Tuesday, June 18, 2013


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by Kate McMurray

Reviews of my early books praised me for writing about “regular guy” characters. This wasn’t something I originally set out to do, but it’s true that I like to write about characters similar to me, who lead fairly ordinary lives but somehow stumble into extraordinary romances. These are the best sorts of heroes, if you ask me, because they could really exist. Your best friend or your neighbor or the guy at the diner who serves you coffee on your way to work, all of these guys have heroic potential.

My latest book, SAVE THE DATE, draws from my real life more than anything else I’ve ever written. See, it started when I received an invitation to my ex’s wedding. I made a joke on Twitter that, if my life were a romance novel, I’d meet the love of my life at that wedding. One of my friends replied that I should write that book. So that’s what happened: I didn’t go to the wedding, but I did write a goofy romantic comedy about a guy who gets an invitation to his ex’s wedding. It’s kind of an homage to, like, every Julia Roberts movie you’ve ever seen. And who is she but the ultimate girl next door, right?

Normally, I’d advise against drawing so much from real life, but in this case, the characters are different enough that it’s really only the premise I’m adapting from my own life. (If anything, there’s more of me in the character of the ex than there is in the hero.) But I do think it’s a useful exercise to think about people you know and how you can adapt their quirks into characters.

For example, SAVE THE DATE’s hero, Tristan, defies stereotypes. He’s an out gay man with a flair for fashion and a penchant for the dramatic, but he’s also a rabid sports fan, football in particular. He’s not based on anyone in particular, but he shares characteristics with a few of guys I know. His love interest is an athlete as well as a quiet, unassuming math teacher. He’s a “regular guy,” in other words; he’s not an actor or a duke or a rock star.

I mean, sure, its fun to imagine getting whisked away to a far off locale with a handsome prince, but I think it feels closer to home to read a romance about a guy who could live down the block. There’s something comforting about that. Don’t underestimate the power of the boy-next-door hero!♥

Kate McMurray picked up her first romance novel when she was thirteen and has loved the genre ever since. She started writing gay romance after reading a book and thinking there should be more love stories with gay characters. Her first published novel, IN HOT PURSUIT, came out in February 2010, and she’s been writing feverishly ever since. She likes stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. When she’s not writing, Kate works a nonfiction editor. She also reads a lot, plays the violin, knits and crochets, and drools over expensive handbags. She’s maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with a pesky cat.


REMEMBER: Leave a comment here and you will be entered to win a copy of SAVE THE DATE.  No purchase necessary. Winners limited to the continental U.S.

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  1. Love the name Tristan! Fun post. Tweeted and Facebooked!

  2. I love the name Tristan too. Very medieval, very sexy. And I love how your M/M romances are just as powerful as M/F romances. Love is love.

  3. Very medieval, very sexy. love tristan its fun to think about getting taken away to a far off location with a attractive royal prince, but I think it seems nearer to house to study a romantic endeavors about a guy who could stay down the prevent. cheap runescape gold
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  4. I just love the whole concept of this story. Sounds like lots of fun. Have loved all of your other books so far, so I know it will be good.

  5. Is there anything more insulting than an invite to an ex's wedding? You might as well send a card saying 'look how happy I am without you!' Thanks for the post & giveaway!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

  6. Kate's books are always great, and I look forward to reading this one, win or no! ainsleybee at gmail dot com