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, September 8, 2013

Featured Author: Cody Kennedy

Cody Kennedy
Cody Kennedy Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Connect with Cody Kennedy on Twitter @CodyKAuthor or visit Cody's website:

Q&A with Author Cody Kennedy:

What part of the story was the most fun to write? The most challenging?

There were two fun parts to write in Omorphi and both center around Christy misunderstanding American colloquialisms because he is Greek. In the first instance, Christy, Michael, and Michael’s best friend, Jake, are having dinner at a diner and Christy asks what a twink is. Understanding that Jake is straight, Michael and Jake go through a series of hilarious exchanges in explaining the etymology of twink.

In the second instance, Jake’s parents take Christy, Michael, Jake, and Christy’s cousin, Sophia, out to dinner. Sophia’s restaurant of choice is a gay club. Jake’s father is mortified that he’s dining at a gay club with a flirtatious waiter who won’t leave him alone, and Christy is fascinated, never having imagined such a place. When Christy notices the dance cages suspended high above, he asks if they have animals there. Michael tells him they have bears, they’re extremely dangerous, and Christy should never, ever try to pet one. 

The hardest part of the story to write was Michael’s reaction to seeing Christy’s paintings. Christy is an incredible artist and part of his therapy is to write or paint about what has happened to him. Though Michael knows Christy is a survivor of abuse, the magnitude of what Christy endured doesn’t hit him until he sees Christy’s graphic art. It upsets him, he tries to stifle his revulsion, horror, and grief for Christy, but is overwhelmed. He’s a track and field athlete so he goes for a run to try to dispel the unbidden emotions. The run only serves to heighten his emotions and he collapses in the center of the field and rails at the heavens. He can’t comprehend how, among other things, someone could deny a child the inalienable rights to safety, security, to grow and learn, and to be loved.

What does your main character like to read?

Christy is a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and believes that Poe’s macabre stories and poems describe his life. He is also a fan of Harry Clarke’s illustrations for Poe and has recreated a number of them in his paintings. In each one, he has replaced the victim’s face with his own and in one painting he has gone so far as to paint the following stanza from The Pit and the Pendulum into it: “I shrank back but the closing walls pressed me resistlessly onward. At length for my seared and writhing body there was no longer an inch of foothold on the firm floor of the prison. I struggled no more, but the agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long, and final scream of despair.”.

Do you have a nervous habit when writing? A guilty pleasure when writing

I talk to myself, and to my characters, and to my story in general, which is ironic because I stutter and can hardly speak. When I write dialogue, I mouth what I’m writing and sometimes spout something like “Christy would never say that. Erase that [stuff] and start over. Have you bothered to get to know your characters, Cody?” Or I’ll write a particular action and decide that it’s all kinds of wrong. Next thing you know, I’m asking Michael “That’s wrong. What are you doing?” Or I’ll write a scene about a bad guy and end it with “You are so freakin’ mean! I hate you!” Then nod to self. “Job well done.”

Is there one genre of YA that you would love to write but haven’t? (example: paranormal, contemporary, fantasy)

Who doesn’t want to a write a paranormal story? Yes, I have one in mind. Shocking, I know. I would also like to pen a historical novel. I have outlined a story about the young children and teens who worked tirelessly to restore art and books after the museums and libraries in Florence, Italy were flooded during the Arno River flood in 1966.

What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

Hope, courage, and the will to live and love. You are not alone. You are not invisible. You are essential, you are rare, you are precious. Never be afraid to love. Love is that indescribable link that inspires the heart and mind to grow wings. No matter your appearance, personality, or circumstances, there is someone out there especially for you. Somewhere, someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer. Anything is possible. Sometimes “anything” is a little freaky, but when you dare to allow yourself to believe that anything is possible, then it absolutely is. Dare to imagine, dare to believe.

Now Available from Harmony Ink Press:

Omorphi Όμορφη Όμορφη. Ómorphi. Greek. Meaning pretty Pretty. adj. /pritē/ Pleasing by delicacy or grace High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy's boyfriend would entail. Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy's combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.


  1. Great post, Cody! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for sharing Omorphi with us!

  2. That last paragraph, "hope, courage, and the will..." that should be made into a poster and anyone who needs a boost should have it on his/her living room wall. Profound, and oh so important.
    Thank you True Colorz for having Cody today, and thank you Cody for sharing so much of yourself.

  3. LOL, I love your author blurb! Thanks for sharing, you sound like me and my friends, would love to meet you one day. Can't wait to read Omorphi!


  4. I love the line you wrote about hope, courage and the will to live and love. It so matches everything I think I have read about the story.