Sean Kennedy on Writing, Characters and his new release The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3)

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The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Kennedy here talking about writing, characters, and his latest release in his Get Out series, The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy.  Welcome, Sean.

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Sean Kennedy ~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I think there’s a little bit of me in every character, even the ‘bad’ ones!  You can’t help but write what you know.  I think Emma, at the point of time we meet her in the book, is a ittle uncertain of herself and her abilities, and is comparing herself to those around her who seem to be enjoying more success.  Emma’s only twenty, so I hope she grows out of that.  I think I’m too old so I’ve lost all hope for me!

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  

I tend to write contemporary, but when I did write a historical novel I found the research to be one of the most enjoyable parts.  I like finding out things, even if I never used them in the book.  But I do research for all of my books, just so I can give them a little flavour.  Emma lives in Canberra, which is a city I’ve only been to once.  I had to try and find out where she would go for a coffee or a beer, what suburb she would live in, and all those kinds of things.  Sometimes you take liberties but most of the time I try to be accurate.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I wasn’t a romance reader per se, but I did love the classics.  I’ve always been a huge Jane Austen fan so I would say they were the closest thing to romance I read.  I can’t really count Wuthering Heights in that as Heathcliff and Cathy are two of the worst people in the world and destroyed everybody they knew.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA?

I like either.  As long as they’re together in the end!  Even if it’s uncertain, I’ll make up in my head that it’s the real thing and they will live the rest of their lives together anyway.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  

I always think I sound like such a wanker when I answer this question.  I’d have to go with my top three favourite writers.  Margaret Atwood is an expert world builder and social commentator.  Tim Winton and Stephen King are so incisive when it comes to characters and their interactions with each other.  And hell, I can’t go without Jane Austen who just does everything in one package.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Tigers and Devils.  I truly feel like Simon is part of me.  Even now, he still pops into my head and tells me what’s going on with him.  When I go back to Melbourne I expect to see him turning the corner and inviting me for a coffee.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

There’s the fourth and final book in the GetOut series, which focuses on Will Deanes and his troubled friendship with Micah Johnson.  And there will be the fourth Tigers and Devils book, which is currently in edit mode.

 

  •  If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

The southwest town of Albany is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I would like a house overlooking King George Sound, where I could watch out for whales in winter, while enjoying a cup of coffee and sitting at my laptop.  That would be bliss.

BUY:  https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-obstruction-of-emma-goldsworthy-by-sean-kennedy-535-b

About The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy

Measuring up to her friend Micah Johnson’s success is an uphill battle for Emma Goldsworthy, but it’s one she’s determined to win. She works hard to stay on task and excel in her hockey program at the Australian Institute of Sport, but her mettle is tested when her ex-girlfriend returns from studying abroad… with a new American girlfriend by her side. Apparently she’s come out of the closet, something she wasn’t willing to do for Emma. Still, Emma has moved on from her ex—despite what those around her want to believe. Besides, there’s someone else on Emma’s mind—a girl she met once in passing and can’t stop pining for… even though Emma doesn’t know her real name, or even what she looks like beneath her costume.

About the Author

Sean Kennedy lives in Perth, Western Australia, but his heart still belongs to his hometown Melbourne—which is also the home of Simon Murray and Declan Tyler from his series Tigers and Devils. A disciple of cult leader David Lynch, Sean is glad he lived long enough to see the revival of Twin Peaks in 2017.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sean__kennedy

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sean.kennedy.58511

 

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Measuring up to her friend Micah Johnson’s success is an uphill battle for Emma Goldsworthy, but it’s one she’s determined to win. She works hard to stay on task and excel in her hockey program at the Australian Institute of Sport, but her mettle is tested when her ex-girlfriend returns from studying abroad… with a new American girlfriend by her side. Apparently she’s come out of the closet, something she wasn’t willing to do for Emma. Still, Emma has moved on from her ex—despite what those around her want to believe. Besides, there’s someone else on Emma’s mind—a girl she met once in passing and can’t stop pining for… even though Emma doesn’t know her real name, or even what she looks like beneath her costume.

