I can’t write this post.
How do I even write this post? I have to write it because I have to tell you the biggest news of my creative career: I sold my debut novel SURRENDER YOUR SONS! It’s going to be in people’s homes, hands, shelves, and miiiiinds come Fall 2020.
SURRENDER YOUR SONS is a young adult mystery set on an island—like LOST but very, very queer. A gay teen named Connor finds his summer vacation interrupted by a group of masked men who abduct him and deliver him to a conversion therapy camp on a desolate Pacific island. Connor’s religious zealot family arranged this for him, but he has no intention of staying. He teams up with the other kidnapped LGBTQ+ teens to uncover the camp’s dark secrets and take the whole place down.
Fall 2020, it all goes boom. An escapist story of resistance for your election season nerves.
It’s happening. I’ve spent six years with this story—writing, revising, shelving, un-shelving, revising, and revising again! Year after year, rejection after rejection, I’ve held a funeral for this book…so many times. SURRENDER YOUR SONS was supposed to go away forever and be a thing I remembered bittersweetly as I flourished with other books. Now, Connor is going to live. There won’t be any more funerals.
What’s obvious is that SYS has taught me the first and only lesson publishing has to teach—that I cannot control any of this. I can’t predict it. I can’t will it. I can only write it, release it, and weather it. I’ll promo it, that’s for sure. You all aren’t even ready for the promo energy I’m about to unleash (hello, newsletters, Goodreads, pre-order pushes, and more!). But in the end, despite 110 combined agent and editor rejections (one of which was from my own agent!), this book will exist and whatever happens from there, happens.
My agent Eric Smith and my new editor Mari Kesselring at Flux are heroes for taking a chance on me and this book—two wild weirdos. YA books can be gay now, but they’re not supposed to be gay and weird…are they? Ugh, why didn’t I warn my book about the dangers of being gay and weird?! Whatever it is, SURRENDER YOUR SONS isn’t cute, but it isn’t boring, either. It’s frightening—and I don’t like scaring young queers—but just like in real life when the trouble hits, readers will also encounter humor, good friends, and courage they couldn’t imagine in their wildest dreams.
SURRENDER YOUR SONS is a fairy tale in that way. And all fairy tales begin with a scare.
Thank you for reading. Next step is a monthly newsletter that will be kicking off this summer, informing you of updates, teasers, news bits, morsels, rumblings, crumblings, as well as my comings and goings. To spot the real life me, I’ll be showing up at the following upcoming events:
*YALLWEST, Santa Monica, May 3-4
*BookExpo, NYC, May 29-31