Quinn Donahue will do anyone once, so when Aaron Miller spots Quinn making his moves in a Vancouver gay bar, Aaron thinks he’s found just the guy to relieve him of his unwanted virginity. Quinn, however, has apparently decided to make an exception to his usual open-bed policy. He may be an unrepentant connoisseur of one-night stands, but he’s not going to disappoint a sweet kid like Aaron by giving him a hot night and then leaving while the sheets are still warm.
After Quinn takes a job at Aaron’s family horse farm, Aaron spots both the demons and the decency that drive Quinn’s frequent brush-offs, and it makes Aaron want him even more. But Quinn is determined that Aaron won’t go home with a man who doesn’t deserve him, so he starts sending likely candidates Aaron’s way. It takes a grim act of sacrifice for Aaron to realize exactly why Quinn’s been so skittish, and he’ll have to keep a firm grip on the man of his dreams to keep Quinn from shying away.
Sometimes I feel like I write as a form of VERY disguised autobiography. I mean, obviously every story I write shares at least a little about me—my attitudes, my sense of humour, my general approach to love and living. But my stories (and, I think, the stories of most authors) also include more concrete tidbits from my past.
Shying Away is set in Vancouver, a city where I lived for eight lovely years in my twenties (although I wasn’t a young gay virgin or a damaged gay party-boy while living there!). And I borrowed a lot of elements, especially of Aaron’s characterization, from my own experiences.
I’ve always been more comfortable around horses than in the club scene, so taking advantage of Vancouver’s night life was a challenge for me. Couldn’t we all just find a nice pub and have some beer and talk? Dancing? Really? Fine…
Other details, too. The push-pull of appreciating your family’s support while resenting their interference, the difficulty of stepping outside of your own experiences to understand that someone else’s were much different. The willingness to sacrifice your own needs in order to meet someone else’s (although Aaron was lucky enough to run into someone who wouldn’t let him do this). The crazy early-twenties struggle to figure out who you are and how you can still be that person in a world that doesn’t fit you.
I wasn’t as brave/strong/lucky as Aaron is, of course.
Hmm. I said those were going to be more concrete, but everything except the “living in Vancouver” connection is still pretty nebulous.
Oh well. I still think Shying Away is a heavily disguised autobiography. And one of the advantages of leading a pretty anonymous lifestyle is that no one can prove I’m wrong!
If you take part in Throwback Thursday and give Shying Away a try, maybe you’ll get to know me a little better. In a very, very indirect way…
Where to find Shying Away:
About Kate Sherwood:
Yup. It’s me. Kate Sherwood, Cate Cameron, Catherine Dale… and probably a few new names, eventually. They’re all one person.
One person who’s lucky enough to get to live a bunch of extra lives through the characters in her books, and who’s trying desperately to keep all the lives organized into some sort of categories… so each name writes a different type of story.
But really, beneath the genre categories? They’ll all me. All the stories will have some kind of humour, even in the darkest times. They’ll all show characters who are far from perfect, but who are trying to be better. And most of them will have animals–wild or tame, large or small–because I truly believe animals bring out the best in people (as well as the worst, unfortunately), and I want my characters to be at their best.
Basic bio stuff? I live in Cottage Country–the water-filled world north of Toronto and the rest of the cities, the land where summers are crowded with visitors and winters are snowy and isolated. I love it here. Not that I don’t sometimes miss the city, but it’s not that far away–I can always visit when I want to. I work full time at a non-writing job but would love to shift into a more writing-centred life. There’s a five-year-plan. It might work.