Pride 2023 continues as Jeff & Will welcome author Lisa Bunker in this conversation that was recorded live at Capital Books in Sacramento. Lisa discusses her new middle grade book Joy, to the World, which she co-wrote with teen activist Kai Shappley. The book tells the story of a 12 year old girl who is banned from her school’s cheer squad because she’s trans. Lisa shares what led to her collaboration with Kai, what she hopes readers get from this story, she also reads an excerpt. Lisa talks about what allies can do to support the trans community, and we also hear about two more books coming from Lisa this year.
Jeff & Will kick off Pride 2023 with authors Byron Lane and Steven Rowley. Byron’s Big Gay Wedding looks at a wedding in a small Southern town. Steven’s The Celebrants features a group of college friends who reunite every few years and now have to face a secret one of them is harboring. In addition to the books, Byron and Steven talk about being a creative couple, and what it’s like to release books at the same time. They also have book recommendations, and share what Pride means to them.
Episode 423 – Fights, Rewrites and Spreadsheets: Creating a YA Fantasy with Anna-Marie & Elliott McLemore
Jeff & Will welcome married couple and collaborators Anna-Marie and Elliott McLemore for a conversation that was recorded live at Sacramento’s Capital Books for the launch of the YA fantasy Venom & Vow. They discuss how the book went from something Anna-Marie was working on solo to a co-writing project, and they share great stories about all aspects of their creative process. We also get to hear their first ever joint reading, and Jeff slips in a question about Anna-Marie’s Great Gatsby remix from last year, Self-Made Boys.
Jeff & Will welcome debut author Ari Baran to talk about their enemies-to-lovers, age gap, hockey romance Game Misconduct. Ari discusses how the story evolved as they worked on it, why they created a co-ed pro hockey league, and the story they wanted to tell with the characters of Mike and Danny. Ari shares their deep love of hockey, and how that has lead them to take such a deep dive on learning about the sport. Ari also has some book recs, and a few details about their next book.
Jeff & Will offer up a ton of recommendations in this episode. They kick off talking about Pretty Woman: The Musical, Eurovision 2023, the documentary Judy Blume Forever, The Great American Baking Show, and Netflix’s Bridgerton spin-off Queen Charlotte.
Then it’s on to books as they review Afterglow by Phil Stamper, Always the Almost by Edward Underhill, Tears of the Golden Tiger by Robin Knight, In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune, A Fashionable Deception by Sera Taíno, The Best Man’s Problem by Sera Taíno, The New Guy by Sarina Bowen, Never Have I Ever Gone Skinny Dipping by Riley Hart, Pick One by May Archer, and The Tinker’s Apprentice by Jordan Castillo Price.
Jeff & Will announce the Super Summer Bonus Episodes event, which will feature weekly premieres through the end of June. Jeff also shares details on two upcoming author events that will be recorded for future shows.
The guys welcome the creator of the Heartstopper universe Alice Oseman to discuss the U.S. release of the novel Solitaire. Alice talks about Tori’s story in Solitaire and how that led to Charlie and Nick taking the lead in the graphic novel series. In addition, she also teases a few details about Heartstopper Volume 5 and season 2 of the Netflix series. At the end of the episode, we also have an audiobook excerpt from Solitaire, narrated by Jenny Walser who plays Tori on the TV series.