Please welcome Suzey Ingold, author of Speakeasy, to Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Hi Suzey, thank you for chatting with us today. Please ell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me! I’m a writer and linguistics student, currently based in Edinburgh. I’ve been writing for years and had my first short story, The Willow Weeps for Us, published in 2015, in the Summer Love anthology from Duet Books. Speakeasy is about a recent Yale graduate who must discover what he really wants when he meets the owner of a unique Midtown speakeasy in 1920s Manhattan.
- Describe your book to us.
Speakeasy is centered around Heath, who’s just graduated from Yale and is trying to decide what’s next for him under the pressure of what his parents want for him: that is, a job on Wall Street and a suitable wife. In the summer of 1927, he meets Art, the owner of a unique Midtown speakeasy, who helps him to discover what it is that he really wants.
- Have you ever read something that made you think differently about your genre? Can you tell us what it was?
I can’t think of one specific book that made me think differently about romance, but more that the course of reading various different romance novels has changed how I thought originally. Romance is definitely a far more varied and diverse genre than I thought originally, which is one of the reasons why it’s so much fun to both read and write.
- Tell us about your character’s family life?
Heath’s family life is a little complicated. On the one hand, his family is important to him and he gets along with the members of his family and respects them. At the same time, his parents—his father, William, in particular—are very controlling in terms of making decisions on his behalf. There are certain aspects of his life that he wouldn’t feel able to share with them, for fear that they would disapprove. And as close as he is with his younger sister, Amelia, even with her he is not totally honest.
- Compare yourself to your main character.
Heath is more suggestible than I am—I’m stubborn and strong-willed and I don’t tend to take too kindly to people trying to tell me how I should be living my life. I’m much more like Amelia, Heath’s sister, in that way, and in how she stands up to her parents. However, there have certainly been parts of my life that I’ve allowed to be guided by my parents’ wishes, in part because I’ve struggled to know where I wanted to go myself, and in that sense me and Heath are very similar. We’re also both quite introverted and thoughtful people.
- Describe your past week as a type of landscape or a weather forecast.
The week started off with sunny spells and bright skies, with an occasional light breeze and clouds settling in during the evening. Midweek, the clouds started to build and a light rain began to fall that turned heavier as the days passed. The temperature dropped significantly and the rain persisted into the later days.
Title: Speakeasy by Suzey Ingold
Publisher: Interlude Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 244 pages
In the height of the Prohibition era in Manhattan, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a unique speakeasy where men are free to explore their sexuality. When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.
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Heath swallows, playing over an idea that had formed shakily in his head after he saw Frankie, since Art walked through that door and possibly longer without him being fully conscious of it. “Maybe it’s time I was honest. Tell them that I don’t want to marry Ginny or work with my father. Let the pieces fall where they may.”
“You would do that?”
“If it meant being with you, I would do anything.” Heath sits up and the sheets fall to pool around his waist. “I know what I want, now. And it’s you and whatever a future with you brings.”
Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys traveling, scented candles and brunch. Her short story, “The Willow Weeps for Us,” was included in “Summer Love: An LGBTQ Collection,” published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (2015).
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