We are delighted to have Cass Lennox with us today, to celebrate the release of Blank Spaces. Go check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Inspiration for Blank Spaces
When I was coming up with the story and characters for this novel, I knew right away that I wanted a story of opposites featuring an asexual man. Specifically, I wanted an asexual man who did not have sex—whatever "sex" for him meant. Asexuality is at heart about a lack of sexual attraction to others; this is separate from what a given person actually does sexually or, to put it another way, this is separate from a person's sexual behaviours and from their libido. Something people don’t seem to realise about the asexual side of the sexuality spectrum is that it covers a lot of behaviours, from total abstinence to enjoyment of sex. There's another asexual character in this series, Evie, whose approach to sex is different from Vaughn's and is personal to her. With her and Vaughn, I have two asexual characters, with different behaviours, so I could show the variety within this part of the spectrum.
For Vaughn, I wanted to pair him with someone who at first glance would be totally inappropriate for him. What's the opposite of someone who doesn't like having sex, but still wants a romantic connection? A guy has a ton of sex, but shies away from romance! Jonah evolved from that basic idea, with his personality, issues and backstory taking shape as I wrote plot notes and structured the novel, and even during writing. However, if you look closer, I hope you’ll see they’re similar in some pretty important ways.
That said, it was very important to me that the main conflict separating these two wasn't Vaughn's orientation and sexual preferences. While Vaughn's preferences are a challenge for Jonah, yes, they're not the bulk of the problems separating the two. Jonah has his own problems!
One thing I see a lot in comments on articles about asexuality is an assumption that a) asexual people don't have sex and therefore b) relationships with them are automatically doomed. There are a lot of wrong assumptions behind that statement, not least that asexual people don't have sex (some do), asexual people are the only people who don't have sex (they're not), and that sex is vital to a deep, fulfilling, and intimate relationship. For a lot of people, this is true, but there are many others for whom it isn't—it depends on who you are and what your needs are.
This book came out of a desire to address that idea specifically; to say that actually, yes, people who choose not to have sex can be in romantic relationships with people who enjoy sex—here’s one (and just one, there are others!) way how. Human sexuality and relationships are deep and complicated, and there are many ways in which to love a person and to demonstrate that love. The default romantic narrative that has played across movie screens for decades seems to be taken as the default narrative that happens in reality; truthfully, love in real life has never been simple, generic, easy, or cookie-cutter. That applies to everyone, regardless of orientation, libido, or gender. Seeing how these two fit together was the challenge (and joy) of writing this book, and I really hope people enjoy reading their journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 14th November 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Absence is as crucial as presence.
The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery and insurance investigator Jonah Sondern shows up, Vaughn finds himself struggling with that decision.
Jonah wants his men like his coffee: hot, intense, and daily. But Vaughn seems to be the one gay guy in Toronto who doesn’t do hookups, which is all Jonah can offer. No way can Jonah give Vaughn what he really wants, not when Jonah barely understands what love is.
When another painting goes missing, tension ramps up both on and off the clock. Vaughn and Jonah find themselves grappling not just with stolen art, but with their own differences. Because a guy who wants nothing but romance and a guy who wants nothing but sex will never work—right? Not unless they find a way to fill in the spaces between them.
Meet Cass Lennox
Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.
To celebrate the release of Blank Spaces, one lucky winner will receive a $15 gift certificate to All Romance Ebooks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!