Once upon a time, I was unpublished but had a couple of contracts for my books to be published. I saw a submission call out from Dreamspinner Press for short stories to be included in an anthology about bears. It was to be called A Taste of Honey and would feature men who were “bears” as defined in the gay culture.
I was excited. What a great project! My favourite type of character to read and write about was the “average” man. I liked all body types – not just the hotted up gym bods. And finding m/m romance with a character that was a bear was rare. I mentally ticked the box to remember to buy that anthology once it was published and went back to editing my work.
A couple of months later I saw the call again – this time with a personal plea attached. BG Thomas was desperate for good quality stories about bears – but not porn. Bears need love and romance too. My heart sank. I so much wanted this project to be a success and to bring the world of bears out into the light where it could be celebrated. It sounded like people were not jumping on board the “bear train” and that they needed romantic stories, not just sex.
My neural pathways began firing.
Write a short story? I’d never tried before.
Do a meet, fall in love and HEA in less than 12,000 words? Challenge accepted.
No one is more surprised than me that I actually managed to do it, plus get it accepted into the anthology. My submission is called Bear Chasing and I wrote the story as an introduction to the bear culture. It’s about a geeky guy who has a crush on the big bear across the street. Through Neil’s eyes we learn about bears and that there are men in this world that enjoy bears. In fact the prefer bears. *gasp*
Dreadful right? *wink*
What impressed me most about the other stories in the anthology was the fact that they took the exact some information as I did, and turned it into something completely different. We had different ages, sizes and locations. We had different seasons and different continents. We had different time periods, different genres and different storylines. But in every single one, we celebrated. Celebrated love and celebrated bears.
(Try this website to buy…. https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Honey-John-Amory-ebook/dp/B00MUW6BBS)
My most recent release is called The Shearing Gun, and although it doesn’t feature a man who identifies as a bear, it does contain real characters. My main character is a shearer – a man from the country who shears sheep and farms land for a living. Hank is deep in the closet, believing that his being gay would be a problem to him finding work. All he needs is that one special man. Cue! Enter the new doctor in town… *wink*
I’ve been surprised about the number of comments on this book that were along the lines of, “I was hesitant to read, because of the sheep.” I promise you – the sheep are not a bad sort. *wink* I see it similar to setting a story around a racing car driver or a safari tour guide. Not something you come across every day, but fun to read about as long as the setting is not the only thing about the story.
I am humbled by the reviews received so far.
“It was humorous and sexy. I think I had a perma-grin for a majority of this book. If you haven’t read a book by this author what are you waiting for? She’s a must read!”
“Renae Kaye has, again, written a wonderful story about two boys finding each other. A love story for all readers.”
“I am in love with this author. Third book, third time I have completely lost myself in said book. I was a bit unsure about this one because the subject matter isn’t really anything that would draw me in but Loving Jay and The Blinding Light are some of my favorite books so I have it a go. Amazing. Awesome. Beautiful. Heartwarming.”
“This book would not let me go.”
“I love this author! Her books are full of love, laughter, fun, and hope.”
So if you like a book that contains a smile, a laugh and a sigh, have a go at The Shearing Gun. You won’t regret it.