Greg Kennedy, Winemaker and Owner, Rhapsody Vineyards & Wine

One in a series introducing the characters of Sotto Voce.

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Don't talk to Greg Kennedy about being the next big thing. 

Don't talk to Greg Kennedy about millennial marketing. 

In fact, if you want to talk about developing a brand name, Greg Kennedy would rather you simply not talk to him at all.

The enigmatic winemaker at the heart of Sotto Voce comes across as a bit of a loner when we first meet him, and it's by his own design. A trust fund baby with the weight of family expectations on his broad shoulders, he followed his parents' plans for his future just long enough to complete an Ivy League education, claim his trust fund and move to the remote hills of Sonoma County in California's wine country.

Sipping at the rich red wine, he shared his story of the smart kid who grew up with piano lessons and school orchestra, who came out to his family in his early teens and eventually declared his wish to pursue a degree in music. He spoke of a successful family, seemingly uncomfortable with his sexuality, who refused to subsidize a college education that wouldn’t lead to a respectable career and held both his tuition and a trust fund hostage to conformity. 

“I got accepted to Princeton, Yale and Cornell.”

“Yale has a great music program,” Tom said.

“And Cornell was furthest away,” Greg added.  

But peel back the layers of Greg Kennedy, and there's much more to him than a denim shirt and  surly attitude, much of which he actively hides. Though guardedly private, the young vintner also earns the respect of his winemaking peers, and ultimately sacrifices his privacy to help his community.

We learn that Greg is smart, caring, a little shy and more than a little lonely in the isolated hillside retreat he has built for himself—as far away from his upbringing as possible. But remnants of that world follow him to California, both in the form vintners from rival wineries as well as an attractive New York wine critic who is trying to organize a competition between the big name wineries of Napa and the artisan wineries of Sonoma.

I loved writing Greg Kennedy. He's a series of contradictions— a quiet leader, a lonely man who chooses to cut himself off from the world of his youth, and a smart guy with integrity who sometimes makes poor choices. 

He also happens to be that hot guy who doesn't entirely grasp or care about how attractive he is.

Greg is the heart of Sotto Voce, a winemaker who is passionate about his craft, and learns to be passionate about love.


Sotto Voce is available on Amazon, B&, at the Interlude Press web store and by order from from bookstores everywhere. 



Thomas Baldwin, Wine Critic

One in a series introducing the characters of Sotto Voce.


Thomas Baldwin wants you to know he's worldly. Or at least, he wants you to believe it.

As the wine editor for Taste Magazine, he has a global lifestyle a lot of people would envy: the New York apartment, the designer clothes, the open-door policy to some of the best wine cellars at some of the finest restaurants in the world.

But is it really him?

Before adopting Thomas as his professional monicker, Tom Baldwin was a strawberry blond Carolina transplant who had headed north for college. He had hoped to one day work for a major daily, maybe the New York Times, but stumbled into the wine business when the sommelier at a restaurant he worked at noticed that he had a natural knack for the nuances of wine.  He climbed the ladder rapidly, and soon nabbed the job of wine critic at Taste, an up-and-coming style magazine.

He develops a reputation as a tough and influential critic, and he enjoys the trappings of his career—right up until the point where his boss informs him that he'll be relocating to California for a year.

While the California wine country might sound like a nice vacation, for Thomas Baldwin it means a year cast out to farmland, and an assignment to pull off a contest that he thinks his boss would happily rig if it meant new ad revenue for her fledgling publication. The fact that he almost has to beg the small, artisan winemakers of Sonoma to compete against the big brand name wineries of neighboring Napa—shouldn't they be begging him, really?—only makes it worse.

The immersion into this world—and a slowly-developing friendship with an enigmatic winemaker—forces him to take a different look at his life and his priorities. It also brings out some of his strongest qualities as he finds himself drawn to the lifestyle and to a relationship that may change his life.

Sotto Voce is available Tuesday from and book retailers everywhere.

The Characters of Sotto Voce

When I sat down to think about Sotto Voce as a novel instead of a work of fan fiction, I had to ask myself some tough questions about what worked and what didn't in this little story about love and wine. Things were destined to be cut. Other details needed to be added. Others simply needed a rewrite, stat.

Sotto Voce was never a story that followed canon, so it made decisions about the plot easy. I was satisfied with the story, and its structure. If you know the story from its fan origins, then you pretty much know the story of the novel.

What needed work? The characters.

From the day I finished writing the original draft of Sotto Voce, I knew I wanted to do better by the characters by giving them more detail and reason for their actions, and by removing some cringe-worthy cliches. There were a couple of secondary characters, in particular, that I wanted a second crack at. And for the lovers, Tom and Greg, it was a chance to write more detail about who and why they are who they are, from the little physical characteristics like freckles and  chest hair to memories of sweaty summer childhood afternoons watching minor league baseball.

Every little detail should say something new about them, and it was a joy to go back and fill in the blanks. 

So in the weeks leading up to (and past) Sotto Voce's launch, I'll be posting a series of little character sketches to help you get acquainted with the Tom, Greg, Carmen, Brooke, Diego, Tate and their respective worlds.