Debbie McGowan

Biography

Debbie McGowan is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven fiction, covering life, love, relationships - the whole shazam. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at 17, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At 25, she went back to college to study social science - tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

Smashwords Interview

What are you working on next?
I'm working on quite a few stories at the moment. I'm just finishing off "Ruminations", which is a stand-alone prequel in Hiding Behind The Couch. Ruminations is the story of how Josh and Sean became friends at university.

Two by Two - season six of Hiding Behind The Couch - is due out in March 2015, so I'm in the final round of edits on that.

I'm also writing a spin-off/sequel to Checking Him Out. It's called "Taking Him On" and the focus is on Adam's younger brother, Noah, and Matty. If you've read Checking Him Out, you'll have already met them.

In the pipeline I have a sequel to Champagne, which finishes on something of a cliffhanger. The sequel will probably be called "Spread Your Wings" and I'm aiming to have it written by Summer 2015.

And then there is a collaboration with Raine O'Tierney, but I'll say no more on that for now.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember getting my dad to read me The Haunted Mountain every night, and being terrified. I can vaguely remember reading most of Enid Blyton's catalogue, but the one book I remember very clearly of hers is The Folk of the Faraway Tree, which remains one of my favourites - I love the idea of having a massive tree with fantasy lands ever-changing and pulling up above it.

Other books that have had an impact on me: The Plague Dogs - read 2 pages and ditched it. Too traumatic! Similarly The Entity - scared the life out of me! And finally From Janie With Love, or something like that - a teen romance that inspired one of the characters in Hiding Behind The Couch.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Debbie McGowan online


Where to buy in print


Videos

Hiding Behind The Couch Video Trailer
This is the first trailer for 'Hiding Behind The Couch' - a series of novels and short stories following the lives of 'The Circle' - a group of nine friends from high school who are in their mid-thirties at the start of Book #1. The series is written by Debbie McGowan (that's me). Music featured in the trailer is "Listen to Me", by Brett Mikels; the song inspired the storyline for the third novel (The Harder They Fall). For more music from Brett Mikels, visit brettmikels.com.

In The Stars Part I Video Trailer
This video is a trailer for the book In The Stars (Part I) - Book #4 of 'Hiding Behind The Couch' - a series of novels and short stories following the lives of 'The Circle' - a group of nine friends from high school who are in their mid-thirties at the start of Book #1. Music: "Stars Might Shine", by Albin Loán - albinloan.com. Zodiac signs: Emma Pickering - noirestudios.co.uk. Background stars FootageIsland - www.youtube.com/footageisland.

In The Stars Part II Video Trailer
This video is a trailer for the book In The Stars Part II (Cancer-Sagittarius) - Book #5 of 'Hiding Behind The Couch' - a series of novels and short stories following the lives of 'The Circle' - a group of nine friends from high school who are in their mid-thirties at the start of Book #1. Music featured: "Stars Might Shine", by Albin Loán and "Everybody Lies" by The House of Jed.

Breaking Waves Video Trailer
This video is a trailer for the novella Breaking Waves - part of 'Hiding Behind The Couch' - a series of novels and short stories following the lives of 'The Circle' - a group of nine friends from high school who are in their mid-thirties at the start of Book #1. Music featured: "Roll in Tide", by Katie Thompson.

