Put a Ring on It
Ready or Knot Book One
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date of Publication: September 9, 2015
SBN: 978-1-63476-380-6 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-63476-381-3 eBook
Number of pages: 204
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob. Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms….
Available at Dreamspinner Press | ARe
KIERAN’S PHONE buzzed incessantly in his pocket, and he glared at his khakis as if he could see through to the caller. What part of ‘away from my desk’ is confusing to you people?
It was his own fault for violating his core principle: Success invariably leads to diminished returns. He’d done one job well because it was interesting, and now everyone in the building wanted the Korean IT Guy With the Hair to be the one who showed up when they yelled for help.
He sank down against the wall until he sat folded, head on his knees. He’d hide out in the server room, at least until the afternoon sleepies hit around two and they all started playing their Facebook games. In fact, as long as they could get online to Facebook, probably no one would notice if everything else on the servers went dark.
This room had a consistently cool temperature, perfect humidity control, and top-of-the-line filters. His nose and eyes never itched when he was in here. The constant rush of the fans blotted out any outside noise.
The phone buzzed again, a steady rhythm. He should have put it on silent.
Just audible over the white noise of the fans, keys jangled outside, then scraped against the door. Not a lot of people had keys to the server room, but most of the ones who did could fire him. He rolled onto his knees and slid across the floor, pulled out a screwdriver, and prepared to look busy.
A voice came to him now—Shanara, the office manager. As bosses went, she wasn’t a bad one, but Kieran still figured hiding and ignoring his phone would probably get him reported to the head of IT, who was a total dick.
“Someone said they saw him headed this way.”
“Thank you for all your help, Shanara.”
Kieran dropped the screwdriver. What the hell was Theo doing here, thirty blocks away from where Kieran thought he was? His brain raced through multiple possibilities. Theo had met Kieran’s family, but why would Theo have been the one to come if something had happened to one of them?
“My pleasure, Mr. Medina.”
The door opened. Kieran straightened from picking up his screwdriver and caught Theo’s wink square in the chest.
There it was again. That funny jolt that Kieran was sure his sister, the epidemiologist, could explain resulted through neurotransmitters, conditioned responses, and hormone dumps. But since Siobhan had been in Sierra Leone for the past eight months working to contain the latest Ebola outbreak, she was a little busy for stupid questions about why Kieran’s heart jumped when his boyfriend looked at him like that.
As cheerful as Theo usually was, Kieran was pretty sure Theo wouldn’t wink if something bad had happened. It didn’t explain why he was suddenly next to Shanara in the door to the server room.
Hi seemed like a safer bet than What the fuck are you doing here? so he went with that.
“Hey, I wanted to take you to lunch.” Theo’s smile didn’t affect Kieran’s nervous system like that look could, but it was definitely an autonomous response that made Kieran smile back. “I planned to do it tomorrow, but it’s the understudy’s first matinee and I need to be there.”
“You’re so lucky, Kieran.” Shanara had a smile a bit brighter than her usual professional one. Theo had the same effect on other people. “My boyfriend probably won’t even remember.”
Kieran was already in the same boat with Shanara’s boyfriend. Then he saw the rose Theo produced from behind his back, and Kieran’s brain latched on to the significance. Valentine’s Day was this weekend.
Theo turned and offered the rose to Shanara. “If you can spare him.”
She held the paper-wrapped stem in the space between them. “I thought this was for Kieran.”
Theo sighed. “He’s allergic to flowers. And romance. But I’m working on him.”
Kieran shoved his glasses up on his nose and glared, only to get smacked with another Theo wink, which induced a helpless shake of his head.
“It might take some time….” Theo trailed off and glanced at Shanara.
Her smile was broad, sharpening her cheeks. “You have personal leave banked, right, Kieran?” Barely pausing for his agreement, she said, “I’ll write you as out for the afternoon, let Todd know.”
Kieran nodded. The less he had to deal with the asshole director of IT, the better. Especially now that Kieran was in high demand.
“Thank you so much, Shanara.” Theo handed her a business card. “Just present that at the Will Call window any time and they’ll take care of you.”
“Thank you, Theo. Be sure to lock up the server room, Kieran.”
About the Author:
K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Chip and Ken made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was surprised to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.
K.A. loves to hear from her readers.
