins - Inside Look at Four Days with Jack
By Amber Allure Author Kelli A. Wilkins
Today I’m sharing an inside look at my first Amber Allure romance, Four Days with Jack. I always knew that one day I’d write a gay romance, and I’d been batting ideas around in my head for a while. I was in between books when I heard about the Amber Allure “Postcards from Paradise” line, and I knew I had my next project.
A lot of people cringe when they learn that I write erotica – “You mean porn?” No. I write hot love stories that don’t skimp on details. And when people find out I write gay erotic romances, that really freaks them out. “But why would you do that? You’re not a man or gay.” So? I wrote a Bigfoot romance, and I’ve never seen Bigfoot.
As a writer, I approach a same-sex love scene the same way I would if I was writing about a hetero couple. For me, it’s not about the gender or the anatomy of the characters – it’s about creating a believable, intimate scene where two people express their love for each other.
Four Days with Jack is one of the very few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having an outline let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions. As I wrote, David quickly revealed a major conflict – inner turmoil.
David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He is afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) he’s gay. How will they react? Will he be shunned by friends and family? Should he tell anyone? Live a lie? How will his life change?
I picked up on this theme of “what will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family (and some friends) disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”
As I was writing this story, I also considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the m/m love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations!), a first-person vampire love story, and even a werewolf/Alpha male romance.
Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about “what grandma would think” about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime stories. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.
Recently I read a blog where a woman was “confessing” to writing an erotic romance, even though she couldn’t tell anyone about it and wouldn’t “dare” put her real name on the story. I got to wondering…why? Why hide your writing? And if you’re “ashamed” to be writing in a particular genre, why invest the time in something you’re not going to stand behind?
Four Days with Jack deals with issues of homophobia, self-doubt, and self-acceptance. I’m proud that I wrote it. Why? Because I’m a romance writer – and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after.
I’m pleased to say that Four Days with Jack has received great reviews. Here’s a snippet from one:
“...I thought that (Kelli) Wilkins did a very good job portraying the confused David and the wary, but hopeful, Jack. David’s inner turmoil and fears about outing himself were so heartbreaking. I definitely felt for him. A strong romance with very likeable characters. I’m quite glad that I went ahead and read this story. I learned that as a romance fan I can definitely appreciate and enjoy those that feature two male heroes. An emotional, yet sexy coming-out story about two men finally opening themselves up to the possibility of a great love. It was an excellent introduction into the world of M/M romance.”--Jennifer, Romance Novel News
Order your copy here: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/FourDaysWithJack.html
I hope you enjoyed this inside look at Four Days with Jack. The book was a lot of fun to write. I enjoy hearing from readers and other writers. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you thought of the book.
Read full summaries, excerpts, and reviews from all of Kelli’s romances on her new site: www.KelliWilkins.com (You can also contact Kelli through a link at her site.)
Or visit:Kelli’s Amber Quill Press Author Page: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.html
Kelli’s Amazon author page:
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