What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?
Lemon pie. Vile curdled evil masquerading as a dessert. His cousin Key Lime is no better.
On a scale 1 (super chill) to 10 (falling apart at the seams) how cool are you under the pressure of blurb writing?!
6? I don’t love it, but I don’t let it get to me.
If you could go back to any point in your personal history and give yourself a message, when would you go and what would you say?
That’s tough. Because I love my life so much now, I’d be afraid of knocking myself off this course, so my initial, serious reactions (buckle down and go to a better college, don’t date Jodie) seem to be kind of dangerous. I think I’d visit my college-freshman self and say “Don’t be afraid to let yourself have more fun.” The opposite of what most people would tell their college selves, eh?
A genre-specific virus has attacked you, rendering you INCAPABLE of writing your chosen genre. What do you do now?!
Write that fantasy novel I’ve had lurking at the back of my mind. There’s more than one, really, and I’ve tried, but I’m never satisfied with the results. Maybe if I was forced to focus I’d get better.
Describe yourself using a literary quote.
“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.” Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (do you get that one all the time? I bet you do…)
What is your 3-word zombie survival plan?
Private island; flamethrower
You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)
It’s not that I didn’t expect her to come to me, it’s that I didn’t expect her so soon. But here she is, slipping through the darkness and into my arms. Opening my mouth to speak, I think twice when her mouth is already there, opening for me, taking my breath even as her hands take my body, pull me close. I am open too: mouth, mind, heart, legs. We are together there, inside each other, closing out the world. Becoming the world. Moving heaven and earth.
What makes you inexplicably happy?
Sleeping in on rainy mornings.
Worst mistake you’ve made in your career and what you’ve learned from it?
Not acting sooner when I burned out of teaching. I couldn’t ever think of anything else to do, so I just stayed there until I was miserable and ineffective. It taught me that life is too short to waste. Not the most original of lessons, but one that I really internalized. My life is so much better now, in every possible way.
And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?
Wire haired dachshunds! I love their whiskery little faces-- they’re like teacup wolfhounds.
~ ~ ~
Book Name: Tearing Us Apart
Pages or Words: 50,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Young Adult, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Julian Pham is surviving high school. Openly gay, flamboyantly goth, and Vietnamese-American, he’s just about as different as his Oklahoma City high school can tolerate. He has good friends and a supportive family, which helps, but lately his family is changing and his friends have troubles of their own. Julian is afraid he’s being left behind.
Then he meets Duncan. The star of the school basketball team, Duncan has never crossed Julian’s social path. A fateful encounter one cold night brings the two young men together, igniting a romance that neither of them expected, and that both can scarcely believe.
But Julian and Duncan are in different places. Julian is happily out, unconcerned with others’ opinions. And Duncan, while he knows who he is, isn’t ready to face the challenges of living out loud. Even as the two grow closer together, Julian begins to question whether he can live with Duncan’s desire for secrecy. And even if he can, does that mean he should?
When the crisis of their romance leads to a shocking betrayal, Julian must decide if he will fix this love or tear it apart.
"So," I say casually, "Have you been down here before?"
"I've never been in there!" He's practically shouting. "I've never been any place like that."
This outburst earns a little frown from me. "So, by 'that' I assume you mean a gay club. But I have to ask, just how can the interior of a homosexual establishment be sleazier than hanging out in the alley behind one?"
He doesn't answer right away, is silent with his jaw clenched long enough for me to brace for a kick in the ribs. But when he speaks, his voice is a defeated whisper.
"I've driven down the street a few times. Once I parked but I couldn't get out of my car."
I nod, give him a little smile, trying to keep it all light and bubbly despite the shock, amusement, desire, and more shock all swirling around in my head. "Well, you made it out tonight, Duncan Fisher, so that's a celebration right there. Shall we go into the Wreck together? Maybe dance a step or two?"
Available from Prizm Books
What inspired Tearing Us Apart?
I had one relationship in my younger days where I was the ‘dirty secret’, and I’ve never forgotten how that felt. I look back at all the compromises and excuses I made in order to give her what she wanted, and it just makes me angry and sad. I don’t want a book to have a ‘lesson’ but I did want to have a character be in that same situation and make better choices than I did.
Is there anything special you’d like us to know about it?
All of the places in this book and in Echo are real places. Even the secret skate park and the haunted block of 26th street! If you go to Oklahoma City, you can see and do all the stuff that these characters do. I’ve changed the name of the high school and the name of the sleazy motel, but that’s about it.
What are your hopes for this title?
I hope that lots of people read it and talk to me about it, and tell me they’re excited to read my next book. It’s a romance between a butch skate dyke and a ballerina, so maybe that will tempt you!
Meet the author:
A reader since the age of two, Amanda Clay realized early on that the best way to get all the stories she wanted was to write some herself. Setting off on this path she took some detours through teacherhood and librarianship before finally settling down with a fabulous kid and a leafy place in which to do serious work. She still reads everything she can get her hands on, and encourages you to do the same.
Where to find the author: