Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Kate McMurray for stopping by today.
Title: The Long Slide Home (The Rainbow League #3)
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Rainbow League Book #3
Nate and Carlos have been the best of friends since their childhood playing baseball together in the Bronx. For the past few years, Nate’s been in love with Carlos, though he’s never acted on it and Carlos has never given any indication that he returns Nate’s feelings. Nate has finally given up, determined to move on and find someone else, especially now that Carlos has shacked up with his boyfriend, Aiden.
Carlos doesn’t understand why Nate has suddenly gotten weird, acting cold and distant at team practice for the Rainbow League. But if that’s how things are going to be, Carlos is done trying to figure Nate out. But then Aiden reveals he has a violent side, and Carlos needs his best friend’s support. On top of that, he starts to realize his feelings for Nate might not be limited to friendship. But in the aftermath of his relationship with Aiden, and with Nate having problems of his own, the timing is all wrong to make a real relationship work. As emotions run high, both have a hard time figuring out what is real and what is just convenient.
The Long Slide Home and Left Turns
I’ll warn you up front, I took a tonal left turn in the third Rainbow League book.
If you’ve been reading the series, you know these are pretty light, sexy, fun summer books, or at least that was my intention. A bunch of guys play baseball together and have witty banter. That was essentially the premise I started with.
The third book is about Nate and Carlos, two characters who have been dancing around each other since Book 1, and I did originally intend to put them through the ringer before they got their happy ending. However, I don’t typically write super angsty books. And this is a series that is mostly angst-free.
I’ve been telling people since I finished the book that this book is really different in tone from the first two in the series, and I stand by the choice to make the book that way because it works for these characters and their story.
But, when I say this, I also usually add, “I was going through some things.”
For me, writing can be really therapeutic. Even just the act of spending time with characters or in a world separate from my own life will take my mind off whatever today’s source of anxiety is. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid; I used to make up stories in my head when I was having trouble sleeping. I mean, I write just for fun sometimes, too, and I don’t believe art has to come from some dark place. Writing brings me a lot of joy, which is why I keep doing it, regardless of what’s going on in my personal life. But I do think there’s a connection between what I’m thinking and feeling and what ends up on the page.
I can site a lot of examples of things from my life that wound up in my fiction, some probably more obvious than others. I think it’s unavoidable. To a point, that’s what writing teachers mean by “write what you know.” That is, don’t literally write your experience—if my books were all about thirtysomething publishing employees in New York City, that would get boring quickly—but use what you know to write about what your characters are experiencing. In romance, falling in love is a good example. I know what that feels like, so I can apply my experiences to my characters.
Last fall, a bunch of things happened in my family, and I didn’t intend to write about them, but they were happening as I was writing The Long Slide Home. I could have made that a joyful book about two characters who were clearly meant for each other finally figure out they’re in love, but I didn’t think that worked for the characters, and I personally wasn’t in a place emotionally where I could write that.
Nate and Carlos needed at least one crisis, but I gave them two: one that sends Carlos to stay with Nate for awhile and one that makes Nate extremely emotionally vulnerable. These two crises combined are what bring them together (finally). But I wanted the situations to be relatable and not over the top. I told all my beta readers that; I needed them to let me know if it was too much. And everyone kind of agreed: it’s a lot that you put these characters through, but it feels real. So I thought, all right. I’ve got something here.
Because there’s so much going on behind the scenes of every book. For me, each book I’ve written has a memory tied to it that has little or nothing to do with the book itself. Four Corners is a book that almost never was because my hard drive died when I was in the middle of writing it. I was listening to a lot of baseball podcasts when I was writing Out in the Field, and I remember the commentators predicting that the Royals were going to be the team to beat in a few years… and lo, they made the World Series in 2014. I wrote Save the Date in one crazy week right before my ex got married.
And The Long Slide Home is the book I wrote when my uncle was dying.
My uncle was truly one of the best human beings on the planet. He was maybe the most selfless person I’ve ever known, always working to make people’s lives better, and he loved his family fiercely. When my mother (his sister) was having some major problems a few years ago, he dropped everything to come help, and I will always be grateful to him for that. He’d been battling leukemia for the last couple of years, and after a successful stem-cell transplant, we thought he was out of the woods. But then in October, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and we knew the end was coming. He passed away mid-December, at the age of 68.
Not to get maudlin, but he was the first family member of my parents’ generation to die (who I was close to) and I spent this past holiday season thinking about that a lot, and how the people we love aren’t immortal, no matter how much we wish they were. So that was in my head when I was finishing up the book at the beginning of January.
As a result, The Long Slide Home is sad at times, and deeply emotional, but I tried to make it joyful, too. Because I think out of the darkness, joy must come. I come from a big Irish family, where we believe firmly that funerals are not times to mourn the dead, but instead to celebrate a good life lived. (It’s why Irish wakes often have open bars. If you’re going to celebrate, do it the Irish way!) My uncle was a retired Army officer, and as befits a man of his rank, he had full military honors at his funeral—and was later buried at Arlington—which is a different kind of celebration than a rowdy Irish wake, but still is about honoring accomplishments, respect for a man who had achieved a great deal in his life and is worthy of being remembered.
About the Author
Kate McMurray is an award-winning author of gay romance and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Visit her website at http://www.katemcmurray.com
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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