Today I am so pleased to welcome Quinn Anderson to Joyfully Jay. Quinn has come to talk to us about her latest release, Fourteen Summers. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I Named Myself After the Teacher Who Encouraged Me to Write
The story of how I chose my penname is one I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about publicly. Not because it’s some big secret or anything. It just never seems to come up. Since Fourteen Summers is about growing up and finding yourself, now seems like the right time to talk about it.
First, I chose the name Quinn because Harley Quinn is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. Not the Suicide Squad incarnation, but the original portrayal of her from Batman the Animated Series. I grew up watching that show, and it was my first introduction to Batman. It has a special place in my heart. Considering how important nerd culture and fandom is to me, it’s no surprise I chose to name myself after a fictional character.
The story of my choice of surname is much more personal, funnily enough. When I was growing up, I loved to read. Really, I was obsessed. I read at least a book a day, every day. The librarians at my school stopped bothering to check books out to me and would just hand them over, knowing I’d be back the next day for more. I’d read as I walked home from school, and people who passed me would ask my mom if she was worried I was going to walk into a tree one day.
I never really thought about writing though, until my favorite teacher, Miss Anderson, encouraged me to do so. She was a kind, devoted woman, and a phenomenal teacher. She genuinely loved her students and had a drawer in her desk that was always full of chocolate.
I was eleven when I—shaking with nerves—handed her my first short story. It was a silly, one-page, nothing tale about a family of butterflies, but Mrs. Anderson treated it like it was a masterpiece. She read it out loud to everyone and then had me take it to the front office to be photocopied and laminated so she could keep a copy forever.
It was a pivotal moment in my life. She had such faith that I’d be published someday, I couldn’t help but believe it too. Her support kept me going through a hundred moments of self-doubt. When the big day finally came, and I was offered my first book contract, I knew exactly who I wanted to name myself after.
I’m sure you’re all wondering if she knows I chose to honor her this way. Unfortunately, no. I haven’t seen Miss Anderson since high school, and I’m sure she’s retired by now. If I did tell her, I have no idea how she’d feel about having LGBT+ books named after her. I like to believe she wouldn’t care at all and would be touched and overjoyed. Who knows? Maybe some day she’ll read this. Either way, I think of my penname as giving credit where credit is due.
Identical twins Aiden and Max Kingsman have been a matched set their whole lives. When they were children, Aiden was happy to follow his extroverted brother’s lead, but now that they’re in college, being “my brother, Aiden” is starting to get old. He’s itching to discover who he is outside of his “twin” identity.
Oliver’s goals for the summer are simple: survive his invasive family, keep his divorced parents from killing each other, and stay in shape for rowing season. He’s thrilled when he runs into his old friends, the Kingsman twins, especially Aiden, the object of a childhood crush. Aiden is all grown-up, but some things have stayed the same: his messy curls, his stability, and how breathless he makes Oliver. Oliver’s crush comes back full force, and the feeling is mutual. Summer just got a whole lot hotter.
Fun-loving Max takes one thing seriously: his role as “big brother.” When Aiden drifts away, Max can’t understand how his own twin could choose a boy over him. Summer won’t last forever, and with friendship, family, and happily ever after on the line, they’ll have to navigate their changing relationships before it’s too late.
Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.
A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. Her girlfriend swears her sense of humor is just one big Joss Whedon reference. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life, and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Yuri on Ice, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and more. Growing up, while most of her friends were fighting evil by moonlight, Anderson was kamehameha-ing her way through all the shounen anime she could get her hands on. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and Tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her.
Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, playing fetch with her cat, screwing the rules, watching Markiplier play games she’s too scared to play herself, and catching ’em all.
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To celebrate the release of Fourteen Summers, Quinn is giving away a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 26, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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