I am excited to be a part of the Virtual Book Tour for The Beginning of Us. After reading and reviewing this lovely book I was contacted and offered a spot on the tour and a chance to interview the author. This wonderful opportunity has yielded a great interview that will give you an inside look at both this amazing book and the talented author behind it. Thank you Riptide Publishing and Netgalley for providing both the interview and a way for readers/reviewers like me to the opportunity read a variety of talented authors.
Sarah Brook's Interview
Hello! This is Sarah Brooks, author of The Beginning of Us. Thank you for joining me on my blog tour this week!
Every comment you make on this blog tour enters you in a DRAWING for a $25 Amazon gift card! Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on February 2nd, and the winner will be announced on February 3rd. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
1. How do you feel about the (type of) LGBT literature/books that are circulating today?
I think writers are producing an exciting variety of LGBT books, and I think those books often do more to challenge traditional lives/choices than any other genre. The YA LGBT books are most exciting, since they use the coming-of-age narrative to ask serious questions about gender identity and societal expectations. Literary LGBT books remain known only in certain circles (I'm thinking of Jeanette Winterson's books, Rebecca Brown's), but I wonder if that will start changing.
2. What inspired you to write The Beginning of Us?
Honestly, I wanted to explore how my life would have changed if I'd met my partner when I was in college, instead of when I was 28. I lived the expected life until then -- I was already married to a man -- so the discovery that I was lesbian was complicated. I wanted to know what it would have been like to reach that awareness in college, instead.
3. What kind of publishing journey did you have for this novel?
I'd written the beginning of The Beginning of Us when I saw a call-for-submissions for "College Discovery" stories on the Riptide Publishing website. I knew my story fit that prompt, so I finished it and sent it in. I didn't expect anything; although I'd been published in magazines and journals, I'd never actually risked sending a novel manuscript to a publisher. It was an amazing surprise to hear Riptide wanted to publish it.
4. What scene from the book touched you most?
I love the scene when Tara and Eliza hike in the Iowa woods together. It's the first time they've spent any time with each other, and -- although the attraction between them is building -- they don't quite know what it is yet. It's a time of innocence and beauty. They think they're just in love with the day, with the green of the trees, with the waterfall -- but they're actually in love with each other already.
5. What would you like to say to your readers and potential readers of this book?
I think we need more and more LGBT stories out in the world. The more we can write and read and recommend, the more LGBT people will hear that they are not alone.
Go to http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-beginning-of-us to read Tara and Eliza’s story.
About The Beginning of Us:
I don’t know what else to do but write. It’s dark in my dorm room, and the wind rattles the panes of my window, and I’m supposed to be driving to my parents’ right now for winter break, but I can’t feel my arms or my legs, and my chest aches because I don’t know where you’ve gone. Or why.
I know I shouldn't have fallen in love with my professor. But you inspired me when you stood in front of the class, telling us to find our authentic selves. And I did—with you. How could I know that you would be so afraid of this, of us? That you'd be so terrified of . . . yourself? Wherever you are, Eliza, hear me—and come back to me.
Love (yes, I'll write that word, Professor), Your Tara
About the Author:
Sarah Brooks was born and raised on a farm in Iowa, traveled through Europe and Central America, and lived in Alaska for a decade before she moved to Colorado to live near her family. When she's not writing late at night, she raises her beautiful, sassy six-year-old daughter Mitike; teaches middle schoolers how to love writing and reading; and hikes in the mountains.
Sarah holds English and religion majors from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa; an MAT from the University of Alaska Southeast; and (nearly -- in one more semester) an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University in Boulder.
Published mostly as an essayist (in Sinister Wisdom, Room, The English Journal, and Iris Brown, among other places), Sarah writes the lesbian fiction she wishes she could read.
Connect with Sarah:
Do you have Goals?
You can my December post if you want to know my current status. I haven't moved since because I'm busy with my upcoming cover reveal and book release. I will say that I have named the upcoming blog for the AYA genre AYA Forever and plan to launch next month with a few surprises. Stay tuned.
So that's all for today, I will have a book review on Saturday, Remember to let me know your thoughts on Sarah's interview in your comments.