I’m excited to welcome Wade Kelly to the blog on this New Year’s Eve so that she can talk about her new book Misplaced Affection, which releases tomorrow to kick off 2015. I’ll have a review of this excellent book tomorrow on JeffAndWill.com. Here’s the interview I had with Wade.
Happy New Year, Wade! Tomorrow’s a big day for you, not only the start of a new year (of course) but the release of Misplaced Affection. Tell us about this new book and where its inspiration came from.
Wade: I took a class on Modern English Grammar last fall (2013) and one of the projects was finding a painting that was in an art museum and writing about it as if it was an excerpt from a movie or TV show. I thought, I can do that no problem. I also have many prints of paintings hanging in my house. I picked my favorite one, Ophelia, and wrote a scene. As I pictures what was going on in the background it fell into place that the person looking at the girl knew she was in love with the groom and that HE, the best man, was also. (hahah, of course the best man was in love with the groom.) I wrote 8 pages for the class when I only needed two. As we took a test, the teacher read the papers. With mine, she cried enough to have to get a tissue. :p I felt good about that one! So, inspiration? A painting and my English Grammar class.
Misplaced Affection is pretty far to the right on the Wade Kelly scale and it deals with a lot of emotional turmoil, what’s it like for you as the author putting your characters through so much?
Wade: Basically, I cry. It’s not like I always set out to write something that will rip my readers up, it just sort of happens. I think about real life and real life settings and reactions and the turmoil often comes out. But it definitely hurts to write it.
You’ve got principal characters in this book with Flynn at the center of everything. How would you describe the complex relationship between Flynn, Keith and Zach?
Wade: I was trying to capture real jealousy and insecurity. Anytime a person falls in love there is a risk that their best friend could be jealous or feel left out. In this case, I take the feelings to the extreme and explore the possibilities.
And, because I have to ask, who would you cast to play these three in a movie?
Wade: Oh wow. Good question. I sort of thought about Atli óskar Fjalarsson from the movie Jitters. He was sweet and I thought he be a good Flynn. Keith was modeled after a friend of mine and I can’t think of an actor that looks like him. Zach? I honestly don’t know. I would love to hear readers’ thoughts once they’ve read MA. Who do YOU think could play these guys in a movie?
As a reader, my picks for casting would be Nat Wolff (from Fault in our Stars) for Flynn, Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games) as Zach and Carlos Valdes (TV’s The Flash) as Keith. Although after finding a picture of Atli, I can see how you’d pick him. We’ll see how other readers feel about these choices.
What is the ultimate message of this book and what do you want readers to incorporate into their lives after reading it?
Wade: Dang, you think of some good question! Um, wow… take from it… Some reservations and caution when coming out can be good depending on where you live. Reactions like the bully in the high school do happen and since Flynn lives in a conservative town, his fears were real. BUT, feeling good about yourself and who you are shouldn’t be suppressed by the fear of coming out. Caution is good, but it can also lead to paralyzing fear. Opening up and finding support from parents and close friends is very important.
And parents need to have the lines of communication open! Don’t abuse your children and make them feel less than human. Gay kids are the same as every other kid and they have the same fears and insecurities. Treating them with love and support is what every kid needs as they grow up to be adults. Abuse hinders maturity and self-esteem.
Does that all make sense?
It does. There’s a huge contrast in the parents in the book with Flynn’s dad and Keith’s parents being the polar opposites of Zach’s. It seems you’re telling a story about families as much as you are about Flynn, Keith and Zach, was that always the intent?
Wade: Yes. I don’t see gay characters as being in a vacuum. Every person has a family of some sort. I was trying to show differing reactions to the boys’ sexuality.
Misplaced Affections is a departure for you as you’re going the self-publishing route. What have you learned from that experience? What, if anything, does this mean for your readers?
It means that I CAN bring things to you faster. Names Can Never Hurt Me took 10 months in production. Since I write slow, I really didn’t want to wait another 10 months for this to come out. While I will continue to use traditional publishers, I will also self-publish in between.
I learned a lot about formatting and how each site requires different things. Createspace is a pain. Although, maybe next time I will have no problems as I think I tackled everything. Watching videos on YouTube helps! I also learned it is a lot of work to edit the book properly and spend the time needed to go over everything that normally a publisher would pick up on. I wanted this project to have the same high quality.
You’re also doing audio for Misplaced Affection. How’s it going getting that put together and do you know when we can look for that to become available?
Wade: I wanted to have a different format available as soon as possible. I am not patient and I hate waiting for things. I think that audio is a huge market and many readers prefer it as this is a busy world we live in. Audio is expensive so I can see why some publishers don’t produce audio on many titles. I hope it will be available by April as my narrator, Jason Frazier, will be attending the Rainbow Book Fair in New York with me to promote it.
