Our favorite MM authors a.k.a. castaways are asked, what books, songs and luxury item would they take to a desert island?
This is a monthly series inspired by LezReviewBooks.com’s ‘Desert Island Books’, which in turn is based on BBC’s ‘Desert Island Discs’.
The rules are fairly simple:
List up to ten books, a playlist and one luxury item that you couldn’t do without on a desert island.
Any type of book can be selected, but I ask that at least half are LGBT+ books. Choices should be justified in a paragraph or two. Any number of songs and any type of music is allowed. The luxury item must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.
Let’s welcome our November castaway, H.L. Day!
DESERT ISLAND BOOKS:
Okay. Ten books. I’m going to start with focusing on MM romance books I love for one reason or another and then if I can’t think of ten I’ll veer off into other stuff. Or maybe I’ll aim to have at least a few that aren’t. Who knows? Not me – lol.
1. Glitterland by Alexis Hall
Love, love, love this book. I always find it interesting when most people go for Get Real as their favorite Alexis Hall book. Not me. I’m Glitterland all the way. Why? I guess because it has a lot of elements I love in a book. Characters that couldn’t be more opposite. Grumpy/sunshine dynamic. Angst AND humor. Character struggling in some way. Snark. It ticks all my boxes.
2. The Island by Lisa Henry
I’ve read MM romance for years. Way before I ever considered writing it, and early MM romance tended to be very straightforward and centered mainly on the romance. Which, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with. This was one of the first few books I read that was more complex and had a twist. I’m not saying there weren’t others at the time. I just hadn’t read them. It’s also got a bit of darkness in it which I love. I’d kill for an audio on this one if you’re listening, Lisa. 😉
3. Captive Prince by C.S Pacat
I think this one has featured before but it is one of my favorites so I can’t not say it. Action, intrigue, sexual tension, that bit of darkness I already admitted to loving. Plus, I love a cold and somewhat emotionless character who can be won over in the end (Laurent, I’m looking at you.) It’s always the thing that makes a book a must read for me. And of course, when I say Captive Prince I mean the whole trilogy because you have to read all three to get the full story.
4. Fallocaust by Quil Carter
Let’s go full dark with this one. Definitely not one for the faint of heart, with it being a world of cannibalism and murder, but I do love post-apocalyptic novels. I used to play Fallout on X box back in the days before writing when I had time to play anything, and you can certainly see the influence of it in Quill’s writing with some of the creatures, and the world of radiation. It has some great characters in. Some you love and some you love to hate. I’m team Jade and Elish all the way. Really, I should have picked Breaking Jade as that’s the one that I’ve re-read the most times, but as that one probably wouldn’t make sense without having read the books before it, I’ll go for the first in the series.
5. Frog by Mary Calmes
This is a bit of an anomaly in this list. No dark. No post-apocalyptic setting. No action. No cold characters. Just a rather lovely feel-good story that puts a smile on my face every time I read it. Honorable mention to Mary Calmes A Matter of Time series as well.
6. Living with the Fall by Hannah Thompson
Little bit more obscure this one but a book that I have been wanting to re-read lately which I do so rarely. Post apocalyptic. Zombies. A character struggling with not turning into a zombie and losing himself to the virus. Action. Well written. The only thing that kills me about this book is that Hannah Thompson never wrote a book 2. Not hugely MM but there is a thread of it through the book. There was enough to keep me happy.
7. Love is a Stranger by John Wiltshire
I love this series. I remember the first book blowing me away when I read it many moons ago and I was so happy when John Wiltshire came back to these characters. Nik and Ben definitely own a piece of my heart. I loved them getting audios recently. It’s like a re-read with a bit of a difference.
8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Do I love the book or do I love the character of Kaz Brecker? Not sure, but he’s one of the few characters I’ve read that I wish I’d created myself. Only a teensy tiny bit of MM in this but well worth a read. Or I suppose you could just watch Shadow and Bone that combines this series with another one.
9. The Remaining by DJ Molles
More post-apocalyptic but with a military slant, the main character being an ex-soldier. I do like a bit of military in my entertainment. Another very long series with lots of action and darkness. And a dog that you end up praying not to get hurt numerous times. And yes, the dog survives. Absolutely nothing MM in this. It’s one of the few authors I read outside the genre.
10. Among Wolves by RA Hakok
Guess what? This is post-apocalyptic – lol. Another series that I love that I’ve been eagerly waiting for the next book. This is classed as young adult, probably because the main character is young in book 1, but there’s definitely enough to get your teeth into, and it’s got great world building.
DESERT ISLAND PLAYLIST:
I have extremely eclectic music tastes so this could be interesting. I do have a weakness for a feel-good song, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s somewhat of a running theme. Again, like the books, I’m going to see what springs to mind and try not to overthink it. In no particular order.
- I’m your man – Wham
- St Elmo’s Fire – John Parr
- You get what you give – The New Radicals
- How to Save a Life – The Fray
- Kiss Me – Dermot Kennedy (the lyric in this – ‘kiss me the way you would if we died tonight’ inspired an anthology story I wrote recently)
- Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)- The Offspring
- Running Up That Hill – the Placebo version, not the Kate Bush one.
- Come Undone – Robbie Williams
- Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe
- Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
I’d be worried about boredom on the island. A laptop would be the obvious one but given I assume there’d be no source of electricity that wouldn’t be useful for very long. A kindle wouldn’t be much good for the same reason. So… I’ll go for a very thick notebook and a pencil (one of the ones with the lead that you can press down as I assume I won’t have a pencil sharpener.) That way I can write, keep a diary, make notes about interesting island creatures, make sketches etc.
ABOUT H.L. DAY
H.L Day grew up in the North of England. As a child she was an avid reader, spending lots of time at the local library or escaping into the imaginary worlds created by the books she read. Her grandmother first introduced her to the genre of romance novels, as a teenager, and all the steamy sex they entailed. Naughty Grandma! Romance novels were forgotten for a while when real life got in the way: university, clubbing, work, moving to London, and more work.
When life settled down (slightly) H.L Day stumbled upon the world of m/m romance. She remained content to read other people’s books for a while, before deciding to give it a go herself.
Now, she’s a teacher by day and a writer by night. Actually, that’s not quite true—she’s a teacher by day, procrastinates about writing at night and writes in the school holidays, when she’s not continuing to procrastinate. After all, there’s books to read, places to go, people to see, the gym to visit, films to watch. So many things to do—so few hours to do it in. Every now and again, she musters enough self-discipline to actually get some words onto paper—sometimes they even make sense and are in the right order.
A big thank you to H.L. Day for joining us on this month’s Desert Island Castaways!
Check out our other Castaways:
Rick R. Reed
J. Hali Steele
Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to check out next month’s Castaway.