Today I am so pleased to welcome Suki Fleet to Joyfully Jay. Suki has come to talk to us about their latest release, Half-Drawn Boy. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Suki a big welcome!

 

Hey everyone! And thank you so much Jay for letting me share a little excerpt and a giveaway for my new YA release, Half-Drawn Boy.

The story centres on Gregor figuring out his feelings and falling in love with the rainbow-haired boy in the year above him at school. A boy who shares his love of drawing and pictures.

Noah longs for connection and family, and he will do anything to keep those he loves safe, including getting himself hurt.

I love writing the angst and uncertainty of liking someone and not knowing if they feel the same way back, so this excerpt is from when Gregor and Noah have been talking for a while and Gregor realises he really wants to be close to Noah, but he’s not sure how to do that.

To win a copy of this story, please comment with your favourite character from a book or a movie or a TV show.

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Excerpt

It’s three pm on the third Thursday of term after the Easter holidays, and weird feelings are vibrating through my body as I wait outside Bridgewater Road primary school.

This is a bad idea, my brain says.

But my brain also agrees that it’s the only idea I’ve had that makes the heavy feeling in my chest feel just a tiny bit lighter.

For two years, when I was ten and eleven, I went to this primary school. I don’t really remember it, so however much I wish the weird feelings I’m having are because I haven’t been here for four years and everything does look strangely small, I know they’re not. I know I’m feeling weird because I’m waiting for Noah.

I stare at the colourful logo above the school gate. A circle made of rainbow children I think I drew when I was in year 6.

It’s unexpected seeing the picture here. Back then, I didn’t really understand when the head teacher took me into their tiny office and told me they were going to use it as the school logo.

I don’t mind though. All the figures I drew look a bit like not-real me. And I kind of like that. Well, not-real me kind of likes that, because that’s the sort of thing not-real me likes. Real me finds it a bit funny that even though I don’t remember this school, not-real me is still sort of here.

More people arrive to stand outside the school gate, and I sink back against the tree behind me kind of wanting the knobbly tree trunk to swallow me up.

No one with a colourful galaxy of hair has turned up yet.

Maybe this isn’t the school Noah’s foster sister goes to. Toby was only seventy-five percent sure it was the right one when Sian pressed him for a percentage. But he was one hundred percent sure that Noah picks his foster sister up from school most days. Even when Noah himself is on study leave and not at school.

I poke at the muddy grass with the tip of my school shoe.

It’s mainly Sian and Toby’s fault I’m here—though it’s my fault for telling them about the heavy feeling in my chest. I’m really starting to regret that I told them about the whole N for Noah thing in the first place too. But I also really, really don’t like that I haven’t seen Noah in real life for over a week now. Which is a thought I never imagined I’d end up thinking.

And this is why you need to tell him. Sian’s voice. In my head. I growl quietly to myself as her voice carries on, He might go to a different school for sixth form and what if you lose his number? What if you never get another chance? And in the background, Toby’s much quieter voice whispering, Noah’s lovely.

I huff out a breath. I know Noah is lovely.

But I kind of tell him that every time I send him a blue heart, don’t I? That’s me telling him I think he’s lovely, that he’s my favourite, isn’t it? Why can’t that be enough?

Because it isn’t. Not anymore, the heaviness in my chest growls—because weirdly I imagine it talking to me too sometimes. You need to tell him to his face. Tell him you want to figure out how to not be so uncomfortable around him in real life.

But what if he is happier just texting me? What if he doesn’t want me figuring out how not to be uncomfortable around him? Because figuring it out is going to be awful and full of mistakes that I won’t even know I’m making when I’m making them—I’ll only realise later when I’m thinking too much about everything that’s happened.

And anyway, I’ve no idea how I’m supposed to not be uncomfortable around him, no idea what I’m doing, other than, I don’t know, making myself be around him until my body gets used to his and my brain shuts up.

But what if that never happens? And what if all this being with me in real life makes Noah wonder why he’s been texting me in the first place? Because maybe I seem different over text…normal?…but I’m not like other people, I know I’m not, and in real life it’s much harder to ignore how…how…I don’t know…how…Gregor I am.


Blurb

Gregor is neurodivergent and doesn’t speak. He’s also pretty sure he has synaesthesia, given the unpleasant physical sensations he experiences when writing words. He interacts with the world through his drawings and pictures. This makes school hard. A lot of the time he feels more like a half-drawn boy than a real human being.

He lives with his much older nonbinary/ace/panromantic brother and their boyfriend. He knows he’s also probably a letter in LGBTQIA. But thinking about which one makes him want to run away and hide. He has two best friends and an adorable cat called Ginger, and even though, a lot of the time, he feels half-drawn and not-real, he’s happy.

But then Noah, with his pastel galaxy rainbow hair and his bruises, tears through the neatly drawn pages of Gregor’s life, and Gregor isn’t sure how he feels anymore, except really, really confused. Plus a few other feelings he’s too scared to identify.

He talks to Noah via text for months and it feels safe, even if he is worried about Noah’s bruises. Being near Noah in real life is intense and terrifying and something Gregor avoids. But as the months pass, texting starts to feel not enough, and Gregor realises he has to try to work out if he wants something real and not just half-drawn with Noah. And if he does, he’s going to have to figure out exactly what it is that scares him about being close.

Buy Link: Amazon


Bio

Suki Fleet is an award-winning author, a prolific reader (though less prolific than they’d like), and a lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.

They write lyrical stories about memorable characters and believe everyone should have a chance at a happy ending.

Their first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the Lambda Awards. Their novel Foxes won Best Gay Young Adult in the Rainbow Awards.

They’re neurodivergent and identify as nonbinary.


Giveaway

Suki has brought a copy of Half-Drawn Boy to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, July 10th at 11:59 pm ET.


  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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