Today I’m sharing a bit of background about my Amber Allure contemporary romance, Four Days with Jack. When I got the idea for the book I knew the basic plot and premise, but I wasn’t exactly sure what the conflict would be within the story. As I started writing, David’s character quickly showed me the conflict – inner turmoil.
Up until now, 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) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him?
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 type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”
As I was writing this story, I 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, scenes, and plots that make up the book as a whole. 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, a vampire romance. It’s not about me explaining myself on paper and waiting to be judged; it’s about the characters and what happens to them. It’s called fiction.
Writers have 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 fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.
One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank) in the story. As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobe and he says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and his own wife. So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show how even in this day and age, not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that helped band David and Jack together during a crisis moment.
But despite Frank’s interference, Jack and David have a happy-ever-after ending. And I’m pleased to say that Four Days with Jack has received great reviews. Here are snippets from two:
“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. Overall, I believe that FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is 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. FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is 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, Reviewer, Romance Novel News
“Four Days With Jack was exactly as promised. Hesitation, longings, risks, fears, and in the end, taking love the way it comes. The sex is hot, the characters likeable and the writing was easy to read. The peaks and valleys of the story come from David and Jack coming to terms with their relationship. Their secrets are exposed but those secrets and actions come with consequences. Their journey is a pleasant read and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy as well.” – Seriously Reviewed
Four Days with Jack makes a great summer read. It’s got a bit of everything: a tropical resort, humor, sadness, true love and some pretty steamy love scenes. The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/FourDaysWithJack.html
Check it out, and let me know what you think.
Happy Summer, Everyone!
Kelli A. Wilkins