Today I am so pleased to welcome Kate McMurray back to Joyfully Jay. Kate has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Long Slide Home, the third book in the Rainbow League series. She has also brought along a tour wide giveaway to share. Please join me in giving Kate a big welcome!
At the recent Romance Writers of America national conference, I went to see Nora Roberts speak. She does a Q & A every conference, and I always try to go because she’s basically my idol. La Nora writes a lot of trilogies and series, and someone always asks if she plots things out ahead of time. Nope, she always answers; she doesn’t know what’s going to happen in a book until she writes it. In other words, she’s a total pantser, or a writer who writes by the seat of her pants.
The thought of writing this way gives me hives.
Look, different things work for different writers. Some writers thrive on the unknown. I’m too much of a Type A for that to work. So I had a plan for the Rainbow League series from word one. I knew Nate and Carlos were going to be featured in Book 3 before I even had a clear plan for Ian and Ty in Book 1.
If you’re familiar with my work, you may be aware that the childhood friends who become lovers is basically my favorite trope. (See also: Four Corners, When the Planets Align.) As a reader, I also really like series books because you can see a relationship develop over several books, and by the time those characters get their happy ending, you feel like you know them really well.
For Nate and Carlos, I started with the idea that these were two guys who grew up together in the Bronx and had been friends (and teammates) for years. They’re family—Nate is close with Carlos’s parents and sisters and always gets invited to big family functions—and their relationship has always been platonic. That is, until the summer shown in book 1 (The Windup) when Carlos hooks up with a guy named Aiden and Nate realizes his feelings are not just platonic anymore.
The scenes from Nate’s POV in The Windup are all about this discovery that his feelings have changed and his frustration over the inability to do anything about them because Carlos is with Aiden and seems happy. So in Thrown a Curve, I wanted to explore the other side of that, with scenes from Carlos’s POV in which he’s aware that something has changed between himself and Nate but doesn’t know exactly what it is. Nate’s lack of communication pushes them apart.
So in The Long Slide Home, they reach a crisis point, starting off the novel somewhat estranged but still longing for each other, because absence has made Carlos realize how much he cares for Nate. Well, and then everything kind of goes to hell, but in a way that makes them both realize what’s really important.
And yes, I had all this planned from the beginning. One of the things I’m learning about myself is that while I’m pretty tech savvy, I still like doing things the old-fashioned way, so the Rainbow League series started with me buying a spiral notebook and scrawling down notes. I made pages for each of the eight teams in the league, including who plays for the team and at what position; there are pages for each of the regular bars the players go to after games or practice; there are pages for each POV character; and so on. I didn’t have every plot point of all three books worked out, but I knew roughly what happened in each book.
It also means I have the legwork done to revisit the series and write more books in this universe. I mean, what if super competitive league manager Will suddenly had sparks with Tom the bartender? What if a catcher from the Park Slope team had a sweet romance with a party boy from the Queens team? What if the Hipsters’ manager Scott really does just need to get laid? And, hey, what if one of the all-lady Mermaids decided to date a sweet woman from the Bombshells? I foresee other books at some point in the future, and I’ve got an easy reference for that if I decide to write them.
I hope all the advance world building shows in the books, that I’ve got a fleshed out universe for these boys to play baseball in.
Nate and Carlos have been the best of friends since their childhood playing baseball together in the Bronx. For the past few years, Nate’s been in love with Carlos, though he’s never acted on it and Carlos has never given any indication that he returns Nate’s feelings. Nate has finally given up, determined to move on and find someone else, especially now that Carlos has shacked up with his boyfriend, Aiden.
Carlos doesn’t understand why Nate has suddenly gotten weird, acting cold and distant at team practice for the Rainbow League. But if that’s how things are going to be, Carlos is done trying to figure Nate out. But then Aiden reveals he has a violent side, and Carlos needs his best friend’s support. On top of that, he starts to realize his feelings for Nate might not be limited to friendship. But in the aftermath of his relationship with Aiden, and with Nate having problems of his own, the timing is all wrong to make a real relationship work. As emotions run high, both have a hard time figuring out what is real and what is just convenient.
Kate McMurray is an award-winning author of gay romance and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Kate has brought a great tour wide giveaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.