Interview with Kage Alan

Why write?

Cuz. It's fun.

And why write gay fiction when general fiction is more popular and potentially more lucrative?

Friends and family have asked me this question more than once. If you think about it, I am writing general fiction. How many comedies about vacations or college life are out there? Tons. All I'm doing is putting a couple of gay characters in as the leads instead of the ever–popular best friends or background comic relief.

I also find that many gay books these days tend to be dramatic and, in the end, somewhat depressing with very few leaving you feeling warm and fuzzy...unless you're a bear. That's been my experience at least and I don't believe it has to be that way. Books, not bears.

I enjoy making people laugh and I enjoy doing it in my own little way. Why wouldn't I then draw on my own experiences as a gay man, make fun of them, myself and everybody else who's foolish enough to get to know me and then wrap everything up in a bright red bow? See? Being evil really is fun.

Why write a sequel?

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To My Sexual Orientation" always felt like it ended too soon, yet writing additional scenes for it felt like filler. The final edit was the length it needed to be to tell that story. Did I know that the character would resonate with readers? Heck no. I never have any idea if a reader will like what I've done. I write first and foremost for myself, then you guys get a crack at it. The positive feedback is what gave me the push I needed to see if there was more to Andy's story. And there was. And there still is!

Are you one of those annoying authors who puts messages in their books?

Sadly, yes, but not intentionally. It really surprised me that the first book was labeled a "coming out" story because it was never my intention to write one. I was, in my mind, simply writing a comedy. When someone writes a coming–of–age story about a heterosexual male and female, nobody really pays attention to that specific detail. Yet, when it's a same–sex relationship, that aspect stands out more prominently. The message people discovered in the first book is that whether someone is gay or straight, we all go through very similar trials and tribulations during the coming–of–age process.

With this latest book, I wanted to take the next step with Andy and discover the world of dating. I looked at what I went through, what my friends both gay and straight went through and was amazed at how similar they were. If that constitutes a "message," then I'm okay with it being in this book. And if you dare me, I'll probably do it again.

Is the character of Andy really you?

I get asked this question a lot. The answer is, confusingly, yes and no. Andy reflects my taste in movies and music, how I saw things in life at his age, how I've matured, my reactions to certain situations and in a voice that's very close to my own. Where we differ are the situations I throw at the poor character that I've not been in myself and never hope to be.

Now, the characters I surround him with are a different story. They're pretty much caricatures of people I've either known in the past, still know today or represent nothing more than wishful thinking. Pssst...the character of Jordan in the first book was based on a gay adult film actor named Jordan Young. Since I knew I was going to base a character on my real partner in the next book (if I wrote one), then I had to imagine someone else who I could potentially fall for. And no, I've never met him. I don't even think I'm allowed to meet him. Huh.

What are you currently working on?

I started writing a new novel about a year and a half ago that I will eventually go back to, only about 1/3 of the way through developing it, something happened. Prior to starting that story, there was a little idea that kept ping–ponging around in my head that I couldn't quite get the right vibe for. It was high–concept without a story and that's just not something I can translate into print. Hence, I started writing the other book.

So, it was a few months into writing this other book when I popped in the latest Doro CD and heard "Thunderspell" for the first time. The whole plot of the high–concept story came together in 4 1/2 minutes and I've been writing it ever since. So far, so good. Heck, I'm already thinking sequel.