Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly
Cover art by Anne Cain
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Wade Kelly here today to share some thoughts about her latest novel, Bankers’ Hours and to answer a few of our questions. Welcome, Wade!
Hello good people! This is Wade Kelly. I’ve dropped by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to talk a little about my new novel, Bankers’ Hours. It released today! I’m so excited. I hope you’ve stopped at the previous 5 guest posts in this blog tour, or you have missed out on my characters talking about themselves. I had an interview with Grant, Tristan, and Claire. I’ve also talked about my cover design, and how I come up with characters.
Instead of interviewing characters, I thought I’d talk to the good people at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and answer some of their questions. So let’s get started.
STRW: Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
Wade: It depends on the book. Most of the stories flow from the character I come up with and they seem to pop into my head from many different places. Sometimes I meet someone who I think would be a great character, sometimes I write a person I know into a story and sometimes they pop into my head out of nowhere. These do come from places I visit, memories, or where I live.
STRW: Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?
Wade: I was a total pantzer in the past, but I am moving toward being a planner out of necessity. I’m currently writing books in a series and they really need to be plotted.
STRW: Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else? Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?
Wade: I started writing sci-fi. I am planning a couple paranormal novels. But I guess I’d have to say I’m drawn to contemporary because it is the world I live in I want to write hope into. I really try to take situations they people have and make them beautiful even with the pain.
STRW: If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?
Wade: I can’t say I would. I like my characters the way they are. However, in the first book in my JOCK Series, I wrote a chapter from the POV of the antagonist, Mike. If I had it to do over, I would have chosen to write it from Russell’s POV. Readers were enjoyed Russell, but were not as keen to hear things from Mike’s POV. (Some, anyway.) Other than that one chapter, I like things as I’ve written them. But I will say, there is a book I published in 2010 that is out of print. That book, I plan to rewrite the entire thing because I really think my writing has improved since then.
STRW: Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?
Wade: I suppose they can. I do. Although I enjoy all of my characters, I am super fond of Darian, Alonzo, Flynn, and Nick. All of my characters are pieces of myself and I feel a close, personal attachment to them.
STRW: If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?
Wade: American Love Songs by Ashlyn Kane is my go-to comfort read. LOVE that book. Or Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford. I’d say I’d listen to the audiobooks I have, but if it’s an island then my battery would run out! For more of my “favorite books,” join me on my blog tour stop March 29th at Gay Book Reviews.
STRW: How early in your life did you begin writing?
Wade: In 1993-94, I was writing poetry. Not great poetry, but things inspired by friends. I started several stories, but had never finished one—like with a beginning, middle, & end—until 2006. So, ten years ago I wrote 267,000 words in 8 months and sat back thinking, “Holy Crap! I wrote a book.” It was more like a trilogy and has yet to be published. Maybe one day.
STRW: Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?
STRW: I hated reading. I never wanted to read the books they made me read in school. It wasn’t until high school when we were allowed to pick any book in the library to write a book report on that I discovered I liked reading. It was called The Black Caldron by Lloyd Alexander. It was the second book in a series and after I read it I went back and read the rest. Until that book, I never knew there was such a thing called fantasy.
And just a couple years ago, I had a reader tell me the same thing in reference to my first JOCK book. My Roommate’s A Jock? Well, Crap! was the first book this person read that gave him a desire to read more. He discovered he liked reading and I told him the story about me and the book that was my “first.” Reading IS fun, but sometimes it takes that one book to do it for you.
STRW: If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?
Wade: Blood, Sweat, & Tears.
LOL, I don’t know. Life has been a struggle. There is always someone who disagrees with what I write or tells me I’ll never make it. In my real life that is. I get less flack from readers than I do in RL, although both are tough to take at times. Still, my characters keep talking and as long as they do, I will write.
I guess that’s all for now. I will leave you with a short excerpt and the rules for the giveaway. Thank you for stopping by!
About Bankers’ Hours
Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.
Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.
Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex–naval officer turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his carefully orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.
We had agreed to meet at his house this time. After I plugged the address into my GPS, I realized how familiar it sounded. Sure enough, I passed this street every day on my way to work. We only lived about five minutes apart. His auto shop was on the corner, but I hadn’t read the sign until now.
“How unobservant am I?” I asked myself as I parked. I checked my hair in the visor mirror and then got out and locked the door.
