The Rainbow Player is my first novel. Originally published in 2015 as The Last Taboo, it was re-published in 2017 with a new title and cover and a major publicity campaign.
It will hopefully make you laugh a lot and cry a little. You don’t have to be a football fan, or gay, to enjoy it; it’s about discovering yourself, laughing in the wrong places, honesty, and the realisation that it is not the gender of the person you love that matters, it is who you love.
One of my aims for writing the book was for it to help bring awareness of the ludicrous situation of professional footballers not being able to be open about their sexuality. What I wanted to do was create a character and a story that was real. Any media celebrity, sporting or otherwise, is usually set on a pedestal and treated with iconic status. My intention was to get behind this public facade, to his weaknesses, his social faux-pas, his love of hot chocolate, his appalling musical taste, and make him a fallible, warm human-being with whom anyone can empathise.
Here’s an interview I did for BBC Radio with Anton Hysen, the only openly gay player:
And here’s the blurb and some of the reviews:
‘England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge’.
‘It is not the gender of the person you love that matters. It is WHO you love. There is no Gay. There is no Straight. There is only Love’.
“This is a tale of exploration, coming of age, learning to be true to oneself as well as others and, above all else, love. While it definitely has an LGBT dominance, don’t let that sway your decision to read it (if it’s not your genre) because the amount of pleasure gained from reading The Rainbow Player and the thought-provoking text makes it so worthwhile. It’s an ambassador for love, kindness and acceptance of our fellow humans no matter what their sexuality.”
“This is, without doubt, one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading.”
“A ridiculously good debut novel.”
“Sam’s story is joyous, tragic, uplifting and brutal and should have you turning those pages long into the night.”
“David Kerby-Kendall has created something outstanding here. I urge you to read this book; you will not be disappointed.”
“The author deals with the subject in a tasteful and sensitive way. In an age when not much is taboo anymore, David Kerby-Kendall has tackled the subject with sensitivity and honesty.”
“This wonderful piece of literature had me laughing out loud, becoming emotional, and often refusing to sleep at a reasonable hour in favour of another chapter or seven.”
“Delves into the complexity of relationships with truth and dexterity whilst remaining an absolute joy to read.”
“Caused me to laugh out loud on public transport and weep like a grieving child.”
“A beautiful, honest, heartfelt story that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading.”
“This truly is a well-written, thought-provoking novel by Kerby-Kendall with a nice amount of emotion, drama, humour, and character development. And even though this novel is certainly rooted in the LGBTQIA genre, it’s so much more than that. At its core it’s a story about love, pure and simple, with no limits, no labels, and no regrets.”