Today, we welcome guest blogger Eli Easton, talking about the inspiration for her new YA novella, Superhero!
“Superhero” is my new YA novella from Harmony Ink. It’s a story about two best friends, Jordan and Owen, growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, and the way their relationship changes as each character comes to terms with his sexual orientation. Jordan realizes in sixth grade that he’s gay. For Owen, it’s a much longer and more difficult road to find his own truth, one that strongly tests the nature of he and Jordy’s friendship. “Superhero” is primarily a m/m romance with lots of heart, a little angst, and some sexual tension!
So where did the idea for the book come from? There were a few inspirations. I began the story as an entry for a sports-themed anthology (Owen is a high school star wrestler). But it soon became clear to me that I was going to go WAY over the word count limit so I decided to write it as a stand-alone novella instead.
The inspiration for the high school setting for this love story was Fer and David, characters on a Spanish TV show who play two high school boys who fall in love. The show is called Física o Química (English: Physics or Chemistry). I discovered the show while browsing around youtube and trolled the web until I found videos with English subtitles.
Fer (in back) and David, played by Javier Calvo and Adrian Rodriguez
What I particularly like about Fer and David is the fact that the show is a soap opera about a high school, and Fer and David are just one plotline among many and are treated much like any other romance. They have a loving and public relationship, including PDA in the halls, and neither the teachers nor the others students have a problem with it. That was very refreshing to me.
Fer was an inspiration for Jordan. He was the model for what Jordan looks like (a tall and very lean cute brunette) and for Jordan’s self-confident attitude. Like Fer, Jordan is completely comfortable being gay and he’s really very emotionally mature.
Of course, I don’t live in Spain. I grew up in Ohio so I set my YA story in the American Midwest where things are not quite so progressive. Being gay is definitely not widely accepted at Jordan and Owen’s school and so that figured into the plotline of “Superhero” in a big way. And Jordan, unlike Fer, is a very talented artist who is obsessed with comic books and in love with his best friend. Owen is not really anything like David in the show. He’s an athlete, a wrestler from a family of wrestlers, who ends up being good enough to be ranked number one in the state. At his core Owen is a big-hearted, very responsible guy. But the really important thing about these two is not so much who they are as individuals, but the beauty and strength of their friendship. They’ve been best friends since second grade and nothing can come between them.
As a writer, I love it when I find something that excites me and makes me feel intensely. I want to channel those emotions and direct them into my work. Because if I can feel passionately about something, I know my audience can too. So whether the inspiration is a friend, a beautiful painting, a song, a movie, a biography, or a TV show, I’m happy to let that emotion churn up inside me and get poured into a new work that will then, perhaps, inspire others.
If you want to check out Fer and David’s story, here’s a link to videos with English subtitles:
And here’s a lovely screen grab of Fer and David from a FoQ fan on tumblr:
Read an excerpt from “Superhero” here: http://elieaston.com/books-by-eli-easton/superhero/
Eli Easton is a new nom de plume for an author who has primarily published mystery thrillers in the past. As an addict of m/m romance novels, she decided to tip her size-nine toe in the water and write in the genre herself. “Superhero” is her first YA novella. She has various other m/m titles out or soon releasing from Dreamspinner Press. She lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows, and six chickens. You can get news about her books at the links below:
Eli on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7020231.Eli_Easton
Eli’s blog: www. elieaston.com
Eli’s Tumblr: http://elieaston.tumblr.com/
Eli’s Twitter: EliEaston
Buy at Dreamspinner here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4081
Eli Easton’s website: www.elieaston.com
Check out True Colorz for an interview with Eli and a chance to win a free ebook of “Superhero” (just leave a comment). http://true-colorz.blogspot.com/search/label/featured%20author