Author Name: Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: Where the Grass is Greener
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Pages or Words: 75,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Western/Cowboy
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Debbie McGowan
Hello! We’re Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney, two halves of a fantastic writing whole. We started collaborating early in 2015 and we’ve been writing recklessly together ever since! Our new book is Where the Grass is Greener (book 2 of The Seeds of Tyrone)–in addition, we’re working on book three, have almost completed a new humorous intrigue book, and are about halfway into something dark and mysterious. Any time our queue gets low, we just add things to the pile! Oh, we haven’t tried this…
- Tell us about your book.
RO SAYS: Well, this is the sequel to our first collaboration, Leaving Flowers. It follows Patrick’s brother Seamus Williams. I’m totally going to tell tales out of school because someone didn’t think there was a Seamus story to be told (*coughs*Debbie*coughs*) but the fans of Leaving Flowers banded together and, er, demanded? the sequel. I’ll say though, once we got started writing… WOW! The words flew!
DM SAYS: Yep, that pretty much sums it up! We had an author chat, and they ganged up on me. I was kind of coming around to the idea, though I was still umming and ahhing, and then…Chancey. That was me sold. Better still, Seamus and Chancey are both bisexual, which was great for subtly tackling bi-erasure, and also gave us a chance to explore different experiences of coming out. OK. I’ll stop getting political now. Next question!
- How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?
RO SAYS: Not hard at all! Thinking specifically about Chancey Clearwater… I think we’ve all had times where we did the crap jobs or put ourselves second (third, fourth, or fifth) to the needs of others. Chancey is a single father, raising a headstrong, sometimes angry, daughter. He’s sacrificed a lot for her happiness.
DM SAYS: It was actually a lot of fun getting to know Seamus, having only viewed him through Patrick and Aidan’s eyes. To Patrick, Seamus is just a typical big brother—a bit bossy and wayward, makes dodgy decisions but won’t be told—and while they’re close because of losing their parents at a young age, there are lots of differences in personality.
- Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?
RO SAYS: This is book 2 of the Seeds of Tyrone Series. (Which we only named right at the end of the book!) We’re already working on book 3… I’ve got ideas we should have a book 4, but I haven’t told Debbie this yet. I guess she’ll find out when she reads my response! (And THAT, m’friends, is collaboration! LOL!)
DM SAYS: Um…say what? (I believe it’s called coersion 😉 ). So yes, book 3 is in progress, which is very cool. I’m sure book…4…will…be…too. 😀
- Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
RO SAYS: Debbie explains this better than I do, but I’ll say this… generally speaking, we don’t write M/M stories. We write stories that happen to have gay characters in them.
DM SAYS: That’s definitely how I feel about it. It’s only the past year or so I’ve written romance specifically, although I think all but two of the books I’ve ever written have characters from the full spectrum of gender and sexual identities, and Raine and I have the same kinds of values when it comes to M/M stories—that the characters should be rich and multidimensional.
- Where do you find your inspiration?
RO SAYS: I find inspiration all around me… In a rainy summer’s day, in the adorable face of a dachshund, in a crumbling urban structure being taken over by nature. Specifically thinking about collaboration though? I’m inspired by the way my “colors” interweave with Debbie’s colors. I don’t know that there’s any two people who work as naturally as she and I do. (I’d like to meet these folks if they exist!) A lot of times we have simultaneous inspiration it seems–and the best part? We almost always can “see” what the other person is thinking with only a bit of conversation.
DM SAYS: Yes! It’s also fascinating how often our thinking is along exactly the same lines. Much of my inspiration when it comes to getting the words down comes from people-watching—the things they don’t say. I can spend hours trying to figure out connections between people, building life stories for them, trying to understand their motivations and thoughts. I’ll often draw on these experiences when I’m trying to get inside a character’s head so I can get down their reaction to a situation. It’s like having a mental bank of scenarios that I can refer if needed.
Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward?
That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.
“I miss you, Shay.”
Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.
A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by.
Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?
Where the Grass is Greener features Seamus Williams – the older brother of Patrick from Leaving Flowers.
“You’re quiet today, Seamus. What’s up?” the landlord asked.
