Duet by Gay Walley and Kurt Haber-Review, Interview and Giveaway
by Gay Walley and Kurt Haber
Release Date: July 15, 2014
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 15, 2014
Duet is a wildly comic story of a beautiful and talented young woman in her 20’s living in New York City and her misadventures as she navigates men’s desires and fears. When most women look into a mirror, they see flaws in their body. Some of those “flaws” can end up being the very essence of what some see as a woman’s true beauty. Duet, a talented, sensitive, gorgeous young woman, has an unusual anatomy…one that might overexcite one man, but terrify another. She has to live with this sexual uniqueness and not see herself as a freak. As her father tells her, “They just found a goat with a unicorn horn and he has nothing to be ashamed about.”
Men are drawn to Duet. Her friend, Paula, fixes her up. Most of the men she meets she sees as fools, but one night Duet meets a handsome young man, Oskar, who is successful, sexy, intelligent, witty and seems able to handle her “design.” They fall in love, even though he has an aloofness about him that seems a bit odd. It turns out he has secrets of his own. Paula too falls in love and finds herself involved with the larcenous CEO of a videogame company where he has cooked the books and put subliminal messages into the video games. Oskar is also a wild card and turns out to be connected to Duet in more ways than one.
Duet is a romp full of vibrant, unexpected characters doing unexpected things, as they love, move toward and away from each other. It’s also a metaphor for how we must also risk love, no matter what bodies were given us, and no matter what unusual choices of the heart we make.
REVIEW: DUET is the latest contemporary, adult storyline from Gay Walley and co-authored by Kurt Haber. The focus of the story is Duet-a woman with an anatomical anomaly that tends to stop men before they get started. This is her story about how she came to live in a world of seemingly normal people but the definition of normal is all a matter of perception.
The storyline follows Duet’s struggle as a beautiful, single woman in the world of dating and sex. Duet’s surprising anatomical differences bring about strange bedfellows with each and every encounter. At times, Duet remains chaste and without a sexual partner fearing it is easier to live with herself than have to explain the tragedy that has become her sexual life.
The reader is pulled into a storyline where secrets from the past now affect the current generation; and where love isn’t always blind when it comes to matters of the heart or body.
Gay Walley has written a thought provoking storyline about the what ifs and maybe’s of a time not so long ago. As Duet hunts down the truth about her ‘complication’, there will be a number of men who want more from Duet than friendship and a glass of wine. Duet is never without the attention of the opposite sex but sometimes the attention is not what it is she is looking for.
DUET is a different kind of love story with a happy for now ‘kind of’ ending. As the people in Duet’s life come and go, so too, does the need for love and understanding from her family and the men in her life. There are awkward moments of misunderstanding in a storyline about a controversial subject that has been hidden for a very long time. Gay Walley does a fascinating job of presenting a probability from a time when the world lost a little of itself.
This is not a story for everyone-there are no romantic overtures; no graphic sex or sexual situations. It is a story about a woman looking for love but in doing so, finds out more about herself than she could have ever imagined. Some readers may take issue with the premise.
My only concern is that the storyline has been promoted as a wildly comic look at a 20 something woman with a sexual uniqueness but to me, there was very little to laugh about. Duet is a woman lost in a world where one is judged by their normalcy and not their ‘uniqueness’. She struggles with heartbreak, depression, rejection and her duplicitous ‘oneness’ realizing that what she is isn’t exactly normal.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Sandy
TRC: Hi Gay and welcome to The Reading Café.
We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
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Gay: I live in New York – make an insecure living teaching writing – write books but lately have ventured a bit into plays and film. Fate drew me into that but I have enjoyed it. DUET is my 4th novel out. A film is being made of one of my other novels, THE EROTIC FIRE OF THE UNATTAINABLE.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
Gay: I always knew I was a writer. When I was a young girl, one afternoon I was hurt by my mother and what did I do? Go into the basement and write a short story about her. From then on, it seemed there was never a pen (or laptop) out of my hand.
TRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of your latest release -DUET?
Gay: Duet is about a young woman who has a particular body configuration that no one else has. It could excite men or it could frighten them. Her life is about how she deals with being “different.” She has many adventures, and learns she has to accept herself and be with a man who does the same.
TRC: Which genre do you believe best fits the premise of DUET?
Gay: Literary comedy.
TRC: What made you choose this particular topic for the premise? Do you think some people will find the topic controversial?
Gay: My co-author, Kurt Haber, chose the topic. He found it controversial and exciting. I found making the story work exciting! Yes I think men will find it provocative as a story – what would they do if they met Duet? And women will identify with having to come to terms with one’s body. The good and the bad.
TRC: What should be the role of sex or sexuality in society?
Gay: Sex is intimate and something that is to each of our own taste. It’s a connection and that is very important. It’s not about society, it’s about the person. I believe society has no say in it,and sex is how each of us expresses our imagination, drive and desire.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular book?
Gay: Well, I had to make it believable (Duet’s body) and her response to it believable. It’s a novel so I did not feel it necessary to “research” but, more, I enjoyed the process of imagining. She has her feelings…and her experiences are those, like most of us. Wanting love, finding love, losing love, finding it where she doesn’t expect it. Getting her work out.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Gay: Great question. I would say the characters direct the writing. They have their own lives and their desires and strengths and weaknesses drive the story.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you
believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Gay: I think new writers are often afraid to take chances, to delve in and reveal themselves through the characters. I think you have to FEEL the character yourself, admit to those feelings inside YOURSELF, and then write from that place. You have to make sure the dialogue and every detail you give really shows the emotion of the story. That way the reader will FEEL the story.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Gay: I have been working on a film script about a jazz pianist who is sort of frozen sexually… (from being too long with a cold boyfriend) and how she unlocks. Don’t know if it works…may end up throwing it out but right now playing with it!
Favorite TV Show: FAWLTY TOWERS
Last Movie You Saw: BEGIN AGAIN
Favorite Musical Group: Vienna Philharmonic!
Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark
Secret Celebrity Crush: John Cleese
Last Vacation Destination: Gloucester, Massachusetts
Do you have any pets? No
Pet Peeve: Sitting next to women who scream in a bar or a restaurant
TRC: Thank you Gay for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of DUET.
Gay and her publisher are offering a paper copy of DUET to TWO (2) commenters at The Reading Cafe
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6. Giveaway: Paper copy to USA and Canada only: ebook to INTERNATIONAL
7. Giveaway runs from August 14 to 18, 2014