It was a small farmhouse, but much larger than the one I rented. Half the flowers in the beds were brown. A tailpipe jutted out from one bed to obstruct mowing, so the grass growing around it was five inches taller than the rest of the lawn. “That would drive me nuts if I lived here,” I mumbled, ringing the doorbell.
Tristan opened the door and smiled through the screen. “Hey. Come on in,” he offered, opening the screen door for me.
It was an older, two-story farmhouse with creaky wooden floors and decor from the seventies. I cringed at the duck wallpaper border in the kitchen and the psychedelic orange-and-brown throw rug in the living room. “Um, there’s an engine on your dining room table,” I pointed out, literally pointing at it.
“Ah, yeah,” he said, glancing at the engine and then back to me as if thinking of a reason but finding none. “I’ve lived alone for a long time. Claire and I normally eat at the breakfast bar.” He motioned to the area over by the kitchen, but the “bar” was stacked with magazines.
“There’s no room there either.”
Tristan walked over and started moving them to the side, but there wasn’t space. He gave up. “Yeah, I was looking for a specific one. They were my dad’s. I found them in the attic when I was clearing out some old boxes. I got to looking through them and just haven’t put them away yet.”
Tristan’s house was the exact opposite of mine. His things were in disarray all over the place. Stacks of books, CDs, DVDs, a few coffee cups, and…. “There’s a muffler under the coffee table,” I said, observing yet another oddity for one’s living room.
“I know this looks bad,” Tristan said, stepping in front of me and pressing his hands together as if to pray or beg for forgiveness.
“I guess you aren’t worried about grease stains. That carpet looks like it’s been soiled for decades.”
“Like I said, I’ve lived alone for a long time. The muffler’s been under there for two years. I’m married to my work, and I tend to carry car parts home all the time.”
“I noticed you live behind the shop. That must be convenient.” Tristan was wearing another beer shirt. This one was gray and said something about imperial stout.
“It is handy. This was my parents’ house. After my dad died, my mom gave it to me since I was already in charge of the family business. My sister lives in Baltimore, and my mom lives with my brother in Leesburg, Virginia. I see Claire every other weekend. You’re the first person outside my family and the guys I work with to step inside this house.”
“What about dates?” I asked.
“I don’t date, Grant. My life’s been on hold ever since my daughter was born. Look, let’s go eat. It’s getting late fast, and we can talk more on the way and over dinner.” He gestured to the door, and I nodded.
We walked around the house and to his truck, got in, and started on our way.
I thought about what he’d said in the house, and it was similar to something he’d mentioned before. “You said something yesterday about skipping over pleasantries and going straight for sex.” I heard him heave a sigh as I framed my question. “What did you mean? Are you one of those guys who hooks up in gay bars and strip clubs?” The idea bothered me. He could have AIDS or another STD. Having no guy almost seemed better than dating a sex pig. I didn’t want to catch a disease. I wanted sex, but after thinking about his earlier comment I had realized sex meant something to me. If it hadn’t, I could have done exactly what he’d done. I truly was saving myself for my soul mate, Mr. Right.
“Yes and no.” He paused a long time after his ambiguous answer. I’d been argumentative enough, so I waited this time. He finally continued. “I have done those types of things. In my twenties, I hooked up much more often with guys I met in bars. I got out of the service when I was still young, and I think repressing how I felt all that time got the best of me, because for several years after that I couldn’t get enough. I had a different guy practically every weekend.”
I couldn’t really look at him as he said those things, so I watched the passing trees out my window. It made me ill to think of him with so many men. I couldn’t understand that lifestyle, even if I was aware it happened all the time. It wasn’t me. I had never wanted meaningless sex just to satisfy a need to fuck. But he did. I was in a truck, going to dinner, with a man who had needed to fuck so badly that he’d hooked up with guys he didn’t know just to satisfy his lust… every weekend.
A tear rolled down my cheek.
“Why did you stop?” I asked quietly, still watching the passing trees and road signs.
“A guy I knew died.”
I sucked in a quick breath. “That’s horrible.” I glanced over at Tristan. He wasn’t looking at me. “Was it AIDS?”
“Everyone jumps to that conclusion since he was gay, but no, not AIDS. He was jumped in an alley by a group of guys, raped and beaten, and left for dead. He died in a hospital three days later of hemorrhaging in his brain.”
