Character Interview: Luca & Imre, Over and Over Again

Hello, little foxes! Today I’m welcoming Luca and Imre to the blog from Cole McCade’s Over and Over Again! Over and Over Again is a May December romance for the ages.

Over and Over Again CoverA ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.

And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.

When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.

The problem?

Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.

And Luca’s father’s best friend.

Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it.

Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross.

But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?


Welcome to Let’s Fox About It, Luca and Imre. We’re so glad to have you here! Tell us a little bit about yourselves!

Luca: *looks around* Oh fuck you’re going to make me go first, aren’t you?

Imre: If you would like.

Luca: I don’t like, but you don’t talk!
Imre: …I speak when necessary.

Luca: *side-eyes, then grumbles, then clears his throat* Um, hi. I’m Luca Ward, and…I…am a shiftless fucking sod who has no idea what he wants to do with his life, so my Dad shipped me off to crash with Imre for a while on his goat farm outside Harrogate. I guess Imre was supposed to make me more responsible. Instead of–

Imre: Now, now, angyalka. Some things are private.

Luca: *grins* Got you to say more than four words at a time.

Imre: I have plenty to say.

Luca: So introduce yourself!

Imre: *gives him a dryly patient look* Imre Claybourne. The last of the Claybournes of the Hungarian Roma line who settled here generations ago. I operate Lohere Farm, primarily focused on goat breeding and milking. Luca’s father and mother are my closest friends, but they are also complete arseholes.

Luca: *gasps* You cursed.

Imre: I curse when it is necessary, too.

Luca: *laughs* You’re still mad at Dad?

Imre: *grumbles, looks away* …I will forgive him eventually.

Luca: He did walk in on us naked.

Imre: And lost his housekey privileges for it, too.


Now, I understand that you two have known each other for almost all of Luca’s life. What are some of your favorite memories of each other?

Luca: *blushes, fidgets* I…well, there’s the ring, but…I don’t want to talk about that.

Imre: Why not?

Luca: I was…I was five! I was a complete nit and people are listening and it’s too mortifying!

Imre: As you wish, angyalka. What other memory, then?

Luca: Um. Picking apples. *ducks his head* The way you’d swing me up on your shoulders and toss me into the trees during harvest season, and I’d feel like I was flying.

Imre: *chuckles* You were fearless. A little flying sparrow.

Luca: …yeah. It always made me happy. Um…what about you?

Imre: Hm. *strokes his beard* The last day you left.

Luca: *stares* I was miserable that day. Why do you like remembering that?

Imre: I didn’t know why you were miserable…and I didn’t know, that day, that it would be ten years before you came back. That was the last day I thought you and your parents would still be a part of my life. It’s the last day I didn’t feel alone for a very, very long time. When you left, you left my heart full of the warmth you had all given me during your stay, and so I like to remember that moment.

Luca: *flushes a furious red* …oh.


What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?

Imre: He chews on earbud cords.

Luca: That’s not a hobby, Imre.

Imre: You treat it like it is.

Luca: *huffs* It’s not. Um. Hobbies, I…um, I don’t know. I’m kind of addicted to Pinterest and I keep wanting to try papercraft, but I’m always busy with the goats.

Imre: Do I work you too hard?

Luca: …I can’t answer that without embarrassing myself. Your turn!

Imre: I don’t think my hobbies are particularly unusual. But of the things I fill my time with, I think I most enjoy making candles from unprocessed honeycombs.

Luca: The weird light candles with the hexagons all around? Those are honeycombs?

Imre: Indeed.

Luca: Cool. Show me how?

Imre: *rest a hand atop Luca’s head* Next winter, angyalka.


What is your favorite part of being a farmer?

Luca: I’m not a farmer?

Imre: You’re an honorary farmer. You live on a farm and do farm work. It’s a valid question.

Luca: I think… *plucks at his lower lip* …I think it’s the food. Because we make or grow almost everything on the farm. The cream, the apples…I like cooking with it and knowing that came from our hard work. *peeks at Imre* Your turn again!

Imre: I believe it would be having the capacity to care for and shelter so many. Those that I look after are my charges, and it brings me satisfaction to keep them healthy and safe. *reaches over to lightly touch Luca’s cheek* Including you.

Luca: *splutters, blush returning* Imre! People are watching us!

Imre: *hides a smile* My apologies.


If you could spend a day with someone you admire (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Luca: Mira! …okay I already spend the day with her all the time, but she’s really awesome. She knows everything about animals and she’s the best vet in Yorkshire. I want to be as smart as she is one day. *bounces*

Imre: *chuckles* I’m sure she’ll be happy to know you think so highly of her.

Luca: What? Don’t tell her!

Imre: This will be published publicly. You think she will not see?

Luca: Oh my god. I take it back. I take it back!

Imre: I don’t think you can.

Luca: *groans* This is mortifying.

Imre: I don’t think there’s any shame in professing your admiration for your mentor. As for myself… *his brows lower thoughtfully* My mother, I think. She was a strong woman with a generous heart and a way of understanding people that I sometimes envy. I still miss her, and would give anything for another day with her.

Luca: *shifts over, curling his hand against Imre’s arm and leaning against him* …Imre.


What do you like best about each other?

Luca: How gentle Imre is. He’s kind and he listens, and he treats people fairly instead of jumping to conclusions or talking over them. He’s this giant rock of a man who’s all soft inside.

Imre: *clears his throat, cheeks suspiciously pink underneath tan skin and thick beard* Ahem. I admire Luca’s passion and determination. How wholeheartedly he throws himself into what he chooses, and how unwaveringly he stands by his beliefs.


What do you like least about each other?

Luca: *wrinkles nose* I don’t want to answer that.

Imre: It does seem a question conducive to sowing discord.

Luca: I mean, I know we’re not perfect. Neither of us. But like, picking at each other’s imperfections…

Imre: I believe we would both like to pass on this question.

Luca: Yeah.


If you were in need of comforting, what would be the best thing that someone could do for you?

Luca: *bites his lip, looks at Imre for a long time* Listen to me. I feel a lot of times like people don’t listen, or they don’t hear me. They just brush it off as some prat. It…it made me feel a lot better about things that Imre actually listened.

Imre: *smiles slightly, leans over to bump Luca’s shoulder with his* For me, having the company of someone who cares for me is enough. I have grown far too accustomed to coping with things alone, and someone willing to simply be with me is a great balm.


If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Luca: Sod fucking all. *laughs* I don’t know shite.

Imre: I wouldn’t say that’s true.

Luca: Maybe not. *looks away, eyes pensive* I think…I’d teach everyone to trust themselves. We get so pulled in all these directions listening to other people, and we get confused over what’s real and true inside our hearts because the things other people say make us feel like our real feelings are wrong. And I think…I think I’d just want people to learn to trust themselves more, and that their feelings aren’t wrong. *laughs nervously and pokes Imre* Listen to me preaching. You say something now.

Imre: Very well. *heaves a deep sigh* I think I would teach people how to be alone with themselves. Solitude is not necessarily a lonely thing, and it’s all right to be alone with yourself rather than rushing and forcing something that may not be right. What matters most is becoming someone you want to be alone with, rather than someone you want to escape from.


What is your favorite book, and why?

Luca: *brightens* Watership Down. Because Imre gave it to me. And because it has Dandelion, and I like storytellers.

Imre: *considers for long moments* …I don’t think I have a favorite. I confess I prefer older, longer fiction in the style of historical epics, but I tend to enjoy different books for different reasons and cannot choose a favorite.