Jamie Deacon on Caught Inside ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Jamie Deacon for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.

Title: Caught Inside
Author: Jamie Deacon
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 09/29/2016

Blurb:

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

To Label or Not to Label

Thanks so much for inviting me here today!

This is probably going to sound strange, but throughout the process of writing ‘Caught Inside’, I gave very little thought to my hero’s sexuality. To me, he was always simply Luke, a boy on the brink of becoming a man—careless, fun loving, a little cocky, and who during the course of the story experiences the most emotionally turbulent summer of his life. Looking back, I realise I was far more interested in exploring his emotional journey than I was in putting a label on his feelings.

After my book was released, however, two things happened to give me pause: an invitation to submit my novel to the Bi Book Awards and a wonderful review by A.M. Leighbowitz in which she expresses some disappointment that I don’t actually come out and use the term bisexual. They prompted me to sit down and explore Luke’s sexuality in more depth, so here goes…

At the start of the novel, Luke has been seeing his girlfriend Zara for a couple of months and is all set to spend the summer with her at her family’s cottage on the Cornish coast. In fact, Zara is the latest in a regular string of girlfriends. That isn’t to say Luke is a Jack the Lad. It’s simply that, with his good looks and easy-going charm, He’s a natural magnet for girls.

Then, in Cornwall, everything changes. Luke meets Theo, who also happens to be Zara’s cousin and closest friend, and finds himself falling in love for the first time in his life. Normally so laid-back and sure of himself, he’s utterly unprepared for the tidal wave of emotion—the giddy euphoria mingled with a jealousy and insecurity he hadn’t known himself capable of.

So, what does this mean for Luke’s sexuality? Is he gay and has merely been dating girls because that’s what’s expected of him? It’s a question he asks himself more than once during the story. Yet, although Theo is the first person he’s lost his heart to, Luke has certainly been attracted to girls in the past. He isn’t in love with Zara, nor does he ever claim to be, but there’s no doubt he enjoys being with her, at least to begin with, and that he finds her physically desirable.

Could it be that he’s gay-for-Theo? Luke has never felt this way about anyone else before, and has naturally been drawn to girls up to now, so this description could apply to him…but for one thing. A couple of years earlier, he had a crush on one of his teammates on the school rugby team. It was a fleeting crush, lasting just long enough for Luke to discover the other boy’s bullying nature, and he was able to dismiss it as part of growing up. Still, the memory has stayed with him, a niggling doubt at the back of his mind.

So…yes, in light of the fact that Luke has been attracted to both genders, even if he has only ever fallen for a guy, bisexual is probably the most accurate term for him. In that case, should I have made him acknowledge this at some point in the course of the novel? There are some—particularly among the bi community, many of whom I know have felt marginalised by the gay-for-you plotline that’s currently so popular—who will believe I should have gone farther along this road.

First, let me apologise to those who might feel aggrieved by Luke’s failure to fully embrace his sexuality. It was never my intention to diminish being bisexual as an identity or suggest that it’s in any way invalid. My sole concern when writing ‘Caught Inside’ was to remain true to my hero. I don’t doubt that Luke would have one day owned his bisexuality, and knowing him, he’d have done so with pride. Yet, at seventeen, still coming to terms with loving Theo and what this means for his future, it just felt too soon.

Links

Caught Inside on Goodreads
Beaten Track Publishing
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are thrust headlong into the breathless, euphoric, often painful whirlwind called love.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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