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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Author Spotlight - Zee Kensington


It is my pleasure to introduce Zee Kensington, author of Finally Home

Zee Kensington
Tell us a little bit about how Finally Home came to life. What inspired the story?
Finally Home is the sequel to my short story, Krung Thep, City of Angels, which was published in the Dreamspinner Press anthology Two Tickets to Paradise. In Krung Thep we met Marco—a novice tourist lost in Bangkok—and Chris, the experienced travel writer who takes him under his wing. In one whirlwind day the two discover that they have more in common than both being Americans abroad, and their camaraderie blooms into romance.
After I finished the short, though, it was clear that Chris and Marco’s “one night in Bangkok” had the potential to grow into a longer story. There was a whole host of questions I had. Now that Marco had accepted his identity as a gay man, how would he come out to his tight-knit family (or would he at all)? How would the solitary Chris deal with being on his own again after two weeks of sharing his life with someone? Could a travel fling survive re-entry into the “real” world amid family drama, career doubts, and old ghosts? Finally Home was the answer to those questions.
I also want to point out that though the story began in Krung Thep, Finally Home can definitely be enjoyed without having read the short first.

Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
I love both my guys—the twentysomething SoCal native Marco with his zest for life, love, and travel; and Chris, my jaded culinary travel writer.
If I had to pick one, though, I think Chris would win. He’s constantly in motion, hopping from one country to the next. He’s always searching for the next new flavor to try, the next untold story. He’s the type of person who can make friends anywhere with just about anyone.
However, his passions for food, writing, and travel mask a host of insecurities, most stemming from his failed career as a foreign correspondent. He also has a complicated relationship with his family back home in New York City, which he finally has to face when crisis strikes. He’s complex. He’s also pretty dang hot. I’m a sucker for shaggy blond hair, tanned skin, and blue eyes.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write?
I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I love telling stories, and I honestly cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing something or another. There’s something magic about losing myself in my characters, diving into their psyches to see what stories they’re waiting to tell me. I think it’s a form of therapy for me!
I’ve penned and published a range of things under a variety of names—short stories, erotica, screenplays, comic book scripts, magazine articles, fan fiction, blog posts—but Finally Home is my very first novel ever.
On a more personal note, I’m an almost-native Californian, and I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I became a mother while working on Finally Home, and though most of my time now is spent wrangling my toddler, I enjoy reading, watching movies, and playing video games with my husband when I have free time. I also love to travel, and I’m looking forward to the day my son can be part of my adventuring party!

Any advice for aspiring authors?
First and foremost, write from your heart. Don’t think about what is “marketable” or “trending.” If you try to force your YA vampire romance when what you’re dying to write is an offbeat western/noir fairy tale, then you’ll end up miserable and conflicted, and your writing will show it.
Whatever you do, though, DON’T QUIT. Put your butt in your chair, and write something down every single day. Even if you think your writing is terrible. Especially if you think your writing is terrible! You’ll only improve through practice, and you’ll amaze yourself when you turn around and see just how much you’ve done. Momentum is a powerful form of encouragement.

Closing remarks...
Thank you so much for having me here today, Allison! It was a real pleasure hanging out and talking with you and your lovely readers. I’ll be continuing my blog tour through September 12th, and I hope some of you will join me!

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Finally Home

Released 08.29.14 from Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

After one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.

Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.

Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.

Fireborn Publishing

READ THE CHRONICLES OF THREE FOR FREE!

READ THE CHRONICLES OF THREE FOR FREE!
"The Chronicles of Three" follows three men living in one city where their lives, their romances, and their bedroom affairs have a tendency to intertwine.