The joy of queer lit in the internet age is how easy it is to discover and get to know authors. Kevin is second in my running because this blog series sprang from his own series he’s hosting on what exactly constitutes queer lit. I urge you to go check it out, as well as his own writing.
Like most writers, our first novel is usually a labour of love that takes many years to write. My first, Drama Queens with Love Scenes took ten years and nearly as many drafts.
One reviewer made a point of saying he didn’t like my titles. In hindsight, I kind of get why. This title sounds like it might be about prissy queens in a bad love story.
The drama queens are thespians in my tale, dead ones at that. Allan and Warwick find themselves in the Limelight Quarter, the theatre district of the Afterlife, with no memory of how they got there.
Allan also doesn’t remember if they were lovers, but he does recall he had a crush on his friend, and still has those feelings. To his dismay, Warwick starts an affair with a talentless playwrite at the end of the first chapter.
As a debut novel it was well received, with everyone falling in love with my insecure angel character, Guy. His popularity surprised me, and while there is also a blonde 1950’s bombshell and a 19th century dame of the London stage, it’s the angel that captured readers’ hearts.
And it’s a tale which many reviewers put off reading at first, but then ‘got into the zone’ of my catty ‘hollywood style’ eternity.
For a short time there was a publisher I was courting for my first novel, and although that publisher is no longer with us, their first book is.
Morse Code for Cats is a coming of age story with an urban edge by Tom Conyers. It follows Sam who leaves his country roots after accidentally being discovered in the arms of one of his fellow cricket players.
He moves to Melbourne to find himself. I related to this because I moved to Sydney from a coastal town for the same reason. I attended similar parties and had nights out where the friends that I met in my twenties, ended up being remembered as the supporting cast of my early adult years. And as with Sam, I recalled see how these experiences shaped me.
When the relevance of the title was revealed, my heart sank, and although gay lit has moved beyond coming out stories, this one will appeal to those who grew up before an internet age.
Kevin Klehr lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney. From an early age Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again. Kevin’s first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, has been relaunched via Wilde City Press along with the sequel, Drama Queens with Adult Themes. Plus his Romance ebook, Nate and the New Yorker is out now.