Kathy: It is my pleasure to welcome Renae Kaye to Book Reviews & More by Kathy. Congratulations on your new release and thank you so much for interviewing Paul and Andrew so readers can get to know them a little better.
Renae: Thank you for having me on your blog Kathy. When I asked you what sort of blog post you wanted, you asked for a character interview. You didn’t see the eye-roll I had this end of the computer when you said this. Do you know how hard it was to track down these two and get them in a room together so I could interview them?
In the end, I should’ve known I needed to approach the one with all the knowledge – Andrew’s PA, Erica. She was able to find me a time that Andrew was free, and make sure that Paul wasn’t working as well. Paul’s shifts change from week-to-week, so it made things difficult. Then Erica called Andrew’s housekeeper and made sure she was available to watch the kids for a bit, and all I had to do was turn up to the meeting place.
Way to go Erica! She’s my hero.
So below, please find my interview with the guys.
Renae: Hi Paul. Hi Andrew. Thanks for joining me today. I know that you guys are not exactly comfortable with talking about everything that has gone on, but we’ll see how we go, okay? I’ve got a list of questions that some famous author thinks I should ask you, so I’ll fire away, and you both get a chance to answer.
Paul: Okay. Sounds fine. But I get to air all the dirty linen about Andrew in this interview, right?
Andrew: As if. Come on, you’re wasting time. Let’s get to it.
Briefly describe your life before you met the other. What goals did you have?
Paul: Wow, right to the hard ones. Okay. To be honest, I would have to say my life before Andrew was just existing. I didn’t really have anything important. I’m a nurse, so I got up every day, went to work and I cared about other people while I was there. I had my best friend Lon, who’s had a lot of tragedy in his life, and I cared and helped him. I had my family. But me? I didn’t have anything to work towards. I didn’t have goals. There was nothing I could think of that I wanted.
Andrew: That’s true. Compared to me you were very laid back. Before Paul my life was push, struggle, stress, fear. I had my family life and work life, and then I had the times when I allowed myself to be gay. And I was desperately afraid that those two would one day intersect. I’m very driven. I always have been, and it’s helped me get to where I am in life. I’ve always had clear goals about where I want to be working, and what my career would be. Before Paul I was desperately trying to make a fake life – fake wife with whom I had kids, being a fake straight man. I pretended a lot to reassure people that what they saw was me. It’s a lot of stress to carry around. But I guess, also, before Paul I wasn’t very involved in what matters most to me. Which are my children. I love them, but I was never a hands-on dad.
What attracted you to the other?
Andrew: His eyes. I always thought they saw right through me. To the real me, and that was exciting.
Paul: His arse.
Andrew: Ha ha. Be serious.
Paul: I am. You have a great arse. I checked it out so many times. I’d catch you changing at the gym, or working out, and I always thought that.
Renae: Okay. So once the physical was past, what else attracted you about the person?
Andrew: His caring. Paul puts his heart into everything. There was no façade with him, unlike me. Paul was what-you-see-is-what-you-get, and I liked it.
Paul: His arse.
Andrew: Can I change my answer, Renae?
Paul: Fine. Let me think. Uh… your neediness. You may think that you’re in charge and can handle everything, but every now and then you’d let your guard down and I would see the real you. And your need. And usually it was something I was able to fix, and that made me feel like an all-conquering hero.
What flaw do you need to overcome in this story?
Paul: I don’t have flaws. I’m perfect.
Andrew: Please, Renae? Can I change my answer above? I was too nice. No? Damn. Okay, flaws. Self-honesty. Pride. They were things that kept me in the closet. I wasn’t being honest with myself when I thought I could stay in there indefinitely. I also have too much pride. I didn’t want people to think less of me if they found out I was gay. I wanted to have it all.
Paul: You can have it all. Being gay doesn’t mean you can’t have love, children, a career, a house, a family, friends…
Andrew: I know that now. But I didn’t before.
What strengths does the other bring to your relationship?
Paul: Drive. Andrew has so much drive to succeed and be the best. I don’t have that. I’m happy to sit back and let other people lead, while I do what I’m best at. Andrew brings direction to our relationship. He’s the compass, showing us where we’re going.
Andrew: True. Whereas you bring the caring and logic to our relationship that I sometimes lack. I’m full of the big dreams, and you often have to pull me back and say, “Hey. Let’s be sensible here.” Paul brings the nurturing to our relationship, and shows me how it is done. I model myself on him.
Renae: You didn’t need to tell him that, did you? Especially since he thinks he has no flaws.
Andrew: What we do for love…
Was there something the other had that you needed? Was that part of the attraction?
