Thursday, June 7, 2018

0 Greg Howard, author of SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, on growing up being a universal experience

We're excited to have Greg Howard with us to share more about his YA debut, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE.

Greg, what was your inspiration for writing SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE was my YA debut and I got the idea to write it after reading several other popular YA books with gay main characters. All those books had such different points of views and perspectives that it made me realize that I have a unique point of view as well—everyone does. So while I had never considered writing YA before, I jumped in and gave it a try. Also, I just wanted to to write a funny book. YA readers who like a more serious tone have plenty to choose from, but those who just want to laugh and have a great time with LGBTQ stories and characters, don’t have quite as much to choose from.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, are two that I used as comps for SOCIAL INTERCOURSE when querying agents.

How long did you work on SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

I wrote SOCIAL INTERCOURSE as my NaNoWriMo project, so it was the fastest book I’ve ever written. I finished it in about five weeks, before I started editing and querying it. Granted I'd never written YA and was flying by the seat of my pants, but I think that actually helped.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I’d always thought I was “too old” to write YA, but writing SOCIAL INTERCOURSE taught me that growing up is a universal experience (duh!). And that though the world has changed and the way people communicate has changed drastically, there are many teens today going through the very same issues that I went through at their age.

What do you hope readers will take away from SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

To be yourself, no matter what. Even if some people don’t get you, you WILL find your audience (and your tribe).

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Long. Hard. Rough. That about sums up my road to publication. I wrote one adult paranormal book called BLOOD DIVINE before I wrote SOCIAL INTERCOURSE and no agents or even small publishers were interested in it. Actually, I did find one small publisher who published it and then promptly went out of business less than a year later. It’s okay though - I was able to get my rights back and self-publish that book. It was my first book and took me five years to write, so it’s not perfect. But I learned a ton while writing BLOOD DIVINE and I’m very proud of it.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I have a full time day job, so for the last four to five years my schedule as been to write from 4AM to 6AM Monday through Friday and then several hours on Saturday and Sunday. It’s not easy, but I learned very quickly that big part of finding success as a published author is simply showing up to do the work.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Find the publishing path that works for you, whether that is self publishing, small press publishing or traditional agent/large press publishing. It’s all valid. And secondly, rejection is hard for everyone, but no matter how many times someone says no, remind yourself that it only takes one yes. I received dozens and dozens of no’s before I found my yes.

What are you working on now?

I just turned in my edits to my publisher for my first middle grade book called The Whispers coming out Spring of 2019. Other than having a gay main character, as well, The Whispers couldn’t be more different from Social Intercourse. It’s exciting to write in two different genres. It keeps things interesting and fresh!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Social Intercourse
by Greg Howard
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 6/5/2018

Beckett Gaines, a gay teen living in South Carolina, has his world turned upside-down by a jock in this laugh-out-loud novel that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Parent Trap.

Beck:
The Golden Girls-loving, out-and-proud choir nerd growing up in the “ass-crack of the Bible belt.”

Jax:
The Golden Boy, star quarterback with a slick veneer facing uncomfortable truths about himself and his past.

When Beck’s emotionally fragile dad starts dating the recently single (and supposedly lesbian) mom of former bully, Jaxon Parker, Beck is not having it. Jax isn’t happy about the situation either, holding out hope that his moms will reunite and restore the only stable home he’s ever known. Putting aside past differences, the boys plot to derail the budding romance between their parents at their conservative hometown’s first-ever Rainbow Prom. Hearts will be broken, new romance will bloom, but nothing will go down the way Beck and Jax have planned.

Purchase Social Intercourse at Amazon
Purchase Social Intercourse at IndieBound
View Social Intercourse on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Howard grew up on the coast of South Carolina in a strict, conservative Christian environment. Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. After running away to the bright lights and big city of Nashville, Tennessee after college he eventually got serious about writing books. He writes young adult and middle grade fiction usually centering on LGBTQ characters and issues. Greg’s debut young adult novel, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has been described as provocative and hilarious and his debut middle grade book, THE WHISPERS, will be published by Putnam/Penguin - Spring 2019.

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Have you had a chance to read SOCIAL INTERCOURSE yet? Do you show up to do the work? Do you remind yourself that it only takes one yes? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Charlotte, Anisaa, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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