Welcome back to Man Crush Monday! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Today we have the remarkably talented Geoffrey Knight. His newest release, The Billionaire’s Boyfriend, released on July 5th and we’re so thrilled to have him with us today. You’ll get a to read an excerpt from The Billionaire’s Boyfriend and have a look at the interview we had with Geoff. There is also a giveaway at the bottom so make sure you enter it.
Let’s get this party started!
Welcome Geoff ! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me, and congrats Aimee on the success of Unscripted Love, I can’t wait to read it! My name’s Geoffrey Knight, I’m an Australian author living in North Queensland, Australia. I’ve been writing novels since I was 17 and I’ve been a published gay fiction author for 10 years. I have an amazing partner and last year our beautiful baby girl Elliot Rosa was born. We’re one of those families that keeps bucking the definition of what a family is. Elliot has two mums and two dads, and spends Thursday through to Saturday every week with her Daddies. Having a child is such a game-changer! It’s the most magnificent experience there is. Growing up a gay male, you’re faced with the fact that you will probably never become a father—unless the planets align and you get a little creative with the baby-making side of things. But the planets did align and we did get creative, and after one try with the turkey baster Elliot was on her way. She was meant to be! She is truly a miracle baby!
What do you want to tell those who may be new your books? What type of books do you write?
I’ve been writing gay fiction for the past 10 years. I’ve written over 25 gay novels, novellas and short stories under my own name, then I’ve written another 30 or so under a few pen names. I write just about every genre of gay fiction there is, from thrillers to comedies to romance and more, it all depends what mood takes me and which story is demanding to be told. I’m probably best known for my gay adventure novels, they’ve won several awards and been bestsellers on Amazon. My first gay novel—The Cross of Sins: Fathom’s Five Book One—was dubbed “Gay Raiders of the Lost daVinci Code” by one reviewer and the description was so perfect it kinda stuck. I love writing all different genres, but everything I write has an element of romance to it. My latest novel—The Billionaire’s Boyfriend—is my first full-length rom-com and I absolutely LOVED writing it. The Muse took over and the entire book took me less than three weeks to write—and that’s while holding down a full-time job as a reporter at the local rag. The characters just came to life. All I did was write down the conversations they had in my head and the story pretty much wrote itself. It was an absolute joy to write, so much so that I’ve already started on my next rom-com which will hopefully be out in the next couple of months.
Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?
Oh they need to take a number and get in line! There are SO many characters banging at the door to my imagination it’s not funny. One or two are banging harder than others, but I don’t want to say who they are or what their story is for fear of scratching away at the already frayed patience of some of my readers. I have a list of books a mile long that people are waiting to read, I’d be dipped in boiling duck fat and fried if I added any more to it.
How do you choose character names?
Oh that process takes me days, sometimes weeks! I might be weird, but my character’s names have to be utterly perfect! Heroes have to sound heroic, villains have to sound villainous, romantic goofballs need to sound cute and lovable. Names have to suit the genre, suit the character and represent that person’s traits and personality. Sherlock Holmes, Holly Golightly, Atticus Finch… these aren’t just the names of characters—these are some of the greatest names in fiction history. The wrong name can completely derail a story, the right name can make it jump off the page.
What's the most difficult thing about writing a good story?
The most difficult thing, yet one of the most important, is consistency of theme. Making the whole thing come together like a perfect meal. When you eat a great meal, the flavors have to be balanced and work together, yet you still need room for surprises and something unexpected. Stories are the same. You can never, ever, ever, ever mix your metaphors. Your locations and themes have to be tight and well-entwined to fit with the character’s journey. Professions have to be perfectly chosen. Nothing can be random. I have two main characters in my new book The Billionaire’s Boyfriend. One is Matt the flower delivery guy and one is Cal the billionaire, hence the two locations I chose to thematically match those professions were New York (for Cal and his Wall Street money) and Rome (which is famous for the flowers on the Spanish Steps so that Matt the flower delivery guy could have a dream destination to visit). Spending the time to get those elements right from the get-go—so that nothing is arbitrary or irrelevant—is paramount.
If you could rewrite one of your published novels which one and what is it that you would change?
Before I started writing gay fiction I wrote a couple of heterosexual thrillers, very James Patterson sort of stories. One is called To The End of the Line and one is called Into The Jaws of Wolves. They’re very scary, big books, I love them. But if I ever had the time, I’d love to turn them into gay thrillers. Gay fiction has been very good to me, it’s what I love writing. I’d love to give those books a gay hero.
If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?
Oh what an awesome question. I think I’d have to say Buck Baxter from my Buck Baxter Mysteries series. He’s a private eye in the 1920s who thinks he’s as tough as nails but deep down he knows he’s a total mess. He smokes opium from a pipe, drinks gin till he passes out, catches the eye of every boy in town but his heart is aching for handsome playboy Holden Hart, a man who has more secrets than Buck realizes. I love his vulnerability, and that no matter how much we think we can control our destinies, our hearts will always decide our fate for us.
What do you think is the most rewarding thing about writing M/M?
As a gay man I get to completely connect with my characters. Growing up gay, that was something that was never on offer. Every book I read, every movie I saw, was made for a heterosexual audience. Like so many other kids growing up gay, I had to watch from the sidelines and imagine what it would be like if James Bond or Indiana Jones actually kissed a boy instead of the leading lady. I’m so grateful to gay fiction for making those dreams a reality.
Does it bother you that the majority of M//M readers are woman?
On the contrary! I love it! I’ve met so many female readers and authors, and made lifelong friends through their love of M/M. When I first realized there was such a huge female following, I was so curious that I ended up writing my only ever non-fiction book on the subject. With the support of Laura Baumbach and Kris Jacen from MLR Press, I interviewed 32 women from 9 countries around the world and 4 different continents and published the interviews in a book titled Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance. I asked these women so many questions and got the most amazing answers: how did they discover M/M, what was it they loved about it, did anyone know they read it, did their husbands know, did it improve their sex life, did it change their views of the world, did they experience bigotry and discrimination because of the books they enjoyed reading, and so on. The responses were utterly fascinating and honest and so heartfelt. And in the end I realized there is this amazing, strong, determined army of women out there who are now fighting for equal rights and educating those around them about equality, simply because of their love of M/M. That’s truly inspiring!
What part of a book is the toughest to write?
Definitely from the halfway mark to the end of the second act. It’s that 50-75% mark of the book, when things are about to start that downward slide toward the dark end of the second act, but you can’t give anything away too early. You’re not at the beginning where lots of possibilities present themselves, but you’re not at the end where all the threads of the plot start to tie nicely together. You just have to stay on course and keep delivering the goods until the climax starts to kick in.
If you could be any cartoon character who would you be, and why?
Oh let me think. I’m gonna have to say Astroboy. He’s such a little pocket rocket, literally. He’s a robot boy with a heart of gold and such a sense of justice and goodness. He’s brave and bold and loyal, and knows the difference between right and wrong. For a robot he puts most humans to shame. Plus I think deep down he bats for our team.
If you could be a superhero who would you pick and why?
Oh that’s even more fun! It has to be Superman. He’s a super-hot alien who can fly, bounce bullets off his chest, and run faster than a locomotive. And who wouldn’t want to look like Henry Cavill, seriously?? When I wasn’t saving kittens stuck up trees, I’d be feeling up my hairy muscled chest all day long ;)
What are you reading now?
I just read Lisa Henry’s amazing short story One Perfect Night and it blew me away! Lisa and I both live in Townsville, Australia, and she set the story there during WWII, so I know all the landmarks in the story. But it was more than the location that tugged at my heart. The spark between her characters Tanner and Nick was so authentic and sparse and real and incredible. Lisa managed to say SO much in so few words. She’s a real talent that woman!
Which author(s) do you 1-click regardless of what they write?
Ethan Day. He’s more than a favorite author, he’s a great friend and I adore how much of himself he pours into his characters to make them so hilarious and poignant and clever and kind. He’s my inspiration for writing rom-com. I told him the other day that I heard his voice in my head with every word I wrote in The Billionaire’s Boyfriend. He told me to give it back ;)
If Zombies were going to attack the world and you only had one book you could re-read before they attacked which book would you choose?
Oh for fear of being guilty of self-promotion, the perfect book would be Zombie Boyz featuring TJ Klune, Eric Arvin, Ethan Stone, Daniel A. Kaine, Ethan Day and yours truly. We all got together and wrote a big gay zombie anthology, so in terms of knowing how to dispatch of, escape from, or even fall in love with a zombie, this book is packed with tons of lifesaving tips!
NOW FOR MY FAVORITE PART - THE FAST FIRE
Star Trek Enterprise or Next Generation? Next Gen. Make it so!
Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter? Harry Potter, not so much for the stories but moreso because I find JK Rowling’s life a truly incredible tale of determination and success against all odds.
Slow-n-Sweet or Fast-n-Hard? Both. Depends how much wine I’ve had.
Vampires or Demons? Vampires
Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert
Winter or Summer? Summer
TV Series or Movies? Movies
Boxers or Briefs? Briefs
Salt or Pepper? Pepper
Cut or uncut? Cut
Top or Bottom? Top
Fish or Pasta? Pasta
Call or text? Text, I’m a writer.
Daddy or Boy? Daddy. Give me a real man.
Jock or Briefs? Briefs
Read or writing? Writing
Satin or Silk? Oh, there’s a difference? I might be gay but I’m still a guy.
Waxed or Hairy? Hairy
Wolves or Dragons? Wolves. I love dogs.
Tall or short? Split the difference.
Muscles or Lean? Muscles
Gingers or Blondes? My hubby’s a ginger so there’s that one covered.
Hugs or Kisses? Kisses
Sweet or Sour? Sour
Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos, I have two. A shark and an octopus.
Kiss or Bite? Kiss
Favorite flower? Frangipani.
Favorite meal? Spaghetti bolognese. Never at a restaurant though, it has to be home-cooked.
Favorite beverage? Wine. Although it depends how much I’ve had ;)
Favorite Color? Blue
Favorite Body Part on your partner? It’s a tie between his brain and his heart. The rest is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but love is nothing without wisdom, understanding, common sense, kindness, great conversation and an awesome sense of humor.
Thank you Geoff for answering our questions! Looks like we have a ton of books to catch up on.
Next up, we have an excerpt from The Billionaire’s Boyfriend!
In this excerpt from The Billionaire’s Boyfriend, our MC Matthew Darcy is nervously waiting for billionaire Calvin Croft to pick him up for lunch to thank him for saving his life. Anxiously he paces the floor of the florist shop run by his neighbor and employer Mrs. Mulroney, a fiery Catholic Irishwoman with a fondness for a nip of whisky and telling it like it is!
It was just before one o’clock the next afternoon and I was standing a few feet back from the window of Mrs. Mulroney’s Little Flower Shop watching the traffic outside, waiting for Calvin Croft’s limo to arrive. I was dressed in my best trousers, shirt and shoes, with Mr. Banks’ dinner jacket sitting perfectly on my frame. I had to admit, I looked rather dashing. Even I didn’t think I’d scrub up this well.
Mrs. Mulroney was arranging flowers on the counter, snipping off leaves and plucking off any imperfect petals. “Heaven forbid you give yourself any sort of pat on the back, Matthew. But is it really so wrong to think that someone might actually like you?”
“How can he like me? He doesn’t even know me.”
“Maybe he wants to get to know you. And maybe you might enjoy getting to know him.”
“Mrs. Mulroney, we’re perfect strangers.”
“Everyone’s a perfect stranger when they first meet. Which is why they decide to have lunch together. Or have a drink together. Or just take a stroll in the park together. It’s what people do. They make the effort to get to know each other. They share stories. They discover common interests. And then they fall in love.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nobody said anything about falling in love. All we’re doing is eating a meal… at the same table… in the same place.”
“All you’re doing is putting up your defenses, Matthew Darcy. Just relax. Have a good time. Take things as they come.” Mrs. Mulroney plucked a red rose from a bunch sitting in a bucket, then walked over to me and tucked the flower into the buttonhole of my jacket. “All I’m saying is, perhaps it’s time to let Jesus take the wheel.”
“Oh no, really? You had to bring Jesus into this?”
“Because now if Cal wants to make a move on me and casually slide his arm around me, all I’ll be able to think about is Jesus behind the wheel, waving at me, giving me a friendly flash with his headlights. And what if Cal wants to go a little further? What if he wants to kiss me? Boom, there’s Jesus, giving me a little wink. Then what if Cal wants to undress me? What happens if he finally wants to have his way with me? There’s Jesus standing over the bed, no doubt giving a little helpful advice. ‘Lift your butt higher, Matthew.’ ‘Make it sound like you’re enjoying things, Matthew.’ ‘Are you gonna make him do all the work, Matthew?’”
