True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jeff Erno: Introduction and Giveaway

Madison Parker
In fairy tales and classic romances, the damsel in distress is always saved by a dashing hero who rescues her and sweeps her away to live happily ever after. From Cinderella to Pretty Woman, we see the same story told over and over again. Those of us who appreciate romance never tire of the predictable, though unrealistic, outcome.

When I was young, I imagined myself as the damsel, and I fantasized about meeting my Prince Charming. Although I loved to read, there were few books that depicted same-sex romances. A story of a boy falling in love with another boy was a rare find.

Young adult literature is more popular today than ever before, and its appeal is not limited to teenagers. Readers of all ages appreciate young adult stories of all genres, and LGBTQ fiction is no exception. This is a new era, and today's generation of young readers have options I never enjoyed.

In spite of the fact that YA literature is featured prominently in bookstores and on websites, there are not many resources available for readers who are looking exclusively for LGBT titles. The few sites in existence today are static sites which grow quickly outdated.

A couple months ago, I began talking with other YA authors about the possibility of launching a website that would feature only LGBT young adult titles. This initial vision evolved into a project in which we compiled over 400 titles. Dozens of authors and several publishers are represented in our list, and it is still growing.

At this stage, we're ready to launch the site. My co-creators in this endeavor are Madison Parker and Jackie Nacht, both YA authors. I'm so proud of the work they've done in putting together this amazing site. Although I had the original vision, most of what you see on these pages was created by these two brilliant volunteers.

Our hopes for this site include providing an ever-evolving resource for LGBT YA literature where new releases are featured prominently and where authors can reach out to their readers through interviews, giveaways, and biographies. We have dedicated a section of our web space to focus specifically upon the issue of anti-gay bullying, a topic of which I'm very passionate.

I'd like to offer readers a chance to win a couple of my titles. In honor of our launch, I'm offering two titles. Last month, Harmony Ink Press re-released my anthology of fictional stories about bullied teens titled Bullied. This same publisher is releasing my new book You Belong With Me in February. I'd like to offer one copy of each title (the new release may not be available until around the first of February but the winner will be provided with an advanced copy as soon as it is ready). Please leave a comment and your email address below to enter the drawing. Winners will be announced January 8th!

Thanks so much for visiting the site, and I hope you enjoy what you see!

Jeff's Website: http://jefferno.com


BulliedBullied
Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent. Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.

You Belong With MeYou Belong With Me
Wesley Harris is sixteen and openly gay, at least to his family and friends. Often bullied at school, he's shy and reserved. Wesley has a penchant for designing T-shirts, and he's a gifted artist. When Brad Johnson, one of the school's most admired jocks, moves in next door, the two boys begin to develop a friendship. It begins when they see each other through their bedroom windows and start exchanging notes. Brad has a notebook upon which he writes messages that he holds up for Wesley to read. Wesley returns the gesture. This unique manner of communication leads them into a genuine friendship in which Brad confides in Wesley the issues with which he's struggling. His parents are divorcing, his girlfriend is cheating on him, and his father is critical of everything he does. Most significantly, Brad confesses to Wesley that he thinks he might be bisexual.

37 comments:

  1. I love YA fiction! Thank you!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

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  2. There is so many great authors out there for Young Adult now, much better than when I was a teen. The best books coming out now are very intelligent, addressing real issues as well as having the fairy tale stories as well, which I think is fantastic!
    Very glad to see this site and I'm definitely looking forward to Jeff's new book, more from Madison other than her Christmas short story and have one of Jackie's on my to read and I'm sure my TBR list will only get longer the more I visit the site!!!
    Good luck with the site!

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    1. Thanks, Diane! My wish list had grown tremendously after sifting through our catalog!

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    2. Diane,
      I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks for visiting our site and I hope you find all you're looking for.
      jeff

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  3. Am having trouble posting comment, but the short story is love your work
    batchelorboy55 at gmail dot com

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  4. Now that I've got the post working, wanted to comment that I have enjoyed Bullied, We danced and the early Puppy & Dumb Jock stories so looking forward to the new title from Harmony Ink.
    Am planning on checking my own LGBTI YA titles against your reading list so expect a comment if you are missing any (particularly OZ & UK titles)

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    Replies
    1. Please send us any titles we're missing! We'd love to include them in our reading list. :-)

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    2. Batcherlorboy,
      Thanks so much for supporting my books. I really appreciate that you took the time to look over our website and I hope you are able to find a lot of titles that interest you.
      Jeff

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  5. Well done with the new site, there is definitely a need for it. All your hard work will be appreciated by many.

    hbeattie at bigpond.com.au

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helen. And thanks for stopping by.

