September is National M/M Month! In honour of this special occasion, I have AJ Truman here for a special guest interview! Check it out!
A.J. Truman writes college-set M/M romance, or gay new adult. Whatever you call it, he loves looking back on those awkward, exciting, emotional collegiate years. His debut novel OUT IN THE OPEN is about a shy, awkward guy who begins an enemies-with-benefits relationship with the cocky fratboy who sits next to him in class. They begin fooling around in public, and soon their sexual relationship turns romantic. Filled with humor, heart, and hot guys, OUT IN THE OPEN will make you long for the life of dorms and frats and college tailgates. The book comes out September 30th. For more information, go to his website ajtruman.blogspot.com.
Describe OUT IN THE OPEN in 5 words.
Guys hook up in public.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved to write. As a kid, I’d try to write skits to act out. I’d been interested in writing M/M college-set romances, but for a long time, publishers wouldn’t accept those manuscripts. The setting was too young for adult readers and too mature for teen readers. Then I read Social Skills by Sara Alva and was like “This is what I want to write!” I decided to give the indie route a shot, and I’ve never looked back.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I’m definitely most like Ethan. I was (or still am, depending on who you talk to) quiet and awkward and very unsure of myself in college. Some of what he experiences happened to me. I latched onto a group of friends that weren’t the right fit for me, and for a while, I was too scared to branch off on my own. I didn’t want to be deemed that loner kid. I met my best friend because she was roommates with someone in that group. I got drunk off one and a half beers my first week of college and made an ass of myself in the dorm.
If OUT IN THE OPEN had a theme song, what would it be?
“Dirty Little Secret” by All-American Rejects
Why did you choose to set your book in college?
College is such fertile ground for storytelling, especially stories about gay men. That’s when a lot of us (like me) come out of the closet, have our first gay experiences, and meet other gay men. I had never met another gay person until I went to college. Those four years are such an emotional roller coaster because it’s when you’re finding yourself and trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be. Plus, people come to college with rich backstories that they’re trying to work past. For a lot of us, high school was hell, and college was a fresh start.