Eli Summers, author of The Winter Experience, stopped by for an interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I've always loved reading, my first ever book I read was called "The Beasties" by William Sleator, that really started my love of reading. What prompted me to start actually writing stories was when I read a book by David Levithan called "Boy meets Boy" which centred around a gay male character. Struggling with my own sexuality, it was an outlet to let myself be free. Eventually, when I came out, it just became natural to write about being gay and having gay characters.
What do you do when you're not writing?
On my downtime, which I don't have very much of; I find myself watching Netflix or sleeping. Exciting life, I know. Work takes over most of my time but I do like to go out with friends for a few drinks, go to a movie or just spend some time playing video games. I live a pretty calm life.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was thirteen, making poems for school or just for fun. I started writing actual stories when I was sixteen. Short stories about romance and finding love or being accepted. As time progressed, I started getting ideas for all different types of stories. I finished my first novel in 2010 called "Abaddon: The Chosen Five". Overall, I've probably written about 300 poems, 150 short stories and about 7 novels.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
"Boy meets Boy" by David Levithan was honestly the first book that really touched on topics that dealt with what was happening in my life. At the time, I was started to question my sexuality and my life and realized I may not be like all the other boys in my school. It really opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and one day, I hope in my lifetime, the story found in that book will be what real life is like. Where you can be gay and not judged or the Star Quarterback can not only be a boy, but be a drag queen as well.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I've always wanted to find that "perfect one". I've been having a lot of trouble, so I wrote out a story about what I wanted love to be like. Mattie is in most parts exactly who I am and Morgan, he's the perfect boy for me.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favourite part to write had to be the scene after the first time Mattie and Morgan made love. It's such a sweet scene with such a romantic overtone I just loved writing it. Somehow, and I don't really know how, I made waking up in a car a romantic scene.
What is best writing advice you can give?
As Dory would say, "Just keep swimming". You just need to do what you love, don't worry about profit margins or sales or what people want to read. Write for yourself and eventually, people will see the passion you have and come to you.
Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?
It's fluffy with lots of romance and cute love. I want people to see that the love a man shares with another man can be just as adorable, romantic and normal as that a man shares with a woman.
About the book:
In this heartfelt romance, Mattie Hawkins, a coy, quiet fifteen-year-old, leaves his old homophobic classmates behind when he moves to the town of Saskatoon. Mattie is late for his first day at his intimidatingly large new school, but he isn’t the only one. When Mattie and seventeen-year-old Morgan Winters both reach for the door, their hands touch and electricity erupts through their bodies, and both boys know they have found the one. Mattie is coy, quiet, and easily flustered when he sets his eyes on the cool and collected Morgan. From his constant bedhead hair and carefree laugh to the way he always had a camera attached to his shoulders, Mattie was drawn to the crazy carefree charming and lovable mess that was Morgan Winters.
These two boys navigate friendship, acceptance, growth and love with their two best friends: Jenny, the lovable spitfire, and Julian, the teddy bear jock. Along the way, Mattie and Morgan discover a love so strong, so deeply intertwined in each other’s hearts that nothing can come between them, or can it? A faraway college looms over their heads and an unforeseeable circumstance threatens to break their seemingly impossible bond. Join these two on their journey to see if Mattie and Morgan’s love will prove strong enough to beat the odds or if the love they’re building will come crashing down around them. [Book #1 of the Seasons Experience Collection]
About the author: