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The Boys of Summer By Sarah Madison

Published on Monday, December 9, 2013 by

We’re thrilled to have Sarah Madison with us today as part of her international tour for The Boys of Summer.

“If you’re headed to the beach and can only take one book with you, it should be this one. Highly and delightedly recommended!” Jessewave

Sarah will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift voucher to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour.  Leave a comment, then visit her official tour page to verify via the rafflecopter form.

The Boys of Summer

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton. Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?

  • What are the main themes of your book?

To truly be alive, you must have a passion for something, and you have to be willing to risk your heart for something or someone that you love. In The Boys of Summer, both men have different reasons for not putting their hearts on the line, but they got placed in a crucible and their relationship was put to the test under the forge of survival. The irony here is that, in the end, they have to choose to take that additional step beyond mere survival. That is one of the recurring themes in my stories: Life is more than mere survival.

  • Who or what inspired your story?

I started out with this idea of what it would be like to take two very different personalities who were attracted to one another and strand them in circumstances where they would have to depend on each other to survive. It was supposed to be a simple ‘deserted island’ story, only I kept seeing the ex-USAF pilot, Rick Sutton, as a WW2 pilot during the Battle of Britain. It was a bizarre twist that my brain played on me, but I couldn’t let it go. I had to figure out how to make it fit within the story, and the answer seemed to be to make it part of a dream. Only when I began researching the few details I needed to make the short dream scene authentic, I got sucked into the history of that era. I dove in headfirst, reading online, at libraries, in bookstores. I watched movies. I read diaries. I read poetry. When I finally came up for air, I knew I couldn’t do justice to the stories I’d uncovered with a simple ‘dream scene.’

I knew I was taking a risk by making the dream sequence such a large part of the overall novel, but I felt compelled to share some of what I’d learned. I was appalled at my own lack of knowledge and at the sacrifices so many made in order to keep their countries safe from invasion. These stories mustn’t be forgotten.

I also felt compelled to highlight the dangers of being homosexual at that time. Conviction carried a sentence of imprisonment or chemical castration. Being homosexual was considered a grave security risk, and not even the ground-breaking work that Alan Turing made in computer science and code-breaking could save him from being destroyed in 1952, when he was convicted of homosexuality. I felt that this, too, is something we need to be reminded of. Only recently has a formal pardon been issued to Turing, who died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning.

  • What do you like best about your primary characters?

Ah, what I love most about David McIntyre is that he often plows in where others fear to tread. He generally speaks out loud what other people only think inside their heads. He’s learned to use this to his advantage over the years, often diffusing tense situations with humor and self-deprecation.

Rick Sutton, by comparison, is often a closed book. It’s not that he doesn’t feel—it’s just that he’s learned to keep it to himself. The reality is that he feels too much and his compassion for others is what made it impossible for him to continue in his chosen military career. The fact that he quit the military makes him feel as though he’s let his fellow squadron members down—and he prefers to take his punishment in silence as something he deserves.

  • What are their worst peculiarities?

David has lived a larger-than-life Hollywood lifestyle for many years. It’s difficult to work in any aspect of the entertainment industry and not be a little overly dramatic at times.

Rick takes being taciturn and tough to a ridiculous degree. He needs someone like David in his life to call him on his Tough Guy act.

  • How does your main character evolve?

David is a problem-solver in his job as a locations scout for a film production company, and his work extends to ‘managing the talent’ on location as well. Being stranded on a deserted island with a seriously injured person is outside of his comfort zone, however, and he learns just what he is made of as he fights to keep Rick alive and see that both of them get rescued.

  • What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

Life is short. No, seriously, the older I get, the more I realize time is not linear, it is exponential. It speeds up as you age. So when you find something worth fighting for, go for it.

  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about your book?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one choice, but the writer in me loves this description from Susan MacNicol on The Romance Reviews: Ms Madison writes with a wonderful flowing style, her words effortless and magical, drawing you into her story. This book is not filled with sex but more sensuality, and when the sex does happen, wow!

  • Where can we purchase it?

The Boys of Summer is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

About Sarah Madison

Like most writers, Sarah Madison was a story-teller as a child. She couldn’t help herself! She carried a grubby spiral notebook with her everywhere she went, filling it with stories about dogs and horses. When she reached the end of high school, however, she packed up all her creativity in a box and placed it on a shelf, to be stored with other childhood memories. She worked hard at her job and thought that being passionless was just what growing up was all about.

One day she woke up. She opened the box on her shelf and discovered much to her surprise, her passion was there, just waiting to be claimed again.

Now, writing sometimes takes precedence over everything else. In fact, when she is in the middle of a chapter, she usually relies on the smoke detector to tell her when dinner is ready.

To learn more, visit Sarah on her website, on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

 

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