Saturday, April 9, 2016

Renae Kaye interviews Sean Kennedy

My good friend, Sean Kennedy, has recently published a novel, and I asked him to do an interview about it.  People have been asking ME about the book, and so I bribed Sean with chippies and drew him out of his writing cave.

Name of book:  The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson (Get Out Book 1)
Date Published: 
7th April 2016
I can't wait!

Get Out: Book One

Micah Johnson is out of options.

Following a stint as a runaway after the cruel revelation of his sexual orientation, Micah vows to get his life back on the right track. But there are roadblocks between him and his goal of making the national draft and having a shot at becoming an AFL player, including struggles with other students both on and off the football field. Hiding behind sarcasm will only protect him from so much, and Micah knows just making it to graduation will be an epic battle. If only Micah could find a fraction of the faith that his mentor, Declan Tyler, has in him, but he can’t seem to see what Declan does.

Micah is trying to reform, but the end of the road is a long way off, and it’s clear the process is ongoing.

Buy links: 


When did you start writing this book? 

Directly after finishing Tigers on the Run.  Micah was just yelling out that he wanted his story to continue.  And I found myself wanting to continue it as well.

What gave you the inspiration for the story? 

In Tigers on the Run Simon and Dec point out that while Dec was the first out AFL player, Micah will be the first one out from the very beginning of his career.  It just kept coming back to me and I wanted to see how that would affect him.

What was the working title? 

It was originally The Reformation of Micah Johnson.  But as I was writing it, it became apparent that Micah’s reformation was an ongoing one with many steps back as well.  Hence the change.

Where did the title of the book come from? 

I sometimes see reviews that criticise Simon for being too unlikeable, which I really don’t understand personally, but I thought ‘well, if they think that about Simon, what the hell would they think about Micah?’.  So the title was to reflect that Micah was growing up a little and would be different to the more troubled version seen in Tigers on the Run.

What challenges did you face with writing this?

Simon is a snarky, defensive adult; Micah is a snarky defensive teen.  They are very similar, so I didn’t want them sounding that similar.  It was hard to go from first person narrative to third.  I’m so used to writing Simon it’s almost second nature.  I struggled finding Micah’s voice at the start.

Tell us about Micah – where did the inspiration come for him? 

Tigers on the Run sees Simon and Dec talking more seriously about starting a family, although Simon has his reservations.  Micah was developed to show what Simon and Dec could be like raising an unruly child and to see if they were ready for it.  And everybody expects Simon to be terrible at it, but he turns out to be pretty empathetic, seeing a lot of himself in Micah.

Is there anything special that happens in the story that you think readers would like to know about? 

It’s a bildungsroman where Micah learns to grow up and think about other people and their pain as well as his own.  But he’s not perfect.  And there’s one character in this book that was only meant to be in one scene but has now become a vital part of the ongoing series.

 Do you plan a follow up story? 

There will be at least four in the series.  There’s a story arc that I want to play out.  The second book focuses on Micah again, but the third will shift to Emma.  That doesn’t mean they don’t all appear in each other’s books, however!  In fact I was just writing a scene in Book 3 with Sim (redacted by author)

Bonus question:  Declan Tyler is mentioned in the blurb – does that mean we get to see more of his and Simon’s romance? 

Dec and Simon were really only meant to be cameos in each book, but in Micah’s book they tend to turn up often – and Dec came to be quite an important character and appear in a lot more scenes than I originally intended.  It was interesting to write him away from Simon’s perspective and show that they’re not always attached at the hip.  We see a lot of Simon in his day job etc. in Tigers but never really Dec.  He gets to come out of the shadows a little bit.

Thank you Sean for sharing chippies and doing this interview.  You can find Sean... well.  Not in a lot of places.  Best google him, email him, and hope for the best.  Or you can send me a message and I'll hide it in the bottom of the chippy container when I drop the next packet off.

How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

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