Really, my love for all these characters and Sean Kennedy started back in the novel Tigers and Devils with the foundation couple, Simon Murray and star forward Declan Tyler.  They had their ups and downs on their way to becoming the established couple they are now.  In the later stories, Declan saw a need to help young  LGBT athletes and the Get Out Foundation was born.  So was this series.  The young men and women are all family to Simon and Declan, their stories intermingling seamlessly with theirs through Tigers and Devils and now three books in the Get Out series.

Usually Micah Johnson is the star of the series, as Emma herself is quick to note.  But she deserves her story and thankfully Sean Kennedy gave us hers.

Right off the bat or stick as it were, I would have bought this book for her interview with Trevor alone. I laughed myself silly.  Brava!

Emma Goldsworthy is a great character.  Yes, we’ve met her  before and been intrigued by her strengths, and yes, flaws.  But here she shines as she struggles to find herself again.  She’s adrift emotionally but not in her game and she’s trying to find the girl she appears to be to everyone else but herself.  Her life is in flux as her ex is back in town with a new girl in tow.  The ex is a star athlete on the field, she met a girl at a Con but both were in costume and she left because of friend drama and never got her name.  And Micah, her friend, is having bf issues too.  Emma is feeling the weight of the world.

The way Sean Kennedy writes all this feels fresh and real as does Emma.  With her vibrant red hair and attitude, nothing is easy and yet, you can’t wait to see  how Emma is going to handle the next situation that life is going to throw at her.  All the characters from previous stories as well as the Tigers and Devils series are here as they form part of the core group that hovers over both series.  So you see Trevor (still laughing) and Will, along with Simon and Declan.

I have a hard time thinking of these people as characters as they appear to me more alive, so vividly young and earnest that it hurts at times.  Their hearts are so easily bruised and yes, broken.  And yet, love can appear and fix it again.

What can I say?  I hope Sean Kennedy never runs out of stories to tell about these people.  I’m addicted to them because the writing is wonderful, the characterization is out of this world and the storylines come straight from the heart.

Emma Goldsworthy is a red-haired amazon to love.  Read her story and become crazy about her!  Love the entire series and this naturally  includes Tigers and Devils.

Cover Artist: Catt Ford.  Yep, that’s Emma alright.  Love the cover.  The only thing better if she had held it like she did for the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Total Attitude!

Sales Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
Original TitleThe Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy
ISBN139781640803862
Edition Language English
Series Get Out #3

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Sequel to The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson

On the outside, Micah Johnson seems to have everything. He is proving his worth on the field during his rookie year with his new professional football team, the Fremantle Dockers, but his personal life is a mess. Homesick, three thousand kilometres away from his family and friends on the other side of Australia, Micah isn’t coping. He’s using casual sex, alcohol, and drugs as crutches since he doesn’t feel comfortable approaching his foster family with his problems, and he’s left with nowhere to turn. It isn’t until he experiences a health scare and a friend is rocked by a personal tragedy that Micah realises he does have the strength to succeed at a new life in the West—but he has to learn to ask for help.

Sean Kennedy is a must go author for me.  He become one on the strength of his wonderful series Tigers and Devils. Its from that series that the complicated and sometimes self-destructive Micah Johnson sprang.  He was a compelling character in Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils #3) so it was amazing (and overjoyed Kennedy’s readers when he brought him back in the Get Out series.

What can I say?  Use every cliche you want but this series and character just keep getting better and better!  Micah Johnson’s propensity for trouble begins early in Tigers and Devils and stays with him all through the first two stories in Get Out.  But these things that steer him towards a predilection for self-destructive habits are ones I think  most people will recognize.  The ability to believe you can handle things yourself…until they blow up, closing yourself off from people who want to help you until its too late…and you’re a teenager to boot.   When he finally realizes he needs help?  Well, you are almost weeping for joy for him and those that love and support him.  Those are just the first couple of books you meet him in.

