Harmony Ink Press, John Goode

Interview and Giveaway: Going the Distance by John Goode

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TNA: Hi, John, welcome back. It’s great to have you here with us today. Let’s start with a quick introduction, if you will, to tell readers a bit about yourself.

John: I was born a poor, blac…wait that isn’t me. Hold on. (Checks ID) Oh, I am the writer today. Got it. I am John Goode and I write annoying YA books for a living. Kind of. Well, not a living per se, but not a death either. I write stuff and hope people read it. Kinda. Well, most of the time I do, and then there are times I wish no one would read that cause wow, I really am not fond of what I wrote.

TNA: You have a new book just releasing today, Going the Distance, which is set in your Tales from Foster High universe and is the first in a new series. What makes Foster, Texas such a ripe setting for your characters and the stories you want to tell?

John: I think it is the dichotomy of it. We all think of Texas as this closed minded, Republican stronghold of guns, red meat and homophobes, when the truth cannot be farther from that. It is a rich state with a variety of people and at times, a pretty good cross section of what the entire country is going through.

TNA: Kyle and Brad shook up the status quo at Foster High. Now that they’re in college, is this the next generation to take up their fight, or will the Fadeaway series have a different focus?

John: Fadeaway is about Danny Monroe, the basketball player Brad met at A&M and his stuggle to be happy. As the story progresses he realizes he is going to have to choose, being openly gay or playing basketball, and the hard choice he has to make.

TNA: Tell us a bit about Danny Monroe. Do you think gay athletes have it particularly difficult in school, given the expectations and macho stereotypes that have been projected on athletics and male athletes? Where do you see that things may have changed and progressed since your own high school years?

John: Danny is a great kid and one of those rare guys you rarely meet. He is kind, compassionate, insanely talented and has no ego about it, which makes him even cooler. I think sports in general is a hard nut to crack for gay guys because of this preconceived notion that gay men are effeminate and so gay=sports makes no sense to most people. I know I like sports way more than my straight roommate ever has; it isn’t a binary solution. You can like men and be masculine. Hell, you can be a girl and love sports, so I think doing a story of this kind helps kids out there realize that just because they might not have stereotypical gay traits (which are crap, by the way), they are still healthy gay men.

How have things changed since my high school days? Wow, the kids today just don’t care about that stuff anymore. So you’re gay, ok. More and more athletes are coming out and more and more people just don’t care anymore. I think it is an incredible thing to see.

TNA: If you could go back in time to your own high school days, would you? What are some things you’d change/do differently if you could?

John: Not fall in love with so many straight guys.

TNA: You’ve shared on social media that Logan Lerman and Chace Crawford are your Kyle and Brad. Who is your Danny Monroe? Does he have a love interest in the book? If so, who is he and who would play him if you were casting the Going the Distance movie?

John: Danny in my mind is Drew Van Acker with black hair and his love interest Sam looks a lot like Chord Overstreet.

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TNA: The focus of your writing most recently has been in Young Adult fiction. What is it about the YA genre that appeals to you, creatively speaking?

John: Because there is not the pressure to fill 300 pages with 100 pages of sex in it. I have had people read my young adult stuff leave reviews that say, “Great story but not enough sex in it, might not go on.” I mean, did anyone ask J.K. Rowling how big Harry’s wand was? There is this thinking that M/M has to mean sex, and I don’t think it has to. We are gay people and sometimes we want gay fiction, not always gay erotica. Not that there is anything wrong with erotica. Trust me, I love me some erotica. I just don’t think every story has to have a description of sex in it, and that pressure seems to be lessened in YA right now.

TNA: What’s the most memorable interaction you’ve ever had with one of your teenage readers? Is there any one fan letter that really stands out?

John: Oh god, all of them do really. Some kids have such a hard time out there, and they contact me and tell me that Kyle and Brad helped them, and I feel so happy for them. That two guys I made up can help these people I never met feel better about themselves is just about the best feeling I can have.

TNA: Would you care to share what you’re working on next? What WIPs are you working on that we have to look forward to?

John: Well, real life Robbie has just signed a contract for Tales From Foster High: A Way Back to Then, and I just finished the follow up to that which is Tales From Foster High: When I Grow Up. I am working right now on Lords of Arcadia Book Four: Stormfront and then after that it is book two of Fadeaway, which is Danny in college.

TNA: Thanks for being here with us today, John. Will you tell us where we can find you on the internet?

John: Facebook | Twitter: @fosterhigh | Tumblr | Email

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Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Fadeaway: Book One
From the Tales from Foster High Universe

Looking like the perfect all-American boy—tall, handsome, and athletic—makes it easy for Danny Monroe to blend in with the in-crowd of a new high school. It’s a trick he picked up moving with his father from one Marine base to the next. When you aren’t going to be around long, it’s better to give people what they want. And what they want are his quick hands and fast feet on the basketball court.

