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A Load Of Fear And Shame

Courtney Maguire Author Interview

Drive follows a gay man living in a conservative town who has to decide how much he is willing to risk to find love. What was your inspiration for the setup of the story, and how did that help you create the ending?

A lot of the setup is informed by personal experience. I grew up in a small town in Texas, not quite as extreme in views as Black Creek, but still not a safe place to talk about or explore queerness. In that situation, it can be very easy to latch onto the first person that shows you any kind of acceptance, even if it’s not a healthy one. While Victor may not have been the most ideal relationship parnter for Red, I don’t think he would have had the courage to approach Sean, even in a platonic capacity, without experiencing that acceptance.

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

The main thing I tried to keep in mind is that they are all carrying around a load of fear and shame. Even Victor who seems so confident in himself is terrified of being outed and ostrasized by his community. The way they interact with each other and the world reflects this. Victor comes off as cold because of the walls he’s put up, Sean is deeply lonely, and Red walks around on eggshells between them.

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

One of the major themes of the book is self-acceptance. At the beginning, Red believes that there is something wrong with him because that’s what he’s been told by his abusive father and by his community. He hides it away from everyone, even his sister who he adores, out of shame. It’s through his relationships with Victor and Sean that he realizes that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What is the next book that you are working on and when can your fans expect it to be out?

My next book is a dystopian sci-fi called A Perfect Heresy. It follows Jax, a soldier now branded a heretic trying to make it home, and Koi, a sick Outsider who’s is trying to find xyr sibling who was abducted, as they navigate through a city and society broken by war. It can currently be read in its raw form on Kindle Vella and I hope to release it in paperback by mid year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Red has all but resigned himself to a life in the closet when he’s propositioned by the dashing, wealthy Victor Itachi. The small East Texas town of Black Creek isn’t the most hospitable environment for those who are different.
His secrets keep him–and more importantly, his sixteen-year-old half-sister, Katie–safe. But Victor’s dominance challenges everything Red thinks he knows and he finds himself swept up in an intense sexual relationship that forces him to confront his deepest desires, both in and out of the bedroom.
When an unlikely friendship with the only out gay man in town triggers Victor’s jealousy, Red must make a choice: submit fully to the relative safety of Victor’s control or risk it all for a chance at something real.


The LGBTQ+ community has made significant strides in achieving greater rights and acceptance in the United States. However, anti-gay attitudes still persist in certain pockets of the country, particularly in small towns located in the south. This can force individuals to remain in the closet, fearing the potential backlash from family, friends, and the community at large. Enter Redmond Cole, the protagonist in Courtney Maguire’s captivating novel Drive. Redmond lives in a tiny town in Texas and has yet to come out of the closet. He spends his days working at a garage and caring for his sister, Katie. But his life takes an unexpected turn when he meets two men, Victor Itachi, a wealthy man, and Sean, the only openly gay man in town.

As Redmond begins to engage in sexual and romantic relationships, he is forced to confront his true feelings and question his happiness with his current situation. Courtney Maguire brings to life the difficulties of being gay in a small town and Redmond’s journey toward self-discovery and acceptance. The intimate scenes between Redmond and Victor are both sensual and realistic, showcasing the growth and development of Redmond’s character as he navigates this new territory. Maguire expertly portrays the challenges and complexities of being a gay man in a conservative town while also highlighting the importance of love and acceptance.

Overall, Drive by Courtney Maguire is a captivating and sensual portrayal of the realities faced by many LGBTQ+ individuals living in conservative towns. It is a compelling story of growth, self-discovery, and acceptance that will leave readers both moved and entertained. I highly recommend this book.

Pages: 238 | ASIN : B0BTMMZWZN

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