Interview with Gene Gant

This year’s LGBT Blogathon has afforded me great opportunities, one of the most incredible being given the chance to meet new authors. The first is a young adult writer named Gene Gant. His debut novel The Thunder In His Head  is an incredibly bold statement on the mindset and life of a young gay teen living in a conservative environment. I got the chance to ask him a few questions about his thoughts on gay fiction for young adults, his future plans, and how his characters speak to him.

Firstly, I have to ask, what made you first decide to write gay fiction for young adults?

The teen years are exciting and fun, but they can also be confusing, lonely and scary, especially for gay kids who have to deal with all of the issues related to their sexual orientation on top of everything else. Gay young adult fiction not only entertains, it helps gay teens realize they are not alone, that there are kids out there who are struggling with the same problems they are facing. There are many fine writers of gay young adult fiction, but not enough, in my opinion. And I’ve always felt that there is a desperate need for stories about gay kids of color. That is what inspired me to write.

How did you first get involved with Harmony Ink?

I came to Harmony Ink Press through an editor who was reviewing an adult-oriented story I had written. She alerted me to a new publisher of positive LGBT Young Adult fiction. Harmony Ink could not have come along too soon. While the traditional publishing houses have certainly provided gay fiction titles, there is a definite need for a publisher focused exclusively on books for the young adult LGBT reader.

As this is your debut effort, was there a personal connection that you felt with Kyle?

I lived and breathed Kyle over the several months it took to write, revise and edit the novel, so there was definitely a personal connection with him. He is the kid I wish I had been in high school.

Did you feel a connection or know anybody similar to the characters you wrote about?

I felt a connection with all of the characters in one way or another. They sort of moved into my head like old friends. For the most part, the characters came out of my imagination, although I embellished some of them with a few tics and quirks borrowed from various people I know.

Camiele

As unexpected as my path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is my ability to get attention for writing about the stuff.

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