Summer Love Anthology – A YA Short Story Collection
Published by Duet – a YA imprint at Interlude Press
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Duet, a Young Adult imprint form Interlude Press
Cover Artist: BuckeyeGrrl Designs
Our mini interview…
My Best Friend, Summer Love- HJ Coulter
Today I am very lucky to be interviewing HJ Coulter, author of My Best Friend, part of the Summer Love Collection. Hi, HJ, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us about yourself, your background and your current book.
If I was to categorize myself, I guess I would say I am a geeky, classy, redneck. I grew up on the farm so I have an appreciation for wide open spaces and playing in the mud. I LOVE country music and the independent lifestyle that comes with country living. But I also the love the theatre, the sound of cellos, lace and old books. Plus I own more TV shows in DVD than should be legally allowed, dream of owning a replica of Hogwarts and my “ I Want To Believe” poster is one of my most prized possessions.
My current story, My Best Friend, is a letter from a gay young man to his best friend who has recently gotten married and is moving away. When I heard the theme Summer Love, I automatically knew that I did not want to write a romance. I wanted to capture all the other loves in people’s lives. Whether that be something as simple as a love for summer rain storms or as complicated as the love between a young man and his mentally ill father. My goal was to give emphasis to the fact that the epic love stories in your life don’t have to be romance.
What did you want to do when you grew up?
Like most people, I think my career aspirations changed as my interests grew and evolved. When I was very young, 4 or 5, I wanted to be Beethoven. Growing up with my Oma and Opa gave me a very early love for classical music and Beethoven’s 9th was my all-time favourite. I even sat down at the piano one day and played the melody to Ode to Joy by ear. This is what sparked my deep love for music. And like all first loves, music will always be a part of my life.
When I was an adolescent I was obsessed with cop dramas. I was known around school as the “ CSI girl”. I wanted to be everything for a lab tech to a beat cop to forensic psychologist. I read a lot of true crime novels and biographies of serial killers. I was a little creepy, not going to lie. It’s weird because most of my personal library has shifted into fiction. And I now like my procedurals with aliens or super villains. How times change.
I also remembering wanting to be a paramedic, hair dresser and English teacher. In fact when I went to post-secondary I was working towards getting my education degree. But to tell you the truth, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. And I’m almost 25. Sure I have been thinking a lot lately about being a musical therapist or officially getting my papers to be a recreation facillator for older adults, but who knows? Not too long ago I didn’t think I would a published author and now look at me.
Summer Love is the first collection of short stories published by Duet, the young adult imprint from Interlude Press. These short stories are about the emergence of young love of bonfires and beaches, of the magical in-between time when young lives step from one world to another, and about finding the courage to be who you really are, to follow your heart and live an authentic life. The contributing authors have written stories about both romantic and platonic love featuring characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual and queer/questioning. The authors also represent a spectrum of experience, identity and backgrounds.
SUMMARIES & AUTHOR BIOS
- Beautiful Monsters
A campaign volunteer is assigned to assist his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance for the Pride Parade, forcing him to face the students he had previously avoided, and the truth about himself.
Author: Rachel Davidson Leigh is a writer, educator, and small town native who tells stories she wishes she could have read as a teen. Beautiful Monsters is her first published work of fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and two dogs who are spoiled out of their tiny minds.
- The Willow Weeps for Us
Jack, the young son of a grocer, falls for a charming piano teacher at the dawn of World War II.
Author: Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys travelling, scented candles and brunch.
- The Fire Eater’s Daughter
When a traveling carnival comes back to town, Ruth must choose between caring for her mother and a life with the beautiful and mysterious Constance, the fire eater’s daughter.
Author: Amy Stilgenbauer is a writer and aspiring archivist currently based in southeast Michigan. She is the author of the novelette series, Season of the Witch, as well as the Young Adult novel, The Legend of League Park. When she isn’t writing, Amy enjoys all things bergamot and tries to keep her cats away from her knitting.
- Surface Tension
Logan just wants a summer where he can be anonymous and fit in without labels, but that all changes when he meets out-and-proud Dave at summer camp.
Author: Ella J. Ash is a lawyer by day and an author by night. She has been a writer in online fan communities since 2006. She also enjoys dance parties with her family and cooking experimental vegetarian cuisine. She lives in Toronto with her partner, three daughters and four tropical fish.
- My Best Friend
In a letter to his best friend, a young gay man reminisces about their relationship.
Author: H.J. Coulter lives in Winnepeg, Canada, where she works as a respite worker and studies music, in hopes of one day becoming a musical therapist. My Best Friend is her professional writing debut.
- What the Heart Wants
A young student discovers attraction and desire through her experience drawing figures in her summer art class.
Author: Naomi Tajedler was born and raised in Paris, where art has always been a part of her life—including painting, restoring books, and working in auctions. She started writing in online fan communities in 2009.
- The Most Handsome
Carter, a Cape Cod boy who recently came out as transgender, meets and falls in love with a college student visiting for the summer.
Author: S.J. Martin lives with his partner and their cranky, rotund cat in Washington D.C. He’s a barista by day and a writer by night. He makes a mean cappuccino and lives for good coffee, good books, and good company. The Most Handsome is his first published story.
- Something Like Freedom
A boy finds a safe space from which to imagine a new future after leaving his conservative parents’ home, thanks in part to a new friend.
Author: Caroline Hanlin is a full time statistician, a part time stage manager, and an avid sports fan. She currently resides in Boston, where she enjoys writing during her commute. Something Like Freedom is her first published short story.
- On the Shore
A young woman retreats to her parents’ beach house to nurse a broken heart, but instead meets a vivacious girl who helps her find joy again.
Author: Rachel Blackburn is a writer, musician and librarian based in central Ohio. When free from work, she enjoys cuddling with her cats, drinking tea, and baking more cupcakes than necessary. On the Shore is her professional writing debut.
Pages or Words: 276 pages
Categories: Please keep in mind that as an anthology, not all stories contain all elements listed.
Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Romance, Trans*, Young Adult, Collection
Excerpt: (From Beautiful Monsters)
By Rachel Davidson Leigh
“Glad to see you could join the party,” Terrence deadpans, pressing a rainbow bandana into André’s hand. André grabs a second bandana out of the bag, stuffs one in each of his back pockets, and then goes in for a third.
“Cody was checking out the parade route,” André replies, in a smooth lie. “It turns out we’re still walking six blocks through absolutely nothing and then calling it a day.” Terrence laughs, and, as he turns away, André presses a handkerchief into Cody’s hand. “Use it wisely,” he whispers into Cody’s ear. “You’re one of us now.”
One of us. He’s never been part of an “us.” Cody stares down at the lines on the handkerchief and then at the two patches of color on the back of André’s jeans as he walks toward the arriving cars.
Cody expects panic, but it doesn’t come. Maybe he isn’t ready to be Gay with a capital G, but if “us” can mean being one of these idiots, then maybe he’s ready to have people of his own. As he watches the sharp sway of André’s hips, the heat rising up his neck doesn’t feel like fear. It feels like… clarity, as though the run put everything in perspective and now he can’t stop seeing André in crisp, dazzling color.
Someone presses a sign into his hand and guides him toward the parade staging area with the rest of the crew. Once again, he can’t hear himself think over the din, but it’s different now. At the meeting, and for years before that in the hallways, he felt like an invader locked out by a wall of sound, and now he’s somehow wandered inside.
About the authors at Interlude Press:
Where to find more information:
Twitter: @duetbooks, @interludepress
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the press and Pride Promotions. Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five multi-format Summer Love eBooks.
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