Books

When Skies Have Fallen
Price: Free! Words: 71,090. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Historical
(5.00)
For many in war-torn 1944, love blossoms in the dance hall, and airman Arty Clarke is no exception. He’s a thinker and a dreamer; however, it’s not the beautiful, talented dancer in his arms—his best friend Jean—who inspires his dreams. For when his gaze meets that of Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty dares to imagine a different dance.
Leaving Flowers
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 68,900. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin Nadia died tragically young, leaving him nothing but his job and the flowers he lays upon her grave. Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the cemetery, but Aidan is so damaged that even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.
Breakfast at Cordelia's Aquarium
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: Free! Words: 3,530. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
This is a very short, fun interlude in the Hiding Behind The Couch series. Unlike the rest of the series, which is written in third-person (semi-omniscient) past tense, this short story is written in first-person present tense. It has no real bearing on anything else that happens in the series; it is what it is: an Easter Egg.
Two By Two
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 247,740. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Two pregnancies, two babies, two troubled teens. Two psychologists hunting down the leader of a deadly cult. When Libby takes a stand against her abusive parents, Josh and George readily make her part of their family, but her parents may have been involved in something more sinister. Two unexpected guests seek sanctuary in Shaunna and Andy's new home, but that's not all. Someone is watching them.
Hiding Out
Series: Checking Him Out, 1.2 · Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 24,240. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Hiding Behind The Couch meets Checking Him Out: Josh is heading to Norwich for the mentoring workshop Sean was due to give. Matty is agonising over his impending dance show. Noah - Matty's on-again, off-again boyfriend - has promised to be there. Can Josh and Matty face their fears? Will the Sandison-Morleys' get the young men to express their feelings to each other before it's too late?
Cherry Pop Valentine
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,030. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Their band’s new single is due to be released in four days’ time and lovers Sven and Flavier are beyond excited. It’s tipped to be a big hit, and Flav can’t wait to see the online reaction to the promo film he’s made. But when he joins Sven in bed, he couldn’t even begin to imagine the fallout that will ensue when he awakes, and all his dreams are shattered with just one click of an upload button.
Ruminations
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 75,380. Language: British English. Published: February 14, 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Josh Sandison has waited his whole life to go to university. Gifted—and bullied for being different—he hopes it will be a change for the better. Instead he encounters the unexpected, when strange things start happening in his room. When Sean Tierney arrives at university, three days late and broke, the two strike up an unlikely friendship. But can they solve the spooky mystery of the third floor?
Coming Up
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,560. Language: British English. Published: December 30, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Dear Dad, God, how to start? I’m not really a girl. I know I look like one, but it’s all a horrible mistake. Every day I try to hide it, but I’m so tired. I don’t want to hide it. I don’t think I can much longer. I’ve got a girlfriend. ’Cause I’m a boy. Only, she doesn’t know. But, Dad. If I have the operation, she need never know. Dad, I love her. So much. (sexual swear words / intimacy)
Checking Him Out For the Holidays
Series: Checking Him Out, 1.1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 24,030. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
Freelance engineer Sol Brooks doesn't do the festive season. He thinks it's boring and overly sentimental. With the rest of the household laid up with 'the flu', Sol's planned on using the time to crack on with some work. His mother, however, has other ideas. And so does Sol's husband, Adam.
Red Hot Christmas
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,830. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Shaunna has a complicated Christmas ahead of her. For more than twenty years, she and Kris were a couple. Now Kris has a new boyfriend, Ade, and Andy is love with Shaunna…she know what she wants, but it all adds up to a Christmas that might just be too hot to handle.
A Midnight Clear
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 28,690. Language: British English. Published: December 1, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Gay & Lesbian
A story from Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology. It's a cold, desperate December when a young girl flees home, in search of food, shelter and the real Santa Claus. Stranded in George and Josh's hometown, she discovers that the spirit of Christmas can be found in the most unexpected of places. Includes the story of The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen.
In The Stars Part II, Episode 12: Sagittarius
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 43,300. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Legal
Sagittarius is Ep 12 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the 'The Circle', through 12 eventful months. A new home, a breakdown, life decisions, a career change…and a revelation that leaves the friends reeling, bringing this season to a head as old secrets die hard. But with a terrifying hostage situation, they won’t be the only ones waiting, as not everyone escapes alive…
