Today I am so pleased to welcome Kelli A. Wilkins to Joyfully Jay. Kelli has come to talk to us about her latest release, Four Days with Jack. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Four Days with Jack: What Will People Think?
Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my romance, Four Days with Jack. In this contemporary novella, best friends David and Jack embark on a sexual relationship. David has always loved Jack and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.
Four Days with Jack is one of the few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having a preplanned structure let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions.
At first, I didn’t know what the story would be. All I had was a basic plot (“straight” guy comes out to his gay best friend), a title, and one pivotal scene that takes place in a bathroom. (For those of you who have read the book, you know which scene I’m talking about – but I won’t give it away here.)
From there, I let my imagination wander and came up with the resort, the rest of the plot, and the unusual cast of characters that Jack and David encounter. As I wrote, David quickly revealed a major conflict – inner turmoil. Over four days, David and Jack learn a lot about themselves, each other, and what sacrifices they’ll make to stay together.
David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He’s afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him? If so, how will his life change?
These aren’t the typical types of questions that my straight characters have to face in their romances. And this line of thinking really got me wondering about what it’s like for people to come out in real life. Will they be shunned by friends and family? Should they tell anyone? Live a lie? Move to a new state? What if they live in a state that’s more conservative and not gay-friendly? What will their coworkers think? Is their preference really anybody’s business?
I picked up on this theme of “what will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”
As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it.
Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.
Or maybe not. One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank). As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobic ass who says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and he treats his own wife like crap.
So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show that not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that help band David and Jack together during a crisis moment. Is Frank an over-the-top stereotype? I don’t think so, because he’s a compilation of a few real people I’ve encountered.
Even in this day and age, some people are offended by gay romances and consider them “icky” or immoral. (Yes, I was actually told by a book reviewer that gay romances are icky!) My philosophy is pretty simple when it comes to that: it’s a free country, so read whatever you want – but don’t expect me to censor what I write because you have a problem with it.
If you don’t want to read gay romances, don’t. But I’ll still write them. And if you want to read about centuries-old angst-ridden vampires hanging out at high school dances – that’s fine for you – but it’s not for me.
Now more than ever, I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose.
And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.
“I had a dirty dream about us on the plane,” David confessed. “That’s what made me hard. And when we were sitting on the beach this afternoon, I started thinking about you again.”
“Really? Why don’t you take off your shirt and tell me about the dream while I kiss you? If that’s okay.”
“Yeah, I’d like that.” David took off his shirt and tossed it across the back of the couch. “Since you’re the expert in this department, why don’t you take charge tonight? Teach me what I need to know.”
“I’d be happy to. Let me know when I should stop.” He bent closer and kissed David’s chest, then swirled his tongue around his left nipple. He could feel David’s heart racing under his skin. Was he excited, nervous, or a combination of both? “Tell me about the dream.”
“We were naked in my apartment and my hands were tied behind my back.”
“Bondage?” He kissed David’s chest muscles and stroked his flat stomach. “Oh, that’s interesting. Go on.”
“I was kneeling in front of you and you were hard.”
“I bet I was.” He repositioned himself on the couch and slid his tongue down David’s stomach, stopping just before he reached the waistband of his shorts. “This okay?”
“Yeah, I like it. It tickles.”
“Keep talking and I’ll keep going.”
“You told me to kiss and lick your cock, and I did.”
“Did you like it?”
“Yes, you asked me that in the dream. But then you walked away and wouldn’t let me…”
“Let you what?”
“Suck you. I wanted to, in the dream. But you said I couldn’t have it,” David said, his voice trembling. “I still owe you a blow job from Christmas.”
“It can wait.” He licked David’s stomach. “Tonight I want to give you one.”
David gasped. “You do? You will? Why?”
“For being brave this afternoon. For taking the risk and opening up. You deserve it.” He rubbed his hand along the front of David’s shorts. “Now let me give you your reward.”
“What should I do?”
“Stand up and strip. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy… and try not to yell. We don’t want the hotel people to get the wrong idea.”
Four Days with Jack
When David invited his best friend on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…
Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David has lived a lie and denied his romantic feelings for Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.
Jack has been in love with David for years and is encouraged by his desire to explore a sexual relationship. He’s more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden cravings, but what will happen when they leave the resort?
Will David come out and start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?
Order your copy of Four Days with Jack here:
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FTMWHL
- B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-days-with-jack-kelli-a-wilkins/1109557509;jsessionid=1D70C74A962E0DE7D2F5CD770AAE14DD.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940154705599#productInfoTabs
- Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1243886678
- Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/four-days-with-jack-1
- Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/350128475/Four-Days-with-Jack
- Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/fa9ee1d1-3b1c-4e9c-b8ce-138ac7f472eb
- 24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2275200
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.
Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.
Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.
She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.