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  6. LanceGrail at gmail com loves the new site and your participation, Jeff. Thank you. LG.

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    1. Thank you so much Lance. Good luck in the giveaway contest, and I'm glad you like our new website.
      jeff

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  7. What a great site, resources for youngsters are important.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenny. We appreciate you stopping by.

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  8. I'm so excited for this new website! I'm fairly new to reading books that are of the LGBT kind, but I soon feel in love with them. Now, I get the opportunity to read different authors and their books. Thank you! raymundobautista92@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Ray, I hope you'll feel that you've come to the right place! Thanks so much for checking out our website.

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  9. Found the website through Jay Bell, what a great effort to fill out the YA genre. skibre@gmail.com

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    1. I'm a huge fan of Jay's work! So glad you found us! Stay tuned for an interview and feature article with Jay in the coming weeks. :-)

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  10. Jeff, Jackie, and Madison, this is a beautiful and much-needed website. (You don't have to enter me in your giveaway; I just wanted to congratulate you on what a fine job you've done. :))

    I hope True Colorz grows and grows. I'm going to post links on my blog and author site. Happy New Year, guys!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, KZ! We're big fans of yours! And thanks for helping us to spread word about the site.

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    2. KZ
      You are one of my favorite authors. I'm honored that you stopped by. Please keep us apprised of your young adult releases. I absolutely loved Zero Knot!

      Currently I'm reading Xylophone. Love it.

      thanks again
      jeff

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  11. Thanks so much for this post! I love to read books with younger characters and really look forward to exploring your YA lists. congrats on the site and all your hard work!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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  12. Hi Jeff and Madison! What a great idea for a website. Can't wait to see what you have planned for it :)

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. That's a wonderful idea for a website! Looking forward to it!

    kjbirch89@gmail.com

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  14. Really like the new site...
    Please count me in. :)

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless@yahoo(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Judi,
      Thank you for stopping by! Glad you like what you see.

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  15. I have been trying to become more aware of good-quality YA LGBT literature since I teach. When kids come out to me, it is hard to know what to recommend to them if I haven't read anything but erotic romance! It's good to know there are those of you out there that help support the younger readers.

    Ann
    Kyreadinggirl@yahoo.com

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    1. Ann
      I love hearing from teachers! Thanks so very much for visiting our site, and I hope you find some books that will be a good fit for your students.
      jeff

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  16. I'd be really interested to read either/both of those books. If you create the listing on Goodreads for You Belong with Me, I'll make sure to add it to my to-read list, where Bullied already is! I'm also going to suggest to the library system where I work that we purchase copies of both.

    Was YBwM by chance inspired a bit by the Yellowjackets YouTube video performance of the eponymous song?

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    1. Sorry, I had thought my e-mail address would be included through my Google sign-in. Anyway, it's KLowe[at]ColumbusLibrary[dot]org.

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    2. Kim,
      Thanks for visiting our site. My publisher, Harmony Ink, will create a Goodreads entry for You Belong With Me about three or four weeks prior to the release date. The story was indeed inspired by the YouTube video that you mentioned. There are a few notable differences between my story and the video, though. In the video, the main characters are wearing matching friendship bracelets, and there is no mention of these in my story. The song has a line that states "driving to my house in the middle of the night" which does not seem to fit within my story. And most notably, the video ends at the high school dance, but in my story there is quite a bit that occurs afterward. I hope that you enjoy it, and thanks again for the support.

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  17. The new site looks amazing. You all did a great job with it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Will! We're super excited about the author interviews we have in store for you guys over the next few weeks!

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  18. Thanks, everyone, for commenting. The winners of the giveaway contest are:
    raymundobautista92
    kyreadinggirl

    Congratulations!

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