Then comes Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2).  Micah’s world gets upended…again.  In a totally believable way.  The football draft!  And Micah gets all his worst fears and the best thing to ever happen to him all in one.

Sean Kennedy’s writing is just amazing.  I get lost in Micah’s story immediately.  Lost in his turmoil of emotions and the whirlwind of feelings whipping all around him.  Plus the author never loses sight of what’s happening to Micah’s all important support…his family, friends, and mentors, which include Dec and Simon from Tigers and Devils (yes, a wonderful series overflow occurs).

We also travel from Melbourne to Perth, a shock to the  system as well, in location and perhaps even in mentality.  Smaller, hot, isolated, the relocation to Perth is a shock to Micah’s system in every sense of the word.  Kennedy, however, supplied Micah with an incredible host family and mentor, a troubled younger brother Dane  to the host football player (an important part of this story) and a greater secondary cast to draw on for the next stories. The Mitchell household (Micah’s football foster family as it were) provides a wealth of storylines and  emotional support for everyone here.  Trust you, you will end up falling deeply in love with them as well. And don’t get me started on the Dockers organization and team! Loved them!

See?  One thing just leads to one more element but Kennedy ties them all together so perfectly, so naturally that the relationships, the work that it takes, the missed steps and yes, the forgiveness…well, it all seems right and very real.  And it made me want to get a jersey with Micah Johnson’s name and number on it!

Can you read it as a standalone?  I suppose so.  But read as part of this series and as even part of Tigers and Devils, you put the characters and their situations in context.  Its then becomes this incredible rich tapestry of lives, sports and cities that stays seated deep within your heart and continues to grow in scope with each story the author writes.  I need more of this series and as soon as possible.  So I hope Sean Kennedy is listening.

Oh and yes, I highly recommend this book, the previous book and Tigers and Devils.  So yes to the author too!

Cover art by Catt Ford is simple enough for Micah, the character. Would have loved some element of the Dockers there.

Sales Links  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 186 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1635333644 (ISBN13: 9781635333640)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Get Out 

  • The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson (Get Out #1)
  • Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out, #2)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Tigers on the Run by Sean Kennedy and Narrator Dave Gillies

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
tigers-on-the-run audiobookYoung Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.
As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.
I was kind of worried from the blurb that this was going to be more about Micah with only bits of Simon and Declan but thankfully I was wrong. This story picks up a bit later, the guys have been together 8 years now. The are stable and strong and as great together as always. This book is again told by Simon in his snarky way:

“……and those people will always be bitter fucking arseholes.”

“Have you ever thought of becoming a life coach?”

“No, but maybe I could write kid’s books.”

“Yeah, Life Sucks, and Then it Sucks Some More by Simon Murray.”

“It’ll prepare them early.”

Not a lot of angst here like in the first two books but that is good in my opinion. I was glad to see a continued story that lets us revisit a couple we love without drama. The story moved along quickly, the gang was all there, there were some laugh out loud moments and some beautifully sweet moments between Simon and Declan. These two remain a favorite m/m couple for me. And yay for the ending. Looks like we’re going to get more stories.

I’ve done this entire series on audio and have loved all of them.  The narrator is the same for all three books and I think he does a good job.  There’s something about doing a series on audio.  I think it makes the characters come alive more.  It’s almost like listening to a story by a friend.
Cover art by Catt Ford:  I like the cover by Catt Ford.  It fits the others in the series in the trademark style they all have.
 Audiobook Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Release Date Jun 21, 2016
Type  Contemporary Novels, Series
Length 7:35

A MelanieM Review: Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils #3) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  ★★★★★

Tigers on the Run coverYoung Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.

As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.

Tigers on the Run by Sean Kennedy is the book I have been waiting for since I first read Tigers and Devils back in 2012.  Ever have a book just suck you in? One that kept you superglued to the story and the characters? That was Tigers and Devils. There I fell passionately, madly in love with Simon,  and Dec, plus their close friends Fran and Roger, Nyssa,  even, dare I say it  Jasper Brunswick (ok, more like a case of disgust with Jasper).   Sean Kennedy created a cast of funny, fallible, and plain out irresistible characters who moved through a story that was full of angst, humor, and the pain and rewards that come with taking risks to become the person you want to be and to be with the person who is your HEA.

