Bryce Oakley - The Adventurers

For our September 2021 meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed The Adventurers by Bryce Oakley. If you weren't able to make it, check out the transcript below.

A couple of notes on the transcript:

If you want to join us live, we discuss lesfic novels every month at (sign up or follow me on Twitter to find out what we're reading next). Some chat participants requested that their names be obscured, so below you'll see that everyone has been anonymized as Reader 1, Reader 2, etc.

Reader 1 4:02 PM

Welcome, Bryce - we’re excited to have you!

Bryce 4:02 PM

Thank you! I'm excited, too!

Reader 1 4:03 PM

So normally how this works is just a simple Q&A, people ask questions and sometimes they can come kinda fast. If you’re familiar with Slack and you want to thread your responses go for it, or reply right in the channel.

What did everyone think of The Adventurers?

Reader 2 4:03 PM

I enjoyed it. :slightly_smiling_face:

I want to know why the cats were named Bacon and Eggs. Where did that come from?

Bryce 22 days ago

I absolutely love silly animal names. I have a cat named Cowboy, and dogs named Clover and Jellybean. Bacon and Eggs seems like the perfect pair of kitty names to me!

Reader 2 22 days ago

My family likes to name cats after camera and camera film brands.

Bryce 22 days ago

That sounds adorable!

Reader 3 4:04 PM

It was wonderful! It was a fun, relaxed read :slightly_smiling_face:

Reader 4 4:04 PM

The adventure thing was perfect for pandemic situations.

Bryce 22 days ago

I wrote it right at the beginning of the pandemic, so I was definitely dreaming of adventures then, too!

Reader 2 4:07 PM

What are some adventures you thought up but didn't use for the book?

Bryce 22 days ago

SO many! Karaoke, a trip to Paris, giving away gift cards to strangers on the street, volunteering at an animal shelter... the list goes on and on. I'm a fraidy cat in real life and I keep a list of "adventures" for myself, so it was easy to draw on personal experience there!

Reader 4 22 days ago

Wow! All those sound great except for Karaoke. I would drive everyone out of the venue with my voice.

Bryce 22 days ago

Ha! Same! Private karaoke rooms are the best for that kind of thing!

Reader 1 4:12 PM

Did you have to do a lot of research for anything in particular, like Kendall’s job or any of their adventures?

Bryce 22 days ago

Big time! My sister in law is a vet and we lived together when I was writing the book, so I definitely quizzed her a TON. I got lucky having a vet so close for all of the small questions (I'm sure you know the feeling with your vet series!). I've also never been to Hawaii, so I spent a lot of time on blogs and on google street view

Reader 5 4:15 PM

Sorry late! Loved the book! Really enjoyed Bacon and Eggs with the whole belonging to a vegan thing lol The adventures and the ones not included are awesome! You should do an adventure planning jar for other people.

Did you draw on personal experience for any of the situations or characters? I still think of the crazy dog lady.

Bryce 22 days ago

Haha, oh big time with the crazy dog lady. We have a few vet friends and a dog trainer friend, and their horror stories definitely translated to easy anecdotes/ideas! As far as other situations, so many personal experiences informed them! Major breakups, protective sisters, irate pregnant friends who know best, the whole works!

Reader 1 22 days ago

I really loved how tell-it-like-it-is Sunny was when it came to Nikki, and Kendall’s best friends setting her straight. You know you have a tight friendship when you’re willing to yell at each other about being dumb.

Bryce 22 days ago

Best friends/sisters in books are some of my favorite relationships, especially when they can tell my MCs they're being dumb! The MCs need those pushes!

Reader 2 4:16 PM

Speaking of adventures, would you ever write a "Choose You Own Adventure" style book? I'm trying to remember what they call those kinds of books now. Interactive Fiction?

Bryce 22 days ago

I LOVED those types of books growing up! I could never write them, though. It would take so much patience and outlining and planning and cleverness! But if anyone knows any good recently written "choose your own adventure" books, I'd love the recs!

Reader 6 4:24 PM

Speaking of adventures... My question is what made you pick the toy store as one of their adventures?

Bryce 22 days ago

To be honest, nothing delights me more than embarrassing my characters. One thing I kept in mind with each adventure was "how could this go horribly wrong?" I had this vision of the dildo table falling and decided to set a scene in a toy store. Plus, I feel like it's an inherently awkward AND sexy place, so giving Kendall that authority to talk so positively and openly about sex and orgasms and pleasure definitely did a lot to deepen the connection between them, in my opinion.

Reader 6 22 days ago

That it did. I love hearing how some of my favorite scenes come to life

Reader 1 22 days ago

Do you also take pleasure in torturing them? Cuz by the time they didn’t kiss in the tent, I was getting ready to throw the book :smile:

Bryce 22 days ago

Is there anything better than torturing the characters?! I'd never written a slow burn (I'm a "HEY YOU LIKE EACH OTHER JUST KISS ALREADY!" reader) and I hadn't even intended to make this a slow burn, but every time they coooould have kissed just wasn't perfect enough yet. It was fun to make them sweat it out a little bit.

Reader 4 4:26 PM

And what a hilarious adventure that turned out to be. However i did pick u one of thr “toys” suggested myself.

Bryce 22 days ago

Hell yes! I'm glad to hear it! Kendall's favorite vibrator mentioned is the Lelo Soraya, if anyone is shopping along at home.

Reader 1 4:26 PM

Nice - yet another perk to reading lesfic :smile:

Reader 4 4:27 PM

I am learning that as well. So many perks.

