So this is happening! Come see me read on October 7 at 7pm at the Stonewall Inn. Bring your friends!
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Sports Week continues! Today, I’m happy to host Lex Valentine, who I also just met at GRL. She’s got a new book out that tackles football. (Tackles, geddit?) Read on to learn how to enter to win a copy of her new book!
What is an author to do when presented with characters who cling to their childhood fears? What do we do when they don’t react as adults? Well, you write a book about characters who let fear rule their lives until they finally grow up, grow a pair, and get down to the business of love.
In my novel Scrambling, my two main characters both fear the same thing, losing their best friend. They will sacrifice anything for that relationship because it means everything to them. What they end up sacrificing is the truth and the chance to be together. You see, they are in love with each other and afraid to say so. They fear that they will lose the one relationship they have come to rely on…their friendship.
So how did a book about the first two out players in the NFL end up being a tale of fear? My characters. They wouldn’t get it together. They stayed locked in their fears, afraid of being alone, afraid of losing a relationship that defined their lives. Each man deliberately gives up the chance to be with the man he loves in order to preserve a friendship he can’t live without. Childish? Yes. Stubborn? Yes. Irrational? Sure. But love isn’t always rational and characters can often do and think stupid things.
Scrambling shows how the PR director of an NFL team spins the coming out of two newly drafted players into a positive thing for the team. My heroes walk the red carpet at every LGBT event she can send them to. They become poster boys for being out. As professional athletes who are also gay, they become trailblazers in an industry that has closet doors firmly shut. And while I originally envisioned this story being about the prejudices that these men have to overcome, once the writing began to flow, it quickly became a story about how even men who are out have things that they still hide in the closet.
Thanks to Kate for having me here today. If you leave a comment here, I’ll put your name in a drawing to win a copy of Scrambling. I’ll draw a name Thursday night at midnight Pacific time.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt from Scrambling.
Evan McAdam has two constants in his life–football and his friendship with Reed Matthews. From the age of six, Evan’s played football alongside Reed. In his teens, he realized he was gay and loved Reed, but fear kept him from confiding his deepest emotions to his best friend.
When he and Reed are drafted to the L.A. Stars, Evan decides to come out. His decision impacts Reed who’s been in the closet too. The two men struggle with secrets of unrequited love while facing the world as the first two openly gay NFL players.
When injury forces Evan to retire, the love he bears Reed can no longer be hidden. But will Reed be able to reciprocate, or will Evan lose both football and the man he’s always loved?
Excerpt Under the Cut:
Kerry and I were in the same reading session at GayRomLit, so we had a little baseball extravaganza going there. Kerry contacted me about doing a baseball-related guest post a while back, and I was like, “Of course!” I am all about promoting sports romances. So, without further ado, here’s Kerry. — Kate
I vaguely remember watching baseball as a child. My brother loved sports of all kinds, and I watched a few games here and there with no deep interest or allegiance to any one team.
But in 1998, things changed. I began to watch the Home Run Race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as a news event. Soon, though, I started watching the actual games. And I liked them.
To me, baseball was more a scientific sport, all curves and trajectories. Games weren’t won by knocking the other guy on his ass. Actually, hitting an opposing player would get someone thrown out of the game. There was talk of the sweet spot and averages… and I was a goner.
Once I fell in love with the game, picking a favorite team was a no-brainer: the Atlanta Braves all the way, baby. And when a cute little second baseman I noticed during the Home Run Race went to play for them in 1999, I was even more devoted.
Come on, I am not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t notice the boys in their tight little pants. *swoon* Sure, I love the game, but I can definitely appreciate the scenery.
That year, the Braves went to the World Series against the hated New York Yankees (okay, maybe it’s just me that hates them). I managed to get tickets to the first game, which was played at Turner Field in Atlanta, and, even though I was in the nosebleed section and the Braves lost, I will never forget the wonder of that game.
In my new book Pine Tar & Sweet Tea, both Matt and René are former professional baseball players turned high school coaches. They both were closeted during their playing days, but only Matt has remained in the closet now that he’s a coach. They both love the game, and their lives are dedicated to the young men they lead.
To date, there has not been an active Major League baseball player come out publicly, although there have been players who have come out after retirement. While one hopes things are changing for gay players, there are still examples of overt homophobia by players, most recently a player suspended for having a homophobic slur written on his eye black.
It’s only a matter of time before an active player comes out. The 2012 Summer Olympics saw numerous out athletes competed, and recently an active featherweight boxer came out. NFL players routinely speak in favor of marriage equality. Hopefully soon the environment will be such that any athlete in any sport will feel free to be who they are.
Thank you Kate for having me on your blog! And everyone, please visit the tour kickoff post to enter the super-duper tour giveaway.
Kerry was born and raised in Alabama, and she grew up swearing she was going to get the hell out of Dodge the instant she could. Turns out Dodge ain’t so bad, and she never left. Alabama’s version of a city girl, she married a country boy, and the adorkable couple lives in a small town with their two socially awkward dogs.
Kerry loves to write about love, and it turns out most of the voices in her head are men. She also loves to write about the South, so most of her stories end up there, one way or another.
A tomboy and a geek from way back, Kerry has a day job but dreams she will one day write full time. She has a weakness for yaoi, Japanese stationery, YA, and ginger-haired singers from Britain. She owns an impressive t-shirt collection. Nowaki & Hiroki are her homeboys.
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/pkZ95
And check out an excerpt under the cut:
You can buy it now from Dreamspinner Press!
Since childhood, Jake, Adam, Kyle, and Brendan have been teammates, best friends, brothers. Then one day, when they were twenty-five, Adam disappeared without a word, devastating his friends—none more so than Jake, who had secretly loved Adam since they were teenagers.
Now, five years later, Adam is back, and he has his mind set on Jake. But those years of anger, hurt, and confusion are a lot to overcome, and Jake doesn’t find it easy to forgive. He isn’t sure they’ll ever fit together the way they did. Jake, Kyle, and Brendan have moved on with their lives, but Adam’s high-profile career keeps him in the closet—the same place he’s been for years. Still, his apologies seem sincere, and the attraction is still there. Jake desperately wants to give him a chance. But first he has to find out why Adam left and if he’s really back for good.