Name of book: Out of the Rain Date Published: 10th July 2015 Available in: ebook Other forms coming: Nothing, sorry.
When did you start writing this book? January 2015
What gave you the inspiration for the story? I really can’t remember. I think I started with Mitch, the MC. He’s a down-to-earth, working class, approaching middle-age, just-want-a-beer-after-work dude. I was sick of characters who were defiantly gay, or in the closet, or woe-is-me gay. I just wanted a guy who was gay, and hey, no big deal.
Of course, then in his blue collar end-of-day routine, I had to go and give him an in-the-closet, woe-is-me partner. Hey, sue me. I can’t control my characters!
What was the working title? This one was just “Queermance.” Queermance is an Australian meet up in Melbourne, and they were working on an anthology to go with the launch of the festival. I was attempting to write a short story for them. The terms of the story were simply to be something queer, and Australian. After I’d finished writing Out of the Rain, I decided it wasn’t really Aussie enough – it could’ve been set anywhere. So I put it aside and wrote another story for them. (See previous blog regarding Hard Feelings).
Where did the title of the book come from? I was fiddling around with something like Bringing Him Home, but it didn’t quite work for me. I was thinking how Elijah had come out of the closet, and then got cast out in the rain. And then how Mitch rescued him from out of the rain… and voila! Title found, baybee…
What challenges did you face with writing this? The speed of the relationship. I’m not one who believes in love at first sight. You need to know someone’s character before you can declare that you’re in love with them. But I only had 10,000 words to write this in. It had to move fast.
Tell us about MC1 – where did the inspiration come for him? As I said, I wanted a character where being gay wasn’t such a big deal. I wanted a realistic character – one with a boring job, a mortgage, and the neighbours we all hate when they knock on our door. He’s just an everyday-Joe. Admittedly his house and car turned out to be identical to the guy up the end of my street… isn’t that funny? LOL. Yeah, my neighbour is a carpenter and drives his work ute around.
Tell us about MC2 – where did the inspiration come for him? Elijah foisted himself on me. By virtue of the story, he needed to be young, and maybe in need of a little bit of guidance. When Mitch first looked out into the rain and saw him… well, it played in my mind like an anime movie and Elijah just appeared on stage. The inspiration for Elijah just came out of the… blue. **wink**
Is there anything special that happens in the story that you think readers would like to know about? This is my first (and only) self-published story. I therefore had to go through the editing stage all by myself. One of the things I dislike about publishing through a US company, is that they publish my stories with US spelling. I’m proud to be Australian, so I would prefer Aussie spelling, but rules are rules, and I knew I’d have to self-publish to get the spelling I’m used to.
I was therefore so excited to have this story with Australian spelling. I asked my beautiful Australian author friends, Toni Griffin and Nic Starr to beta read the story for me. They did a great job. Then I found an Australian editor to fix up my numerous mistakes (thanks Susan). Then Krista picked up the proofing for me. Krista was the only non-Australian to work on it.
So then it released, and I had a bunch of people come back to me with things like, “What’s an esky?” Since we were all Australian, a lot of Aussie-isms slipped into the story that no one thought needed explanation. Whoops. LOL. Live and learn.
What is the best thing that has happened about this story, post-publication? Faith in myself. It was hard to self-publish, especially when I didn’t know what I was doing. Next time I hope it will be better. Do you plan a follow up story? No. This one is just a little story, and that’s it.
Sometimes things just need to be said.
Renae is an author of m/m romance novels as well as a mummy, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a pet owner and (only sometimes) someone who cleans the house.