My stomach almost emptied itself on the truck seat. I held my mouth and willed away the quaking in my gut. I wanted to cry, I wanted to vomit, but somehow I was shocked into stillness. My brain couldn’t even comprehend that kind of crime. I’d never seen one, even on television. I tended to stay away from news because it was all depressing. This was a class A example. I hated that people in the world I lived in did things like this to others. I had been picked on throughout my life, even before I came out, but it was normal harassment of a scrawny kid who didn’t know how to fight back. I’d never been hurt physically, and even the jibes and name-calling hadn’t affected me all that much. I’d been a normal kid growing up, before and after I’d come out. Things like this man’s death never happened in my sphere of experience.
Tristan parked the truck. He must have noticed how quiet I’d become and realized why. He reached across the console. “Come here.”
I turned into him as best I could with the console pressing into my ribs and cried softly into his shirt. I felt like an idiot, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
He rubbed my back. “I cried too, Grant. His death was why I stopped. He had put himself into too many precarious situations with guys he didn’t know. Someone saw the men leaving the alley, but no one was arrested. I’ve been with two guys since then. One I met at a car show, and we had sex a couple times. Another I met at the airport. Neither of them filled any kind of need other than sexual gratification. We fucked, and we were done. I haven’t been with anyone in two years.”
I pulled out of his arms so I could look into his face. “Why?”
He shrugged. “Maybe because I wanted my thirties to be different. I went to my daughter’s thirteenth birthday party and watched her with her friends. No guy I’d ever been with was worth the time necessary to bring him into my life. I saw how I’d kept everything separate. My daughter’s mother didn’t know I was gay. My daughter would have to be told eventually. I watched the guests and thought about what it would be like to sit at a party like that with a guy I cared about.” He gazed deeply into my eyes as he spoke. “I’m done being a stupid kid, Grant. I want to build a life with someone—someone like you. I want to go to birthday parties with a man who’ll appreciate how incredible my daughter is, not just the size of my dick. Does that make sense?”
I felt my heart melting again. “That’s the most romantic thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
He chuckled. “Then you don’t get out much.” He ran his fingers through my hair and caressed my cheek. “Oh, Grant. You’re such a beautiful person. I’ve just dumped a lot of information on you, and your reaction is to tell me how romantic I am?” He chuckled harder. “I knew taking a chance on you was the right decision.”
“But you hardly know me.” I had to point that out, because most people who tried to get to know me found out they didn’t like me.
“I will. Let’s go eat.” I thought he’d pull away to open the door, but he only stared into my eyes. Then his gaze dropped to my lips. He looked up as if to make sure it was okay and then leaned in and kissed me softly. One kiss, but it was enough to calm my nerves.
Make sure to join me at the other stops on the tour to read more excerpts and hear about my characters, my writing, and me. Thank you.
This is the official tour list of stops:
February 24 – Prism Book Alliance
March 18 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 22 – \l “comment-286365” Long and Short Reviews
March 23 – My Fiction Nook
March 24 – Oh My Shelves
March 25 – Divine Magazine
March 25 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 28 – Love Bytes
March 29 – Gay Book Reviews
March 30 – The Novel Approach
For LINKS to all the stops, hop over to MY BLOG.
The BUY LINK for Bankers’ Hours is HERE.
*Note: Names Can Never Hurt Me is now out in audiobook! HERE.
And the prizes:
I have several giveaways. Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate. I am going to take ALL the names, from all the comments, from all the blog stops, and put them in a drawing. I have 10 stops including this one. The more comments you make then higher your chances of winning. I will have 3 winners of a $10 Amazon gift certificate to be announced when the tour ends! Additionally, for those who comment on ALL 10 STOPS, I will enter each of them into a grand prize drawing good for:
An eBook from my backlist of your choice, OR the next book I publish this year. (*Excluding Bankers’ Hours)
A $10 Amazon gift certificate,
A Wade Kelly Spoon in the colors of your choice,
One autographed paperback copy of the novel of their choice, OR the next book I publish this year. (*Excluding Bankers’ Hours)
A special Promo Code for you to download a copy of the audiobook: Misplaced Affection
Note: I am willing to mail things to other countries so don’t let that stop you! Please, post on ALL the posts. I had fun with this last time.
My social media:
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Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.