On court, he can be himself and ignore certain strange developing urges. Everyone knows you can’t like boys and be a jock, but for Danny his growing attraction is becoming overwhelming. At the thought of losing the only thing that matters, Danny starts to panic and realizes he has a choice to make: happiness or basketball.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

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THE GIVEAWAY: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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11 thoughts on “Interview and Giveaway: Going the Distance by John Goode

  1. Barbra says:

    Truth be told, I’ve never read YA (maybe back when the kids were in school I did because I usually read their Scholastic books) but after reading this blog I think I will. I like a good sex scene here and there, but I’d rather read about the emotions and skip the, sometimes, neverending sex scenes. There are times when I just fast forward through the sex scenes to get back to the story.

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  2. Tammy says:

    I haven’t read a lot of YA – a few Madison Parker books that were classified as young adult. I’ve always been a little bit wary of reading about high school kids under 18. The thought of reading about underage sex made me feel a little uncomfortable. I like knowing that sex is not a big part of this series. I didn’t read the Foster High books but have read some of the reviews. It sounds like a wonderful series. The Fadeaway series sounds great too. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. Trix says:

    I think there’s something about YA that brings out visceral emotional memories in all of us, and the growing-up process always strikes a chord! I do like the Madison Parker books, and Michael Barakiva’s ONE MAN GUY was a great one this year.

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  4. jenf27 says:

    I like reading YA because it makes me feel young at heart and also helps prepare for when my kids will be teenagers. They are 7 and 10 now. Two of my favorite YA books are Social Skills and Silent by Sara Alva. Thanks for the interview, pix and contest!

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  5. Carolyn says:

    First, happy release day, John! I’m looking forward to reading Going the Distance. Giveaway win or not, I’m not missing out! :-D

    Second to the question of YA, I’ve read it since I was a ya, and I don’t anticipate that ever ending. I read because I love stories – well-written stories, of course! I don’t care what the age is of the main characters. The thing I love is people discovering themselves, learning and growing, which definitely happens in books about adults, but in YA, all of that is really concentrated, and with a wonderful writer (like John – love the Foster High books!), you get amazing (and addictive) stories.

    Lastly, favorite YA. As Jen said, Sara Alva’s books have to be on my favorites list. I love JR Lenk’s Collide so much. Matthew J. Metzger’s Vivaldi in the Dark is just wonderful and a great start to a whole series that moves from high school to adulthood. JH Trumble’s Don’t Let Me Go is a favorite, although all of hers are so good. Mia Kerick’s Us Three and Madison Parker’s Play Me, I’m Yours are on the list for sure. I’ve also enjoyed Robin Reardon’s YA, but especially A Secret Edge (hey, it’s a sports one – track). No YA favorites list is complete (or at least mine isn’t) without mentioning two books that just blew me away, Bill Konigsberg’s Openly Straight and Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Wow, writing out that list is making me wanted to reread each and every one of those right now. So much awesome reading!

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  6. I like reading YA novels to read and feel the emotional journey that these books will take. I also like to compare my own younger years to those of the characters in the book.

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  7. anon252 says:

    You know, honestly I hadn’t read all that much at all, let alone YA novels, until this year. It just started with reading the first book I ever had that was about a gay character, I wound up reading Brent Hartinger’s Geography Club/Russell Middlebrook series and Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys trilogy. In fact this year’s kind of been the first for me with a lot of gay media, a few months before reading those I watched a gay film for the first time, Freier Fall. Anyway, after reading those I just started consuming a lot more books, at least 99% of them involving a gay or bisexual character, most of them as protagonists. I really kind of wish I’d started reading them sooner, while I know a lot of what I’ve read has only come out recently at least a few of them have been out for awhile now, like Geography Club has been out for a decade, and I dunno they might have helped make me feel better or more comfortable or something. I think I like reading about them deal with their coming of age, coming out process. Or maybe I just like reading books about gay kids because it makes me feel represented, even if only a handful of those that I’ve read star not just gay but also poc characters.

    I do like that since they’re YA novels I don’t have to deal with all the erotica, not that it’s bad and I’ll read some lol, like John said, but I think I’m more in it for the emotional connections than the sex.

    As for my favorite YA novels, I think my favorites are “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” and “Last Night I Sang to the Monster” by Benjamin Alire Saenz; “Fearless”, “Exiled to Iowa. Send Help. And Couture.”, and “Hybrids: Arrival”, all by Chris O’Guinn ; Jay Bell’s “Something Like…” series, and of course John Goode’s “Tales from Foster High” and “Lords of Arcadia” series. Okay there are a bunch more I really love and would like to list too, but it can be difficult narrowing it down and the list would grow too much, so these will have to do.

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  8. Congratulations to you, Carolyn, you were just selected as John Goode’s t-shirt and e-book giveaway winner! I’ve contacted both John and Dreamspinner Press, so be watching your inbox for the delivery of your goodies. :)

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