Three cheating girlfriends in a row have given skateboarder Brennan Cross the same excuse: he wasn’t meeting their needs. Desperate and humiliated, he goes to the professionals at the local sex shop for advice.
Zafir Hamady, a sales clerk at Red Hot Bluewater, has an unusual theory: he doesn’t think Brennan is a bad lover. In fact, he doesn’t think Brennan is heterosexual. Or sexual at all, for that matter. He also can’t stop thinking about Brennan. But even if he’s right and Brennan really is asexual, that doesn’t mean Zafir has a chance. Brennan’s never dated a man, and Zafir’s never met anyone who’s game for a Muslim single father with a smart mouth and a GED.
Brennan’s always thought of himself as straight. But when sex is explicitly out of the mix, he finds himself drawn to Zafir for the qualities and interests they share. And Zafir can’t help enjoying Brennan’s company and the growing bond between Brennan and his son. They work well together, but with so many issues between them, doubts creep in, and Brennan’s struggle with his identity could push away the one person he didn’t know he could love.
Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Ann Gallagher blog tour for All The Wrong Places!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding All The Wrong Places, but including books written as L.A. Witt or Lauren Gallagher) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20th, and winners will be announced on June 21st. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Learning About & Writing About Asexuality
All The Wrong Places was very much my first foray into writing asexual characters. Well, as the main characters anyway – Richie in Running With Scissors is asexual, but has only been a secondary character so far (his book is coming!). I really wanted to do it right, so I spent a lot of time reading about asexuality. In particular, I looked for as many stories as I could get my hands on about people realizing they were asexual and how it affected their lives.
Once I had a handle on that, I approached the book the same way I approached my very first M/M book, Rules of Engagement. The main character in that book was, like in All The Wrong Places, figuring out that maybe he wasn’t so sure about his sexuality after all. Dustin in Rules of Engagement is realizing he’s bisexual. Brennan in All The Wrong Places is realizing he’s asexual. I’ve been in Dustin’s shoes before, realizing I was bi in my early twenties, so it didn’t take much to empathize with his thought processes, his internal struggles, etc.
When it came time to write All The Wrong Places, I applied that same empathy to Brennan. How does it feel to rethink your sexuality? How much pressure does it add or remove to suddenly have this newfound understanding of yourself? What if people find out? What if you need to come out to people who might not understand, or have always thought you were straight? What if they react negatively?
I also think, in a way, I wrote both Dustin and Brennan out of a smidgen of envy. They both had something I would have sold my soul for – someone who shared their sexuality, had already been through the process, and could help them work through things until they figured out which way was up. In my case I didn’t need/want a partner like that – I was and still am perfectly happily married – but having someone to ask questions, commiserate, etc., while figuring things out would have been a lifesaver. So, I gave someone like that to Dustin and to Brennan. And then stomped on their hearts because I’m an author and I’m mean.
Ann Gallagher is the slightly more civilized alter ego of L.A. Witt, Lauren Gallagher, and Lori A. Witt. So she tells herself, anyway. When she isn’t wreaking havoc on Spain with her husband and trusty two-headed Brahma bull, she writes romances just like her wilder counterparts, but without all the heat. She is also far too mature to get involved in the petty battle between L.A. and Lauren, but she’s seriously going to get even with Lori for a certain incident that shall not be discussed publicly.