We are very happy to welcome Shae Connor, who has come to talk to us about her new release Heart & Soul, and about her take on demisexuality. We love seeing all kinds of orientations represented in books, so we couldn’t have said no to Shae when she approached us with this guest post. Here are some of her lovely words:
Thanks so much to the team of From Top to Bottom Reviews for having me visit today to talk about my new novella, Heart & Soul.
One of the things I realized soon after I started writing this story was that the main character, Kellen, fell somewhere along the asexual spectrum. I hadn’t been that familiar with this sexuality until the past few years, but I’ve learned a lot as I’ve spent more time around the LGBTQ+ community. It turns out that quite a few people I know identify as asexual (or “ace”).
In very general terms, ace people do not experience sexual attraction to others, though they may experience romantic attraction. As one ace person described it to me, the feeling of seeing a hot person and being physically attracted to them is commonly expressed in our society, but asexual people generally don’t have that feeling. It’s not necessarily a lack of libido or a repulsion toward sex, though ace people may experience either or both. Some ace people do have sex, for a variety of reasons.
The asexual spectrum covers a wider range of sexualities related to asexuality, sometimes referred to as “gray-A.” Kellen is demisexual: he feels physical/sexual attraction to others, but only after an emotional connection has developed. His sexual and romantic orientation is gay—when he is attracted to others, it’s to men—but all of his relationships have started out as friendships.
His relationship with Terrence in Heart & Soul is no different. They become friends first. Kellen slowly starts feeling an attraction, but he doesn’t act on it because he doesn’t know how Terrence feels—if he’s attracted to men at all, much less to Kellen. Lucky for him, Terrence is (he’s bisexual), and he’s willing to take that first step.
One thing that isn’t on the page in the story is the word “demisexual.” I put some thought into it when I was writing, but it didn’t fit Kellen’s background for him to be familiar with the term. So while he is demi, he doesn’t use the label because he doesn’t know it.
It’s been awesome in recent years to see more books being published that feature characters from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Especially considering recent events, I believe it’s even more important than ever to have stories published that represent all of us. I’ll keep contributing as many as I can manage.
Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.
Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.
Other books in the series:
About the Author:
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. A member of the Romance Writers of America, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available.
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not in front of her laptop, she enjoying cooking, traveling, watching baseball, reading voraciously, wearing tiaras, and hugging a lot. She’s also the volunteer Director/Editor for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon.
You can find Shae hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com or email her at shaeconnorwrites @gmail.com. You can also sign up for her mailing list.