“Just tired, is all. Got a leaky roof and the fecker was drippin’ all the damn night. And didn’t I get up this morning and kick the bucket?”
“You look alive and well to me, so you do. I say well…you look like shite.”
“Yeah, thanks very much. Think I’ll go join the lads, see if I can’t get a few more insults thrown at me.”
Seamus gave the landlord a wry grin and went over to the others, who were already well into the first of the three games they got in every lunchtime. He watched one of them take a bad shot and accidentally pot the black, the clunking of the ball as it rolled its way through the machinery of the table setting Seamus’s teeth on edge. John was right: he was dog-tired and probably did look like shite. He’d barely slept after the missed call, trying to decide whether to return it or not. His mind played tricks on him, one minute convincing him it was urgent and he should call back, the next telling him to stay strong. He’d made the move. He’d come back to Ireland. That’s what he’d wanted all along.
He had wanted it. Ever since Mam died, his sights had been set on coming home. He’d only stayed for Paddy’s sake, and now Paddy had Aidan there was nothing to keep Seamus in the States, although he was no further away from his brother now than he had been in Kansas. Never mind that he’d already made the decision before he knew Aidan even existed. No. It was a good decision. He was just—
He already knew, before he pulled his phone from his pocket: same Kansas number, same caller. His thumb hovered over the red button. Reject the call. Reject the call.
“At last! I thought I was calling a wrong number. Man, it’s so good to hear your voice.”
“Er, yeah. Yours too. What’s up? Has something happened?”
“Nothing new. I just…”
The rapid-hard thump of Seamus’s heart filled the pause, two seconds, three, four, and more. He drew breath to speak, but there was nothing to be said. Or nothing he should say.
“I miss you, Shay.”
The first call had been a drunk dial. Thank the heavenly father that Seamus Williams hadn’t picked up. Lord, the shit that might have come tumbling out of Chancey’s mouth. Now he was dead sober, but only slightly more composed. Had he really just said he’d missed Seamus? He tried for a laugh. It sounded as fake as it felt. Well he had missed Seamus. Nothin’ wrong with that.
“You gonna say somethin’?” He knew he was putting on the accent. Drawing out his vowels, droppings his g’s. His grandmother—who was from south Texas and who had an accent so deep it was digging itself a hole to the centre of the Earth—used to yell at him when he’d get lazy with his words.
You jus’ sound ign’rant, Chancey Bo Clearwater. Full name, cue snickering cousins, and young Chancey sank down low in his chair, ashamed at the way he sounded despite the fact they all talked just alike. The accent followed him when he moved to Oklahoma, where he picked up a whole set of strange ‘O’s, and even having lived in Kansas now for the better part of his life, it was still there underneath, just waiting to crop up in stressful situations.
“I didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all.”
“Surprise.” He was trying for friendly, for calm. Trying to keep the I wanna put my fist through the wall and did you really mean to let me find out through Lulu? out of his voice.
“Isn’t this call costing you a million dollars?”
“Skype. On my phone. I bought minutes, y’know?”
“Is that right then?”
“But I didn’t think. It’s probably charging you too.”
Is it? Seamus sure as hell wasn’t saying much. There was a long pause as Chancey considered his next move. He’d called because he’d wanted to talk. Not talk. Not like that. Nothing to say on that front. Seamus had made it all as clear as crystal dropped in the mud when he’d left his parting message with Lulu down at the pool hall, Rack ’Em. In a last-ditch effort, Chancey said the only thing he could think: “Boss Tina asked after you the other day when I went around for work.”
That got a laugh out of Seamus, which gave Chancey more relief than he cared to admit.
In celebration of the release of Where the Grass is Greener, we’re having a sale on Leaving Flowers
Normally $4.99, Leaving Flowers is on sale for 99 cents!!
Meet the authors:
DEBBIE McGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can.
Known as “The Queen of the Sweetness” (well, a few people have said it anyway!) Raine loves writing sweet, character-driven stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness? In addition to her solo works, she’s one half of a collaborative team with author Debbie McGowan.
When she’s not writing, Raine is either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. She believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers.
Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or discussing which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!
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