Loves Knows No Gender

Carey PW Author Interview

Grayality follows two friends who set off to try and restart their life in a small town, only to be faced with hate and judgment while trying to find love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I transitioned in a tiny rural town in Montana. I haven’t faced anything as direct as Pate and Oakley encounter, but I have experienced subtle issues. For the few other transgender people I know here, they have encountered pretty nasty prejudices. Personally, I have found it hard to be open with who I am since there is little support here. I also feel lucky, however, because as someone who transitioned later in life, I have more financial resources and independence than many college students undergoing these changes. I wanted to share both the internal and external struggles that sometimes exist. A great deal of my own personal challenges is portrayed through Pate, but as I reread it now, I know that I have grown. I embrace myself a lot more.

My husband inspired Oakley. He married me when I presented as a woman with neither of us knowing at the time that I was transgender. I know that sounds strange, but I had assumed that I had to live my life presenting as a woman for a long time. He adamantly believed that he could not be romantically or sexually involved with a man. However, he came to realize that it’s the person that counts. I will proudly say that his attraction for me has not faltered. I wanted to convey his internal struggles with sexuality that stopped him from supporting me for nearly three years. However, in the end, he showed me that love knows no gender.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

My inspiration for this entire book comes directly from my life, but I will add some more to the first question in this regard. I struggle with social anxiety and have experienced some bad bouts of depression. As a mental health counselor, it is important to me to share these experiences without shame. I did reveal a lot of them through Pate. Sometimes it is difficult for me to even read those parts of the book, but they are a part of my journey. Also, it is hard for me as a transgender person to share my own internalized transphobias that were present when I first transitioned, which is also portrayed through Pate. I am in a better place now with my identity and even see it as a gift rather than a tragedy. I wasn’t always there, so I am happy with my progress.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

This novel has some very heavy themes to it. Identity is a major theme in several ways. Foremost, Pate is coming into his identity as a man while Oakley is discovering his bisexuality. However, both characters are young and are still figuring out what direction they want to take in life, making this a coming-of-age novel.

I would also say that prejudice is a theme. While there is obvious prejudice against LGBTQIA people, readers could also say that Pate and Oakley show some prejudices against rural communities. Stormy was created as a character who shatters these preconceived notions about ranchers. Lastly, I would say acceptance is a theme. The characters learn to accept themselves while also discovering that others will accept them, too.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next novel is Acing the Game, which is getting published through Extasy Books and will hopefully get released either later this year or the beginning of 2023. This novel is a contemporary LGBTQIA+ romance about two married bisexual men – a popular small-town chef (trans and ace) and a shy and reserved high school principal (cis and allo) — who are thrown for a loop when the latter finds himself yearning for more sexual discovery. Through a surprising dive into polyamory, they explore every side of their compatibility. . . and just might learn how strong their romantic bond can be.

Shep Lee thought he had it all. A successful restaurant, a loving husband who understood his asexuality and, most of all, the ability to be himself, a popular chef in the small town of Cloverleaf, Montana. That is, until his husband Elmer Eshler began pushing Shep more on sex. Elmer doesn’t understand why he can’t turn his partner on – aren’t they perfect for each other? And Shep loves him, right? Shep, meanwhile (while confident with his body) is and always will be sex indifferent. Why has Elmer suddenly changed his tune? But he doesn’t want to lose the man he loves so much. What can they do?

Shep convinces Elmer to try a polyamorous relationship. Elmer gets to have Shep and the sex life he has always wanted. Shep gets a cooking buddy and a chance to experience a relationship, and even try sex, with a woman, as his authentic gender. Shep isn’t sure at first but finds himself coming around – this feels safer than opening up the relationship. All three of them will be romantically involved, so that should ease any jealousy, right? But when Willow Saint, a free-spirited, boisterous and saucy young woman, comes into their lives, neither are prepared for the emotional and sexual rollercoaster that follows. Enthralled by Willow’s charm and kindness, Elmer and Shep struggle to understand what this means for their own bond.

Can they become one happy family? Or will this ruin everything?

Acing the Game is a novel about loving others, loving oneself and the intricate nuances of asexuality, sexual insecurity, polyamory and relationships. Starring three memorable characters who find each other in completely different but wholly satisfying and sexy ways, (and with plenty of emotionally erotic scenes and a lot of heart), Acing the Game shows that there are many dimensions and paths to satisfaction and love.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Love knows no gender.
Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.
They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”
But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.
Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.
Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 27, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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