Paul: Yeah, Andrew needed my big c—
Paul: I was only being honest. **flashes a cheeky grin** Okay, I realise that the question is more than just physical. But it’s true. We started out on the physical. We both needed release or relief or whatever you want to call it. It was physical.
Andrew: Okay. I can see your point. But what you had that I needed was along those lines. With you I could be myself. Be true. I didn’t have to be in tight control. With you I could let go and know you’d never abuse that trust I put in you. You were my safety net and my relief valve.
Paul: I also had time to babysit for you. You needed me for that.
Andrew: Yes, but that was after I admitted I loved you. Your nature to care for me was there first.
Paul: **gives a self-conscious snort** Wow. We’re really being honest here aren’t we? So it’s my turn now. Andrew had… I don’t know. He gave me a reason to get up in the morning. It wasn’t that I was depressed or anything, but as I said earlier, I didn’t have goals in life. He gave me focus. He gave me someone to care about. To fight for. To love.
Andrew: And you do it so well.
Renae: Oh, wow. You guys are awesome. You’re choking me up here!
What influence did friends and family have on your relationship?
Andrew: I think that family and friend influence was one of the driving forces keeping us apart. On my side, anyway. My family is Catholic, and I knew they would not approve of my “new” sexual orientation or the relationship we had together. So I was desperately hiding it from everyone. I couldn’t stand their judgement and accusations. If I hadn’t have gone with my heart and had allowed their influence to continue, then we wouldn’t be together.
Paul: Yes. My friends all told me to stop our relationship too. They were nice about it, but they had a real problem with you being married. They all told me to dump you. My family, on the other hand, were quietly supportive. They just offered their support for whatever happened and didn’t judge at all.
Andrew: I’m glad you didn’t listen to them.
Renae: Me too. Okay, last question.
Briefly describe your life now. Have your goals changed?
Paul: Ha. Oh, wow. How has it changed! Remember I said that I just basically got up and went to work, and that was it? Now I have direction. Andrew and the kids are my direction. Now work often interferes with all the things I want to do. Yes. Now I have goals. Those goals are in place. Next year. Five years. Fifty years. I have goals.
Renae: I’m really glad to hear that, Paul. You sound really positive and happy now. What about you, Andrew?
Andrew: I’m still driven, but that drive comes from love, not from fear of discovery. In a way, I’m even more driven, because I have important things to lose now. On the surface, my life is very much the same as it was before: I live in the same house, have the same position, have a partner at home, and two kids. I get up, go to work, come home.
But it’s changed more than you can believe. I’m a fully involved father now. I know what my children are doing, where they are and who their teacher is. My partner is my partner, rather than just the person to complete the picture. I’m completely involved in his life too.
My goals are still the same. I haven’t compromised on them. I’m still going to own my own company (or three) and run them.
Renae: Well, thank you Paul and Andrew for coming in today. I know you guys are both super busy.
Paul: Yes, we are. But for you, Renae, we can do anything.
Andrew: See? Too nice. You’re sucking up now, wanting to be in her next story.
Paul: You’re just jealous because I’ve been in four of her stories now, and you’ve only been in two.
Andrew: Four? Those other two were just cameo placements. No readers even picked up that you were there.
Paul: You can be quiet now. Remember I’m the flawless one with what you need? My big c—
Andrew: Right. Thank you for reminding us, Paul. And thank you for having us, Renae. We’ll be going now before Paul says something he’ll regret. **stands up**
Paul: I won’t regret any—
Paul: Oh, shit. I’m in trouble now, right? **follows Andrew out the door**
Andrew: You’re always trouble. It’s one of your flaws.
Paul: I know one thing that’s not a flaw. My big c—
Renae: **says to herself** Well now…
Title: Safe in His Heart by Renae Kaye
Safe Series Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 270 pages
Safe: Book Two
Andrew and Paul learned about God and Jesus in different churches and realize their views of spirituality are worlds apart.
Andrew was raised Catholic and was told his homosexuality was a sin. For his entire life, he hid the truth. He married and had children to present a façade to the world—that of a straight man. It’s not until he has an affair with Paul, who shows him a different side of Jesus, that Andrew realizes he can be gay and still believe in God. Paul’s Jesus is one of acceptance and love, and in Paul’s church, being gay is not a problem.
For Paul and Andrew, falling in love is the easy part of their journey. They must make it through the fires of cheating, being discovered, Andrew’s wife leaving, the necessities of childcare and family life, the demands of their jobs, and working on their commitment to each other. Only then can they be safe in each other’s heart.
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Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.
Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.