Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cody Kennedy - One-year anniversary celebration of the release of Safe.

As some of you may have seen, Cody commented on my blog post “Freedom to be Myself” a few days ago and left a litany of interview questions for me. Cody then went on Facebook and asked everyone to visit my blog and ask nosy, personal questions of me. (I must say I had mixed emotions over this from chagrin to flattery.) So, when Cody asked me to join in the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the release of his novella, Safe, I thought, "What the heck!"

The Book blurb:
Caleb had one mission in life. To keep his boyfriend safe.

Safe follows the burgeoning love of two boys from the time they meet at ten through their senior year in high school when they're outted by a foolish display of affection.

They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love at eighteen. Caleb is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. Nico is small and beautiful and has an Italian father who rules with an iron fist. Literally. Nico is never safe from his vicious father. One morning Caleb forgets himself and pecks Nico’s lips at school. It just seems so natural. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. Accidently outing themselves is the least of their problems. The ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents may get Nico killed.

Content: Gay, M/M [contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable] Word Count: 18K

YOUNG ADULT HEA: Gay Teen Love, Contemporary, Drama

I read the novella and thought of some questions that might be interesting to readers. (I also wrote a review on Goodreads.) This is new territory for me, I've never interviewed anyone, but I figured that if I was going to interview "myself" soon I might as well start somewhere. So, without further adieu, here is the interview I conducted with Author Cody Kennedy

WK: This is the one-year anniversary of the release of Safe. In retrospect, Cody, is there anything that you would have changed in the novella? 

CK: I would have written the story as a full-length novel, Wade. The story revolves around a number of serious issues that deserved more “face time” in the pages of the book. The issues of the development of Caleb and Nico’s relationship from best friends to boyfriends, secrecy and avoiding public displays of affection, dealing with girls, coming out to family and friends, family illness and, in particular, domestic violence, deserved more attention than they were given. Also, while there are laws and policies in place to prevent discrimination, it does occur and Mr. Higgins, the peevish algebra teacher who sees them kiss at school and outs them not only to the headmaster but also to students, deserves a comeuppance. He deserves a literary pummeling.

WK: The story reflects back to the time when Caleb and Nico are ten years of age. Why choose characters that young? 

CK: I wanted the relationship between Caleb and Nico have a realistic amount of time to evolve from best friends to boyfriends. They meet at ten and become best friends, their first kiss occurs at twelve, and they’re deeply in love by the time they’re eighteen.

WK: What part of it was the most difficult to write? 

CK: The argument between Caleb and Nico over girls was very difficult to write. Young love is all-encompassing and when you’re uncertain of yourself, your identity, of who you are, an argument is especially traumatic and can leave devastation in its wake. Also, their love for each other is made more powerful and complex by the fact that Nico suffers physical abuse at home at the hands of his father. Caleb is nothing short of Nico’s lifeline to survival and he truly is Nico’s “whole world.” Caleb’s agony over Nico’s safety and well-being nearly drives him to distraction and his nightly worry over Nico’s survival at home becomes a chronic burden. 

WK: Was experience or personal observation the inspiration for the story? 

CK: Though the events described in Safe are purely products of my imagination, as authors, we put a piece of ourselves into everything we write. Also, I volunteer to help abused youths and observe the tribulations they suffer first hand. Teen years are difficult enough to endure and to have to cope with abuse and the secrecy (or not) and shame of it as well, can be emotionally crippling. 

WK: What helps you keep in the groove while you write? Music? Background noise? Silence? 

CK: I prefer quiet but with three parrots as pets, silence is an impossible feat. There is nothing worse than a pet mocking you or your laugh. (Do not laugh aloud at your friends’ Facebook posts if you own parrots.) Further, they learn by rote and the word “edit” pops up in many of my conversations. Parrots also like to play with voice inflection. Can you imagine being interrupted mid-chapter with “Edit!” at ear-shattering decibels? Then “Edit” with zero inflection, entirely flat. Then “Edit” in sotto voce

WK: Oh, my gosh! I'm still stuck on "I have parrots"... lol I can’t imagine a parrot randomly squawking "Edit!", I think I would laugh out loud initially, and then as it went on, want to strangle the bird. OR, I'd end up arguing with it. But THREE parrots? That is totally insane! hahah.

So, this concludes the question / answer session with Author Cody Kennedy. I appreciate you all stopping by to read it. 

You can read an excerpt of Safe and Cody’s upcoming novels, Omorphi and Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, on his blog. You can also find Cody on Facebook and Goodreads .
Find Safe on Goodreads. Find Safe on Facebook.

Buy Safe:
No Boundaries Press 

Over and out,


  1. Good interview, Wade. I haven't read "Safe", but I just picked up a copy and will work it in this afternoon.

    1. Wow. cool.. I'm sure Cody will be chuffed.

    2. Cody is chuffed! Enjoy Safe, MLissaLou! Thanks for the great interview and the review, Wade!

  2. A lovely interview Cody & Wade lol, and Cody I'm jealous, 3 parrots? Wow.

    I read the blurb for Omorphi and it sounds like a winner. Will mark it on my list as soon as GR ups it lol.

    1. Thank you, Deeze! I had a great time answering Wade's questions! Yes, 3 parrots. Insane! (I believe I may be missing a food group.)

  3. Nice to have people stopping by. :) sorry about the black print in the middle but it wouldn't change. I made it blue and it still turned out black. Oooops.

    1. Great to be here, Wade! No worries about the print color. Your comments are hilarious!

  4. I loved SAFE and it is on my 5star list! And Cody Kennedy is now on autobuy. It is wonderful that Cody volunteers to help abused youths! Not an easy service, but a very important one.

    With 3 parrots, how do you ever have silence in your home? Can you throw a sheet over the birdcage and they'll go to sleep? I'm still laughing at the "Edit, edit," coming from a parrot!

    1. I keep laughing about the parrots too ;)

    2. Wow, Kerry! I feel very privileged to be on your autobuy list! How cool is that!?! Volunteering for youths is, other than writing, the single most rewarding thing that I do. My home is never quiet. I made the mistake of teaching one of them to say "Shoot 'em up, cowboy!" and "Get the hell outta Dodge!" Nothing like those phrases being yelled at you in the middle of writing a crucial paragraph. Keep laughing, Wade. :D

  5. I'm reading Safe now -- 57% done and really liking it.

    1. Wow! Terrific, Lynn! I'm glad you're enjoying it! Thank you for the compliment!