As you can see from my toy post-i am so bad at typing

Reader 7 4:32 PM

Jumping in at my kids football game just to add that I love the age difference!!! I am 13 years older than my girlfriend so any story that normalizes that is great! I loved the book!

Bryce 22 days ago

I'm so glad! I love their dynamic and I wanted to show that age really doesn't matter as long as you're both at the right stage to have a true partnership!

Reader 1 4:33 PM

Do you have favorite tropes/themes, either to write or to read?

Bryce 22 days ago

I can't stop writing Only One Bed as a trope into every book because it's so fun for a range of character types! I LOVE to read enemies to lovers/opposites attract and my WIP is an enemies to lovers/rivalry workplace romance. In truth, friends to lovers is such a sweet concept that I'd love to see more of because almost all of my friends in queer relationships are living the real life friends to lovers dream.

I also love the theme of found family in queer friendship circles, and wanted to showcase that in The Adventurers!

Reader 8 4:35 PM

Omg. Im so sorry. Took a nap and overslept!

How did you decide / write the Flippin fantastic series?

Bryce 22 days ago

Lucy, Stephanie and I met in a writer's twitter group and we became friends really quickly because of our writing styles. We'd kicked around the idea of collaborating, and then Lucy and I wrote Just My Type together (we each wrote a character POV, switching off chapters for each POV) so we wanted to do something like that as the three of us. We picked out a setting and a general way the friends knew each other, then developed characters and had chats about how they would interact. We had a lot of video calls where we talked through general plot points that would run throughout each book, then kind of ran with each book. We wrote them simultaneously and read each other's in google docs as we wrote, correcting anything about our own characters in each other's drafts. So basically it all came down to a TON of communication, which was easy because we already chatted all day every day, to be honest.

Reader 2 22 days ago

I loved this series. :slightly_smiling_face:

Reader 8 22 days ago

Just My Type is how I started reading your stuff. It was excellent.

The friendships across the flippin novels was so heartwarming. I think that's my fave part of the series. The different writing styles and approaches the 3 of you have really made the series shine.

The covers!! They're so cute and vibrant without giving away the storyline.

Bryce 22 days ago

Thank you! I designed the little characters and then we each chose all of the rest of the elements for our covers in a shared Canva chat so they all reflected what we separately wanted but went together, too!

Reader 8 22 days ago

Yall made them together?!?!

Reader 2 22 days ago

I'd love to see more in this series. :slightly_smiling_face:

Bryce 22 days ago

We started writing a new book where all of the characters go on vacation to Greece but had to pause due to some life changes for all three of us -- I hope we get to it again some day!

Reader 8 4:41 PM

What was the hardest part of adventurers to write?

Bryce 22 days ago

Any scene where Kendall and Joey were miscommunicating about wants/needs towards the end were really hard! I think for me, the intimate scene towards the end where Kendall is holding so much back but trying to soothe the relationship with physical intimacy was the hardest because I love writing sex scenes where the characters transform in their relationship for the better, and that scene especially was all about being unable to take the next step needed.

Reader 1 4:41 PM

Just wanna put this out there… Kendall’s haircut/tailored suit transformation was super hot, and at the same time made me want to cut my hair short. Real-life doppelbangers situation

Bryce 22 days ago

I had a reader who messaged me saying the haircut scene made them want to cut their hair, and I sent them the picture inspiration for Kendall's exact haircut and then cut their hair!! That was a huge exciting moment for me as an author.

Seeing my wife in a tailored suit inspired that scene 100%

Reader 8 4:50 PM

That is kind of how I feel about all of your covers. They don't scream matchy-matchy. But each cover helps bring the story you're writing to life and supports the actions of the characters. From comic to colorful. I had to read never mine the second I saw the cover. Same with adventurers. I read it in January. (edited)

Bryce 22 days ago

That means so much to me! I absolutely LOVE designing covers and put so much time and thought into them.

Reader 8 22 days ago

:worried::pleading_face: you make them yourself!?! Im in awe.

Reader 6 22 days ago

That is so dope that you design the covers

Reader 1 22 days ago

Agreed, they’re always gorgeous

Bryce 22 days ago

Thank you!!

Reader 4 22 days ago

You have a great eye to be able to get it right.

Reader 8 22 days ago

Seriously Reader 4 is right. The yellow writing on, something far away and happy is superb.

Bryce 22 days ago

Thank you! I was in marketing/graphic design before I made the full-time writing leap so it was the one thing I felt really good about controlling myself!

Reader 8 4:53 PM do I buy your books in paperback? I own almost all of them through kindle...but I need them in paper.

Bryce 22 days ago

The Adventurers, Most Wonderful, All Aglow, and Never Mine are available in paperback as of right now! I definitely need to get on making the rest of them in paperback -- it's a time consuming process and Amazon makes it hard, but I'll get around to it!

Reader 8 5:00 PM

What is the book you're most proud of? (edited)

Bryce 22 days ago

I'm really proud of The Adventurers because of how it totally changed my career because of it's success. But I'm honestly the most proud of Against the Grain of the Flipping Fantastic series because I wrote it WHILE flipping my father's house after his death and it helped me work through a lot of Big Feelings at the time.

Reader 6 5:01 PM

If you could be any dinosaur what would you be?

Bryce 22 days ago

I've always loved Triceratops, probably a holdover from watching (and subsequently being scarred by) The Land Before Time as a kid.

Thank you all so much for having me! It was such a pleasure chatting with you!