Book Name: Hummingbird House
Author Name: Kenzie Cade
I was very happy to get Kenzie to sit a while in our author interview chair. Check out the great interview below:
Q. I love holiday stories. What prompted you to write one?
KC: I’m exactly the same. I love holiday stories. I never had any doubt that I wanted to write one. There’s something so warm and satisfying about them. I wanted to be a part of that.
Q. I love the title Hummingbird House. What was the inspiration behind it?
KC: Once I finally settled on a location–and let me tell you, I globe-hopped for a while–I researched the counties, north and south Great Britain. I researched quite a bit of the culture and traditions. I visited Surrey years ago. And truly there is a beauty to the English countryside that we don’t quite have here in the States. But one thing I noticed is that the houses had names. This was long before I was a writer… well consistently anyway. I’ve since studied the history of naming homes in England. It’s pretty interesting. But I’d always wondered what I would name a house if I had the chance. Well, I had the chance with this story. The rest is pretty simple. It was almost Hummingbird Cottage, but I already had The Crooked Cottage, my fictional pub in town, so I chose Hummingbird House. I sifted through some pictures of English houses and cottages and found a home that matched Astrid perfectly. And the rest is history.
Q. Which came first? Plot or title?
KC: Oh gosh. That’s a great question. The plot came first. I actually had about seventy percent of the story written before I decided on the title. Titles are so hard and I’ve learned not to force them, but if the story is there I’ll go ahead and write the story the work on a title later.
Q. I love “second chance” stories. What about that subject inspires you?
KC: Truth is we all screw up and we all make mistakes. We don’t all get second chances, but there is something about the second chance that is so real and so raw. The guys already know each other’s faults, they know they’re fighting an uphill battle, and still they choose to persevere because of love or maybe-love. I am so drawn to that. I love the feeling of winning and solidity when the story is over because the main characters fought everything, possibly even one another, to be together and to find the love they knew was there. It makes for a beautiful, rewarding story.
Q. Is this a “coming out” story combined with romance?
KC: My first instinct was to say no, but I guess in a way it is. Although not in the traditional sense. When Trent first kisses Callum, Callum is confused and in denial of his wants and desires. Even two years later when he sees Trent again, he’s still fighting it. But somewhere in the eight years they are apart, he accepts who he is. Then Trent shows back up. So is this a “coming out” story? Not exactly.
Q. How difficult is it to get that right for you as an author?
KC: Wow. Another good one, Melanie. As an author it’s difficult and a bit daunting. But as a cousin to two out and proud, wonderfully married gay men (which I guess raises my cousin count to four) and as a friend and ally, I take that responsibility seriously. Coming out is a difficult journey for every member of the LGBT community, and in my heart of hearts I believe there’s no time frame and no wrong way to do so. But there are wrong reactions. That’s where translating reality into fiction becomes difficult. Those painful moments are set for a reason, but as an author we have to find a way for our hero to prevail and come out on top, especially in romance, because a bad coming out experience could potentially hinder a relationship. It’s an intricate weaving of pain and hurt and fear and hope and love. It takes a bit of all of them to come out anyway. It’s my goal that when I do write a coming out story that those aspects are clear and bring my hero to a new level and realization when he finds the love of his life.
Q. Are there certain stories you read or reread at during the holiday seasons? Classic or otherwise?
KC: Yes! My BFF said this year–and it’s totally true for me as well–“Holiday stories are my crack.” I laugh but it’s so true. I devour them. They are the syrup to my pancakes, the whipped cream to my peppermint hot chocolate, the gravy on my biscuits. So yes, I read and reread several. Of course I read Twas the Night Before Christmas yearly, especially now that my niece can understand it. I’m a sucker for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Now in this genre, which is what I read the most, I reread several stories a year. I’ve already read Cardeno C’s Advent story from last year’s collection In Another Life. That one hits me in the heart every time. I love What Can Be by Mary Calmes and The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-bearing Critters by Amy Lane. The Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon is another of my all-time favorites. There are so many though. If I listed them all, we’d be here all day.
Q. What myths/stories that you were told as a child do you wish were real?
KC: I love this question. Well, of course, sticking to the theme of the season, I wish Santa was real–the North Pole, the elves, the workshops, the reindeer, the sleigh, all of it. Okay, I’ll admit that as an adult, a man sneaking down the chimney seems a bit creepy, but it’s the intent behind it, right? And could you imagine the alarms he’d set off? Ha!
Hmmm… I think when it comes to fairytales, I always had a thing for Sleeping Beauty. But in my head it’s a little different. Yes, her prince kisses her awake, but in my head Aurora took down Maleficent. She took back what the witch stole from her, then she took her prince and lived happily ever after.
But yes, pretty much anything with fairies and/or elves, I was enamored as a child by the little sprites. I’d love it they were real.
Q. What or who has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?
KC: There are so many people in my life who have pushed me to grow and learn and write. I have an amazing support system at my back made up of family and friends and authors who encourage me every single day. Those people make the biggest impact on me and my writing. I’m very blessed in that sense.
Thanks, Kenzie. This was wonderful. For all the readers, learn more about Kenzie and her story, Hummingbird House, below:
Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel, The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.
Google +: plus.google.com/u/1/+KenzieCade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Pages: 51 pages Words: 18,000
Sales Link: Dreamspinner Press amazon
Hummingbird House Blurb:
To honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.
Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.
Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Holiday, Christmas, Romance
Hummingbird House Excerpt:
For a house that had stood empty for the past eight years, it was surprisingly… clean… and warm and bright. The lights were on in the living room to my left, but the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen through the archway to my right drew my attention. Setting my suitcase and urn down quietly in the entryway, I pulled out an umbrella from the holder by the door. With every bit of stealth I possessed—which is not much—I crept into the kitchen, umbrella raised over my head. My heart raced and my breath sped up, until I crossed into the kitchen to find Callum at the sink.
My umbrella clanked to the wooden floor, and then I slumped over, hands to knees. Callum turned around eyes widened in surprise with an understanding smirk gracing his full lips. I wanted to hate those lips.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I panted, looking up at Callum as I stumbled over to the nearest kitchen chair and plopped myself into it.
Callum shrugged. “I’ve been taking care of the place for Astrid for the past few years.”
I hadn’t known that. Had I known that? Had Astrid ever mentioned it? No. She certainly hadn’t. Though I’d never admit it aloud, I hung on every word she shared regarding Callum. And trust me, they were few and far between, as if she had known what had happened between us.
She probably had.
Callum had kept up Hummingbird House. The pain in my chest twisted just a little more than usual. I refused to think of it as a betrayal, certain Astrid had her reasons for not telling me. But I just couldn’t imagine what they were.
“That doesn’t explain why you’re here now.”
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