Today, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Sean Kennedy to The Nocturnal Library! Just last week I reviewed Sean's new book, Tigers on the Run, the third in his wonderful Tigers and Devils series. These books are my all-time favorites, which makes this opportunity to chat with their author a truly special experience for me. It's Christmas in July!
Welcome to The Nocturnal Library, Sean. This is such an honor for us. (Wow, that went well. You can’t even tell that I’m having a total fangirl moment, right? Right?!)
Hi, Maja! Um, I’m so not somebody to fangirl over. I’m sitting here in my trackies and waiting for Coronation Street to finish downloading.
Before we even begin talking about Simon, Dec, and Tigers on the Run, let me ask you this: how do you usually describe your series to potential readers or just people wanting to know more about what you write?
I guess you could reduce it down to a scintillating expose of the relationship between fame and privacy, and the compromises that occur when one has to navigate between two very different worlds… or, you can just say that it’s about two likeable guys who are lucky enough to find one another and find that they complement each other and are very happy about it. It’s probably much more likely the latter.
You are famous (oh, all right, infamous) for not keeping up with your blog, which can easily be forgiven if you’re actually spending that time thinking or writing about Simon and Declan. Or if you send us chocolate. Yeah, that should do the trick. But tell us this: who is Sean Kennedy? What do you enjoy doing, or even reading, in your spare time?
I’m really not good AT ALL at keeping up with the social media side of things. Except Twitter, where I’m more likely to be mouthing off about politics or film than anything related to my writing. But I do spend a lot of my time thinking about Simon – or, rather, Simon speaks to me. Never shuts up in fact. But I’m a classic homebody who likes staying in with the cats, reading, writing or watching TV. My reading is varied – I love anything from the classics to icy Norwegian thrillers with rumpled detectives to re-reading Jane Austen or the Brontes for the eleventy-billionth time. I also love my comics – especially Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
Simon and Declan are back after a three-year break. It’s clear that readers haven’t forgotten them –Tigers on the Run made it to Dreamspinner’s list of bestselling titles the second it showed up on the site. How did it feel to go back to their story? Was it scary at all?
It’s actually not. I can struggle writing other stories – but it’s easy when it comes to Simon. Maybe it’s because my family actually think I’m him, but I think it’s also the fact that it deals with my favourite sport and my favourite city in the world. The only thing that’s scary is worrying about how readers might react to new installments. You don’t want to carry it on too far, although I do think it would be fun to see old Simon and Dec solving murder mysteries in their retirement village.
I found a poll just recently about people’s favorite M/M couples and I was glad to see Simon and Declan mentioned many, many times. In your opinion, what makes them stand out? Is it the unique, Aussie-flavored romance or something else entirely?
It could be the fact they’re Aussie and it makes them stand out a little more. There are a lot more Aussie writers in M/M now, which is so very cool. I love reading gay romance set in my own country because it used to be a rarity. At least, ones with happy endings. But I think Simon and Dec also fulfill the much loved trope of the geek and the jock. Opposites attract, and all that malarkey.
Let’s get serious for a second here: if you could choose one of your characters to go out with for a friendly dinner and maybe a party afterwards, who would you choose and why? And where would you take them? I myself would choose Fran, of course. I think we’d have so much to (drink) talk about.
So many people love Fran, and why wouldn’t they? Although of course I would love Simon and Dec, I actually have to say Dingo from my series with Catt Ford. He knows everybody, he always has a good time and there’s always adventure. You definitely wouldn’t be bored.
After eight years together, Simon and Declan are more than ready to get married, but Australian laws won’t allow them to do so. I read just recently that the AFL, NRL and Football Federation decided to publicly support marriage equality in Australia. How would Declan, a retired AFL player and an out and proud gay man, feel about this show of support considering everything he's been through when he first came out?
I think he would be chuffed at the support, but much like the AFL's racial recognition and ant-abuse programs, he would still think there is a long way to go. Racism amongst fans is a very serious issue, and really brings the ugly side of football fantaticism out. It's good that its exposed, but a lot of people still write it off as sledging and just 'part of the game'. It's going to take a long while for it to seep into the culture. And seeing as there still isn't an out AFL player, there's nobody that the fans can relate it back too – whereas players like Adam Goodes are unmistakable icons of the Indigenous players.
As for everyone's favorite arty wanker, is it difficult to get inside his head? His voice is so unique and memorable. How hard is it to actually write it?
It's too easy. He's the easiest person to write. Sometimes I feel we're some strange symbiosis. Siamese twins, and if one of us dies the other will follow within hours.
What's next for our boys? The ending of Tigers on the Run left some possibilities wide open. Will there be more books? And if so, when can we hope to hold them in our greedy little hands?
There are... plans. All I can say for the moment. The ideas are still percolating. In the meantime though the GetOut series will be premiering with Harmony Ink (DSP's YA imprint) early next year, with The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson. Certain people make cameos to tide you over.
Micah is getting his own book? I must have died and gone to heaven! Thank you so much for stopping by, Sean.
Thank you for having me!
And there you go, my lovelies. Dreams really do come true. If you're new to the M/M contemporary genre, this is a great series to start with. Just come back when you read it so we can fangirl together. I refuse to be the only one making an idiot of myself. :)