I've been something of a hermit over the past 10 days or so. Head down, nose to the grindstone, putting my back into it - in other words working damn hard at the final push to get The Story of Love finished.
It's been a difficult book to write. Before I even put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, I was faced with an established couple who had made their debut in Loose Connection and who were... difficult. Well, Archie wasn't difficult, he was an absolute sweetheart in that book and readers loved him. Zack, on the other hand was not a sweetheart. Aggressive, selfish and at times a downright bastard, he got a lot of backs up. But some readers loved him because, let's be honest, everybody likes a bad boy.
As an author, I loved that Zack excited strong reactions because who wants to write - and read - bland characters? There in lay the problem: how to make a character who divided opinion in one book be much more sympathetic, and likeable, in another? Mm, I had my work cut out for me. I think I've got there with Zack. Things are revealed about his background that go a long way towards explaining why he's the man he is.
I have no idea how The Story of Love will be received. If you've read my impressive back catalogue of two books (ha!) you'll know that I write about flawed men facing difficult and emotional situations. My boys do stuff that some readers don't like but that's fine, because not everybody will like everything. Some people's poison will be another's medicine and so on. The book is heavy on angst so if you like that sort of thing it will press your buttons. If you like your MM on the sweet side, well... there is sweetness there, but... I'm saving softer and sweeter for my Barista Boys series. Less angst driven certainly but it's all relative. In the meantime, Archie and Zack are about to take one hell of a roller-coaster of a ride. Want to join them?
A E Ryecart
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