Sugar and Sawdust
Price: Free! Words: 12,860. Language: British English. Published: November 21, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(3.00)
Jorje's sister worries about him. He's a successful model with a serious passion for fashion—a pretty boy, who looks a lot younger than his twenty-two years. And he's sweet and kind. Guys take advantage of him. So it's not looking good, when Jorje wakes up with no recollection of the night before, a whopping hangover and a ton of missed calls from Taylor…and a mystery guy in the bed.
Checking Him Out
Series: Checking Him Out, 1. Price: Free! Words: 60,680. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
Engineer Sol Brooks is a happily married man, so people keep telling him. He loves Elise, and she loves him. They’ve got a great apartment that’s kept its value, they’re both up for promotion, and he can hook up with any guy he likes - all the sex he wants, so long as it’s of the “no strings” variety. And that’s all fine and dandy...until a chance meeting at the checkout.
Crying in the Rain
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 58,310. Language: British English. Published: November 11, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
For many years, Ade Simmons has been an outsider, trapped in an abusive relationship, seeking sanctuary in his job. Actor Kris Johansson is patient, gentle and passionate—everything that Ade's ex-boyfriend is not. When Kris takes a role in one of Ade's plays, the attraction is mutual and instant. But his ex will not give up his punchbag so easily—can Ade finally find the strength to fight back?
In The Stars Part II, Episode 11: Scorpio
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 35,810. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Legal
Scorpio is Ep 11 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the 'The Circle', through the 11th of 12 eventful months. The Circle try to move on with their lives, optimistic for a return to normality. But something is amiss, and Josh is intent on solving the puzzle. Shaunna and Andy are in need of TLC…or perhaps a touch of meddling will save the day?
In The Stars Part II, Episode 10: Libra
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 36,870. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Libra is Ep 10 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the 'The Circle', through the 10th of 12 eventful months. The Circle try to move on with their lives, optimistic for a return to normality. But something is amiss, and Josh is intent on solving the puzzle. Shaunna and Andy are in need of TLC...or perhaps a touch of meddling will save the day?
In The Stars Part II, Episode 9: Virgo
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 22,730. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Virgo is Ep 9 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the 'The Circle', through the 9th of 12 eventful months. Kris struggles with his own demons to reconcile with Ade; Shaunna and Andy fight their desires, increasingly drawn together; an unwelcome guest turns up to bid on old friend farewell. As The Circle battle their grief, can they support each other through the other side?
In The Stars Part II, Episode 8: Leo
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 39,920. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Leo is Ep 8 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the 'The Circle', through the 7th of 12 eventful months. Life is getting serious, blurring the line between love and loss: It’s Toby Brown’s first birthday, and he’s not the only one in for a surprise; Josh abandons his professionalism to help a desperate client; Andy treats himself to something he’s wanted for a very long time.
In The Stars Part II, Episode 7: Cancer
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 38,350. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Cancer is Episode 7 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the seventh of twelve eventful months. Dan is about to find out that being a careful driver is sometimes not enough; An old lover’s return rekindles fond memories for Alice; Sean works his psychology magic on the ever-stubborn Jess. The story continues in Epi #8 (Leo).
Breaking Waves
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,700. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
What do you do when you fall in love with your childhood best friend? Do you tell them and risk ruining the friendship? Now, thirty years on, the secrets are out in the open. But can two hearts almost destroyed by denial and separation ever be healed? Fill in the gaps by joining George and Josh on their Cornish honeymoon against an awe-inspiring backdrop of breaking waves, sand and sunshine.
In The Stars Part II: Cancer–Sagittarius
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 211,200. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
The Circle is in flux. It's been a hectic six months, and as the friends head into the heat of summer, more trials await that will truly test the bonds of friendship. For whilst a circle may contract and may even at times constrict, it can also expand, accommodate, embrace. And it is always whole. Eternal.
In The Stars Part I, Episode 6: Gemini
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 34,440. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Gemini is Episode 6 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the sixth of six eventful months. It's quiz night at the Red Lion - time for The Circle to pit their wits against the rest of the regulars...and each other. The sound of wedding bells is, most definitely, in the air! The story continues in Breaking Waves and Epi #7 (Cancer).
In The Stars Part I, Episode 5: Taurus