“Jesus doesn’t have to be in the bedroom to see what you get up to. He’s everywhere, my dear boy.”
“Again, not helping.”
“How do you know Mr. Bazillions is even gay?”
“I asked God,” I replied. “He just nodded and said, ‘Yep. Sometimes I like to make a really hot one gayer than cotton candy, just to remind straight women what they’re missing out on.’ He can be a cruel God sometimes.”
“Sweet Jesus live at the Comedy Store. There you go again, mocking the Lord.”
Thankfully a limousine pulled up out the front of the flower shop at that moment, sparing me another clip behind the ear.
“Holy shit, it’s him!” I said a little too excitedly.
Mrs. Mulroney quickly brushed my dinner jacket down one last time and straightened my collar.
“Whatever happens, just be yourself,” she said, imparting her best advice so far.
“Thanks,” I smiled warmly.
“But not too yourself.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well don’t tell him about the time you accidentally broke the handle off the toilet and locked yourself in your own bathroom overnight. That’s a little embarrassing.”
“And you probably shouldn’t mention that time when you were pet-sitting for Tilly and sat on her hamster and killed it. He might call the ASPCA.”
“And if you think that incident with the Coke bottle might make for an unforgettably hilarious anecdote… it won’t. Twelve hours in the emergency ward is no laughing matter. Think of the poor nurses next time. Scarred for life, they are. They’ll never touch a fizzy pop again without thinking of your hairy little arse.”
“Thanks for reminding me.”
And with that I raced out the door before Mrs. Mulroney could dredge up any more cringe-worthy capers from my past.
The driver of the limo—whom I was relieved to note was not Jesus at the wheel—was already opening the back-passenger door of the vehicle.
A second later, Calvin Croft emerged, looking suaver than ever in a suit and matching cashmere scarf.
He smiled when he saw me, and despite my nerves I did an admirable job of smiling back.
“You look very handsome in a jacket,” he said casually.
“So do you. Not that I’ve ever seen you in anything but a jacket.” Suddenly I thought that sounded weird, as though I desperately wanted to see him naked. Which I kinda did, but he didn’t need to know that. In a panic, I managed to completely overcompensate. “Not that I’m asking you to take your jacket off. In fact, you can keep it on for as long as possible. Or not. I mean, if you wanted to take it off I’d be more than happy with that too. Well, not more than happy. Just normally happy. Like a normal person. Everything about me is… normal. Very, very… normal.”
All I could think to myself at that moment was—Ah, so that’s what a babbling village idiot sounds like.
Cal simply said, “Perhaps we should just get in the car?”
I had never been inside a limousine before. It was bigger than my bedroom, low and squeaky with leather, with nightclub lighting and tinted windows. I wasn’t sure whether to feel like a high-powered politician, a Hollywood star or a very well-paid prostitute. I felt like all three rolled into one when Cal popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and poured us each a glass.
“Cheers,” he said, handing me my glass and clinking it with his own. “This is to show my eternal appreciation for what you did yesterday.”
“Thanks, but like I said, I don’t feel particularly deserving of anything. Let alone the bike. And the champagne. And the limo ride.”
“Is it too much? The limo, I mean. I hate the disco lights. I feel like I’m on stage with the Village People.”
His comment made me grin. “Singing what, exactly? YMCA or Macho Man?”
He laughed. “To be honest, I’m more of a Can’t Stop the Music kinda guy. Nobody can take the spark from love…”
“…Or make the rain fall up,” I added.
We clinked our glasses together again.
In that moment I thought to myself, maybe Mrs. Mulroney was right. Maybe I’d enjoy getting to know Calvin Croft after all.
That was so fun. If you’d like to 1-click The Billionaire’s Boyfriend
just click HERE
Geoffrey Knight is the author of more than 25 gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies. He is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.
Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics and journalism, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, two dogs and two cats in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.
You can check out Geoffrey’s Amazon page HERE to see a list of his books. If you would like to follow Geoffrey on Facebook you can do so HERE .
A big Thank You to Geoffrey for stopping by today. It was a pleasure having you with us and we look forward to your next release.
A big Thank You to Geoffrey for stopping by today. It was a pleasure having you with us and we look forward to your next release.
Enter HERE for the giveaway.