Sean Kennedy followed that up with Tigerland (Tigers and Devils #2), a book I really liked (4 stars) but that was missing some indefinable spark, an element found in the original story.  Yes, the characters resolved some issues between them, Fran and Roger’s personal quest to have children was gripping and real, and all  showed growth as people and/or as a couple.  It’s a wonderful book but still…..

Now comes Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils #3) , a book I’ve already read twice!  And I can happily say, the magic is back!  I laughed, and cried, and laughed some more.  I marveled over the crispness and intelligence of the dialog,  nodded in recognition at certain events and the emotional fallout that enveloped everyone, and in general, had the time of my life.  I intend to read it again…soon.

Kennedy has used the structure of an Australian football game as the format for his narrative.  We open on Coin Toss, which takes us back years BD, or Before Declan as Simon calls it.  It functions as a small sketch of Simon’s start towards a larger family of friends and his relationship with Dec.  First chapter?  That’s First Quarter and it finds our snarky, irresistible narrator, Simon, now in his “gay golden years” as he calls it, also known as his thirties!  Simon and Dec are babysitting Roger and Fran’s twins and its prompting a ton of introspection in both, but mainly in Simon.  Dec wants kids.  Simon?  He’s just not sure.  That’s just one of the issues that plays out here in layers, parent/child relationships at all levels, including  if one of those children is a teenager  and not the most lovable one at that.

This is also a story of letting go, of putting  old issues to rest and finding a way to move forward, even if part of you stubbornly wants to resist the change that’s coming.  How human is that?  Needing to  hold onto old grudges, finding a way to forgive? Kennedy acknowledges these truths, makes it a vital, believable element of this story as well.  So many layers and all so beautifully woven into Tigers on the Run.  I love Sean Kennedy’s writing.  It’s fluid, it feels so natural and easy, two things hard to accomplish, and it pulls your heart and mind into the story from the beginning.

That’s important too.  The reader’s heart and mind.  I found myself appreciating how gorgeous some of the sentences and structure of Kennedy’s writing even as I was laughing until I was bent over as Simon, or Roger or even Fran was embarked on some shenanigans.  I could actually have just  quoted sentence after sentence but as good as those lines are separated from the narrative, they get stronger and smarter in context.  What a joy lies in discovering them as you go.

Old standing betrayals are reexamined, surprising new relationships are formed, and their “family” circle enlarges once more. And while that’s happening all  the characters are growing emotionally,  and intellectually.  Kennedy understands people and relationship dynamics, whether its between lovers or friends or even colleagues.  Most importantly, Kennedy knows how to write those relationships and changing dynamics in a way that brings these people to life.  We believe in them, we feel for them.   My connection to Simon, Dec, Colby, Roger and Fran (I adore these two), even Jasper is both deep and solid.   By the end of the story (yes, a terrific ending too), I never wanted to let go.  I’m hoping that the last paragraph is indicative of the fact that more is to come.  Fingers crossed, bribes being prepared.

I just went back to look for a quote to end this one and now I’m laughing again, caught up once more in the story.  Got to go, I have a story to reread.  Need a new book or three to love?  Pick up Tigers and Devils series from Sean Kennedy.  Start at the beginning of Simon and Dec’s relationship and then work your way through their lives, mishaps and love until you reach Tigers on the Run.  Its one of my Best of 2015.  After you have read it, you will understand why.

Cover art by Catt Ford.   It’s a cute cover but only partially reflective of the outstanding story within.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  All  Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon   |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published July 13th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB011061AKG
edition languageEnglish
seriesTigers and Devils #3
characters: Simon Murray, Declan Tyler

Tigers and Devils Series stories in the order they were written and should be read: