Date Published: 17 April 2015
Available in: ebook
Other forms coming: expanded ebook
When did you start writing this book? February 2015
What gave you the inspiration for the story? A call for submission to an Australian anthology.
Many people will wonder about this book – What? There is another Renae Kaye book?
This is a short story that is published in the Queermance II Anthology. The anthology aims to publish short stories about Australian LGBT life. I decided to attend the Queermance conference in 2015, so I thought I would write a small story for the anthology too.
I will be expanding the story and republishing as a standalone, hopefully later this year.
What was the working title? During the writing phase I simply called it “Queermance.”
Where did the title of the book come from? The name came naturally once I finished the book. The main character in the book is a guy they call Moe. He’s bisexual and fancy-free. He doesn’t like strings on his relationships. And when he finds a brief liaison, he tells them that it has to casual, and if he goes off with someone else, no hard feelings, okay?
Until he meets Sam. He gives Sam the same conditions, but something has happened to Moe. He’s developed hard feelings for Sam. The name grew from there.
Besides, naming a gay romantic story “Hard Feelings” was just deliciously naughty.
What challenges did you face with writing this? The word count. It had to be under 10,000 words. Oh, come on. That was so hard for me!
Tell us about MC1 – where did the inspiration come for him? I wanted to set a book at this beautiful beach called Prevelly. It’s a world class surfing spot where there are international competitions. Moe grew from this. A boy who was raised in the region, learning to surf early in his life, living and working his parents’ business.
In Perth we have a lot of Asian immigration. Little shops pop up that are owned and run by Asian families, and I love their dedication. Their entire families seem to be employed to run the business. Shopping and chatting with those who are from Asia, or are first born generation Australian is usual for me.
But I still get caught out. I still make racial assumptions. Last year I visited Broome which is in the north of Western Australia. The town was founded on the pearling industry, and the Chinese and Japanese cultures were some of the original people to build the town. Today it’s a lovely mix of Chinese, Japanese, Aboriginal and Caucasians. One of the original stores in town is a store called “Wing’s” and is your typical Asian corner store where you can find anything from Chinese noodles, to fishing gear, to pots and pans. I love Wing’s. I made my selections, walked up to the counter, and I greeted the Asian looking guy like I always do.
“G’day. How are you today?”
To my absolute shock, he replied, “Great, thanks. You?” without a single trace of the Asian accent I was expecting. He sounded typical Australian, and I now laugh at my assumption he would have an accent. I wanted Moe to experience the same chagrin that I did. For Sam is as Aussie as they come.
Is there anything special that happens in the story that you think readers would like to know about? You are welcome to experience this book in its short 10,000 word form, and buy it in the Queermance anthology.
Or you can wait a little longer for me to expand it. I will release it on my own.
What is the best thing that has happened about this story, post-publication? I had the wonderful Meg Bawden do me a cover! I met Meg in person at Queermance. Meg is a writer and cover artist. After getting to know her, I knew I had to ask her to do me a cover. And I love it!
Do you plan a follow up story? No. This is just a short story. I love Moe (and Stuart, who you will meet in the story), but I think their story is just this.