Debuting an LGBTQ novel as a bisexual woman is one thing – and it’s something else altogether if you haven’t yet told your family you’re bisexual.
Courtney Kae is a lifelong resident of Santa Clarita and has been working toward her debut as an author with the novel, “In the Event of Love,” since March 2020.
“In the Event of Love” tells the story of Morgan, who travels home to Fern Falls after an implosion in her career of event planning, and her efforts to rebuild that career. Upon arrival, she encounters her former best friend turned crush, Rachel. The longer that she is home for the holiday season, it becomes apparent that part of her crush has still not disappeared.
Seeking comfort and healing after the Saugus High School shooting, Kae and her family binged on holiday romance movies during the holiday season. The more she watched, there was one question that wouldn’t leave her mind: “Where are all the queer characters?”
She took this singular question and ran with it. If there were no Hallmark movies with LGBTQ romances available, she would create them herself. Not only for the LGBTQ community, but also for herself as a member of the community.
“Growing up, I did not see that representation, so it’s highly important to me (to represent different sexualities) because I really want my work to be a safe space for the queer community,” Kae said. “And I know I also want people to feel seen and know that we exist.”
After mentally coming to terms with her sexuality, she had a daunting feeling that by coming out to those close to her, they would view her as an entirely different person. She only ever came out to her husband, sister and best friend.
This novel debut is her coming-out story to her larger family.
“So I think if this work gives other people courage and a safe space, then that’s good, too. It definitely gave it to me, too,” said Kae.
The story is not directly based off of Kae’s life, but a lot of herself went into creating Morgan’s character. The arch of Morgan’s character, “being enough just as she is,” speaks volumes for Kae’s journey through her sexuality, she said.
“In the Event of Love” was featured on BuzzFeed’s “26 Highly Anticipated LGBTQ+ Romance Novels Releasing in 2022” list written by contributor Dahlia Adler, an author Kae highly admires.
“It felt like validation and acceptance of my work,” said Kae.