Next stop on the Escaping From Him blog tour was Love Bytes Reviews. There's a giveaway of one of my ebooks if you comment on their website, as well as an interview, and an extract.
Darryl and Chris are very life like characters, did you make them up completely, or did you base them on anyone in real life?
My friend had a boyfriend a little bit like Chris in some ways. He complained about things being ‘too gay’ and would never kiss other gay men to greet them, it was just a firm hand shake. He also banned my friend from carrying anything in plastic carrier bags by the handle, instead insisting they were carried crumpled up and not swinging about. Again, ‘too gay’ otherwise. But most of Chris is a mixture of small elements of other ex boyfriends of mine, or my friends, a bit from him and bit from him, making a whole monstrous picture of Chris. He was such fun to write!
I think, like most of the main characters I write, there’s elements of me in Darryl. The wide eyed wonder at the gay scene at his young age, was something I felt as a teenager coming to London’s gay scene. I also think Darryl’s desire to have a job that’s creative, interesting, and fulfilling is a classic millennial generational thing, which I also agree with. Millennials are those born from 1980 to 2000, sometimes called generation Y. I’m also a great believer in asking for the kindness of strangers, and also being a kind stranger too. I’ve often given someone a few coins if they’re short for the parking meter, or let someone go in the queue in front of me if they’ve got one item and I have a basket. I think lots of people doing little things like that all around the world make it a better world to live in.
Of all your characters in Escaping From Him, who would you most like to push downstairs, who would you like to share a taxi cab with, and who would you like to move next door so you could see them every day?
I’d like to live next door to Charlie, because, who doesn’t want a sexy gay cowboy living next door to them, even if he’s a bit too flirty? I’d be able to handle that on a daily basis, because his heart’s in the right place. I’d push Chris downstairs, just like Darryl does with his stuff in the black bin bag. Chris is a petty, vile individual and although I don’t condone violence, but just because that was the option, definitely Chris would go down the stairs. But I wouldn’t want him to be hurt though, just a gentle push I think. And I would share a taxi cab with Darryl, because with his luck, and his fortune favouring the brave attitude, I’d want to see where we ended up. I’m sure his optimism and grab life by the balls attitude would lead to an interesting conversation about his photography, or maybe a night out at the cabaret club in Scotland, or about one of his friend’s life dramas. I’m sure we’d end up having a much longer taxi ride than at first planned, leading somewhere much more fun than we’d first thought, because, that’s what Darryl is like.
EXTRACT – Darryl meets Charlie for the first time
My stool stopped and in front of me stood a man in his forties, a well-preserved forties. He wore black Levi jeans that clung in all the right places, and bulged in the right other places too. His light-blue denim short-sleeved shirt had small shiny buttons down the front, and a flourish of metal on the shoulders. I looked up to his face, expecting a cowboy hat but was disappointed at its absence. Instead, I was greeted with an open neck of dark blond chest hair, and a necklace nestled among the hair. He had light blue eyes and close cropped dark blonde beard, with just the odd fleck of ginger in it. Well, everyone has their crosses to bear, don’t they?
“Charlie.” He held out his large hand with a dusting of blond hairs on the back.
We sat at the bar, established he’d been playing peacemaker between two different groups of friends until he was exhausted. All his friends had left and he’d spotted me sitting all alone for the whole time I’d been there. And he didn’t have any drugs to sell me.
I told him I’d moved from down south after a nasty breakup, and that I wasn’t ready for another relationship.
“I wasn’t after one of those either.” He smiled and put his hand on my knee.