Hello! Thank you for joining me at Divine Magazine so I can talk about my new book, ‘Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First’.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about one of the book’s main characters, Scott, and his wanderlust.
I think this particular characteristic is something I drew on from my own experience! Anyone who follows me on social media will have noticed that I recently spent three weeks in the United States, in first Las Vegas for the RT Booklovers Convention, then California and finally New York. Earlier in March I went to Paris, and last year I visited Orlando, Munich and Morocco.
Though I’m very much a Bristol girl at heart, I love travelling and seeing new places. My dream holiday destination is Egypt. Since I was a kid and learned about Ancient Egypt in school I’ve been obsessed! I follow a lot of the news and archaeology blogs, and my dream trip would be spending a week in Cairo, taking a cruise down the Nile, then spending a week on the beach at Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Anyway, enough about me and my plans!
When I was writing ‘Five Times’ I found Scott had some of the same dreams as I have, and we both definitely hit the point in our mid-twenties when life and responsibilities reigned those dreams in. Scott is practical deep down, and although he does fulfil some of those dreams, he also honours his strong sense of responsibility.
That duality was interesting to me—how do you write someone who’s both a big dreamer and very practical?
I think that plays into Scott’s own questions about his sexuality. Although he grows up in a family who are very loving and accepting, he has a hard time understanding and embracing his bisexuality. He uses some tough language to describe himself at times, seeing his feelings as just “confused” or “in denial”.
On the surface Scott is a typical romance novel hero; strong and athletic, smart and handsome. But there’s a lot going on underneath the surface and he definitely makes some big mistakes along the journey.
I’ve included a little excerpt from the novel when Scott is talking to Evan about his travel plans. I hope you enjoy it!
“Where would you go,” Evan said, resurrecting an old game from their childhood, “if you could go anywhere right now?”
“Right now? Hmm.” Scott’s fingers tapped on the side of his thighs in time with the music coming from the house. He seemed in no rush to get back to the party and his friends, and Evan was strangely relieved at his best friend’s loyalty. “Maybe Greece. Athens. Or the Greek islands.”
I wouldn’t go anywhere, a little voice whispered in the back of Evan’s head. I’d stay right here next to you.
“Greece sounds good.”
“Cheat,” Scott said immediately, indignantly. “You have to pick somewhere new.”
“Okay,” he agreed with a laugh. “Maybe… Australia.”
“Need to leave it until the beginning of the year. That’s when the best surfing is.”
“You don’t surf, though.” “I would if I was in Australia,” Scott said emphatically. “I’d learn. From one of those hotties in the tiny bathing suits.”
Evan’s head was immediately filled with images of ripped torsos, flat chests, sandy hair, tiny, tiny Speedos. Not what Scott was talking about, he was sure.
“I’ll add it to the list,” Evan said with a smile.
For a few minutes, they were quiet together, a peaceful calm that neither of them needed to fill with chatter. They’d been like this forever, enjoying both the madness that life threw Scott’s way and the calm that Evan seemed to summon. Noise from the party spilled outside—laughter and shrieks, the rhythmic thumping bass of whatever music someone had put on. By the pool, it had turned almost chilly. Fall wasn’t far away now.
Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Review by Claire Potterton
Sweet, love story.
This is a very sweet friends to lovers story, that takes the scenic route. Inseparable friends from early childhood, a misunderstanding as late teens keeps Scott and Evan apart for ten years.
For the most part, this book is a well written, descriptive, emotionally charged story. For me, it falls down in one or two places when events occur with little build up or explanation, which left me asking ‘how did we get to this point?’.
That said, it is an enjoyable read. The relationship between Scott and Evan is lovely, these are two men very much in love with one another; the intimate scenes are incredibly sexy, reflecting both the depth of their feeling for each other and the newness of their physical relationship. The epilogue is a strong happy ever after, a must for a good romance in my opinion.
All in all, a good, sweet read.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south- west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.
Twitter: @missannamartin or https://twitter.com/missannamartin