Today we’re pleased to welcome Jeff Adams back to chat with you about his new audiobook Flipping for Him, narrated by the super talented Jason Frazier.
Enjoy Jeff’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy or audio-copy of the book, winner’s choice.
A Different Kind of Coming Out
First off, thanks, Lisa, for allowing me stop by to chat today!
With the first book in my Hat Trick series, part of the story was a coming out. The main character, Simon, had to come out to his family and friends just as he was starting up his first relationship with a guy. In my young adult novella Flipping for Him, I wanted to go with a different sort of “coming out” story.
In this case sixteen-year-olds Shin and Kevin are both out to their friends and family. They’ve both had boyfriends, with some of those relationships ending good and some ending badly. The coming out in this story revolves around Shin’s revelation to his parents that he’s dating a white guy.
The product of an arranged marriage, Shin’s parents expected him to only date Japanese boys. Initially they thought he was, too, because of his first two boyfriends. Although, as is revealed, one of his boyfriends was Asian but not Japanese.
The multicultural aspect of the story actually came up because of The Big Bang Theory. There’s a set of episodes where Leonard is dating Raj’s sister, Priya. A sticking point for them was that Priya wouldn’t tell her parents they were a couple because they wanted her to date an Indian guy.
I decided on a Japanese guy for this story because I wanted to inject parkour/Ninja Warrior into the plot. Kevin is into the guys he’s seen on Ninja Warrior (the original Japanese version). So when Kevin discovers Shin in Central Park, Kevin quickly develops a crush.
As a writer, the multicultural aspect of the story was interesting to explore, and to decide how the parents could be okay with their son being gay, but still hold on tight to other traditions.
Going down this road, allowed me to put someone else in the story to mix things up for the couple. I’m not going to spoil that for you. You’ll have to pick up the book to see how it works out.
Flipping for Him is also my first book to get the audiobook treatment. While the ebook and paperback came out earlier this year, the audio version arrived at the end of July. I love Jason Frazier’s performance, especially Kevin and Shin. He gives such a sweet performance as these two sort out their feelings for each other amid the chaos going on around them.
If you’ve got any questions or comments about Flipping for Him or my other books (or just want to say hello), please do leave a comment. I’ll stop back by periodically and answer anything that may come up.
Kevin McCollum is a high school junior with the usual things on his mind: getting good grades, having fun, and finding a boyfriend. The last one was eluding him until he noticed the “parkour guy”. After several days of Kevin pretending to study while watching the attractive teen jump on rocks, run up trees, and do flips, Shin finally comes over to introduce himself. As they start dating, Kevin should’ve known it wouldn’t be that easy.
Shin’s parents only want their son to date Japanese boys. When cultures clash and pressures mount, Kevin has no idea how to subvert traditions and Shin’s parents to keep the boy he cares about.
Kevin will need to clear some tricky obstacles to make his modern love story a reality.
Excerpt: Kevin arrived promptly at Shin’s brownstone. He’d been here a few days earlier to borrow some parkour DVDs, but Shin’s parents had been at work so he didn’t meet them. Kevin buzzed apartment three and checked his reflection in the glass door to make sure it was just right before anyone checked the camera to let him in.
The screen under the camera flickered to life. Shin’s sexy face filled the monitor.
“Kevin!” Shin shouted loud enough that most of the people on the sidewalk must’ve heard it. “Right on time, of course. Come on up.”
Shin’s face disappeared and a buzz sounded releasing the door. Kevin took a deep breath, went in, and bounded up the stairs.
Shin was waiting for him at the door and as soon as he was inside gave him a big hug.
“Good to see you,” Shin said, walking him towards the living room. “Aren’t you a tiny bit over dressed for where we’re going?”
Shin wore jeans and a black t-shirt that looked like it’d been splattered with red paint. Kevin, also in jeans, wore a more conservative dark green Polo shirt.
“Dude, I couldn’t wear this to meet your parents.” Kevin lifted up the Polo revealing a well-worn Idoltones t-shirt and a black studded belt. “Don’t worry, I’ll look right for the show.”
“You didn’t have to dress for them. Geez. They know we’re going to the concert.”
“Come on, you know me well enough that I’m going to dress up to meet your parents.”
“Just sayin’, I met your mom in a sweaty t-shirt and shorts.” Shin saw the look on Kevin’s face and knew he’d never win. He smiled, letting it go. “Right, right. It’s all part of what I’ve come to love about you,” Shin said as they entered the living room.
The room was comfortable, striking the right balance between formal and casual. Kevin found it tastefully decorated, the furnishings and artwork minimalist in nature. Shin’s parents were on a simple tan couch, facing away from the door. They stopped talking and stood as the boys entered.
“Mom, dad, this is Kevin.”
Their smiles faltered as they caught their first look at the couple. Kevin’s stomach immediately did a somersault. Something was definitely wrong. He worried he might have something to do with it.
“Kevin, this is my mom and dad.” Shin seemed oblivious to his parents’ reaction.
Kevin’s good manners kicked in and he went for it.
“Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka, it’s great to meet you both.”
He extended a hand to Shin’s dad. It was a quick, brusk two shakes and Mr. Tanaka released it. It felt like a brush off, but Kevin wasn’t sure. Maybe that was just how Shin’s dad shook hands. He extended his hand to Mrs. Tanaka who gave a brief, dainty shake.
“Nice to meet you Kevin,” she said, sounding strained.
“I need to make a call,” Mr. Tanaka said suddenly. “You’ll excuse me, please.”
“Of course,” Kevin said. He was really starting to freak out and was doing everything he could to stay calm.
“Dad?” Shin called out as his dad left the room. There was disappointment in his voice. He was clued in that something was amiss.
About the Author: Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several more shorts and novels, including some in the young adult genre, and he plans to keep writing as long as wonderful readers keeping picking up his books.
Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.
For more about Jeff, and to see his complete book list, visit jeffadamswrites.com.