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 20,960. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Taurus is Episode 5 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the fifth of six eventful months. The time has come to face up to what the future holds; Andy steps up to the biggest challenge of his life; George breaks the bad news to Oliver; Eleanor makes no bones about her feelings and kicks up a storm.
In The Stars Part I, Episode 4: Aries
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 37,870. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Aries is Episode 4 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the fourth of six eventful months. Jess comes to terms with her condition in time for Kris’s TV debut; Josh and Eleanor attempt to resolve their differences before Toby’s christening; Jason’s hard work comes to fruition; George enjoys a nostalgic birthday celebration.
In The Stars Part I, Episode 3: Pisces
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 28,450. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Pisces is Episode 3 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the third of six eventful months. Sean's all primed for a murder mystery, but are his intentions all they seem? A chance meeting in a milk bar sparks a brand new friendship; Josh finally comes of age and is eager to explore his newfound identity.
In The Stars Part I, Episode 2: Aquarius
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 31,120. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Aquarius is Episode 2 of In The Stars (Hiding Behind The Couch 4&5), following the longstanding friends, 'The Circle', through the second of six eventful months. Dan and Adele try to come to terms with their loss; Sophie has a life-changing decision to make; Marigold's release date draws close; Kris's acting career could be heading for the big time - is George brave enough to make the offer?
In The Stars Part I, Episode 1: Capricorn
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. You set the price! Words: 25,410. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Capricorn is Episode 1 of In The Stars, a two part instalment (books 4&5) of the Hiding Behind The Couch series, re-introducing the characters for new readers, and following those characters through the events of the first of six eventful months, exploring their day-to-day lives as they encounter celebration, loss, illness and life-changing decisions.
In The Stars Part I: Capricorn–Gemini
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 173,390. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Fate, karma, written in the stars, or just bizarre quirks of coincidence? Set over the first six months of a year of The Circle, In The Stars Part I explores the day-to-day lives of nine friends from high school who are now it their late thirties, following them through celebration, loss, illness and life-changing decisions. Book Four in the Hiding Behind The Couch Series.
First Christmas (Hiding Behind The Couch Short Story)
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,400. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
(4.00)
Josh and George spent half a lifetime apart, so it matters not that they're all grown up now. For this is their first Christmas together, in their new home. They finally have all that they wished for...But perhaps Santa still has a few surprises in store. A Christmas story full of festive magic and romance.
Beginnings (Hiding Behind The Couch Short Story)
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,840. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2013 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
(4.00)
Journey back to childhood, where the buds of friendship blossom; take a peek into the lives of the primary school children who would become...The Circle. A stand-alone prequel from Hiding Behind The Couch.
The Harder They Fall (Hiding Behind The Couch #3)
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 147,440. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2013 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
A fatal plane crash in Kathmandu, a fateful high school reunion, the wedding of the year and a honeymoon that eight best friends will never forget... Season Three in the Hiding Behind The Couch series.
No Time Like The Present (Hiding Behind The Couch Book Two)
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 96,050. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2013 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
The build-up to Christmas has begun and a man is dead! It's the perfect time to make new friends, make amends...and solve a murder case! Book Two in the Hiding Behind The Couch series.
Hiding Behind The Couch (Hiding Behind The Couch Book One)
Series: Hiding Behind The Couch. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 112,570. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2013 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The Circle: nine friends from high school... Krissi wants to know who her father is, Josh is going crazy with insomnia, Dan's dangerously out of control... Welcome to The Circle!
And The Walls Came Tumbling Down
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 68,180. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2012 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Jack Davies led an unremarkable life, serving fast food in a nondescript seaside town by day and playing computer games by night. Unremarkable that is, until Professor Jericho ordered a sausage and a cup of tea.
Champagne
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,770. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2012 by Beaten Track Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Adult
(5.00)
(Second Edition, published April 2014) Haunted by the abuse of his now missing father, seventeen year old Sammy stumbles upon the seedy world of drug addiction and prostitution of London's West End in the 1980s. Cold, desperate and exhausted, he takes shelter in a trash-filled alley behind a strip club, unaware that what is about to unfold will change the course of his life.

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