She is often found talking about her imaginary friends on Twitter @ka_mitchell
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
Plans? We don’t need no stinkin’ plans! My stories are always character driven, organic. I usually have a vague outline written, but I let the story change rather than force it where it doesn’t want to go.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
My characters are the story. The story is what they tell me. I might throw in an obstacle from my position on the outside, but they are driving. I have a map, but like most guys, they really hate to ask for directions.
What drew you to the M/M genre in particular?
I’ve thought that two guys together was cute and natural since I was a child. I really can’t remember a time when same-sex relationships didn’t seem awesome to me. I was already writing it and looking for it to read before I knew there was a big market for romance with two men in it.
Do you write in other genres besides M/M?
I tried. I wrote a lesbian historical romance. Started another one. Then I tried m/f contemporary, m/f historical, m/f suspense, m/f gothic paranormal, but I was always more interested in various gay characters who weren’t the leads, even if I was the only one who knew they were gay. Someone told me there was a market for the romances I liked to read and write and I was off like a shot. I never feel bored. Never yearn to write something else. Maybe something like historical or paranormal, but always with men.
What is your favourite food?
Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese. I’m sorry. Did I get all dreamy there? Specifically a Brie that is creamy and rich. St. Andre, I’m looking at you and that is lust in my eyes.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I definitely love the night life, and not just to boogie. I feel like my peak creativity is between 10 PM and 2 AM. I feel most energetic when I’m not particularly diurnal, getting 5-6 hours at night and then a late afternoon nap.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I love going anywhere that gets my imagination rolling. I would love to go back to Hawaii, but I also want to see ancient sites in Italy and Egypt and Greece, historical places in Europe, the amazing waterfalls in South America and Iceland. If I could write a ticket anywhere, I think Iceland first. It looks so different from here.
Do distant places feature in your books?
I’ll go where the characters need to, but when I choose a setting, I go for something on the East Coast of the U.S. because it’s the most familiar to me. I feel like I can create the best feel for that place in readers’ minds.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Sometimes. I create character and book playlists and music really helps get the feelings stirred for that super angsty, never-going-to-make-it-right moment. Usually though, I write with brainwaves or white noise.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
Put a Ring on It is the first book in a new series called Ready or Knot. The series focuses on four men who have been close friends since college who are impacted in different ways by marriage equality. Put a Ring on It kicks off with one of them proposing to his much younger, very quiet and shy boyfriend with a flash mob proposal in Times Square. Oh, Theo. What were you thinking?
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I think my favorite thing to tell new authors is something I learned from Susan Elizabeth Phillips. “It’s always somebody’s favorite book.” You may write a book you think is your best ever and it gets little love. You may write something that you thought was fluffy and people get a lot out of it. But no matter what you write, there is someone out there for whom that book is the best thing they’ve read and it made their day. You may never hear about it, but trust me, it’s true.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I’m sure there are things I should have done differently. I always wish I could produce books faster, as fast as the idea comes to me. But I’m proud of my work and those were the best stories I could write at that time. I wouldn’t want to change them—though I would like to go back and fix a few little things, typos, bad sentences.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I’ve definitely been influenced by many of the other writers I’ve read, movies, TV, all forms of stories. But the writer whose advice has most felt like he sees writing the way I do is Ray Bradbury. I’ve always loved the rhythm of his sentences.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Write what you love because you love it. Chasing a genre or trend or writing because you think it will make you tons of money will lead to misery. Writing is hard, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had and the one I’ve wanted all my life. It’s not a lottery ticket. Other writers are your lifeline, not your competition.
What are three words that describe you?
Yikes. I’m going to cheat and grab one word from the three people who know me best. I suck at this kind of self-awareness thing. I also suck at sticking to a word count.
Here we go:
Dorky, funny, Squirrel!
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Ouch! These are getting harder! I’ve always said my favorite book is The Catch Trap which is an historical m/m romance. Favorite author? *panics, collapses* I can’t.
Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob.
Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms….
List of previous books if any
Diving In Deep
But My Boyfriend Is
Regularly Scheduled Life
Not Knowing Jack
An Improper Holiday
The Christmas Proposition
Life, Over Easy
Bad in Baltimore
Just a Little Bad
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web
Thank you, K.A.!