I’ve had the pleasure of reading a pre-release copy of LAST CALL, the next M/M romance from Kate Sherwood, and she even agreed to answer some of my fangirl questions! …And also one question from the group I founded, ‘The Squirrel from Mark of Cain Appreciation Club,’ which currently consists of just me but I think that’s only because I haven’t publicised it. Or maybe because I set the joining fee at £5,000. I have expensive cats, okay?
Kate is the author of more than 30 novels and novellas, including those under her other pen names, Cate Cameron (M/F romances) and Catherine Dale (YA). Her next release, an M/M romance, is out on 21 January and can be preordered now. It’s very funny. And also hot.
Ethan is living the good life as a student at Montreal’s McGill University. He’s out every night, partying, dancing with his friends, and meeting guys. When he sets his sights on Alex, the world’s hottest bartender, he expects a good time, and nothing more.
But things aren’t so simple with Alex. He’s been hurt too many times and he’s protective of his heart. He certainly can’t let himself get attached to a party-boy like Ethan. Except… maybe there’s more to Ethan than there seems.
As the guys grow closer, it’s harder and harder for Alex to keep the darker parts of his life away from Ethan’s brightness. But Ethan proves that he’s tougher than he seems on the outside. And maybe that means Alex can save the soft place in his heart for Ethan.
1. Where did the idea for Last Call come from?
Way back in the glory days, I was a student at McGill and I absolutely fell in love with the city. But I realize, looking back, that I was living in a very, very limited version of Montreal. I guess everyone lives in their own bubbles, but… my bubble was really small. I liked the idea of having a character pulled out of his own safe world and exposed to the grittier reality of other parts of the city. And the Francophone/Anglophone distinction was interesting, too!
Ethan would drive me up the wall, at least initially. I’m an introvert and Ethan is NOT. He does have depths (as we see in the book) but he’d be so busy on the surface that I doubt I’d stick around long enough to encounter them. Alex and I could sit and quietly glower together, though!
3. One thing I really love about your books is the side characters, who are often just as funny and interesting as the main characters. FYI my favourites are Uncle Calvin from ALL THAT GLITTERS and the squirrel in MARK OF CAIN. Not going to lie, I was excited about the sequel to Mark of Cain (THE LONG WAY HOME) but I was a little disappointed when I realised it wasn’t based on the squirrel. Anyway, I guess this interview isn’t entirely about me, so are any more of your characters going to get their own books? Hint: The squirrel.
I am really good at saying “no, I’m done with those characters” and really bad at sticking to my guns, so… I never say never. But in terms of the squirrel, I think I’d have to say a very strong “unlikely”. Unless I got into shifter books… hmmmm… a squirrel shifter? hmmm….
I think every book has a BIT of what’s happened to me in real life… my first book, Dark Horse, had a lot of death in it (well, just one death, but it was a pretty big one) and it was definitely inspired by some losses in my own life. But I generally take the emotions or themes from my life and then translate them into totally different circumstances. I don’t think the actual details of my life are interesting enough to write a novel about!
5. Which of your books is your favourite, and why?
I have a soft spot for my Long Shadows series. (four books, but they’re all short, so I’m counting them for one for this question. Try and stop me!). It didn’t do too well, sales-wise, which I think is part of why it comes to mind… I love an underdog. And I think I understand why it didn’t do too well… it’s a romance, over the course of the four books, but it’s DEFINITELY a slow burn, and there’s a lot of other stuff going on. I really like the characters in it, and I LOVE the cover model… what, that’s legit! That’s a reason to like a book!
6. You also write in multiple genres – m/f romance, m/m romance, YA, fantasy… which is most fun to write?
Hmmm… they’re all fun when they’re going well, and they’re all hell when I’m stuck! I think I go through moods in writing, so the one that’s most fun right now might not be the one that’s most fun tomorrow.
Anna Kaling, of course. [Anna’s note: Kate actually did say that. Obviously, if she hadn’t, I would have added it in anyway, but still.] Other than that – I don’t think I have any auto-BUYs, but I have some auto-INVESTIGATEs, for sure. Authors for whom I will always check out their work, knowing that if the subject matter interests me, I can count on the writing to be excellent. KJ Charles, Alexis Hall, Courtney Milan, Ruby McNally (not a famous author, but exactly to my taste), Brian McLellan… maybe others. But I do have a bad habit of finding an author I like, binging on his/her books until I’m totally sick of them, and then never wanting to read them again. So… fewer autobuys than there should be.
8. You’re going to be stranded on a desert island. Sorry about that. But you can take three frivolous items and one book: what are you taking? And no, you can’t take a how-to on raft construction or a book of coconut recipes. This is purely for entertainment.
Do my cats count as “items”? Assuming there was enough food for them, I’d definitely want them along… they’re the most entertaining things I can think of, and they’re absolutely frivolous. So that’s two down. No, they’re a team. They’ll count as one item. So them, plus a thick blank notebook and a pen. (or, even better, a laptop and a solar charger!). I can keep myself entertained for a long time with writing. The one book? Hmmm. I don’t really have a favourite book, but right now I’m reading an omnibus edition of Lord Peter Wimsey stories and I’d be tempted to bring it along just because it’s so LONG. All the stories in one book! Very efficient. Some of the stories are a bit dull (the one I’m currently reading is OBSESSED with bicycles and train schedules) but that’s okay. I’ll have plenty of time to kill.
9. What’s next for Kate Sherwood fans? LAST CALL is out on the 21st; do you have any more releases scheduled? What are you writing now?
I have no releases scheduled for after Last Call, but I’m currently working on three projects. One is a YA romance about a gamer girl, one is an m/m romance set in the 20s with a relationship between a rum runner and a man trying to bring down the gang, and one is a contribution to a slate of stories updating classic tales and fairy tales and giving them an m/m spin. My book is LOOSELY based on Oliver Twist, getting looser with every word I write…
Thanks, Kate, and good luck with the release! And the upcoming release of your first squirrel shifter novel!
Are you a fan, or do you need a recommendation for your first Kate Sherwood book? What would you take to a desert island?