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Author spotlight: Renae Kaye

21 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Renae Kaye, author of over twenty romances in the genre of contemporary romance. Most of Renae’s stories are what are called M/M romance or can be known as gay romance. She will be attending ARR2019 in Perth.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

Probably around the age of ten. My parents had this huge old typewriter that weighed about thirty kilos, and I placed it on the pool table at home, and diligently typed out a story. If I remember rightly, it was about a set of triplet girls falling for a set of triplet boys. Unfortunately for me, I had absolutely no encouragement from my family or teachers at school to pursue writing—I even remember getting into major trouble for writing a story during maths class and having it confiscated (yeah, I still dwell on that Mr Saunders!). It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I decided to ignore what people thought I would be good at and pursue something that I enjoyed.

Why romance and not a different genre?

Because romance is what I read. I discovered romance about age eleven when I read my first Dolly Fiction paperback. I was hooked. Not only am I a romantic soul, but in a romance, you know that the main couple will get together. I’m not one who can deal with heartbreak and surprise twists at the end. I won’t go near anything that is labelled a tragedy. I move around the sub-genres within romance, reading historical and Vikings and paranormal and everything else, but I stick to romance.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

The first adult romance book I read was a Mills & Boon called Rise of an Eagle by Margaret Way. I can’t remember why I loved it, but I remember thinking that these second-hand paperbacks were cheap to buy. I was thirteen. I had budgeting issues.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

Tenacity. My motto is that there’s only one difference between a writer and a wannabe-writer: tenacity.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

Character creation. My stories are character driven, which means the plot is about them personally. I love to create a character with a problem or flaw, create a situation for him to be in, then throw him (metaphorically) to the wolves. I don’t plot my stories. I learn my character through writing him.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

Write something else while your brain picks through the unwinding of your fear. I’m a 20-stories-on-the-go type of girl. If I get stuck on one, I just pick up another and write that. Pretty soon my brain will work out what went wrong in the original story and I can pick it up again.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference)

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third?

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

Miranda Lee was the first author I followed and was interested in her career. She was Australian, which was wonderful. And she seemed so ‘normal’, which gave me hope that one day I could do that too. I thought authors had to be oddball, anti-social spinsters who lived in drafty castles left to them by some crotchety ancestor they never met. Julia Quinn was wonderful to follow too, because she wrote about castles but didn’t live in them. More recently, in M/M romance, Australian M/M authors Sean Kennedy and NR Walker inspired me to try my hand at writing.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Knowing Me, Knowing You is the fourth book of the series that first got me published. Shane’s the quiet bookworm of the group who doesn’t say much. He’s hiding a big secret though: for years he’s been in a relationship with AFL super-star Bro-Jak. Ambrose Jakoby grew up next door and the two of them have always been buddies. To Shane he’s not the famous Bro-Jak, but the boy he fell in love with at sixteen. But Shane’s had enough of this relationship on the down-low. He’s calling it quits. But maybe—just maybe—Ambrose Jakoby has something to say about that!

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I wasn’t joking about the working-across-20-stories. I write whatever comes to my mind.

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

Recently I re-read the story that started it all for me—Australian MM romance at its greatest: Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. Even though it’s 10 years old, it never tires for me.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.


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