So, it’s New Year’s Eve, tell us who’d be performing at a Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve ’15 With Wade Kelly?
Wade: All Time Low, my favorite band, Maroon 5 and Evanescence. I love Amy Lee’s voice.
What’s coming up that people should look for in 2015 and do you have any New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share?
Wade: I always break my resolutions. 🙁 I want to write more. I have high hopes for 2015 being a big year. I need to write more and publish more. I don’t have anything close to being done, so you all need to remind me to write! Every. Day.
Now, to wrap up, when you stopped by to talk about Names Can Never Hurt Me, I asked our friend Michael Kudo to throw a question into the mix. He’s back this time, and with a Names-related question, which I think is a pretty great one: “How much different would Names have been if RC met Corey instead of Nick – like how things would have progressed and how a potential relationship between them would have blossomed?”
Corey and Nick are both very pretty, but I think their personalities are very different. I don’t see RC as Corey’s type either. I have someone in mind for him LOL in book 2. In my mind, Corey is more flamboyant. Nick is a regular looking dude and his relationship with RC falls together so naturally. If Corey had been RC’s friend first, hmm, maybe Nick would have wanted Corey to set him up. Or maybe RC would have been even more jealous of Nick and Corey’s friendship and seen him as even more of a threat. As it is, RC finally accepts Corey. If he was RC’s friend first, I think they would have had difficulties BOTH being friends with Nick.
Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her three children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.
Visit Wade Kelly at:
- Subscribe to Wade’s Blog at: writerwadekelly.blogspot.com
- Contact Wade at email@example.com
Misplaced Affection Blurb:
Clichés are overrated and loving the boy next door may not be as genuine as the love Flynn sacrifices along the way.
Knowing he’s gay and acting on it were two separate notions to Flynn Brewer until he’d met Keith, his first boyfriend, in high school. Before then, being gay wasn’t as real as the pain of living day-to-day. Flynn’s fear of coming out to his religious best friend Zach in their conservative community destroyed his relationship with Keith, but Flynn rationalized his avoidance and bottled up the truth until it was regrettably too late.
Zachary Mitchell was the perfect son and role model as far as the outside world could tell. Active in his church while attending college, Zach had a personality that could sell anything, do anything, or be anything. Except, he couldn’t sell the truth to himself. Just when he was ready to reveal his internal conflict to Flynn and expose the darkness lurking in his heart, and in his “perfect” family, Zach met a girl and got sucked deeper into his chasm of deception.
Caught in a living Newton’s Cradle of his own design, Flynn must choose between idealistic childhood fantasy, or a tempestuous passion that could ignite the very air he breathes.
Where to buy Misplaced Affection:
Misplaced Affection Excerpt:
I heard the rain pounding outside my open window like a bucket of marbles spilling onto a snare drum. I tried to ignore it and fall back asleep because I really liked the sound of rain, but then a light flashed in front of my closed lids and a peal of thunder shook my house. I shot to a sitting position. I wasn’t afraid of storms, I rather liked them, but there was something about the incredible force of nature during a thunderstorm that can make even the bravest person shake; even if only for a moment.
I got out of bed and went to my window to see if the rain was coming in. Occasionally it did, depending on which way the wind was blowing. Because my house was so close to Zach’s there wasn’t much space to drive the wind my way or his, so my carpet was generally safe. I felt mist coming through the screen, but only a little. I glanced up and spied Zach across the way staring at me. I guessed he was awakened by the storm too. We both stood frozen for several minutes, staring, unable to turn away and yet reluctant to speak. Not that I could have heard him over the rain. Then he pointed at me, pointed to himself, and pointed down twice.
I gave him the thumbs-up and swallowed hard.
Zach and I hadn’t spent much time together in the past year.
If Zach was implying he needed to talk now, in the middle of a rainstorm, I’d take it.
I quietly made my way downstairs and out the kitchen door. The small porch on that side of the house faced Zach’s house and had enough room to sit under the overhanging roof that we wouldn’t get wet. Of course, his mad dash over had him dripping already. His chest heaved, and drops of water clung to his nose. Just like the moment in our respective windows, we stood there staring at each other like strangers, or estranged lovers, or maybe just as friends who had lost each other in a flood and presumed the other was dead. We stared, breathed, and waited.
Wade: Short, but to the point. This is my favorite scene. It is much longer, but I only included a tidbit here to peak your interest. I was inspired after laying awake much of one night listening to the pounding rain outside. I HAD to write about it. I hope you will take a chance on this next “Wade Kelly Special” and risk some tears. I think it is well worth the tissues you will use because I think the story is beautiful.
Wade, so glad you stopped by to share this book with everyone. Will and I wish you much success with Misplaced Affection.