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Because Love Sees No Gender.™

The Dirty Dozen blog hop: Wake Kelly

Good morning everyone! Today I have a special treat for you… Wade Kelly is visiting me today and talking a little about writing, his stories, and more. This is one of the stops on The Dirty Dozen blog hop. What’s that? Well… it’s Twelve Supporting Author’s (for GayRomLit), supporting each other. We got together and came up with a 12 question Q&A where we each threw a question into the hat, but all of us answer all the questions. So you’ll have to stop by each stop on the hop to see how the same question can honestly have twelve different answers. This is going to be SO much fun!! There is a tourwide giveaway as well that you can enter to win books from all the authors participating in the hop.

What inspires you most when you are writing?

WK: Music. I tend to get a lot of ideas for character interaction from music.

What brought you to write m/m? What keeps you writing in this genre?

WK: I started writing when I thought about creating a story for a friend of how he’d meet “Prince Charming” and since he is gay, I wrote M/M. I stayed with it because it seemed that culture was full of LGBT issues that needed to be talked about and too many stories that needed to be told for those kids who are “thrown away” or bullied or abused because of their sexuality. I say “kids” but they grow into young adults. I wanted to write about their struggles, and so I do.

Of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite and why?

WK: Darian Weston. I think he’s the most messed up. Broken. Haunted. And truly his “Story” has not been finished. He is one of three main characters in a trilogy so eventually I will finish his tale. I think I often feel like him (broken and afraid and abandoned), so I care for his development the most.

Many of us have pen names that we use and there are an infinite number of ways and reasons behind them, but I doubt many of them reflect the names we wish we’d been born with.  If you could micro-manage the ultimate do-over, what birth name do you want? What nickname?

WK: I always liked the name Kelly. That is why I use it as my last name. No nickname that I can think of. Maybe “Ace”… :p (That’s a Red Dwarf reference which probably no one will get.)

What is something readers would be surprised to learn about me?

WK: I think I’ve only been drunk 3 times in my life (I’m 46) , and only once was I completely wasted.

What do you do that most injures the progress of your writing, and why do you do it?

WK: Facebook kills my drive. I’m addicted and can’t stay away. Um, movies also are a distraction. But mostly life itself because I have children and I am trying to be balanced in writing and taking care of the family. But if I tilt too far in the “mothering” side of my needs then the writing suffers.

If you had to trade writing for another creative pursuit, what would it be?

WK: I have a thing for musicians. I would have LOVED to learn drums and play in a band. But, I have no musical ability. But I am determined to WRITE a rocker book to fulfill my dream. LOL

In one sentence, write the beginning of a sex scene using some kind of food. Think of it as your hook.

WK: Max took a hold of Paul’s hand, the one festooned with black olives on his fingertips, and proceeded to seductively remove them with a long, slow, deep-throated suck on each digit. (OMGosh, this is so cheesy!)

Name one of your favorite characters of all time that someone else wrote. Can be M/M or any genre.

WK: Drizzt Do’Urden in the Dark Elf books by R.A. Salvatore. He was marginalized by everyone because of the color of his skin and the reputation of his race. I was drawn to his strength to over come prejudice. Perhaps writing about another marginalized group stems from reading about Drizzt.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you be and why?

WK: Nick Jones. He is the most like me growing up. (EXCEPT for the many, many sexual encounters!!!) I had a fairly easy life. My parents were very supportive, caring people and basically gave me everything. (Although I never asked for anything. I’ve very low key.) I know people have a hard time liking Nick and honestly that was unexpected because I adore him. He has the most growth of all my characters and I think that reflects much of my own growing up. I see his potential and I guess I hope to have that potential in myself to grow and change for the better.

How many versions of a book do you usually write before you arrive at ‘the one’, and how does your editor impact that?

WK: I don’t know because I edit as I go. I backtrack and redo sections as I write the following chapters so it is hard to say how many. I never write one full MS and then start to edit. And the DSP editors normally go over it three times, so I am not sure how to answer that one either.

If you came with a warning label, what would it be?

WK: The first thing that came to mind was “Choking Hazard” and I am not sure why. I do OFTEN choke on things I drink. I breathe and swallow at the same time. It’s terrible. But I could think of lots of labels pertaining to the amount of messes I make or how many things I break.

Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it is not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. She writes passionately about the controversial issues witnessed in real life 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. 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, and has a tegu (lizard) living in her bathroom.

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What if sexuality wasn’t a definable thing and labels merely got in the way?

Nick Jones can’t remember a time when he wasn’t part of the in crowd. Everywhere he goes, he stands out as the best looking guy in the room, and women practically fall into bed with him. Then, after kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on many occasions, Nick’s “screw anything” reputation escalated, but he didn’t care. 

When Nick meets RC at the restaurant where he works, it throws his whole life out of whack. Overweight, always sweaty, gay, and hairy like a bear; RC lives up to his dubbed nickname “scruffy dude.” He seems Nick’s complete opposite, but Nick can’t get him out of his head.

Because of peer-pressure and his fears about defining his sexuality, Nick struggles with stepping out of his comfort zone and caring about someone different than himself.  If he’s lucky, somewhere between arrogance and ignorance, Nick might find out what it means to be an adult, but if he’s wrong, he could lose everything.  

RC purchased his snake, and we walked away.

I grumbled to RC, “He seemed rude.”

“Charlie? He’s cool. I met him years ago. He liked my flag tattoo and told me he was surprised to find a queer guy who liked snakes. I told him I’m just a guy. We got talking, and he said I’m the first homosexual he’d ever met at a show. Now it’s like a joke between us. He calls me queer, and sometimes I call him a redneck.”

“Doesn’t it bother you, being called queer?” I certainly didn’t like the sound of it.

“Personally, I don’t think so. I like the term queer, but I know others who disagree. I think it’s a personal thing. I’ve never liked to be lumped in with all the rest. I prefer to be left alone.

“Shakespeare said, ‘What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ The paradox is that although names or labels shouldn’t matter one way or another, they do because our emotions attach stigmas to the labels. I may be the same person on the inside no matter what you call me, but being called a faggot while I’m curled in a fetal position trying to protect my vital organs because some asshole thinks it’s funny to kick the queer kid has a habit of changing a person. Me and every other kid who has gone through it. Names hurt because they yank away the threads of self-esteem that hold each person together. When someone is out of self-esteem, pride, or dignity, that person is bound to do anything just to get to the next day. Some sell themselves into prostitution or get lost in drugs. I knew someone who answered a personal ad and moved to California to live with a guy he’d never met. I haven’t heard from him since. He could be happy, or he could be dead. I don’t know. It might sound preposterous, but shit like that happens. People are just so caught up in their world of pain versus addiction that anything can and does happen.”

RC had a point.

I had never thought about it so deeply before. I’d been avoiding the terminology because being called gay bothered me, but I wasn’t sure why. I wanted to avoid the difficulties associated with being in that specific minority because I saw it as a detriment or a stigma. I hadn’t wanted to get marginalized for it. I was a white male born into some level of comfort. I had a job, but I lived at home with my parents. I came and went as I pleased, and dated whomever I wanted. I feared how much that would change. If I was gay or queer, would my life on Easy Street disappear? I liked Easy Street.

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**NOTE: this tour is not a part of the official GRL blog hop